Retriever Report January 20, 2023

Fri, 01/20/2023 - 9:54am

Mid-Year Reflections from Dr. TRESler and Mrs. Moraff:

Dear Retriever Families,

It’s hard to believe that the halfway point in the school year is today, the end of the second marking period! As we move to the second part of this year’s journey, it’s a good time to reflect on the incredible accomplishments taking place at TRES and our plans for the future.  As part of that reflection, we want to take this opportunity to share what our staff and students have been doing during professional learning and social emotional learning (SEL), and let you know what has been planned for the rest of the year.

As educators, it is part of our profession to be lifelong learners, not only to model this for our students, but to ensure that we are always providing them with the best possible education and school experiences. During the Back to School Nights in September, we shared the TRES school improvement plan. This includes a focused and purposeful plan for staff professional learning and colleague collaboration. In our message this week, we would like to highlight our amazing TRES staff and their continued growth to serve our diverse community by sharing some of the ways we learn together.

In the summer of 2019, twenty-one of our staff came together for 30 hours of study on restorative practices in education. These staff used what they learned to make changes to our PBIS and SEL practices. Moving into the fall of 2019, instructional staff participated in four sessions focusing on special education topics and shared how they implemented their own learning to benefit students. In response to a recent staff survey for continued professional learning needs about special education topics, in the coming weeks we are offering three sessions facilitated by our HCPSS department of special education, and we plan to develop additional offerings.

During the school closure, the staff worked tirelessly to learn how to move their in-person teaching to be engaging on-line virtual teachers.  As we prepared for schools opening in person in 2021, our team learned basic de-escalation strategies and an overview of trauma informed instruction and we refresh this training each year. We have 12 staff members who maintain Safety-Care certifications in crisis prevention and 10 who earned Ukeru certifications at the beginning of this school year. Nine of our staff members learned how to implement the AIM curriculum for a select student population and all staff members participated in an overview of the concepts which can assist students who are struggling with social or emotional challenges.

To help ensure that we serve, and advocate for all of our learners, we have been engaged in various topics to increase our understanding of diversity, equity and inclusion (DEI) in education. These include responding to microaggressions, creating gender neutral classrooms, and self-selected smaller professional learning communities studying together over the past two school years, including a group working through the MIT course on becoming a more equitable educator. This learning will continue in the coming months.

We value colleague collaboration and problem solving and meet weekly to discuss student academic, behavior, social, emotional, or family needs. This occurs in a number of ways, from looking at data with our math and literacy coaches, to having a weekly “Kid Talk” with our support staff from the department of special education, to weekly meetings of our student support team (SST) including our school counselors, psychologists, nurse, social worker. All of this professional learning is in addition to the work that teachers do to stay up to date in the academic content they teach. We are proud of the dedication and commitment of the TRES staff to ensure they bring their best to all of our students each day.

As we previously shared, one of our school goals this year is to ensure thoughtful planning for and use of our daily SEL time with students. As grade-level teams meet each week, they discuss topics for SEL lessons and reach out to the SST for support in developing lessons as needed. Our SST and DEI team have collaborated to develop some school-wide SEL lessons this year. One shared earlier this year, helped students understand emotions, including escalated emotions in themselves and others. You may hear your child refer to the “mountain of emotions.” Another lesson that teachers have used this year as needed, is about how to be flexible in our expectations and actions. Being responsive to our staff request to help clarify for students what should happen if we have to restrict or detour hall movement, our SST created a lesson on situational awareness and supporting the dignity of others. Our SST and DEI team are working to create lessons for the second part of the year based on the CASEL standards for social awareness, self-awareness, and self-management. Our teachers also use the Caring School Community program as a resource for lessons based on students’ needs.  

To support your child’s social emotional learning at home consider asking your children open-ended questions and encourage them to express their emotions.

  • What was the best part of your day?
  • Was there anything that happened today that you would like to tell me about?
  • How are you feeling?
  • How did you problem solve something today?
  • Who did you help today? Where did you see an example of kindness?

We recommend this resource from the National Association of School Psychologists, “Social and Emotional Learning Helping Handout for Home.”  We encourage you to reach out to our school counselors, Mrs. Berdeguez and Ms. Diaz, should you need further suggestions or supports.

Over the next few months in our Retriever Report messages, we will share more about academic information in reading and math, including school goals, instruction, assessment, and measures.

Dr. Tiffany TRESler, Principal TRES
Mrs. Heather  Moraff, Assistant Principal TRES

TRES Twitter Handle: @hcpsstres

Upcoming Events

Please visit the TRES calendar webpage to view important upcoming dates.

  • January 23 - Schools Closed for Students. Professional Work Day
  • January 24 - FQMS Rising 6th Grade Parent Information Night
  • January 25 - PTA Restaurant Night at Nora's Kabob
  • January 27 - Parent/Teacher Conference Scheduling opens at 8am
  • January 27 - PTA International Night, 6:00-8:00pm
  • January 30 to February 10 - Artist in Residence (see below)
  • January 31 - Report Cards available in HCPSS Connect at 4pm
  • February 9 & 10 - Early Dismissal, 12:20pm. Parent/Teacher Conferences
  • February 15 - Unheard Perspectives Showcase (see below)
  • February 15 - PTA Meeting
  • February 16 - Reading Night, 6:30-7:30pm

News and Information

February Parent/Teacher Conference Information

February parent/teacher conferences are scheduled for Thursday and Friday, February 9-10th.  Due to the limited number of available time spots, you may choose to only schedule a conference if you have a concern or question.  Following is further information to inform your decision.  Please note that scheduling opens in Synergy Friday, January 27th.

  • All elementary schools will close 3 hours early on Thursday, February 9, and Friday, February 10, for parent teacher conferences.
  • Fourth grade families are scheduling conferences with homeroom teachers. All other grades (K, 1, 2, 3, 5) are scheduling conferences with math teachers.
  • On Thursday, February 9, afternoon conferences (1:00-3:30 p.m.) will be in person only.  Teachers will hold all afternoon conferences in person at their schools and parents may only attend their scheduled conferences on this day in person.
  • On Thursday, February 9, evening (3:30-6:30) conferences will be virtual only.  If teachers choose to hold conferences on Thursday evening, parents will only be able to attend evening conferences virtually.
  • On Friday, February 10, afternoon conferences (1:00-3:30) will be virtual only.  If teachers choose to hold conferences on Friday afternoon, parents will only be able to attend conferences on this day virtually.  

Click here for directions to schedule a conference. We ask that you leave at least 15 minutes between sibling conferences to allow for transition time. If you would like to conference with a related arts teacher or Heather Weeks, please email the teacher to schedule.

Lunch and Recess Update

The Office of School Safety and Security and Risk Management, in collaboration with School Management and Instructional Leadership, reviewed county wide practices regarding school visits and it has been determined that parents are no longer able to attend recess. Parents can continue to eat lunch with their child(ren) if they complete the volunteer training process found HERE.  Please bring your completed paperwork to the school front office and sign in using the Lobby Guard sign-in system (a valid photo I.D. must be provided). Your participation in this process helps make Howard County Public Schools a safer place to learn.Thank you for your understanding and cooperation.

FQMS Rising 6th Grade Parent Information Night 1/24

Folly Quarter Middle School invites all parents and guardians of rising 6th grade students to join them for an informational session to learn about the middle school course registration process, HCPSS course requirements and details of the middle school daily routine and schedule.  The FQMS staff will present materials and information that will assist you with the transition to Folly Quarter Middle School. Please plan to meet in the FQMS cafeteria from 6:00-7:30pm.

Artist in Residence Begins Work with Students 1/30. Volunteers Needed

TRES will host an Artist in Residence beginning January 30th through February 10th. Students will have the opportunity to paint alongside our guest artist, Saz Ross. Parent volunteers are needed to help supervise students during this process. Art teacher Ms. Schalik has created a Sign Up Genius which lists the dates, times, classes and groups for each painting session. If you are interested in helping facilitate this project, please sign up using this link: Mural Volunteer Sign Up Genius

Judges Needed for Unheard Perspective Showcase on February 15th

The Unheard Perspectives seminar is for students in grades 4-5 who volunteer to learn more about an often unheard perspective of a minority innovator in history.  This rigorous, performance-based program has students researching and delving through primary sources such as letters, songs, interviews, pictures and maps, as well as reading newspaper articles, biographies, and much more. Part of each project focuses on contextualizing historical events and innovations in relation to others that are occurring/have occurred.  Students showcase their knowledge in a culminating presentation.

Read more about it here! Then, sign up to be a judge!

TRES 2022–23 Memory Books Are Now on Sale!

It’s not too early to order your 2022–2023 yearbook! To make sure your child will have a memory book when they are delivered in June, you must order through our vendor. Books will not be available for purchase after the deadline of March 31st! Don’t delay, order today! Books are $20.00. Please view the attached flier for directions to order online. Click HERE to begin your order.

Yearbook Flier.PDF 

2023 Summer Programs Preview Available Online

Parents/guardians and students can now view the 2023 Summer Programs Preview, which includes descriptions of HCPSS’ four summer programs and enrollment information. Online enrollment requests for current HCPSS students will open Wednesday, February 1, at 6 p.m.

HCPSS/The Council of Elders (TCOE) Community Academy on Healthy/Unhealthy Relationships

The Council of Elders of the Black Community of Howard County (TCOE), in collaboration with the Howard County Public School System, will host a TCOE Community Academy on Healthy and Unhealthy Relationships on Saturday, January 28th, 2023 from 9:00 - 10:30 am. The event will be virtual. Representatives from HCPSS, as well as Howard County community organizations, will provide resources and education on managing peer conflict, identifying abuse in teen relationships, and identifying skills and strategies to intervene if needed. Registration is required.  See this flier for more information.

Upcoming Events and News

Our TRES website is a valuable resource for all our families to find upcoming events including testing dates on our school CALENDAR.  Our school newsletters are also posted there for review/reference under the NEWS tab.

When Your Child is Absent From School

Please see guidance for reporting absences or early dismissals HERE.


RSVP Deadline TODAY for International Night

The annual TRES International Night is next Friday, January 27, from 6:00-8:00pm. We have a great lineup of exciting performances, cultural and interactive tables, and delicious food slated for this event.  Now all we need is you! Please use THIS FORM to indicate your attendance.  RSVPs are due January 20th.

Save the Date for the Winter Dance

The PTA is busy planning for the family Winter Dance on February 24th from 6-8pm. Save the date and look for more information coming soon!

-8pm. Save the date and look for more information coming soon!