District Student Achievement Team

October 2018

Welcome Back

Just yesterday I felt as if we were headed into the relaxing summer months. Even though the last couple of weeks may have seemed like summer with temperatures in the 80s, in Pure Michigan fashion it’s like someone flipped a switch signaling the colder months that lie ahead. Unmistakably, we’ve found ourselves in the midst of another exciting, yet challenging school year.

The changing colors of fall leaves are awe inspiring. It reminds us that progress lives in the ability to positively learn and change. As a Warren Woods community, we will work together to learn new ways to collaborate and grow as a learning community. Thank you for your leadership and participation on our District Student Achievement Team. Your engagement is an invaluable asset that helps us continually improve and positively impact student achievement.

Community Outreach: Internet Safety

We were fortunate to have Jesse Weinberger come and speak to our staff, students, and parents. Jesse is a nationally recognized Internet Safety presenter, TEDx speaker, and author. Presentations focused on helping keep our kids safe by having an honest conversation about:
  • Understanding Social Media
  • Cyber bullying
  • Sexting
  • Sexual Predation

Thank you to our Warren Woods Foundation for Educational Advancement whose contribution help make her visit possible.

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More about Jesse's Book

The Boogeyman Exists; And He’s In Your Child’s Back Pocket

SCHOOL UPDATES

Early Childhood Center

The 2018-2019 school year is off to a great start at the Early Childhood Center. We are beyond grateful for all the building renovations/improvements that were made due to the bond passing. Our preschoolers loved having a visit from the Warren Fire Department and a presentation on Outstanding Owls. Our classrooms are just about full and we are looking forward to a great school year.

Briarwood, Pinewood, Westwood Elementary


CODING IN STEM!

Third, fourth and fifth grade students have been working hard to create a computer program using step by step codes. The "software engineers" first had to program a game using codes and then try it out on a twister mat (Ask your child about this experience:) The next step was to program a game using a scratch junior app. The essential questions that were discussed throughout this process were: 1) "How can I use digital tools to express my thoughts and ideas?" 2) "How do humans use computers to solve problems?"


Individual Reading Plans

All Kindergarten through third grade student that are reading below grade level expectations according to a running record reading assessment and NWEA assessment will be receiving an Individualized Reading Plans. The plans are specific to the child's reading needs and focus on the five areas of literacy: phonemic awareness, phonics, vocabulary, fluency, and writing.

In addition to giving parents a detail plan about their child's needs, materials are also sent home that encourage reading and activities that can be done at home to strengthen the child's literacy needs.


Literacy Foot Prints

A celebration for the elementary K-4 classrooms is the purchase of Literacy Footprints materials that will support daily guided reading lessons. As teachers continue to delve into the instructional approach of guided reading, a need for high quality materials came to light. With the use of 35 A Grant funds, every classroom teacher has access to grade level specific kits. Not only are the books high interest and high quality, the lesson cards that accompany the books differentiate the teaching points for specific literacy needs for the level. The teachers are excited and the books are being used daily with students.


Additionally, the 5th grade classrooms received Scholastic Short Reads, to assist in the implementation of guided reading, and provide a high quality literacy resource for our students.


PBIS

Anticipating an amazing year ahead, our elementary staff and students have spent time reviewing positive behavior expectations. Students participated in lessons focused on promoting a positive school culture by teaching and modeling appropriate behaviors. Students who exemplify positive behavior are eligible to participate in monthly incentives and celebrations throughout the year.

Coming Soon! STEM Showcase

We're excited to host a district STEM showcase for our elementary parents and students on December 5th. This will be an opportunity for parents to learn more about our STEM program and have some fun playing with some of the STEM resources that our students have access to everyday. There will also be an opportunity to learn more about our new STEM Parent Advisory Council. Join us and help us spread the word about the great learning opportunities within Warren Woods Public Schools.

Warren Woods Middle School Update

TECHNOLOGY FOR A CAUSE FUNDRAISER

On Friday, October 5, 2018, WWMS students led a student-driven Technology for a Cause day fundraiser to help support the Radosavac Family. For any type of monetary donation, students were allowed to use their electronic devices during lunch. WWMS students raised over $2,000 to help support the Radosavac Family.


WOLVERINE WALK

On Thursday, October 11, 2018, WWMS hosted our annual Wolverine Walk fundraiser. This fundraiser helps support our PBIS initiatives (Ticket Tuesdays, incentives, our new school store - The Wolverine Den, etc.). This year, we are extremely proud of our WWMS families' fundraising efforts, as we raised just under $15,000!


PARENT/TEACHER CONFERENCES

WWMS Parent/Teacher Conferences will be held on Thursday, October 18, 2018 from 12:30 - 3:30 p.m. & 5:30 - 8:30 p.m.


DEPARTMENT UPDATES

The WWMS ELA department is in the process of analyzing NWEA and MSTEP data with the WWMS Social Studies department to guide our cross-curricular studies. This Friday, the ELA staff will be attending the Michigan Council of Teachers of English (MCTE) conference in Lansing and during our next PLC time, we will be receiving training from Turnitin, which is an originality checking and plagiarism prevention service that checks students’ writing for citation mistakes or inappropriate copying. When students submit their paper, Turnitin compares it to text in its massive database of student work, websites, books, articles, etc. 8th grade is working on an Advisory Intervention with social studies. The goal is that by Q2 to have an action plan for literacy weaknesses with social studies then by 4th quarter incorporate science and math. 8th grade is also currently reading the novel, Chains by Laurie Halse Anderson. Students are currently focusing on the R.A.C.E. Method, characterization, and figurative language. 7th grade is currently reading The Giver and focusing on making inferences, the R.A.C.E. Method, and plot elements. 6th grade is finishing up their personal narrative and currently working on editing and revising. They are going to be starting Touching Spirit Bear.


The WWMS Math department is working to develop lessons to support our students that border partially proficient/proficient on the MSTEP. This is our School Improvement Plan strategy we are evaluating this year. Our advisory classes contain students who will receive additional math support throughout the year. It is our hope that these lessons help their standardized test scores and math performance in class. The lesson focus will include basic skills, units that come toward the end of the year (geometry and statistics), and current content. We are also planning on dates to participate in lesson study with Wayne State University.


The WWMS Social Studies department has been deepening their understanding of the C3 framework. The department has been spending time examining available resources and planning to implement at least one C3 inquiry per semester. As teams prepare these lessons, department members will assist in the modification of resources and identifying best practices to best accomplish the goals of these lessons. After each grade level has completed their lesson they will engage in a reflection activity with the rest of the department.


The WWMS Science department is continuing to adjust to the NGSS standards while looking at ways to support the Math and ELA departments. We are discussing how we will be explicitly teaching informational text in our classrooms. We are also examining where there are natural connections to math in our science curriculum.

Warren Woods Tower Update

It has been a great start to the school year. We have over 306 Freshmen, combine that with our 307 Sophomores, we have the two biggest classes at WWT in decades. We ran our freshmen orientation in August and had 91% of our incoming freshmen in attendance. The 63 mentors, "The Crew for '22," did an outstanding job helping our freshmen prepare for life at WWT.


WWT Back to Back National Recognition

Last May, WWT once again received bronze recognition by US News and World Report as one of the top high schools in the state of Michigan. This recognition was earned for exceeding expectations when looking at similar schools to us based on our 2016 MME scores, our graduation rate and our AP scores. We were one of 6 schools in the county to receive recognition and 1 of only 3 to receive it back to back years.



Titan Nation Coming Together

The Warren Woods family has come together to support Mia Radosavac (WWT '20) who tragically lost both parents and her sister Anja (7th Gr. WWMS) to a horrific house fire a few weeks ago. The staff at WWT donated over $2000 for Mia to be able to purchase new clothes and essentials. During halftime of our homecoming game, Mojo and Joey from Mojo In The Morning radio show coordinated a "miracle minute" and raised $2727 for Mia. Mojo, through corporate donations, arranged for a $1000 Gift Card to Nordstrams for a dress and accessories, a limo for the afternoon and a salon to do Mia's hair and make up for the homecoming dance. During parent teacher conferences we held a Spaghetti Dinner Fundraiser and then held a lunch fundraiser the following day for Mia ($ not totaled yet). All of this coupled with the efforts from the middle school and other buildings has helped Mia start to overcome this terrible tragedy.


"Best Homecoming Ever"

Through the help from Titan Nation, WWT won a radio contest (it wasn't close at all) from 95.5 Mojo In The Morning. We received $20,000 in services from the production company Project 11/11. They met with admin, student council advisers and student reps to design "The Best Homecoming Ever." It was tremendous success; the 930 students that attended had the time of their lives. The commons and cafeteria were transformed into what looked like a combination of a club and a concert. Slim, Shannon and Joey from the Mojo In The Morning Show were on hand to make sure everybody had great time. There were no incidents, everybody had a great time.


PBIS

PBIS is the focus for WWT's School Improvement Plan this year. Our two school improvement chairs, our PBIS adviser and an assistant principal attended the National PBIS conference in Chicago. They gained a wealth of information and ideas that will be shared at upcoming staff meetings and PBIS meetings. The goal is to begin setting a systematic approach to assist students in behavior, learning and attendance.


Student Referrals Trending In The Right Direction

September Referrals

2014- 202

2015- 73

2016- 55

2017- 39

2018- 18


This is a trend that has continued the past few years as we have seen a steady decline in referrals when compared the the same month the previous year. We attribute this to efforts in PBIS, restorative practices and behavioral expectations.


School Improvement

During our last SIT/Building Leadership Meeting, we looked at MME results from Spring 2018. SAT Math and Reading/Writing results were looked at. Specifically, the core department heads were given data as well as copies of the questions that our students did significantly lower on (7%) than the state average. Core as well as non-core departments will spend time looking at the questions and determine why we struggled on those particular questions. Core departments will look at trends and identify what instructional practices or strategies need to be modified to help our students be successful. During upcoming meeting we will look at data from the PSAT 10, PSAT 8/9 and the PSAT/NMSQT (administered in October)


Department Updates

In addition to reviewing MME data. All non-CTE departments are discussing new classes that we can bring to DSAT in the coming months to be implemented for the 2019/20 school year. There is a emphasis on adding additional AP classes and well as courses that can be taken by our freshmen and sophomore students. All five of the new classes that were approved by DSAT last year are currently running this year, some with multiple sections. The goal is to increase options for our students.


CTE teachers welcomed Steve Kay, our new CTE Director, at our last early release. Steve has brought new ideas and a fresh look to how we run our CTE programs. Steve was also very receptive to ideas from our teachers and administrators. We welcome Steve to Warren Woods and the consortium.


The Science Department continues to look at the new Next Generation Science Standards and determine what curricular changes need to be made. This could include changes in curriculum as well as sequencing of classes.


The Social Studies department is researching, implementing and evaluating the use of primary and secondary source documents in their instruction. These document are something that students will see in both the SAT as well as the Social Studies M-STEP Assessment.


The Math department continues to focus on real world connections in their lessons in an effort to help student make math connections. They are also incorporating higher order thinking techniques and helping students see various approaches to solving problems.


The English department continues to help students utilize close and critical reading strategies as well as working on students' writing stamina; an issue that appeared to hurt on on the SAT

Enterprise Updates

Enterprise has been off to a great start for the 2018-2019 school year. Our enrollment is up so far this year. We have had several field trips for students (Manufacturing Day, Total Sports, and Macomb Community College's 'Jump Start' program).


In addition, we have hosted several PLC meetings at Enterprise. As a team we have been studying our PSAT10 scores and looking for strands in which we can help students improve on this year's SAT 11 test. We have completed the NWEA testing with our juniors and sophomores, and we have sent those results to parents. We will begin meeting with students to review and set goals for the Spring testing.


Finally, Enterprise is hosting Parent/Teacher conferences on Thursday, October 18, 2108, from 4 pm until 7 pm. With First Quarter exams scheduled in three weeks, the Enterprise staff is working to help students achieve and to help students improve individual test scores.

Adult Education Update

Adult Education began our year in July with a great summer session. Aside from the traditional Adult Education classes, the program offered Credit Recovery both in-class and online. Over 70 district students enrolled in Credit Recovery this summer, and 54 students earned credits.


The regular school year has been off to a great start, too! More and more students are choosing to pursue a High School Equivalency certificate rather than a diploma, and WWACE plans to start offering a HSE test called the TASC on site very soon. Students will be able to take their High School Equivalency tests in a familiar environment with familiar staff, reducing test anxiety and (hopefully!) increasing performance on these important assessments.


The Learning Center PLC will participate in a discussion and study this year on Ruby Payne's new book entitled Emotional Poverty. We hope this will enhance our understanding of restorative practices and trauma-informed schools.


In lieu of a printed newsletter for students, the ESL department has started a blog with activities and information for students and their children. Our goal is to encourage literacy, family time, cultural awareness, and community participation. Visit it at Warren Woods ESL Blog.


Thanks in part to a grant from ProLiteracy (and ESL teacher Carrie Elliott), the department now hosts a small library for students. We have books for students and their children. The nonfiction adult books cover workplace issues, money, citizenship, and cultural understanding. Adult fiction books range from classics to contemporary readers beginning at a second grade reading level. Books for pre-K to teens are also included with the idea that families can improve everyone's literacy skills by reading together. Much of the material includes activity sheets or audio supports. The library is home to over 300 books so far. If you would like to donate new or gently used material, please contact the Adult Education office.


WWACE would also like to welcome 5 new (to us) staff members this year:

  • Dawn Gafa-Davis (General Motors) - PM Math
  • Catherine Husk (Grosse Pointe Schools) - PM Math
  • Brad Kreger (Enterprise HS) - PM Social Studies
  • Ed Raykhinshteyn - AM ESL
  • Anne White-O'Hara - AM Social Studies


Assessment Update

Assessments

As you're aware, our Spring 2018 M-Step results have been released for review. M-STEP results, when combined with classroom work, report cards, local district assessments and other tools, offer a comprehensive view of student progress and achievement.


In addition, we've recently wrapped up our fall NWEA testing. All students in grades kindergarten through fifth grade have taken the reading and math portion of the test. Our 6th-11th grades have taken reading, math, and the science tests. In the coming weeks our team will be reviewing students' results and the resources provided by NWEA to help customize instruction to best meet the needs of our students.


As a district team, we will work within our Professional Learning Communities to share our grade level or content area common assessment calendars.


Within the elementary schools we also administer the Developmental Reading Assessment (DRA) as a way to learn more about the particular needs of our young readers. This test is administered one on one between the teacher and each students. Analysis of students' individual NWEA results, as well as their DRA score help us determine if a personalized literacy plan is needed to better support the student. These plans are created in partnership with our parents and shared during the upcoming parent teacher conferences.

Instructional Technology Update

From the technology support perspective, the beginning of this school year has been filled with a number of new technical challenges and resource constraints due to the network, wireless network, firewall, and video surveillance infrastructure changes that took place over the past summer. Aside from getting the year up and running, the technology staff have been continuing to receive more in depth training on how to manage and support these new infrastructures and are getting back into the routine of keeping up with technology support tickets.


From the instructional technology side, we are excited to be kicking off our first District Instructional Technology Team meeting of the year on Tuesday, October 23. The focus of this first meeting will be to review our feedback from last year and develop a mission statement, set goals for the 2018-2019 school year, and form our professional commitments. Additionally, we will be reporting out on system updates as it relates to PowerSchool, Schoology, and Office 365.

Federal and State Funding - Grants Update

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Title I- All three of our elementary schools

  • Extended Learning Opportunities: We are excited to have the opportunity to build on last year's success with our Winter and Spring break camps. Elementary students will have the opportunity to extend their learning throughout the schedule school break.

  • A good portion of our Title I funds also serve our youngest students. Our Title I Preschool program is a point of pride and helps us build upon a strong foundation for kindergarten readiness. Title I Preschool is a federally funded program providing services to children with developmental needs, ages 3 to 5 (non-kindergarten) years of age. Services are provided at no cost to eligible children. Our program is designed to prepare children for successful school entry. An early childhood teacher and instructional assistant plan age-appropriate learning experiences to promote development in literacy, communication skills, decision making, and problem-solving skills. Teachers follow the High Scope teaching curriculum and a variety of other teaching resources to meet the developmental needs of each child. Through the use of our Title I funds, children also benefit from regular field trips and other resources to help provide enriching experiences.

  • Parent & Family Engagement: We are excited to be partnering with the Warren Public Library for our first event of the school year. Our families will meet at Westwood for dinner and then together get bused to the library for a fun night of getting to know the library. See flyer below for additional information

  • Title I Literacy Coaches: We are proud to have three elementary literacy coaches within the our Warren Woods Public Schools. Each of our literacy coaches have a background in Reading Recovery and help us to provide our staff with job embedded professional development.

  • Supplemental Literacy Resources: With the help of Title I funds, we were able to purchase supplemental literacy resources aimed to improve access to quality literacy materials and instruction. While implementation may look slightly different in each of our elementary schools, each building will have access to Raz-Kids and/or Moby Max. Kids will have access to leveled text through an interactive learning experience designed to keep them motivated and engaged. Raz-kids provides eBooks that are available online and allow students to listen to, read at their own pace, and record themselves reading. The Raz-Kids, along with MobyMax learning platform allows for independent practice both at school and at home.

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31A State At-Risk Funds - all levels and buildings

Our 31A State At-Risk funds are intended to help us address our student attendance concerns, improve proficiency in reading and mathematics, and being career and college ready by high school graduation. List below is some of the “At-Risk" criteria:


  • Economically disadvantaged

  • English learner

  • Chronically absent

  • Victim of child abuse or neglect

  • Immigrant who has immigrated within the immediately preceding 3 years

  • Did not achieve proficiency on the English Language Arts (ELA), mathematics, science, or social studies State summative assessments

  • At risk of not meeting the LEA's core academic curricular objectives in ELA or mathematics based on local assessments


Among other purposes, these funds have been used to help us increase the number of our K-5 teachers trained in Reading Recovery. This not only allows us to increase the number of students we can serve with Reading Recovery one on one literacy support, but also builds capacity among our teachers so they become better prepared to meet the literacy challenges students’ present within their classrooms. We are extremely proud of our Reading Recovery program and the dedication of our teachers to help make this opportunity available to our students.


Additionally, we continue our commitment to ensuring high quality tier one classroom instruction for all our students. This includes daily small group reading support. Our 31A funds helped to support our elementary teachers in guided reading instruction. This year we were able to purchase Literacy Footprints kits for grades Kindergarten through fourth grade. We also purchased Scholastic Short Read materials to help equip our fifth-grade teachers with guided reading resources. Each of the kits contains sequenced, high-quality leveled texts in a variety of genres. Students will encounter traditional tales, realistic fiction, fantasy, and informational text. The lesson cards that accompany the books follow Jan Richardson’s Next Step lesson format. Literacy Footprints reduces planning time by providing a comprehensive collection of books with companion lesson cards that include suggestions for each part of the lesson. Our continued professional development with Dr. Michal Taylor, as well as the Literacy Footprints Guided Reading system provide a strong platform for leading guided reading lessons.

At our secondary level, we’ve also been able to support attendance coordinator positions to help cultivate relationship with our parents and students. While the support may look slightly different between our middle school and high school, the purpose remains the same, to support students’ daily attendance and improve achievement for our chronically absent students.


35A Additional Instructional Time Funds: all three elementary schools

These funds are made available by the state of Michigan. We've recently submitted our 2018-19 application for continued use of these funds. Within the grant, we've proposed 20 weeks of extended learning opportunities with before and/or after school small group literacy instruction. To better accommodate this support to students, we've proposed a "late bus" that will run one hour after school for our elementary students participating in the program. This program will be by invite only and based on need.

We also plan to use these funds to continue work with Dr. Michal Taylor, a literacy consultant. Embedded with Dr. Taylors training is to support our teachers in collecting and analyzing classroom assessment results, including, but not limited to Developmental Reading Assessment (DRA), Reading Recovery Observation Survey, and Slosson assessments.

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