The CIA Report

March 2016 Edition

Welcome to the March 2016 Edition of The CIA Report!

We hope you enjoy this edition of The CIA Report! Please take time to read through this update before the March 29 admin meeting.

If you have any questions, please post them on this document so that we may address them during our admin meeting:


Keri & Karen

Feeding Your Professional Soul - Learning Today...

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Finding Your Tribe

I've been thinking a lot lately about the importance of having a tribe. As I thought more about it, I wondered if a tribe is the same as a PLN (professional/personal learning network), which is also important to have.

As I think about it, I realize that there are many similarities between a tribe and a PLN, but I think there are distinct differences as well.

When I think about my PLNs, I recognize that I have several. I have several small PLNs in the district who help me think and learn, I have my regional language arts PLN, I have my Missouri educators PLN on Twitter (and some face to face), and I have a few leadership PLNs through Twitter and Voxer (one is focused on digital leadership specifically and the other is focused on growing as a leader and creating positive cultures). If I continue to sit and think, I know I will think of more.

But when I think about those - I wouldn't consider them to be my "tribe" necessarily. Some of them may be IN my tribe, but these themselves are not my tribe. The word "tribe" to me implies a very close relationship - a very tightly-knit entity or community. Jeff Veal and Nathan Lang, the co-founders of and #leadupchat describe tribes this way in their blog post, Tribes: At the end of the day, our job is to create a place where the tribe can come to share with one another and support something we believe in. A tribe will continue to impact change as long as there is a constant synergy of new ideas, creative leadership, and renewed vision. A tribe is a dynamic connected movement with a commitment beyond oneself.

This, to me, does not imply that we all think exactly alike and agree all the time; rather, it implies to me that a tribe is a small(ish) group of people who can collaborate well, challenge each other, and productively work to achieve a vision. I see my tribe as being those around me who believe in what I believe in, and encourage me (or physically drag me!) to keep working toward that vision on days when I'm tired, frustrated, disenchanted, or distracted.

So when I came to this conclusion I wondered - who is in my tribe? What am I doing to build my tribe? I feel like this is something that deserves more of my time and attention - and that should be intentionally developed and also celebrated!

Tribes are important - they help keep us going. Thus, I challenge you to take some time and...

Find your tribe.

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From the Left-Brained Center of the CIA

Elementary Report Card

Several Elementary PE courses have been revised this year to meet the Shape America standards that are in the final stages of being approved by MO.

Therefore, the curriculum writing team has proposed that the following be reported on the grade card: 1) skill development, 2) effort, 3) sportsmanship.

Currently they are: 1) skill development and 2) effort / attitude.

Please let me know if you have any comments/concerns.

Elementary & Middle School Math

MS Summer Math Program

This summer we will be offering a MS Summer Math Program for students (going into 6th, 7th or 8th grade) who have not mastered critical grade level content. Please note that this course is NOT intended to allow students to be placed in a higher math course in the fall. This is designed for those students who would benefit from additional instruction with a more individualized focus.

Please work with your 5th-7th grade teachers to identify students who would benefit. In regard to sending students with an IEP, our feeling is that we would not exclude anyone, but the focus is to provide students who do not already receive services and opportunity to receive extra help. Until we receive responses and can determine what services are required, we cannot guarantee that there will be a SPED teacher in the room.

You should have received an e-mail with a letter for you to customize and then send to parents(this was sent on 3/14). Tanya Kirkpatrick would like to have to have all requests to her by 4/18. THANKS!

MS Math Placement

This year, 6th grade math placement letters will not be sent home as we have in the past. Our intent is to be consistent with all other placement practices in which letters are not sent.

Please note: Placement testing will be completed this week. MS principals have received spreadsheets with scores from David.

New MS Math Sequence

MS principals and teachers requested a renaming of the MS Math courses.

Below is what was agreed upon. Please note that 1) grade level math courses are called Math (grade level), 2) the 6th grade course that combines 3 MS Math standards is appropriately called “Accelerated”, and 3) all courses in which students will be readdressing critical content from earlier grades as well as grade level content begin with “Integrated”. Therefore, students placed in Math 6 (and Integrated Math 6) are in a path where they can have the opportunity to:

  • take Algebra I in 8th grade, but not 7th grade

  • take AP Calculus/AP Stats their senior year

All placement is dependent on student performance and is not guaranteed.

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District STEM Olympics

Kids and parents love this event! Thank you all for encouraging your teachers to participate. This year we had over 190 teachers participate compared to 50 teachers last year. And we are anticipating more growth next year!

As suggested by teachers, we will be hosting more teams at the District STEM Olympics. However, there will still need to be Grade Level competitions at the Building level.

We want to help you with your Building STEM Olympic planning! Please consider:

  • If you currently hold a STEM Night or Science Night, please consider having building competitions on those evenings.

  • Could this be a fun component of an assembly you are currently doing?

  • Could grade levels coordinate a competition in their hall?

I am more than happy to help you plan and fund supplies for your building competitions like we do for the classroom competitions. Just let me know!

  • Next year’s District STEM Olympic dates at Liberty HS starting at 5:00 pm:

    • K-3rd Grade: March 1, 2017

    • 4th - 8th Grade: March 8, 2017

MS STEM Nights

Kelly, Kelly and Scott - Great job on your STEM Nights this year! Our attendance just keeps growing! Please congratulate your teams for me. Also, Please let me know your date for 2017 asap. You may want to consider having your night before the District STEM Olympics on 3/1 and 3/8.

PLTW Save the Dates

    • PLTW Career Explos at St. Charles Community College:

      • Engineering / Computer Science - Oct. 10, 2016

      • Biomedical - Oct. 11, 2016

    • PLTW State Conference at LHS: October 28 & 29, 2016

    • Partnership Team Meetings from 4-5:30p at CO:

      • May 11, 2016

      • Sept. 14, 2016

      • Nov. 9, 2016

      • Jan. 18, 2017

      • May 17, 2017

From the Right-Brained Center of the CIA

Hurry Up and Wait

Curriculum teams continue to do research and engage in incredibly meaningful conversations about creating opportunities for students. Missions/visions/values continue to be tweaked here and there - you can take a peek at our work here:

Because this process involves much investigation and research, things are not developing too rapidly at this point. By the fall, we will have finalized our drafts of missions/visions/values and we will know what kinds of changes we will be making to the curriculum. For the teams this process that we're currently involved in feels like it is moving at a good pace. For those on the outside looking in, it may feel as though you are continuing to "hurry up and wait."

Other updates that I hope to bring to you will also have to wait. Currently we are in wait and see mode in regard to state standards. My hope is to have more to share with you at our admin meeting in April (if not sooner).

Dr. Karen Hill

Dr. Keri Skeeters