monday, january 14, 2019

  • Staff Outs: Tariq Harris

  • Late Arrival: Darius Long (8:30); Amanda Bikowski (9:00)

  • Athletics: Home Basketball vs. Henderson Collegiage

  • Campus Visitor: Tonya Post, EDCI LEAP Academy

tuesday, january 15, 2019

  • Staff Outs: Kathryn Berlin (PD)

  • Early Leave: Tim Rhue (3:00)

  • Athletics: Away Basketball vs. Sallie B. Howard

  • BTSP Meeting (No Opt Out) (4:00 - 5:00)

  • Field Trip (5th/6th Grade Technology) Chaperones: Oni Gaines, Sarah Humphrey (8:00 - 10:30)

  • Field Trip (Hillside New Tech) Chaperones: Miranda Arias, Bela Kussin, Emily Michelman, Tim Rhue (9:00 - 11:30)

Wednesday, january 16, 2019

  • Staff Outs: Julia Sweeney (PD)

  • Early Leave: Ashley Mackley (3:00)

  • Late Arrival: Cynthia Mosley (9:30)

  • Athletics: Home Wrestling Match vs. Sallie B. Howard / Cary Christian Academy

  • Field Trip (7th Grade Technology) Chaperones: Oni Gaines

thursday, january 17, 2019

  • Staff Outs: Kathryn Cooper (PD), Samantha Gomez

  • Athletics: Home Basketball vs. Torchlight Academy

  • Field Trip (City of Medicine / Jordan HS) Chaperones: Miranda Arias, Bela Kussin, Emily Michelman (9:00 - 1:30)

friday, january 18, 2019

  • Staff Outs: Abby Hernandez (PD), Katie Stockton, Heather Kasdan (10:30 - 1:00)

  • Early Leave: Olivia Cox (1:00)

  • Late Arrival: Kathryn Cooper (9:00)

  • Athletics: Home Basketball vs. KIPP: Durham

  • End of 2nd Quarter

  • Middle School Community Assembly (9:10 - 10:00)

  • Field Trip (3rd Grade) (11:00 - 2:45)

  • Field Trip (8th Grade Technology) (1:40 - 3:20)

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Oni Gaines

Director of Instructional Technology / Enrichment Instructional Coach / Middle School Technology Teacher

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When I think of Oni I think of connection, advocacy, and ideas. Oni came to our school with a wealth of experience from the elementary classroom to the enrichment space to summer camp instruction. She uses that experience to refine her practice and make connections within and beyond our school. She naturally sees all situations from a teacher’s perspective and advocates passionately for students by advocating for the adults who work with them daily. And those ideas. From First Friday to Joy Online to Black History Oni has a seemingly endless supply of ideas - big and small - to improve outcomes, processes, and experiences.

In her new role as instructional coach, Oni has seeks to empower her peers in the classroom. Our performing arts teacher, Rinah Galper, shares Oni is a patient and positive coach who inspires confidence and growth every day. She is also an amazing juggler of at least 4 jobs:  coach, technology teacher, technology trouble shooter, and the coordinator of Black History and Fun Friday events. 

Her teammate for the past two year, Cristin Grossi, also recognizes the multiple roles Oni has taken on. Oni wears more hats than a Lids store sells! She somehow manages to tend to each role in a way that no one sees the amount of effort it takes. She is a valuable co-worker, instructional coach, educator, and friend! We are ALL lucky to have her here at JOY!

Her teammate for the past four years, Heather Kasdan, joins the chorus of priase. Oni is one of the few people who is integrated into every part of our school. Whether it is through co-teaching technology lessons in the classroom, being the instructional coach to the enrichment team,  planning the Jingle Jam, or leading our Black History Celebration, she gives 100% of herself. I appreciate all the roles Oni plays and spreading joy to our students, staff, and families. 

Oni and I share some teaching DNA. We both spent a large portion of our careers in district-run schools before coming to charter schools. I even suspect that if you asked her, Oni might identify as most comfortable with the district experience. But, when I think of the creativity, the advocacy, and the connections Oni makes, it’s clear to me that charter schools were built for such educators. Just recently, Oni sent out a call to all charter schools in the state to create a professional learning community for enrichment teachers - educators so often on a content-specific island in their schools. The response was overwhelming. The bad news: we might need to fit Oni for yet another hat. The good news: we had the idea to advocate for Oni to be connected to our school four years ago. Thankful for that.

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Monday, January 14, 2019

Tuesday, January 15, 2019
Jameerah Scott (5); Katie Stockton (staff)

Wednesday, January 16, 2019
Gianna Potter (K); Ja'Nyijae Moser (6); Deion Lipscomb (8)

Thursday, January 17, 2019          
Keshawn Bullock (K); Bryson Taylor (K); Christopher Rodriguez (8)

Friday, January 18, 2019             
Emely Meza-Gutierrez (5); David Castillo (5); Francisco Gomez-Perez (6); Tammy Izaguirre Ortega (6)

Saturday, January 19, 2019
Karla Tlaixco Meza (2); William Trejo Bonilla (2)

Sunday, January 20, 2019
Kevin Perez (4); Pilar Hurtado (7)


Week of January 21, 2019
Martin Luther King, Jr. Day - No School (1/21)
2nd Quarter Parent Conference Interpreter Sign-Up (1/22)
Q2 Grades / Interpreted Comments DUE
Elementary Sway Party (1/25)
Middle School Winter Social (1/25)

Week of January 28, 2019
ACCESS Testing Begins (1/28)
Round 1 RTI Intervention Ends (1/31)
Report Cards Rebuilt (1/31)
2nd Quarter Parent Conferences (2/1)

Week of February 4, 2019
iReady Diagnostic Window Opens (2/4 - 2/15)
Kindergarten, 1st Grade, 2nd Grade Awards Assemblies (2/6)
3rd Grade, 4th Grade, 5th Grade Awards Assemblies (2/7)
6th Grade, 7th Grade, 8th Grade Awards Assemblies (2/8)
Student/Staff Basketball Game (2/8)

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  • The office staff for making last minute copies when I've been in a bind. (JN)

  • Miranda Arias not only for the amount of attention and support that she gives my scholars but the extremely thorough follow through that lets them know how important, valued, seen, and appreciated they are. (JN)

  • Ms. Clay for being with third grade for a day this week. The kids love you so much and value the time with such a wise school-wide celebrity. (JN)

  • Ms. Cohens always enjoy our deep dives into social studies and dreaming up how we can extend the awareness of our students by meaningful exposure to rich content. (JN)

  • Ms. M for creating beautiful worksheets that go along with our Kipp-Wheatley modules. They are more kid friendly and set our scholars up for success! (JN)

  • Mr. Howlett for inspring me by sharing about his students investigation into the Flint Water Crisis and their letter writing campaign to the Michigan press to address this unjust tragedy. (JN)

  • Ms. Kearney for all the mornings you pop in my door to cover my students when I forgot to get coffee or arrive late or need to make a copy or some other last minute thing. And helping me set up my computer so my kids can access even more enriching content. (JN)

  • Mr. Duffy for finding some cool possible PD opportunities for himself in Austria this summer. The curiosity of others truly pushes my curiosity and energy to keep exploring. (JN)

  • Ms. Stockton for shining so brightly. No moment in particular - just a general positive shine that reminds me and the kiddos why we are here. (JN)

  • KaSani Cates for advocating for herself. She is learning/has learned how to use her words to express her dissenting opinion even if it is directed toward me. It holds me accountable. (JN)

  • Anja Walker is having wonderful beginning to a new semester. So positive, no meltdowns, so much grit by going the extra mile when things are challenging. Huge shout out to student support team and Arias and Anja's family for walking with her through a difficult chapter of her schooling to ensure that it's only a chapter and not the last word. (JN)

  • Ms. Robinson, Ms. Thomas, Ms. Sweeney, Ms. Sircar, Mr. Vaughan, and Mr. Howlett for general merriment on the bus line. (JN)

  • Shout out to Lindsey Harrison for rocking the working mom life! So happy to have you back! (LC)

  • Shout out to Mr. Melvin for making our space look so beautiful. We appreciate all your hard work over break. (LC)

  • Shout out to Emily Michelman for her partnership and communication with so many shared scholars. (LC)

  • Shout out to the Enrichment Team for always being so flexible and willing to help out in whatever way they can. (OG)

  • Shout out the SST for always being so supportive of teachers and guiding our most challenging students each day. (OG)

  • Shout out to the EC/ELL Team for always meeting students where they are academically and raising the bar. (OG)

  • Shout out to the Maintenance Team for keeping our school safe and beautiful. (OG)

  • Shout out to the Housekeeping team for keeping our school so clean! (OG)

  • Shout out to the Office Staff for keeping our school and parents well informed. (OG)

  • Shout out to Mrs. Holloway for organizing a healthy accountability group for the "Walkers" team. (OG)

  • Shout out the Black History Committee for organizing another great celebration. (OG)

  • Shout out to Amanda and Jess Conn for advocating for our students and going above and beyond for them. (HK)

  • Shout out to Rinah for putting up pictures on our bulletin board. It doesn’t seem like a lot but it was SO helpful to me! (HK)

  • Shout out to the wrestling team for carrying some (apparently not so) heavy shelves into the art room. (HK)

  • Shout out to Student Support for being a strong support system to one of my classes. I appreciate your creative problem solving. (HK)

  • Shout out to Sarah for the puppy photos at the perfect moment. (HK)

  • Shout out to Mike for checking in on the art room this week and offering support so students can be their best selves. (HK)

  • Shout out to you Mr. BAILEY  AND TO ALL THE Joy teachers for patiently waiting for me to complete my work. (TH)

  • Mr. Howlett for having the 8th grade read an article about a feminist issue. I loved talking about it with my 8th grade boys and hearing them advocate for gender equality in sports and fashion. (KB)

  • Ms. VanDyke, Mr. Schollmeyer, Mr. Howlett, and Ms. Sweeney for agreeing to stay after school so that we can help a student needing some extra love and academic support. (KB)

  • Coach Long for an undefeated basketball season! My students on your team are thriving in the classroom and on the court. (KB)

  • Stockton and Newbauer for helping me pull off a birthday surprise for the best student teacher ever. (KB)

  • Shout out to Tanisha for your time going above and beyond for students in after school meetings. (AC)

  • Shout out to Sircar for all of the extra ways that you support students with plans to make sure they are successful. (AC)

  • Shout out to Mackley for checking in with students to make sure they are set up for success in all of their classes. (AC)

  • Shout out to the Student Support Team for your consistency and patience working with scholars to ensure growth. (AC)

  • Shout out to the 5th grade team for meeting daily after school to problem solve how we can improve for our scholars and celebrate the successes along the way. (AC)

  • Mr. Martin for his kind and firm guidance and support to Performing Arts Students during the 9 am transition. (RG)

  • Ms. McCoy for wonderful positive framing and fabulous teaching. (RG)

  • Sarah Humphrey for her passion and dedication to performing arts and great activity ideas. (RG)

  • Cristin Grossi for her kindness and encouraging words to students and staff. (RG)

  • Shout out  to Ms.Quick-Wright and office staff as well. (TH)

  • This is sort of a shout-out and sort of a recommendation.  This week I watched a TED talk called "Where Joy Hides and How to Find It".  It's all about how spaces can be designed to bring a sense of joy.  It reminded me once again of how important the work that Mr. Melvin and Mr. Harris do because walking into a bright, colorful, well-lit space actually tells our brains to feel joy! (HL)

  • Dylan Howlett, Natalie Varkey, Chanel VanDyke, and Muriel Smith for supporting our 8th grade high school transition process and giving up time from your day to help scholars with application set-up, field trips, and essays.  Special shout out to Muriel Smith for greatly improving our application set-up process in the classroom by making individual sheets for each 8th grader containing all the pertinent information for their application.  It made a huge difference! (EM)

  • Bela Kussin and Miranda Arias for being awesome high school teammates and helping guide the way!  Your hard work to make sure each 8th grader has a plan in place for next year is always inspiring. (EM)

  • Kathryn Berlin for thoughtfully detailed emails that allow us to get scholars the services that they need, and for efficiently setting up a great tutoring plan for a scholar who needs some extra help. (EM)

  • Lauren Carlos for her watchful eye on scholars who might need some extra supports and her close communication around this. (EM)

  • Cynthia Mosley for her collaboration, specifically, her assistance (and pep talks!) to help get scholars ready to meet with me. (EM)

  • Julia Sweeney (because I never gave her a formal shoutout before break) for a particularly thoughtful plan that took lots of hard work and her readiness to adjust that plan at a moments notice to try to find what would work best for a scholar needing extra supports. (EM)

  • Shoutout to Myra for always being willing to help out. (WV)

  • Shoutout to Caitlin for the many different areas she helps with. (WV)

  • Shoutout to Jacob N for his class cheer. (WV)

  • Shoutout to Julia Sweeney for always being down to adjust for her kids - so every kid. (WV)

  • SUPER HUGE THANKS to Miranda Arias, Emily Michelman, Miya Stodghill, Heather Lakemacher, Australia Clay, Sarah Humphrey, and Brittany Cohens for completing the Winter Concert Feedback Survey! These 7 staff members provided valuable feedback that will help shape what we all accomplish together in the future. I can’t thank you enough for the support!!! (CG)

  • BIG KUDOS to Heather Kasdan, Oni Gaines, Mark Manz, Rinah Galper,   Mark Bailey for the winter concert reflections they shared. Truly great things happen when we choose ALL HANDS! (CG)

  • Thanks to Brittany Cohens for being solutions-oriented and for her spirit of teamwork! (CG)

  • HOORAY to Lindsey Harrison who, on her first day back, delighted in saying good morning to me at my classroom door—simply because she knows how big it makes me smile. Thanks for sharing your JOY! (CG)

  • Yes, please, to Sarah Humphrey for whipping out happy puppy pics, the antidote of gloom! (CG)

  • Shout out to the 5th grade team for its steadfast efforts in meeting the needs of a high-high-needs cohort transitioning from elementary to middle School. (JW)

  • Shout out to Mr. Howlett for always being ready with the most blessed greetings and good will everyday.  He causes you to appreciate the type of people comprising our awesome school community and reciprocate the joyful feeling. (JW)

  • Shout out to Ms. Sutton, every member of the RTI, and Student Support Teams (deep squad). Through their collaboration, trust building, and growth with a scholar and her family, they have helped orchestrate easily the best week of the scholar's 2018 - 2019 school year.

  • Shout out to anyone who has ever partnered with or problem solved with the Student Support Team. That time together augments our growth and creativity and sheds light on areas we can support each other as educators. (JW)

  • Patrick Duffy: for stepping up to ensure that one of our students gets to school and back home safely--the family is overwhelmed by your kindness. (BK)

  • Adam Patrick: for volunteering time out of your busy schedule to prep 4 eighth graders for a special HS exam. (BK)

  • Muriel Smith: for your  support of the HS Transition Team: you always raise the professional level of those around you. (BK)

  • Emily Michelman and Miranda Arias: you alleviate the heavy load and always make the work feel Joyful! (BK)

  • Jeremy Wall: for your deep, thoughtful reflection each day and for helping me remember my commitment to Tikkum Olam. (BK)

  • Kathyrn Cooper: We are so fortunate to have such a special human being in our midst. (BK)

  • Christine Hall: I see you so infrequently, but when I do, I realize why it's so great to be around you. (BK)

  • Miya Stodghill: Meatballs are coming! (BK)

  • James Mohr: Your optimism is contagious.(BK)

  • Steph Sircar: When you returned to JOY this year, we thanked our "lucky stars" but I think we should be thanking the "universe". (BK)

  • Tim Rhue: For letting  me invade your office space and making me feel like I'm supposed to be there. (BK)

  • Lindsey Harrison: Thank your baby boy for sharing you with us. (BK)



Instructional Leadership Team Walkthroughs over the next two weeks will be focused on Habits of Discussion. Habits of Discussion was identified during the first round of Instructional Excellence Rubric (IER) observations as an area where we are primed to grow. Nearly 30 staff members participated in the Habits of Discussion PD on January 4 and a specific tool (No Opt Out) will be the focus of this week’s Beginning Teachers Support Program (BTSP) session. Finally, in addition to building teacher and student habits that transfer beyond your classroom, promoting Habits of Discussion utlimately promotes the voices of our kids as the most important in our school. We look forward to breaking this focus down into accessible skills, highlighting areas of excellence on our campus, and always getting better in our implementation.

No Opt Out accomplishes several objectives. (1) It reinforces the expectation that it’s not okay not to try. (2) It is effective in helping students who genuinely don’t know the right answer, because it rehearses success. (3) It honors and validates students who do know the answer by allowing them to help their peers in a positive and public way. Take a moment to review the quick (37 second) video here for a safe, rapid-fire No Opt out that accomplishes all three objectives.


3rd Grade Teaching Assistant, Kristian Robinson, was surprised by Mr. Newbauer’s class on Friday.