Solution Tree Model School

Solution Tree Model School

Monday, September 25, 2017

September 25th - September 29th

Today the Utah Office of Education released SAGE results and 
Comprehensive School Grades for the 2016-2017 school year. We
would like to congratulate the students, faculty, staff, and parents
for another successful year at Fossil Ridge. We are much more
than a SAGE score, or a School Grade, yet it is also important
that we celebrate individual and collective success on state end 
of level testing. With that said, the entire Fossil Ridge community
should be very proud of the 2016-2017 results. Fossil Ridge, its
students and faculty have once again earned a USOE School 
Grade of "A"! Fossil Ridge is one of only four schools in the 
WashingtonCounty School District to earn an "A" grade, and is a 
top five mid-level school in the entire state! One of the aspects of 
academics that we preach at Fossil Ridge is the critical 
Importance of student and teacher growth. This is certainly an 
area were our kids continue to excel. We will commit to have high 
expectations of our students, we will continue to challenge ALL 
students, and we will celebrate individual and collective growth at 
Fossil Ridge. "Every Child.Every Day. Whatever It Takes!"

Monday, September 25th--Early Out PLC Day (School Ends at 11:45AM) and
Mrs. Lund-Fuller Birthday
Tuesday, September 26th--REACH Math Priority Day
Wednesday, September 27th--REACH Science Priority Day, Mrs. Sherratt Birthday
and Parent Teacher Conferences (4PM-7PM/Commons Area and Gym)
Thursday, September 28th--REACH Language Arts Priority Day, School
Community Council, and Parent Teacher Conferences (4PM-7PM/Commons and Gym)
Friday, September 29th--REACH Social Studies and Reading Priority Day

A new Bow-Tie from the twins for "Bow-Tie Tuesday!

"Challenges are what make our lives interesting, and overcoming them
is what makes life meaningful." --Joshua Marine
Show off your #TREXCELLENCE...Last week's "Get Your Brain On" Students

Students and Teacher (Mrs Randall) caught being #TREXCELLENT...
Congratulations to our "T-Rex" students and Mrs Randall!

--Weekly Dose of Educational Learning and Sharing--
"Grit: The Power of Passion and Perseverance"  (6 min. Angela Duckworth. TED Talk)


Sunday, September 17, 2017

September 18th - September 22nd, 2017

This past week, Mrs. Brackett and myself participated in an
#EveryClassroom Challenge with administrators from the entire
district. The challenge was for EVERY administrator, at EVERY
school, to get into EVERY teacher's classroom during the week.
This allowed Mrs. Brackett and I to each visit 45 classrooms 
in a three day period! It was indeed a fabulous week, and time
very well spent. It was inspiring to watch dedicated and 
passionate teachers work their "magic" to ensure that all 
students were learning at high levels. Teachers were greeting 
kids at the door, teaching and learning was happening from 
bell-to-bell,clear objectives and daily learning targets provided 
a "learning road map" for students, multiple and effective teaching
strategies promoted an environment of student engagement, and 
formative assessments were used to check for student understanding.
It is clear that the Faculty and Staff of Fossil Ridge Intermediate
sincerely care about the academic, social, and personal well 
being of each student. Our teachers are also willing to "do 
whatever it takes" to ensure that ALL students are provided 
the necessary opportunities and resources to learn at high levels.
Last week simply supported everything I already knew...We have
an EXCELLENT school because we have a dedicated group of adults
who understand that everything we do centers on our students
and their success. 

Monday, September 18th--REACH College & Career Awareness and
Fine Arts Priority Day and District SPED Training(2:10PM)
Tuesday, September 19th--Team Data Analysis(Team Prep Time),
REACH Math Priority Day, and Mrs.Anderson's Birthday
Wednesday, September 20th--REACH Science Priority Day and
School Leadership Team Meeting(2:10PM)
Thursday, September 21st--REACH Language Arts Priority Day and
District SPED Training(2:10PM)
Friday, September 22nd--REACH Social Studies and Reading 
Priority Day
Mrs. Fernandez and the student-led "Reading Advisory Council"
making plans for the next school-wide reading challenge!

**Happy Birthday Mrs.Anderson...September 19th**
Stay #TREXCELLENT! Congratulations to our
Weekly "Plinko Players"

BE #TREXCELLENT Fossil Ridge! 
This Week's "Get Your Brain On" Students

Strive to Be #TREXCELLENT Fossil Ridge!
Congratulations to our "T-Rex" Kids and Mrs.Stevens

"Teachers who are always positive and 
passionate are an absolute blessing to
their Principals." --Danny Steele



Sunday, September 10, 2017

Week of September 11th - September 15th

Michael Jordan was cut from his high school basketball team, Thomas
Edison failed over 1,000 times trying to invent the lightbulb, Vincent
Van Gogh only sold one painting in his entire lifetime, and the greatest
power hitter of all time, Babe Ruth struck out over 1,300 times in his 
baseball career.  So what do these men have in common? Each one 
of them experienced desperate failure, internal conflict, significant 
challenges, and productive struggle on their way to becoming unbelievable 
successful. They did not give up when obstacles were placed before them.
They did not avoid challenges and failures that come with risk taking. Instead these men realized that failure was an essential part of growth,
learning, and success.  

This process of extended learning from intense challenge, a growth mindset, and even failure has been labeled the "Learning Pit" by the educational community.  The "Pit" represents all that is wonderful about learning and growth; conflict, challenge, questioning, failure, struggle, confusion, mistakes, resilience, and deeper thinking.  If we as educators and parents want our students to experience "true" learning, we must push them into the depths of the Learning Pit.  Not only do we need to teach 
students that mistakes and failure are acceptable, but critical to long-term individual growth and success.  As ALL learners experience the challenge of the "Learning Pit", have the freedom to make mistakes, and taste the power of productive struggle, they learn the necessary skills for future life-long success.  When students show effort, make mistakes, and push forward with resilience, they will ALL learn at the highest levels!

Monday, September 11th--National Day of Remembrance, Fall Team 
Reflection Week, and REACH CCA & Fine Arts Priority Day
Tuesday, September 12th--Fall Team Reflection Week and REACH Math
Priority Day
Wednesday, September 13th--Fall Team Reflection Week, REACH
Science Priority Day, and Mrs. Power's Birthday :)
Thursday, September 14th--Fall Team Reflection Week and REACH
Language Arts Priority Day
Friday, September 15th--Visiting School (Page Middle School), Fall
Team Reflection Week, CCA "Pre-School" Day, and REACH Social 
Studies and Ready Day

Fossil Ridge "Get Your Brain On" Students of the Week!
BE #trexcellent 

Come on down, You're the next "Plinko" Players of the Week!
Stay #trexcellent

--Weekly Dose of Educational Learning--
For additional information concerning the "Learning Pit" and "Growth
Mindset", please see the following resources...

"The Learning Pit" (James Nottingham. YouTube)

"Labels Limit Learning" (James Nottingham. YouTube)

"The Power of Yet" (Carol Dweck. YouTube)


Monday, September 4, 2017

September 4th - September 8th, 2017

As the Labor Day weekend comes to a close, I am reminded of the importance
of self reflection concerning our own professional and personal growth. At times 
educators\may wonder "Why" we chose this profession, "Why" we have such a 
passion for kids,and "What" is our purpose?  Ken Williams essentially describes the answers to these three questions as our "Educational Mantra." "Our Mantra is a statement repeated frequently to aid in concentration of a thought." 
(Starting a Movement. Williams and Hierck. Solution Tree Press. 2015) Its a small, 
simple, yet powerful way to share with the world what we are truly all about. Williams 
and Hierck recommend a short 5 word Mantra to be clear, concise and profound. 
It can be difficult to share what motivates you as an educator in 5 simple words. 
However the best part of the experience isn't necessarily finding the "right" words 
but the actual process of developing your own Mantra; its about the true reflection 
and purpose that leads to your Mantra (BTW mine is actually 6 words...sorry Ken). 
So here we go, Jonathan Howell's Mantra as an Educator and Principal at Fossil Ridge Intermediate School... "Passion and Purpose for Student Success!" That 
sums it  up, I exist as an educator because of the kids. It is the kids that drew me
to the profession with the hope that I could/would make a difference. I have a 
sincere and deep rooted passion for students and their individual and collective
success. My purpose, our purpose at Fossil Ridge is to ensure that ALL students 
(ALL means ALL) receive the best education possible. It is our collective responsibility 
as a school-wide team at Fossil Ridge to provide ALL our students with fantastic
classroom instruction and additional learning opportunities, resources and time
(when necessary) to meet our purpose of guaranteeing high levels of learning for
each and every student! Its not about me, the faculty nor our support staff; its all about
the 910 students we serve at Fossil Ridge!  These are the things that continually push
me to reflect, strive to become better and focus on excellence. So, here's my advice
for all of us...When we have struggles, when we question the direction of education, 
when we become more focused on state testing than actual student learning, and when 
we have that day of frustration; simply take a breath, reflect and remember your Mantra.  

Are you ready for some "Plinko?!"

Monday, September 4th--NO SCHOOL (Labor Day Holiday)
Tuesday, September 5th--REACH Math Priority Day
Wednesday September 6th--REACH Science Priority Day and Faculty Meeting (2:10)
Thursday September 7th--REACH Language Arts Priority Day
Friday September 8th--REACH Social Studies and Reading Priority Day
Mrs. Zwahlen's Math 6 Students playing "zero" to learn Absolute Value

Science 7 Students learning and experiencing Newton's Laws of Physics

Fossil Ridge "Get Your Brain On" Students of the Week!!

Fossil Ridge "T-Rex" Students and Teacher (Mr Keeler) of the Week!!
Every Child. Every Day. Whatever It Takes!

--Weekly Dose of Learning--


Sunday, August 27, 2017

Week of August 28th - September 1st, 2017

Over the course of the last three years, I have learned many lessons as a new Principal, but none more meaningful than the critical importance of building a culture of shared leadership. Through challenges, successes, and mistakes, I have learned that I am not, nor will I ever be, the smartest person in the room. We have immensely talented people at Fossil Ridge, who are willing to share that talent for the betterment of our school! Because of the “talent sharing” at Fossil Ridge, it has become my role to lead from behind, stay out of the way and learn throughout our journey.  In addition I have made it a personal goal to completely eliminate the words “I”, “Me” and “Mine” from my educational vocabulary.  It isn’t shared responsibility if it’s all about me. It isn’t shared leadership if I take the credit for our successes and it isn’t “talent sharing” if I fail to recognize the amazing contributions of the people working in the trenches.  A culture of “talent sharing” is absolutely vital to the success and effectiveness of a Principal, but more importantly, I believe it is vital to the overall success and morale of Fossil Ridge Intermediate.  As Principals we must have the courage to let go, the foresight to employ the unique talents of our faculty members, and the judgement to hire teachers that will transform teaching and learning in our schools.
--Mr Howell--
Fossil Ridge "Talent Sharers" 
Post Cards sent home by Faculty and Staff of Fossil Ridge

Monday, August 28th...Early Out PLC Day (School Ends @11:45AM)
Tuesday, August 29th...REACH Session #1 Begins Math Priority Day
Wednesday, August 30th...REACH Science Priority Day
Thursday, August 31st...REACH Language Arts Priority Day
Friday, September 1st...REACH Social Studies Priority Day and
"Fossil Ridge Reads" Friday
Mrs Eardley's Math 6 Students Learning Order of Operations 
with "Hopscotch Math"

Mrs Drake's Math 7 Students Learning Absolute Value
with "Math War"

--Weekly Quote--
"All Kids need is a little Help, a little Hope, and someone
who Believes in them."   -Ervin Magic Johnson

Fossil Ridge "Get Your Brain On" Students of the Week
Stay Excellent!

Mr Stewart and Fossil Ridge "T-Rex" Students of the Week
Stay Excellent!

--Weekly Dose of Learning--
What is Your compelling "Why"...What is Your "Purpose"...
What gets You out of bed each morning? Check out the 
"Red Rubber Ball" clip from Kevin Carroll.



Monday, August 21, 2017

August 14th-August 18th WELCOME BACK Fossil Ridge!

For the most part the building has been relatively quiet during the Summer months and as a result I am so anxious and excited to get all 920 of our students back into the halls and classrooms of Fossil Ridge! Our goal at Fossil Ridge is to reach "EVERY CHILD", "EVERY DAY", "WHATEVER IT TAKES." As a faculty and staff we pledge to 
make this year, and every year at Fossil Ridge the best school year our students have ever experienced! To paraphrase a quote from another colleague in education Beth Houf; "We want to be the kind of school where students, parents, and faculty are beating down the doors to get in..." I can't share enough how excited we all our for our school year to begin. The 2017-2018 school year at Fossil Ridge will be a new and exciting journey for our students, faculty, and staff. WELCOME BACK, and remember, ITS A GREAT DAY TO BE A T-REX :)

Monday, August 21st...Solar Eclipse Day!
Tuesday, August 22nd...7th Grade "Math Counts" Tryouts (7:10AM/Room 102)
Wednesday, August 23rd...District Risk Management Presentation 
(2:15PM/ALL Faculty & Staff)
Thursday, August 24th...6th Grade "Math Counts" Tryouts (7:10AM/Room 104),
School Pictures, and Fossil Ridge Leadership Team Meeting (2:10PM)
Friday, August 25th...Final Day of REACH Training


Monday, May 15, 2017

May 15th - May 24th...Holy Cow, We're Almost to the Finish Line!

Its hard to believe that we are down to just a few short days left 
in the 2016-2017 School Year.  The year has flown by, I swear
just yesterday it was Christmas Break and our teachers were making
preparations for the second half of the year.  Our students have all
but wrapped up SAGE testing, and are becoming very "antsy" 
at the prospect of Summer Vacation!  Last week we celebrated
Teacher Appreciation at Fossil Ridge...special Thank You to the PTA for 
providing wonderful breakfast, lunch, and goodies throughout the week! 
The teachers and staff at Fossil Ridge have worked so hard individually 
and collaboratively throughout the year to ensure that ALL students
are learning at high levels by providing each student what he/she
needs to be successful.  As a result of the dedicated work of our teachers,
and the EXCELLENT effort of our students, our kiddos have soared  
during the 2016-2017 school year!  

Our Fine Arts students have been recognized at both the district, community, 
and state level for outstanding achievement in Choir, Theater, Band, Orchestra, 
and the Visual Arts.  We have had 6th and 7th grade students win local and state 
essay contests.  Our Math Counts competitive team dominated district events, 
included numerous "top 10" students, and even a couple of 1st Place awards.  
The Robotics program at Fossil Ridge continued to grow and provided students 
the opportunity to extend their learning and critical thinking skills in 
the Lego League Arena.  We have had gymnasts, BMX riders, track athletes,
and members of various team sports experience amazing success throughout
the past year.  Academically, we have seen incredible growth, and high levels of 
learning across the board at Fossil Ridge Intermediate.  Our students are being
challenged more each year, expectations continue to increase, and with 
that our students continue to rise to the occasion and accomplish things never
thought possible.  This academic success, paired with a commitment to EXCELLENCE
by our faculty and staff has brought state and national recognition to Fossil Ridge, 
including earning an "A" School Grade from the State of Utah, recognition as a 
Solution Tree Model PLC School, and designation as a NASSP Breakthrough 
School.  This recognition comes as a result of the process we are all engaged in at
Fossil Ridge Intermediate.  It is understood that we can never be fully satisfied 
with our work and our journey.  As a result, our faculty and staff will continue 
to celebrate the teaching and learning process, and work diligently to chase perfection. 

It has certainly been a great year at Fossil Ridge.  Together our students, faculty, 
staff, and parents have done their absolute best to make every day "A GREAT DAY TO 
BE A T-REX!"  Thank You all for "BEING EXCELLENT!"

Jonathan Howell

St. George Rotary Club Essay Contest Winner!!

"Each day, teachers come to school ready to tackle a job that is critically
important, extraordinarily complex, often joyful, and, at times, heartbreaking.
In essence, teachers help others to become their best selves, and I can think
of no more important work."  --Arnie Duncan

Zion National Park...Reward for Completing Library Reading Contest!

LA 6 Celebrating 3rd Trimester "T-Rex Readers"

--May 15th...Happy Birthday Mrs. Bosen and Spring Choir Concert (6PM)
--May 19th...REACH Session Ends
--May 22nd...Fossil Ridge Talent Show (School Ends @2PM)
--May 23rd...Fossil Ridge Awards Assembly (School Ends @11:45AM)
 and 7th Grade Activity Night
--May 24th...LAST DAY OF SCHOOL (School Ends @11AM), 
Yearbook Signing, and Faculty vs. Student Basketball

"Get Your Brain On" Students for the Week of May 8th-12th