Thursday, September 1, 2016

Welcome Back Letter 2016

Dear Haisley Families,

Welcome to the 2016-2017 school year! I’ve hit the ground running since joining the Haisley family, and we are off to an amazing start!  The support and teamwork I’ve seen and experienced this past week from staff and families is incredible.  This is such a special place to be!  Be sure to thank JoAnn Taylor, Haisley’s fabulous office professional, when you see her for working extremely hard to help ensure that we’re taken care of and ready to start our school year together. 

As you can imagine, it was quite a busy summer for me!  I spent quite a bit of it interviewing. J  The rest of my summer consisted of reading and writing, hiking, fishing, volunteering, and spending time with family.  My parents bought a house on a lake earlier this year, and I spent many nights fishing off the dock, taking the boat out for a spin, and sitting around the bonfire.  I also spent a lot of time with my sisters, their spouses, and my nieces and nephews.  I have three sisters, including a twin, and five nieces and nephews.  It’s a full house when we’re all together!

This past weekend I was able to slip away to Chicago for a quick trip with some friends.  We ate at some incredible restaurants, spent several hours roaming through the many floors of Macy’s, and saw a musical parody of a TV series.  It was a great way to finish out the summer!

Staff Changes
We are just about finished with staffing assignments for the upcoming year.  We are welcoming some new faces, aside from mine, to the Haisley family.  This year we welcome Judy Knorr as a fifth grade teacher.  Judy comes to us from King Elementary where she is noted for her data-driven instruction and strong instructional practices.  We are so happy to have her join us!  Patty Koutoulas is our new Young 5s teacher.  Patty comes to us from Ann Arbor Open with many years at Mitchell Elementary before that.  She worked for many years in kindergarten and has a wealth of knowledge around the academic and social development of young children.  While welcoming new staff, we say goodbye to Kristin Stoops and wish her the best of luck at her new assignment in middle school. We have hired our new third grade teacher and our new P.E. teacher, and I hope to announce them early next week once they are cleared with Human Resources.  They are both incredible!  Here’s what our general education classroom teachers will be teaching this year:

Young 5’s
Patty Koutoulas         110
Elana Levine              105
Diane Marquardt      103
First Grade
Angie Christiansen    104
Alicia Murrell             102
Second Grade
Paula Everett             100
Karen Strohl              101
Third Grade
Audi Hahn                  304
Shaugn Harris            305
Jessica Guerra            302
Fourth Grade
Ellen McGee               306
Jim Weindorf             307
Fifth Grade
Ralph Carnegie          404
Judy Knorr                 400

Our school will implement “Project Lead the Way” (PLTW) this year in grades K-5. PLTW is a project based, STEM learning experience. Units are co-taught by a PLTW teacher alongside of our classroom teachers. I will speak more about PLTW at Curriculum Night. We welcome Nathan Moger to Haisley as our PLTW teacher.

Classroom Placement
As we’ve done in the past, students will learn and meet their teachers the week before school starts at the Haisley Hello.  A lot of careful thought and consideration has gone into the placement of each student.  Staff and administrators work hard to ensure the best placement for students as we consider a multitude of factors. We’ve been strategic and intentional in building class lists, and are excited to share placements with you on Wednesday.  Here’s the date for our Haisley Hello:
• Wednesday, August 31st between 6:00 p.m. and 7:30 p.m.

This event will take place in front of the school, where families can pick up their children’s class assignment envelopes.  Teachers will be near the playground eagerly waiting to meet you, your children, and to talk with you.  This event is outdoors only.  If you are not able to attend the gathering, we will be mailing class assignments the following day, and you should expect your letter Friday or Saturday. You can also call school beginning on Thursday, September 1st to inquire about placement.

New Bell Schedule
The bell schedule has changed once again this year. Below are the new times:
First Bell: 8:44
Second Bell (classroom instruction begins): 8:47
End of day: 3:50

Snack Policy
In keeping with district policy, snacks for the first two weeks of school is limited to fruits and vegetables only as we work to make sure we have a good handle on student allergies, etc. At the end of those two weeks, students are encouraged to bring healthy snacks, but they do not need to be fruits and vegetables only.  Please do your best to ensure you are sending your child with something nutritious and healthy each day.  Children learn best when they are well nourished. 
We will alert families of allergens in your child’s classroom so you’re aware of what foods cannot enter the classroom.

Other Important Dates
In the first day packet, you will receive a calendar with our various events for the school year. However, I do want to point out a few early in the year events so you can have them on your calendars.

• Haisley Hello: Wednesday, August 31st (6:00-7:30 p.m.)
• First Day of School: Tuesday, Sept. 6h
• Opening Day PTO Coffee: Tuesday, Sept. 6th (9:00 a.m.)
• Meet the Principal- First PTO meeting: Thursday, Sept. 8th (7:00 p.m.)
• Curriculum Night: TBD- either 9/13 or 9/20 (6:30 p.m. to 8:00 p.m.)
            *more details to follow

Stay in the Loop with Haisley!
Staying up to date with everything going on at Haisley will be easier than ever this year! There are multiple ways to keep up! I will send a weekly “Friday Email” and the same information from the emails can be found on the Haisley website at  Monthly newsletters will go out with school information and PTO updates.  I have recently changed my Twitter handle and will be posting Haisley news, updates, photos, articles, etc.  You can follow me @HaisleyA2.  You can peruse my previous posts over the last year as well.  

Traffic Reminder
It’s important that we all aware of how to navigate our drop off/pick up zone and that we follow these protocols to ensure the safety of all our kids and families and to make drop off and dismissal as smooth as possible.  The drop off/pick up lane is an active drop-off/pick up zone. Please pull as far ahead as possible and stay in your car. Do not park or leave your car there for any length of time; this will impede the flow of traffic and slow things down considerably. The second lane is for moving traffic and is not a place for cars to stop. If you are in the second lane (furthest from the curb/school) you will not be allowed to stop for pick up and will need to circle back around and get in the drop off/pick up lane.  Again, please stay in your car and continue to pull ahead when in the drop off/pick up lane (it seems like a long line but if everyone follows the system, it moves pretty fast!).  The buses park along the curb closest to the building.  This lane and the lane next to it is off limits to families during drop off/pick up times.  Please do not pull through this lane or park there.  There is an area near the grass when you first pull in that is reserved for the Peace Neighborhood vehicle.  It is marked with a sign. You may not park your car along this curb for any reason.

Parking and walking to pick up your children is a great way to avoid lines and speed up our drop off/pick up process.  You can park in the neighborhood or in the Haisley parking lot.  Please help us make sure all kids and families are safe and that we have an efficient, effective system by following these protocols.  Thank you!

Enjoy the final days of summer, and we’ll see you all soon!  We’re looking forward to a great year!


Kelly House

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