Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Barnes & Noble Book Fair

Thanks to all of the Sioux Trail families that were able to join us at our Barnes and Noble Book Fair on Saturday, November 14. We had a wonderful turnout. This is a fundraiser for the PTO, but I see it as a wonderful chance to celebrate the readers have at Sioux Trail and engage in one of the most important activities we do at Sioux Trail - read! We had wonderful guests including the following people:
  • Mrs. Willemssen and the 4th Grader Singers
  • Mrs. Sickman (Sioux Trail parent)
  • Author Patrick Mader - Big Brother Has Wheels
  • Miss Mulvahill
  • Mrs. Horwart & Mrs. Boche
  • Firefighter Principal Akin
  • Author Patricia Bauer/Illustrator David Geister - B is for Battle Cry

Friday, November 13, 2009

Tie Day

Thursday at Sioux Trail is unofficially Tie Day! Everyone is encouraged to wear any kind of tie. Occasionally we gather at the need of the day for a photo - here is the photo from yesterday (11/12).

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Veteran's Day

American Veterans - thank you for all that you have given.

Our sixth grade band started the day by playing our national anthem and then staff, students and parents had an opportunity to meet three veterans. Mike Murphy is the grandfather of one of our students, a Minnesota National Guard veteran and Mike helped make the visit possible. Mike introduced students to Louie and Gary, both veterans with a unique story. Gary and Louie participated in a re-creation of a military vehicle convoy that originally took place in 1919.

Nearly 90 years ago on July 7, 1919, the country's first Army transcontinental convoy of 81 brand new military vehicles departed from mile marker zero near the White House and headed cross-country via the Lincoln Highway to San Francisco, Calif.

The original convoy included 46 trucks, five ambulances, 11 military staff cars, nine motorcycles, a Maxwell caterpillar tractor, four kitchen trailers, a pontoon trailer, a mobile searchlight and a recovery vehicle. The punishing quest took the 295 young Soldiers through middle America down roads that ranged from concrete to tracks across quicksand and mud and over bridges that collapsed underneath the weight of the vehicles.

Two months later, on Sept. 6, 1919, and at 6 mph, the convoy crept into San Francisco, battered and bruised, but whole. Its mission was accomplished in showing the public the importance of a mechanized military and offering a brutal demonstration of the need for good roads. An unwritten objective was to say thanks to Americans for their support during World War I.

This summer, Louie and Gary recreated this trip, using a variety of military vehicles including their restored 1941 and 1943 World War II jeeps. Approximately 40 other participants made the entire trip, but they were joined by hundreds of others and they were hosted by VFW's and Legions across the county and were received warmly everywhere they went.

All three gentlemen had great stories to share with students and in turn, the students had terrific questions to ask. Having the vehicles in the gym helped build curiosity too. We concluded the visits with group photos for each class. Our guests were very impressed with the behavior of the students as well as the questions they posed.

Here is a link to their group's website: http://www.redbullhmva.com/

Thursday, November 5, 2009

Site Volunteer Coordinator

Jill Haddorff is our new Site Volunteer Coordinator! Heidi had too many projects underway and submitted her resignation earlier this fall. I am very grateful to Heidi for all of the work that she did and all of the time that she dedicated to Sioux Trail.

We had over 10 people apply for this position, which is a terrific number, considering that some schools have had no applicants and the principal has had to knock on doors. Jill is a regular volunteer at Sioux Trail, she has done a lot of work with the PTO, supports classroom teachers and has some great ideas to increase the number of volunteers at Sioux Trail.

Jill's contact information is as follows -
Email: jhaddorff@burnsville.k12.mn.us
Voicemail: (952) 707-3321

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Where is Mr. Akin?

Yes! Meetings are a large part of the principal's week and take me away from Sioux Trail for a couple hours each week. This isn't the most exciting blog topic, but I thought it might be an informative post. Today's principal meeting started at 12 (noon) and ended at at 4pm. Our agenda included:
  • An hour on preparing for the next late start on November 17 and instruction on explicit comprehension
  • An in-service on School Reach, which allows staff to send messages to all families that we have an active phone number for. Initially we will use this tool to get messages out for instances like a snow day or other school cancellation (power outage anyone?), reminders about late starts and other opportunities that require us to get out information to you quickly
  • Updates on the data we get from the MAP assessment
  • Discussion around our Professional Learning Conversations that we host at Sioux Trail on Thursday mornings
  • An update from Superintendent Clegg on the data that is being collected by the ISD 191 school board
  • Discussion with the Director of Special Education on report cards and meetings that require classroom teachers
I hope this insight into the life of an elementary principal was interesting - keep posting comments and sharing ideas!