Tuesday, May 24, 2016

Tuesday, May 24, 2016

To those of you on the traditional calendar . . .
enjoy your summer. 
To those of you on the non-traditional calendar . . . 
almost there.

Head's Up

Today's National Lucky Penny Day! It's also National Taffy Day. Why, back when I was a kid, you could still buy saltwater taffy for a penny. But, why would you spend your lucky penny on taffy?

Wednesday, May 25th, is National Missing Children's Day. One of those "days" that really should be thought about on the other 364 each year.

Thursday, May 26th, is . . . wait for it . . . National Red Nose Day. And you thought it was only the last day of school. Red Nose Day is a worldwide fundraising effort for kids in poverty. Yet another thing that should be thought of on the other 364.

Monday, May 30th, is Memorial Day. Great that it's not the last 3-day weekend of the school year.

Tuesday, May 31st, is National Speak in Sentences Day. This could be a challenge after a relaxing 3-day weekend.

June starts with National CPR and AED Awareness Week. It's also Heat Stoke Prevention Month.

Now, I don't know who decides on these things, but having National Fruits and Vegetables Month the same month as National Candy Month seems to cancel each other out. Both are in June.

Looking ahead to August, start thinking about Friday, August 5. It's Back to School First Friday, and schools are welcome to participate. I know Old High is planning something (rumors of its demise are premature). This is a great way to connect with the community. I'll work on getting the shady side of the street. (Those who participated last year know how much of an incentive this is,)


Want to know what's happening in Downtown Bentonville? Get the app.

It was great to see so many families at Ruth Barker and Old High for What's Next Night last Tuesday. There were some pretty excited kids (and families) making their way through the buildings.

BHS students from Mrs. Campbell's 10th grade pre-AP English class wrote non-fiction stories about people "living deliberately" and read their work at Barnes & Noble. Their work was compiled into a book that is for sale at http://bit.ly/bhsdeliberatestories for $6 each. All proceeds will be donated to Saving Grace NWA. 

Fourth Graders from Central Park and RE Baker competed in the first ever Battle of the Books. Students tested each other on their knowledge of books they had recently read.

BHS seniors were honored at the 2016 Senior Scholarship Awards ceremony on Thursday night. This year's class earned over $12 million in scholarship money. The top 25 students earned $4.2 million. Community scholarships awarded this group totaled over $700,000. Great support from the community for these outstanding graduates.

Representatives of Heifer International and some of their friends visited Willowbrook on Friday to accept a donation of $6,500 from students at the school. This is enough money to provide for an entire village and begin a sustainable economic system for its people. Another example of a student-driven project that makes the world a better place.

Lincoln blew it out last Friday afternoon when the 8th grade class celebrated the end of the year with a festival of teenage stress relieving activities. They also upped the competition between BHS and BWHS.

In the it's-my-blog-and-I-can-share-what-I-want-to category. The BHS girls' and boys' soccer team and the girls' softball team all won state championships on Friday. My niece Abby, a freshman, scored the second goal of the game. Think she's excited. I'm fairly sure that she was the most famous kid in Bentonville on Saturday.

BHS faculty and staff did a great job with graduation planning and the ceremony capped a great year for our Seniors. Pretty impressive sight in the tunnel, makes you realize why we're all important in preparing kids to become young adults.

Each week there are at least 20 other things that could be included in this blog. Every day there's something exceptional happening in Bentonville schools that should be shared with the world. One way to do this is to leverage social media as a tool for communicating with each other and the community. Ideally, we could create a social media network to share the story of the district.
The Bentonville School Board approved a Digital Communication and Social Media Policy to support you in using social media and avoid the pitfalls and false perceptions that sometimes arise. The policy requires that BPS staff maintain a professional accounts for interacting on social media in an official capacity. It does not mean that employees can not have personal social media accounts, nor does it mean the District is going to monitor your activity. There's plenty of people who will do that for us.

Bottom line - think before you post, be nice, and keep your personal and professional lives as separate as possible. So your world's don't collide - that's bad.

Here are three links with some tips for using social media to engage families
http://goo.gl/c4EvL5 , http://goo.gl/teCMFahttp://goo.gl/1edDAx

Grants and PD

Northrup Grumman Foundation is making 5 grants for up to $100,000 available to middle schools to develop Fab School Labs. I just found out about this today, and the deadline to enter is June 17th. So, if you're interested - get on it! Visit www.fabschoollabs.com for details.

Dr. Saferite wants you to get your PD on, here's how.

Video of the Week

A little perspective from down under. Since we're 1/6th of the way through the 21st Century, shouldn't we start talking about 22nd Century skills and learning just to try and get a head of the curve?

Wishing you a happy summer! Enjoy each day.

Tuesday, May 17, 2016

Tuesday, May 17, 2016

Just realized this is the second year that I haven't been able to do experiments to test the tensile strength of rubber encapsulated H2O projectiles near the end of the school year. Kind of miss that.

Ray and Associates is heading up the search for the next BPS superintendent. Help them out by identifying the 10 qualities you believe are important in our next superintendent. Survey closes May 21 at 8:00 am. Here's a link to the survey https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/558NWLR

Head's Up 

Today is Academic Signing Day at BHS at 4:00 pm in the North Lecture Hall.

It's also National Cherry Cobbler Day! What's better than Cherry Cobbler? Cherry Cobbler with vanilla ice cream. You thought it was also Vanilla Ice Cream Day, didn't you? Sorry, that's July 23rd.

Wednesday, May 18th is National No Dirty Dishes Day. It's also National Visit Your Relatives Day.

Wednesday night at 7:00 there will also be a community meeting with Ray and Associates at Arend to discuss the superintendent search.

Thursday, May 19th, BHS scholarship awards ceremony will be in Arend to honor this year's graduating class and their achievements. As a point of reference, last year's class earned over $13 million in scholarships.

Friday, May 20th, is Bike to Work Day. This week is also National Craft Brew Week. (Replay video now). Remember that every day is a school day and be careful should you choose to participate in either or both of these activities.

It's also National Pizza Party Day. Anyone else seeing a theme emerging here?

And, hot dang! If it ain't NASCAR Day on May 20th as well! Now, we got us a party. But wait, there's more - it's National Be A Millionaire Day.

Saturday, May 21st is BHS Graduation at Bud Walton Arena. Or, for those of us with graduating seniors, National Wish I Was A Millionaire Day.

Head out to the Bentonville Community Center and help the Bentonville Police Department celebrates 100 years of service to the community on Saturday, May 21st, from 10:00 am to 2:00 pm. This week is National Police Week. For more details, click this link

Thursday, May 26th, is the last day of school for students on a traditional calendar unless it snows between now and then.


Top story this week is the first ever Google Street View mapping of the Razorback Greenway. Old High Middle School science teacher Larry Merriman, strapped a Google Trekker (portable camera array) to a 4-wheeler and mapped the Greenway. Can't wait for these images to be uploaded and available on Google.

Here's the start of the journey in Fayetteville.

Here's the end at Lake Bella Vista. I'm not sure when the footage will be uploaded, but I'll keep an eye out.

Monday, May 9, was the BHS Bands' Spring Concert. The performances were exceptional as we've come to expect. The collaboration between the choir and the band and the debut of a student conductor really show how special this district is.

Tuesday, May 10, I was honored to be able to attend Voices of Bentonville at BHS. The students' personal memoirs of courage, perseverance, and

Thursday, May 12, was Leadership Day at Mary Mae Jones. One thing you can count on at MMJ is that the kids will be prepared and proud to share their experiences.

On Friday, May 13, two exceptional groups of students achieved a milestone in their lives. They graduated from high school. For most students in Bentonville, this is stepping stone, but for students at Gateway and in the Special Education program, graduation signifies their commitment to beat the odds. I my opinion, it's one of our finest moments as a district.

Know any students male or female zoned for Bentonville West High School who would like to play golf next year? Coach Yarrington wants to talk to them Monday, May 23rd, at 6:30 pm.

Grants and PD

This just in from Matt Saferite.

Video of the Week

Thought I'd bring back a hero of mine, now that YouTube is playing nice.

Enjoy your final week of school. Have a great Summer. Check your  email on Tuesday (if you want), and most of all enjoy your day - you won't get another one like it.

Tuesday, May 10, 2016

Tuesday, May 10, 2016

Raise your hand if you know how many days are left in this school year?
I thought so.

Head's Up

Wednesday, May 11 is National Twilight Zone Day.

Thursday, May 12 is National Limerick Day. There once was a kid from . . .
May 12 is also Ruth Barker's Fine Arts Night from 5- 7 pm. Mary Mae Jones holds their leadership day on May 12 as well.

Friday, May 13 is National Apple Pie Day. It's also National Blame Someone Else Day.

It's still National Nurse's Week. If you haven't told a nurse how much they are absolutely necessary in the education process, you still have time.

It's also still Women's Health week until May 15th.


Last Monday, the first group of Ignite Innovators completed the IT Solution Strand of the program. This group of pioneers set a new standard of educational excellence in the professional studies program. Three of them have jobs in technology after graduation.

I was fortunate to be able to catch the Ardis Ann Fine Arts night on Tuesday. The artwork displayed showed how the teachers created an inclusive environment where kids were not afraid to explore their artistic talents.

Thursday might have been the busiest day ever.
There was the Happy Trails Day at Ruth Barker, This day is made possible by funds raised through a student project. Isn't it great when students help students.

The BHS DECA club made a wish come true for a Springdale child and her family after raising over $12,000 during this year's Mr. BHS contest. Always great to see BPS students supporting others.

And later that evening, the annual Gold Rush 5K filled the streets of Bentonville with runners. It was another huge turnout.

The Friday Roundup at Cooper was especially energetic last week as the surf was up! The Kindergarten class put on an excellent show and got everybody in the mood for summer.

Amy Pinault might be the most courageous teacher in the district. She let students cut her hair to be donated to Pantone's Lock of Love.

On Friday, a group of BHS Sports Medicine students visited with Orthopedic Surgeons at Northwest Medical to help name their new surgical robot. Ladies and Gentleman, let me introduce you to OsteoPrime.

Oh, and there was this film festival thing going on. I don't know if you got a chance to visit BFF or see a movie, but it was a pretty great week to be in Bentonville. It was especially great for these BHS students who competed in the Samsung Student Film Contest - and WON! And yes, that is Geena Davis.

Sugar Creek participated in National Lemonade Day again this year. Yet another great example of students working to support our community. National Lemonade Day is a great way to introduce students to economics and entrepreneurship.

Centerton Gamble Kindergartners want to thank McLarty Daniel Automotive for their new Tinker Time supplies they purchased thanks to a $2,000 donation. They were able to purchase two carts with activities to promote design thinking and creativity.

The Washington Jr. High Band earned superior
ratings and 1st Place in the Festival of Music at Worlds of Fun in Kansas City.

Grants and PD

Here's a couple of opportunities that don't have hard due dates.

Salesforce.org supports innovative, scalable solutions in education and STEM programs with a focus on increasing exposure of underrepresented groups and girls. http://www.salesforce.org/about-us/grantseekers/

Crayola is looking for applications for the Champion Creatively Alive Children grant program. http://www.crayola.com/for-educators/ccac-landing/grant-program.aspx

Videos of the week

This is the winning entry in the BFF Samsung Student Film competition.

I forgot about the videos created by students at Thomas Jefferson and Sugar Creek as part of Trike Theatre's Digital Storytelling program. BPS and Trike Partnered to provide training, equipment and opportunity for students to learn the craft of using video to tell a story.

Monday, May 2, 2016

Tuesday, May 3, 2016

BFF is here! BFF is here! Probably the one week out of the year that if you can't find something to do,your living under a rock.

Head's Up

The Bentonville Film Festival begins Tuesday, May 3. I don't know about you, but I'm kind of curious about what a Cinetransformer looks like. Download the BFF app or check out their website for schedule of events.

Tuesday, May 3, is National Teacher Appreciation Day, but you're so special we're appreciatin' you all week! Have a great week. It's also Ardis Ann Middle School's Fine Arts Night from 5- 7 pm.

May the 4th is Wednesday, also known as Star Wars Day. It's also bike to school day this year, which means, in theory, you could ride to work on those totally awesome speeders from Return of the Jedi.

It's National Bike Month. So, get out there and ride! The weather's great and you can't swing a dead cat without hitting a cyclist on a trail around here. In fact, May 14th is the spring Square to Square ride from Fayetteville to Bentonville. It's really a fun day. Try it. (No cats were hurt in the writing of this paragraph.)

Gold Rush 5k is THURSDAY, May 5, not Friday as is has been in the past. I guess there's some Cinetransformers blocking the route. It's Cinco de Mayo, so, I'm not sure what to expect at this year's race.

Looking ahead, next week elementary schools will be hosting a district-wide open house on Monday, May 9th. Here's a short promotional video.

It's also school National School Nurses Week. Want to know more http://www.nursingworld.org/NationalNursesWeek-History

Did you know that BHS has a Fishing Team? Join them at Fishing Derby Day on May 14th from 8 - 2 pm. All families from Bentonville Public Schools are welcome.


Have you been itchin' for a twitter chat? Join #whatisschool Thursday at 6pm moderated by @OLDHIGHMS teacher @tobiemichele this week. Questions here: http://mrkempnz.com/2016/05/what-is-school-building-rapport-and-relationships.html

Really believe I saw who should be leading our country Monday at BHS when I visited Ms. Hamm's class and watched debate students in a mock Congressional debate. Wish I could have brought all those people who complain about kids with me.

BWHS was open for tours on Wednesday for future students and parents. The place was full of excited Wolverines ready to get to work in NWA's premiere collaborative learning environment.

The school features open spaces and lots of areas for students to collaborate. I've heard many people comment that it is more like an office building than a school.

The competition gym at BWHS seats 2,250. It's large enough to host state playoff games; better yet, the entire student population can gather in the gym.

Regretfully, I wasn't able to attend the 21C Showcase on Thursday. I heard it was exceptional and really showcased the way technology is being integrated into classrooms across the district.

The Central Park Ballet was Thursday, and, as usual, the production was amazing. Here's a video clip of the teacher performance during the morning performance. They really outdid themselves this year, and I'm sure they brought the house down Thursday night.

If you'll permit me to shout - Friday, WAS THE BEST DAY OF MY LIFE! I got to spend the day at the Amazeum "convening" about the future of learning, teaching, entrepreneurship, and economic development.

Not only that, but the Woods Trail bike trail at Ardis Ann officially opened in the afternoon. This could be the future of the bike program. Compact, collaboratively built bike parks for all ability levels. Want to thank Tim Keith for his leadership in making this happen.

Mary Mae Jones, and Willowbrook both held health fairs with the support of community members.

Here's something cool from Cooper - Cooper Cafe! The 2nd grade class is using a reading restaurant as a fundraiser to buy books for the book room.The menu and chef changes daily and offers up a just right meal for the customer.

Talk about a great trip to Crystal Bridges! Guess who these Ruth Barker 6th graders ran into on their last trip to the museum. Alice Walton is always to gracious when approached for photo ops.

And at Washington Junior High S.E.R.E (Survive, Evade, Read, Escape) Camp is immersing kids in what can only be called "adventure reading" to build literacy skills. Every Monday, Tuesday, and Thursday from 3:30 pm to 5:30 pm, students face a new and dangerous reality found in the assigned books. This, people, is a great idea.

Grants & PD

Time is running out for submissions to the 2017 Economic Calendar Contest, entries must be postmarked by May 13, 2016. Details here http://www.economicsarkansas.org/for_teachers/econ_calendar.html

Video of the Week

Just pretend that there's great TED talk video here. I have some saved up for YouTube videos I'm can't wait to share.