Principal’s Letter: April 2015

Sage Canyon ElementaryDear Wrangler Families,

I hope that you had a wonderful time with your children during spring break and that you had the opportunity to connect and relax as a family. It is so hard to believe that we are coming back for the last few weeks of school. Many of our grade levels will begin some of their most interesting projects. First grade will be studying life cycles of plants and will help plan, plant, and maintain the SGCE community garden in “Just Dig It.” Our sixth graders are currently learning about the atoms and physical changes of matter. They will use this information to create a superhero in “Operation Acclamation.” Both of these projects showcase authentic transfer of learning, which we know allows for sustainable retention.

One of the most anticipated events of the year is the announcement of grade level teams for the following year. One of the many reasons that Sage Canyon is constantly evolving is the willingness and desire of teachers to change grade levels. I had a parent ask me recently why I asked teachers to change grade levels so much, and the answer is simply that I don’t. I would like to share a little bit about our process for choosing grade level teams.

Every January, we hand out our “blue cards.” The blue cards are a place where teachers can indicate their preference for their teaching position for the following year. Many times teachers say that they are happy to teach the same grade again or they are interested in teaching another grade. There are some cases where teachers are ready for a change or there are particular projects that may interest them.

As a leadership team, we then take the blue cards and begin to construct grade level teams based on a number of variables. These variables include projected enrollment, the number of needed sections, teacher strengths and preferences. We attempt to create teams where teacher strengths are complementary and where we can maximize teacher and team talent. This is critical because in our system of Project-Based Learning, our teachers meticulously plan each and every learning experience together. We want collaborative teams who can create and refine the very best projects for our students.

Below, you will find a list of our grade level teams for the 2015-2016 school year. I know that there will be the urge to request a teacher. I am going to ask that if you do have a specific request, please email me and let me know the specific traits of a teacher you feel would fit best with your child, but I ask that you not request a specific teacher by name. This process allows us to match a teacher and student so that the needs of the student can be met. Sometimes you hear great things about a teacher, but when truly appraising the unique needs of your child, there may be another teacher who could be a better match.

This spring, we will work with current grade level teachers to create classes for next year. We will have your students’ teacher assignment available in parent portal in early June. I will follow up with a specific date as the time gets closer.

Thank you so much for your continued support of Sage Canyon and our teachers.

Mandy Hill
Sage Canyon Principal

Grade Level Teams 2015-2016

  • Kindergarten: Susan Fairchild (Full Day), Sarah Komosa (Full Day), Ellie Monroe (Half Day)
  • 1st Grade: Kristin Folkers, Robin Joyce, Stephannie Page, Courtney Schubarth
  • 2nd Grade: Paula Bishop, Kaitlin Conley, Betsy Embrey, Laura Trimarco,
  • 3rd Grade: Cheryl Brost, Heather Pepper, Amy Turba, TBD
  • 4th Grade: Kelsey Chadrick, Sarah Johnson, Nancy Mann, Cynthia Thurston
  • 5th Grade: Carolynn Barthelemy, Kali Goings, Danielle McGuckin, Matt Wilson
  • 6th Grade: Katie Bland, Tony Lamb, Keely Vaughan, Jackie Wolfgang