Degrees and Certifications:
Credentials I have a B.S. in Child Psychology and an M.Ed. in Elementary Education. I attended CONFRATUTE at the University of Connecticut for Gifted and Talented Education and have been to several of the IB training opportunities including: Introductory Training-New York, Unit of Inquiry Writing-Salt Lake City, Assessments-Philadelphia, General Training-Hilton Head, and Leadership Training, in Salt Lake City. I am also a volunteer IBPYP Workshop Leader and consultant for schools seeking IBPYP authorization. I was sent to Puerto Rico to co-lead a Level 1 Workshop with a colleague from Virginia. It was a lovely background for a workshop to be held and we all had a wonderful experience. I have also been a consultant to a school in Colorado and Texas working towards their PYP authorization. And finally three Springs ago I attended a PYP Exhibition workshop in Kansas City.
I come from a large blended family from the Minnetonka/Wayzata area. I have three younger sisters and three younger brothers. I have twelve nephews and nieces that I completely adore and are "the complete boss of me" and I spend my summers at their beck and call!!!:)They all call me Tia Tani or just Tia with a single syllable.
I live for the most part in California in the summer with #2 sister's family (nephew 10 yrs. old, niece 8 yrs.) was spent going riding the waves at Santa Monica Beaches, playing games, reading books in Japanese and English, having slumber parties, going to the park, singing songs (Jeremey Camps, Reckless Album and the Frozen Soundtrack are the current favorites), hockey practice and games(he made the Jr. Kings so it has been very exciting!), soccer, karate, swimming, and dancing with laughing and giggling sprinkled throughout each day. They are both in Japanese Immersion schools, which adds extra levels of fun!
I also spent time in Arizona with #3 sister and her family. My niece is a Senior @ Northern Arizona University and is studying music. She is doing an exchange in Scotland for her first semester and I will go to visit her over MEA. My nephews are 14 and 12 years old. We spent everyday swimming, playing board games, listening to them play original creations on the piano and cello, going to the Olive Mill, went to Thee Ribs Again from Diners, Drive-In's and dives, and the rest of the time was filled with laughter and giggles as well.
My #5 brother has 4 little girls( 8, 7, 5, & 3 ) who had camp Tia when I was in the state. We had slumber parties, tea parties, going to parks, the beach/splash pad, picnics working on learning letters and numbers, reading books, singing songs (Toby Mac's Christmas album is their favorite), blowing millions of bubbles, we went on vacation to Walnut Grove and the Laura Ingalls Wilder Homestead in DeSmet South Dakota and staying in a bunckhouse and covered wagon, I also took the 3 year old to the Northshore and saw Mr.Abenth and his band in Grand Marais, and throwing rocks into Superior, hikes, playing tickle and giggle all day long!
My #6 brother lives at home, is in a band, is now looking for a job in the music industry but currently working in a warehouse, and is the delegate for our voting District.
My #7 brother has graduated University of Minnesota, majoring in Political Science, has an adorable black lab Sophie, golfing like crazy, kind of looking for a job and is an alternate delegate for our District.
This summer I was so thankful I had the opportunity to hang out with my family and friends! As you have read I had a very busy summer! My family and church activities consumes my time when I am not at school or preparing for school. I am truly blessed and looking forward to an exciting year.
Primary Years Program (PYP)
At Highland Park Elementary our focus is the Primary Years Program (PYP). This initiative is a transdisciplinary program that encourages and allows students and teachers to work to their highest potential. I am excited to offer your child a variety of learning experiences that will enable them to be successful in their future studies as well as their personal growth. I expect that students will work hard, do their best and turn in high quality work. I also expect children to complete homework on their own (this goes for projects as well). I insist that students treat all students and staff with respect.
I have attached the Learner Profiles and their definitions from IB. We use this vocabulary with the students and staff and encourage them to practice/demonstrate the qualities at all times. The attitudes are: confidence, tolerance, commitment, enthusiasm, cooperation, creativity, integrity, empathy, curiosity, independence, appreciation, and respect.
Our 6 Units of Inquiry this year are:
Who We Are: Cultural Heritage
How We Organize Ourselves : Government Systems
How We Express Ourselves: Communication Through Media
How the World Works: Inventions
Where We Are In Place And Time: Indigenous Peoples
Sharing the Planet :PYP Exhibition
Your child will have homework every night. They will have up to 30 minutes per night unless they have chosen to not complete their in class work. That time is to be spent reading a book at their level. Please ask your child what homework they have nightly and call me or write a note in their planner with any questions or homework help. This will help the student understand that their home and school worlds are working closely together as partners.
St. Paul Public Schools use the Everyday Math Program. We supplement the curriculum to meet the needs our individual students. They are given between 40-50 minutes every class period to complete their assignments.
The District wellness policy dictates only allow healthy snacks in our classroom. Fresh/dried fruits, vegetables, popcorn, nuts (no tree nuts please we have an allergies in the room, and crackers only! Chips, candy, rice krispie bars, granola bars covered with chocolate, granola bars with candy, and juice are not allowed. I suggest having your child take ownership of this activity and have them be responsible to get their own snack ready each night. Any encouragement you can provide is very much appreciated. Your child is also free to bring a bottle of water to use during the school day.
Attendance/Drop off and Pick up
If you are dropping your child off, they are not to be in the building before 9:00 unless they are in Discovery Club. If you are dropping off your child late or picking them up early, you must stop in the office and sign them out with the school secretary. If you want to pick them up instead of taking the bus, a note must be provided or we will be required to put them on the bus. A student cannot ride another bus home nor can a walker take a bus home with someone else. If your child is going to be absent, a phone call must be made to the school 651-293-8770.
I have extremely high expectations for each child! I believe every child can be successful in an environment that is safe, challenging, creative, energetic and nurturing. Thank you in advance for the opportunity to watch your amazing child grow this year. I firmly believe the teacher and families need to work closely together for the success of any child. I look forward to working with you as a partner as we experience the school year together.
I look forward to a positively challenging year!
Please contact me with any questions or concerns.
I apologize for taking out an entire forest to send this letter home!!!! In the future my newsletter will be on our web site at http://highlandel.spps.org. If you do not have access to the Internet please contact me by note or phone to request a hard copy.