KCS C&I Update | March

Resources to Support Teaching & Learning in KCS

Canvas Updates

  • Grade Passback FAQ's - as we continue to learn more, we are improving our support & guidance for using this feature. If you are a current user, or interested in starting with this feature, below are some recently updated resources that will help you navigate this tool.
    Grade Passback Teacher Instructions
    Grade Passback FAQ's
  • Let's Get Personal - throughout this year, creating a personal connection to students has been difficult. Check out the following ways KCS teachers are using Canvas to support a more personal approach:
    Use video responses to provide personal feedback on graded assignments, quizzes, & discussions.
    Use Discussions to lift #StudentVoice by using it for back channels, in class Q&A, offering options (upload images, add URLs, record audio/video, etc) or just giving an outlet to students who prefer to communicate "under the radar".
    Use MasteryPaths to provide individualized learning paths to your students! Use it to remediate, extend, or choice-based learning.

Social-Emotional Learning

One of the major areas of focus for educators during this Pandemic has been Social-Emotional Learning. It has never been more important for us to model strategies & make space for students to pause, reflect, & address their social & emotional well-being. Many teachers & students have experienced the isolation, stress, & trauma during the past year, and we must tend to our well-being before we can grow and learn. Below are some resources to help you develop an intentional plan of support for your students.
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4 Principles of Classroom Management with SEL

Planning & Preparation -

The first principle is that effective classroom management must be planned especially in terms of transitions and potential disruptions.

  • Address students by name & ask students to do the same for their peers. Early on, prepare a seating chart to help you & your students learn names, or use name tents.
  • Identify common times for student disruptions, often at the beginning, end, or any transition. Use simple strategies like using music or incorporating activities into transitions.
  • Plan for behaviors outside of your class being brought in - engage students immediately with opening activities, establishing a welcoming routine, or using check-in's.

Quality Relationships -

Teachers need to develop warm and responsive relations with students that have boundaries and consequences.

  • Involve students in all aspects of creating the classroom management plan - rules, norms, procedures, etc.
  • When creating rules or class norms, keep things simple, clear, and positive - instead of long drawn out explanations, use concise language. Instead of "no's and don'ts," state positive behaviors.
  • Engage with students positively: smile, greet them at the door, ask questions about things outside your classroom, and keep language positive and when needed, address the behavior, not the person.

Classroom Environment -

Effective management is supported by routines and structures that are embedded into the classroom environment.

  • Develop routines that match the flow of learning in your class.
  • Be effective when giving instructions by keeping them short, clear, and concise. Consider providing written or visual directions for students to reference.
  • Designate routines for students who are not prepared that do not embarrass or cause disruption.
  • Circulate in the classroom when students are engaged in individual or group activities. Preplan questions that drive learning towards higher-ordered thinking and redirect learning towards objectives.
  • Conference regularly with students. Develop conference routines that highlight 3 areas of focus - academic success, personal goals, and experience in your classroom.

Observation & Documentation -

Finally, teachers can better incorporate SEL into management by continuously observing and documenting students' learning, reflect and then act on noticeable patterns and behaviors in a timely manner.

  • Use positive rewards that allow you to record student behaviors - consider systems that allow students to chart their own behaviors as well.
  • Include parents/guardians in classroom management. There are several opt-in apps (Class Dojo, Blooms, Remind 101, Canvas Parent App) that can be used to keep parents updated on class activities.
  • Take note of general patterns by noting how student behave during different activities: When are students most engaged? How are students transitioning from one task to another? Who works well together? Who needs independence?

Mark the Dates!

Summer Learning Camps

This year, KCS students have an amazing opportunity to join in a number of Summer Learning Camps (see below), that are free and provide bussing & meals.
  • Summer Learning Camps: 6 hours per day for 5 weeks
  • Mini-Camps: Additional 1.5 hours per day
  • Bridge Camps: 5 weeks instead of 4, same as Summer Learning Camps
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Updated Testing Dates

Please be aware of the changes to the TCAP & EOC Assessment dates:
  • EOC Window - April 12-May 6, 2021
  • TCAP Window - April 21-May 14, 2021

CLICK HERE to access the revised 2020-2021 KCS Assessment Calendar.

Professional Learning

Previous Professional Learning Resources

Below are some of the Professional Learning sessions held during January. For access to resources, click here to access our Archives page.
  • K-2 Math Collaboratives - 2/9
  • T2L Leaders Meeting - 2/10
  • 3-5 Math Collaborative - 2/11
  • Digital Tools - Student Voice - 2/16
  • ELA Middle School Book Club - 2/17
  • Middle School Math Book Study - 2/18
  • T2L Leaders Meeting - 2/23
  • ELA Middle School 6th Grade IFL Call - 2/23
  • K-5 ELA Curriculum Collaborative - 2/25

Upcoming Professional Learning Sessions

Click the image to access the PL Calendar, and below are our planned February Professional Learning Sessions:
  • CanvasCon recorded sessions are available - click here!
  • ELA Middle School 7th Grade IFL Call - 3/2 @3:15-3:45
  • Promoting Student Choice - 3/4 @3:45-5:15
  • Middle School Math Symposium - 3/8 @3:15-4:45
  • ELA Middle School ELA Symposium 3/8 @3:15-4:45
  • Virtual Social Studies Educators PD Seminar - 3/9 @7:00-8:00pm
  • Virtual Social Studies Educators PD Seminar - 3/11 @7:00-8:00pm
  • KCS In-Service Day - 3/15
  • Digital Tools - Promoting Student Choice - 3/16 @3:45-5:15
  • Middle School Math Virtual Book Study - 3/18 @3:30-4:00
  • T2L Leaders Meeting - 3/23 @3:45-5:15
  • ELA MS Book Club- 3/24 @3:30-4:00

Curriculum Updates

Literacy Updates:

Students need clear support in phonological awareness and phonics. Find 5 principles that can encourage motivation for early readers.

Five Principles to Nurture Motivation within Early Reading Interventions

Explore how teachers can learn along with their students to read through a critical lens in order to confront bias.

Confronting Bias With Children's Literature

How might writing conferences support high school writers? See the video below for an example:


Mathematics Updates:


Math is so fun that we do it on Saturdays! Looking for some fun math professional development? Join Theresa Wills on Saturdays at 12:00 PM (eastern time) for a one hour professional development session. The typical agenda for the day is as follows:

  • Welcome & Building Community - 10 min
  • Math Routine - Adapted for optimization in online classrooms - 7 min
  • Launch a Rich Task - 3 min
  • Small group time to create representations to solve the task - 20 min
  • Orchestrating Productive Math Discussions using the 5 practices - 15 min
  • Closing, Q & A - 5 min

You must register for the session in advance. Use this link to register for a session: https://www.theresawills.com/mathurdays

Contact Us!

Dr. Rhonda Stringham, Assistant Superintendent - Instruction


Dr. Dwain Arnold, Chief Academic Officer - Elementary


Dr. Brian Cinnamon, Chief Academic Officer - Secondary


Christian Horner, Innovative Learning Coordinator


Emily Helphinstine; Literacy Coordinator


Pam Stidham; Math Coordinator