Bobcat Observer

Posted in News & Announcements

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Please Come to School on Time!

We need your help! All students should be lined up ready to come inside for the teachers to pick them up at 8:20. The flood of students arriving late to school is becoming quite an event in the front office every morning. It is not unusual to have 80-90 students arrive late to school each day. That’s equivalent to over three full classes of students. Our office assistants must enter attendance for each late student, take their lunch choice and fill out a slip for every student to give their teacher to verify that they have been entered for the day. Each of these students interrupts the class and drags the daily settling period on for roughly ten minutes after the bell rings. Teachers in turn have to stop what they are doing to bring each of these students up to speed.  It may not seem like much, but these minutes add up. If you have ever been late to a meeting, you know how disconcerting it can be to try to figure out what is going on.  This has a negative effect on student learning and classroom behavior. It effects the late students and their on-time classmates. We understand that everyone is late every once in a while. However, it is not hard to recognize many of our friends who are late on a regular basis. We have made a commitment as a school to start daily instruction at 8:25 each day.  Teachers have been directed to avoid starting the day with any kind of filler activities and get right to the business of teaching the daily objectives. If everyone set their alarm just five minutes earlier in the morning, we could cut our tardies down by at least two-thirds. Thank you for your help. We want all our students to succeed!

Thoughts on Thanksgiving

I am thankful for a mother who taught me the importance of gratitude. In addition to keeping you humble, studies show grateful people manage stress better. Who doesn’t want help with managing stress? At Butler, we have much to be grateful for. 

As I member of our country’s armed services, I was deployed to Afghanistan for one year back in 2006-07.  My experiences there made me even more grateful for what we have here. I was the leader of a small team posted in Kunar Province, a dangerous area of operation, on the eastern border with Pakistan where much of the Afghan insurgency is harbored.  During that time, I made an effort to make humanitarian aid a part of every mission we went out on.  This often included visiting schools.  I saw schools in bombed out buildings, schools made up of a collection of tarps laid out on a river bank and schools in tattered tents. This, of course, afforded me the opportunity to meet teachers. One of these teachers came to our forward operating base one day to report the placement of an improvised explosive device (IED) on one of our commonly used routes of travel.  As was the practice, we offered him the usual reward of $100 US. This is a huge amount of money in a country where the per capita income is just north of $400 US per year.  We were shocked when he refused; explaining that he wasn’t doing this for the money, he was doing it for the future of his country.  As we got to speaking, I learned that he was a teacher in a nearby village.  This led to more discussions on our common experience of being teachers. I was curious about his pay.  He told me matter-of-factly that he had not been paid in over six month, yet he never stopped teaching. I learned that teachers are exceptional all over the world; like our exceptional teachers at Butler!

I am grateful for this group of outstanding teachers. Like my teacher friend in Afghanistan, our teachers give their all every day and make personal sacrifices on a regular basis to be the best professionals they can be.  Although it may not be as much as I might like to pay them, they are being paid and they work in beautiful buildings like Butler Elementary. My thanks go out to all of our hard-working teachers.

I am grateful for every students who depends on me and our faculty to provide them a world class education in a safe environment. They motivate me and encourage me every day even when the going gets tough.  If you follow our FaceBook page or the CSD FaceBook page, you might have noticed a picture of me with a student in a matching Pacman suit on Halloween. I still wonder if this boy had lost a bet and was forced to dress like his principal.  He did not stop with the suit.  He even shaved his usual spiked blond hair and, in an attempt to match my receding hairline, clean-shaved it back a few inches from his forehead. Whether he lost a bet or not, that gesture stoked my motivation even further to do all I can to connect with every one of my students and be the best principal I can be. I am grateful for that lesson and that reminder from Matthew Jensen. Thank you to every one of the over 620 students at Butler for sharing their youthful energy and giving each one of us a reason to look forward to coming to work every day.

I would like to express my gratitude for a few more important people at our school.

  • I am grateful for our front office staff. They do an amazing job keeping the school running and taking great care of all of us. I am so impressed with the gentle way they take care of our students who are sad, sick or injured.
  • I am grateful for our achievement coach, Mrs. Butler. Her job of instructional coaching plays a vital role in our ongoing school improvement efforts. She does more work than most people will ever know.
  • I am grateful for our school custodian Mr. Ray. He has one of the largest and most complex elementary schools in the district.  We have more flower beds and glass than his monthly hours were designed to take care of. Nevertheless, our school always looks great.
  • I am grateful for our nutrition staff for preparing healthy lunches for our students and staff every day. If you didn’t know it, a school cafeteria is not the most peaceful place in the world. Despite the noise and bustle, they manage to have a smile and a kind word to share along with the green beans and pizza.
  • I am grateful for our small army of instructional aides. They are making a difference on the playground, in our kindergarten classrooms and in specialized small group instruction every day from kindergarten to fifth grade.

Each of us face challenges large and small.  I find it is edifying to stop at least once a year and remember what makes our jobs and lives rich and rewarding.

Happy Thanksgiving,
Mr. Nalwalker

Week of November 19, 2018

The annual CSD parent survey window is open.  Please take a moment to complete the digital surveys sent to you by the district. If it helps, you are welcome to take the survey at school on one of our computers.

Wednesday-Friday: Thanksgiving Recess à NO SCHOOL

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Week of November 26, 2018

The parent survey window is still open. 

Friday: Report cards come home

Upcoming Events

12/7 & 12/10 PTA Elf Shop

12/10-12/14 Staff Appreciation Week (All employees other than teachers and principal)

12/14 Spirit Day:

12/20-1/1 Winter Recess – NO SCHOOL

1/2 First Day Back at School in 2019