Saturday, March 20, 2010

The Conflict Resolution program was started to teach students how to resolve their conflicts in a peaceful way without having to go to a adult to settle the problem. Students learned leadership skills and had extensive training after school to develop their skills. Students learned to listen and develop empathy for others. Conflict Managers had to give up some of their play time either at recess or at lunch to do their job. In the photo to the left Bernadette Muhlestein supervises conflict manager training.

All the students in every class were taught to give an "I message" to students when they had a problem on the playground or in the classroom. When the program was in fully utilized, there were about 70 conflict managers.

Bernadette Muhlestein and Joan Logue started Conflict Resolution together. According to Joan, "We took a class and had inservice in the process. We had a guidebook for the exact process students were required to follow. As I remember, the Conlict Manager would see a problem, ask them to step into the circle and then say, "What happened" to each of them, one at a time. Then after listening, they would say, "How did that make you feel?" After their answer, the Conflict Manager would ask, "What will make it better now?". If they answer "Don't do that again" or something then the Conflict Manager asks the other if that's OK. If it isn't then they can go to the office to solve it. But if they want it over fast, then they all agree, shake hands and go on their way. And it worked!!!! The Conflict Manager kids were chosen from the higher grades and trained continually. We did a lot of role playing in the class which was always after school. It was a great program!!"

Role playing

The above photo shows Greg Snelling training his Conflict Managers. After Joan retired, Greg and Bernadette did the program. As of 2010 Greg Snelling and Paul Hornbook are the Conflict Resolution teachers. At the end of the the school year all the conflict managers with their conflict teachers went on a special field trip as a reward for all their hard work.

Conflict Managers at Work

Joan and Greg at the Conflict Manager Pizza Party

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Staff Photos 2009-2010 or Memories

Tracie Noriega, Principal
Cheri Benefield, Assistant Principal
Click on the photo to enlarge

Jeff Pickering on end of the year on Facebook: year-end assessments, report cards, Ocean Night, pink and blues, cum's, DRAs for far and below basic, NWEA, enter Data Director, finish up Writers Workshop, year-end picnic, field day, "Oceans" field trip, clean out room and walls. I'm forgetting something... Other than that, the rest of the year is pretty kick-back.

Happy Retirement ManYee
Click on the photo to enlarge

CA Budget Crisis Eliminates Class Size Reduction

Teachers will be giving more than ever next year. According to Rick LaPlant, New Haven Unified School District's Public Information Officer, the school board was forced because of the ongoing state financial crisis to make another round of drastic budget cuts.

The Board approved staff recommendations totaling $3.6 million in new reductions for 2010-11, on top of $1.6 million in reductions previously approved for next year. As a result, class sizes will be larger in kindergarten through third grade in 2010-11, and the District no longer will offer transportation for elementary and middle school students.

The Board approved a recommendation to eliminate four assistant principal positions at the elementary schools, a reduction previously forecast for 2011-12. Starting in 2010-11, there no longer will be assistant principals at Alvarado, Eastin, Emanuele, and Pioneer elementary schools.

This will be a hardship for teachers and students. Many young dedicated creative teachers will lose their positions at a time with jobs are increasingly difficult to obtain. Students in grades K-3 will now have 25 students in their class instead of 20. Those students with home and learning problems will find it more difficult to get the personalized attention they need to be academically successful. Many lower grade teachers who came in with the triads in 1995 for the beginning of class size reduction have never had 25 students at one time. This number of students changes the entire atmosphere of the classroom. Teachers will learn new ways to get the most out of their academic time with students. Teachers in these large schools, as much as 850 children, will have to handle many more disciplinary problems.

One huge role of the assistant principals has been problem solving student's major behavior and lifestyle issues. Assistant principals also keep track of truant students and those who are habitually late for school. They supervise CELDT which is the California English Language Development Test. CELDT testing is required in the state of California. The test is given to students who's home language is not English.

So everyone will be giving more. How much more can teachers and principals can give? Everyone was already giving their all. Are teachers and principals going the way of the tree in The Giving Tree, as a stump, with nothing more to give?