Tuesday, May 26, 2015


For those counting days, the number's 7.

Heads Up

I am excited for tomorrow's Diversability Aware Interactive event. Transportation has been arranged, the venues are set and I hope to see many of your students and teachers there to be a part of this one-of-a-kind event. Everyone I've spoken to outside of the district think this is a great idea with traction to move into it's next iteration. Teachers participating should have received a scheduled time last week. I'll be running around today getting everything in place at the Murry Room and HLM Building. Thank you all for your support.

Please send the links to teachers for the go-IT camps. There is still a need for facilitators to work with TATA engineers. I can tell you from personal experience that it is not a bad way to spend a few summer days. Thanks to Jean Womack and Jack Loyd for the use of the TREC Center and BHS. TATA has been a huge supporter of programs in Bentonville Schools and an active and engaged community partner.
There are still spaces available in the MIT App Inventor Camp https://goo.gl/AgJgpr and the Lego Mindstorm Robotics Camp https://goo.gl/AgJgpr Thank you to all who have named their Peachjar point of contact. If you haven't please send a name to be by the end of the week. Here's the overview video again on the process.

I'll be sending a short survey to faculty this week to collect data on the impact of PBL projects. I know projects raised a substantial sum of money for charity. I plan to share the data to the board at the June  meeting.

Grants and PD

This really should be re-named the Matt Saferite Section at this time of year. There's a lot going on in the professional development world.
Here's a great opportunity from Economics Arkansas.
 Want to learn about entrepreneurship from real practicing people who are building their businesses? 
·         Want lessons to use in project based learning?
·         Want to teach your students about the leaders who made Arkansas what it is today?  And to empower them to do the same?
·         Want to earn 6 ADE PD credits and earn a $50 stipend?

Here's another great offering from the University of Arkansas office of Educational Policy http://officeforedpolicy.com/2015/05/20/oep-and-oie-conference-on-june-10th-register-now/

Video of the Week

Enjoy your day.

Tuesday, May 19, 2015

We're close

Tired, so tired.

Heads up

Got Field Day? Please send me the dates - we need some smiling happy kids pictures for the community report and the newspaper is always looking for happy kids.

Final Hat Day for Junior Highs and Middle Schools is this Friday, May 22nd. Thank you for supporting Kiwanis and Arkansas Children's Hospital.

Thursday night is 21st Century Showcase at Fulbright from 5:00 to 7:00 pm. Come out to celebrate the work of our 21C grant recipients and support this innovative program that has impacted students and teachers across the district. At last night's board meeting, the foundation contributed $125,000 to this program.

I'll be sending links to staff for them to use to sign up to facilitate/collaborate with TATA Consultancy Services in producing two great, free camps for students in June. Teachers who sign up should plan on attending the June 13th training session at TATA in Bentonville (across from Walmart home office). I helped last year and the training was helpful, the engineers from TATA will facilitate the programming. The main task for teachers is to facilitate the classroom management and learning for students. It's a fun time and a great way to earn PD hours. Yes, PD hours will be earned for facilitating this camp. Student enrollment is capped at 30 per camp, Here's the video my group produced at last year's camp. Good times, good times.

No #bpseduchat this week. Next week's topic is NEW! As in what new things did you implement this year in the classroom and/or building and how did they impact students.

Preparations for Diversability Aware Interactive are nearly complete. Chris Dewitt is working out transportation for those who need it.

We are preparing for our launch of Peachjar e-flyer distribution. The Scott Family Amazeum has already signed on to support the initial distribution. Each building will need to have a designated person to upload the flyers to Peachjar, so think about who might served this role in your buildings. It is much simpler than paper distribution, and will not require a huge time commitment. We will communicate this change to parents, community partners, etc.

Grants and PD

Here's the google doc for schedule of PD information from Matt Saferite. https://docs.google.com/spreadsheets/d/1FXyIt80yQ5Vbt86N5uCB8q0TeCqCo9AeJsC3apekuzc/edit?usp=sharing

Video of the Week

Enjoy your week.

Tuesday, May 12, 2015

There yet?

I used say that May had 90 days, I might have miscounted.

Heads Up

There are so many classrooms doing projects for a cause that I think this is something to celebrate. I'd like to present to the school board the amount raised through student projects this school year. I will send a form out to all staff to collect the data and amounts. I think the dollar amount far greater than we think.

Bentonville Parks and Recreation dropped off literally thousands of Summer Program Guides last week that will begin making their way to your building. I have approved this distribution, but I am also working on a "greener" more efficient solution.

Paper flyers are a thing of the past with e-flyer management system from Peachjar! We have partnered with Peachjar to begin providing e-flyers to parents next month. This service takes flyer distribution out of your hands and into parent's smartphones. It also requires that flyers be approved prior to being sent. For more information on how Peachjar works, click this link.

#bpseduchat is talking about instructional materials tonight at 8:30 pm. If you haven't jumped into the Twitter stream yet, tonight is a good night to start.

Diversability Aware Interactive is coming together. I'll collect the data from the google forms tonight and send it to Chris Dewitt to develop a schedule. Thanks to all who supported this initiative and the students and teachers who took the risk to try and pull off an event of this size. Plans are already in the works for next year. There's still time to register classrooms to participate. Teachers at Central ParkWillowbrook, Bright Field,  Centerton GambleArdis Ann, and Elm Tree.

Teachers at Thomas Jefferson, Sugar Creek, Cooper, Apple Glen, RE Baker, Old High, Mary Mae Jones, and Ruth Barker use this link. Use this form.

Currently there are 18 classes signed up to visit Fulbright. And 10 signed up to visit Lincoln. Additional classes should sign up today whether transportation is needed or not. Thank you. I shifted Mary Mae and Ruth Barker to Lincoln to help with the numbers of sign-ups. Transportation will still be provided.

RE Baker and Elm Tree Kiwanis Hat Day will be this Friday, May 15th. Final Hat Day for junior high and middle school will be Friday, May 22nd.

Grants and PD

PD schedule and information can be found at this link.

Video of the Week

Enjoy your week.

Tuesday, May 5, 2015

Bentonville in a League of It's Own

The BFF is here.

Heads Up

We received an allotment of 750 tickets for Thursday's League of Their Own celebrity softball game and movie showing at Arvest Ballpark.Tickets will be "will call" at the District Office. All the seats are in the Jack Link's Grass Berm area, so bring a blanket to sit on. They're first come, first served until they're all gone. Should be a fun night at the old ball yard. Remember: "there's no crying in baseball."

I will never complain about the BFF organization again after trying to pull together the First Annual Diversability Awareness Event on Wednesday, May 27th. On one hand, it's been awesome to see the passion of a group of professional educators and their students take a small kernel of an idea and blow it into an event that is destined to impact the community for years to come. On the other hand, it's a challenge to keep up with a group of professional educators and their students when the explosion starts. 
The plan is to move forward with student projects available to interact with and view at two locations - Fulbright Junior High and Lincoln Junior High. Activities will be available from 9:00 to 1:00 pm. Students in all grades from Thomas Jefferson, Sugar Creek and Lincoln are invited to walk to HLM Building; students at Central Park, Willowbrook and Bright Field are invited to walk to Fulbright. Students in all grades at Centerton Gamble, Ardis Ann, Elm Tree, Mary Mae Jones and Ruth Barker are invited to attend at Fulbright. Students at Cooper, Apple Glen, RE Baker, and Old High are invited to attend at Lincoln.  Let me know what grades and number of classes from the buildings outside walking distance and I'll get that information to Chris Dewitt to plan transportation. As with the "League" tickets above, it's first come, first served until all the available seats are gone.
This truly is an opportunity to see some amazing work by dedicated teachers and students and I believe this is the inception of an event that will be uniquely Bentonville and show how much our students, teachers and community matters. Also, given the climate of divisiveness, an event that celebrates our differences and promotes inclusion is greatly needed - no matter what your personal feelings are. Diversity is the thread that binds a community together.

Traditional elementary schools Kiwanis Hat Day for Arkansas Children's Hospital is this Friday, May 8th. 

National School Nurse Day is Wednesday, May 6th. They deserve a day off! Unfortunately, illness and the needs of our most vulnerable students won't allow that to happen. 

Finally, it's teacher appreciate week. I have a whole new appreciation for the work that happens in classrooms across the district and for all your efforts to support it. Thank you.

Grants and PD

Here's your link to all things PD.

Let teachers know about a unique opportunity to learn about PBL from BPS teachers on June 18, 2015 at 4:00 pm. Contact Matt Saferite for details, sign up on the BPS PD site.

There's some great offerings from Economics Arkansas this summer.

  • K-12 teachers can learn how to qualify for for a study tour of Germany on June 24 from 1 - 3 pm at Crystal Bridges.
  • The Economics of Sports, U of A Campus on June 25. Preferential registration for  Secondary Teachers. 
  • Entrepreneurship Education Conference for K-12 teachers on July 15. 

Video of the week

What happens when one little change is made to something that's been mastered?