March Supervisor's Corner

South Harrison Township Elementary School 2016

SH Curriculum News and Notes (CNN)

Last month staff volunteers met to discuss and evaluate different writing rubrics, which may be used to assess students' writing across grade levels. We will continue this conversation in the month of March as we seek to determine the best, most accurate, rubric to use to assess and report student writing.

As the year progresses, the staff resources and curriculum materials on the "L" drive has grown. Check out this resource if you would like to find resources offered during trainings or PLWs this year.

In March, we will continue to work on the MCAs under the guidance of Mr. Rosenheim. This month, we will be finishing the revisions to ELA Unit 4 and we will begin our revision work with ELA Unit 5. Meetings with Grade Level Teams (GLT) will continue as well as discussions in Professional Learning Teams (PLTs).

Katie, Rachael, Robert, Stefanie, and Trisha

Professional Learning

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Supporting G.R.E.A.T. Instruction! - Assessment Literacy

The February 12th in-service kicked off our professional development on Assessment Literacy to support one of the district goals listed in the PDP: All teachers will build upon their ability to collect and examine student performance data using locally developed measures and appropriately revise each assessment to ensure valid and reliable assessments that are ongoing, systematic, and reflect a standards-based measure of student learning.

Assessment FOR Learning, is a component of G.R.E.A.T. Instruction. Therefore, as we move through the remaining school year, we will continue to explore assessment literacy in PLTs if you choose and in GLTs with Mr. Rosenheim and Ms. Anderson. We will be revisiting the subject of Assessment literacy in the next scheduled in-service. Staff interested in learning more prior to the in-servcie can visit the Assessment Design Toolkit found at:

Key Takeaways from February 12th:

What is assessment literacy?

The knowledge and skills needed to (1) gather accurate information about student achievement, and (2) use the assessment process and its results effectively to improve achievement

What are the assessment types?

  • Diagnostic: To gauge students’ knowledge and skills before a unit of instruction
  • Formative: To monitor student learning and adjust ongoing instruction
  • Summative: To measure student mastery of standards at the end of a unit of instruction
  • Interim: To measure student progress relative to larger academic goals or combination of standards

What are the elements of assessment design?

  • Alignment: Items are aligned with standards that measure student performance in relation to those skills.
  • Rigor: Items match the level of rigor of the skill(s) you intend to measure and range of student thinking and understanding.
  • Precision: Items measures knowledge and skills, not misinterpretations or lack of unrelated background knowledge.
  • Bias: Items measures knowledge and skills, not differences between students..
  • Scoring: Tools and approach measure students’ knowledge and skills, not how or when the assessment is scored or who scores it.

Teachers College Reading and Writing Project (Columbia University)- Spring 2016

On Saturday March 19, 2016 TCRWP will once again open their doors to educators from all over the country in their 90th Saturday Reunion. This, flex hour eligible, PD day includes FREE workshops including keynotes by renowned authors and leaders in the field of education, senior Project staff, including Lucy Calkins and all TCRWP staff developers.

There will be over 125 workshops offered on topics such as: argument writing, writing about reading, reading interpretively and analytically, embedding historical fiction in nonfiction text sets, opinion writing for very young writers, managing workshop instruction, aligning instruction to the CCSS, using performance assessments and learning progressions to ratchet up the level of teaching, state-of-the-art test prep, phonics, guided reading and more.

If you would like to learn more about the workshop (attended previously by South Harrison teachers). Please contact Ms. Anderson or, Columbia alumni, Mr. Rosenheim.

The morning keynote address by author Andrew Solomon,

will be held at Riverside Church at 9:00 a.m.

490 Riverside Drive (between 120th and 122nd Streets).

The ensuing workshops will be held at Teachers College, 525 W.120th Street, NY 10027

March Professional Development

March 9 - Ms. Anderson Balanced Literacy Goal # 3- Grades Pre-K-6: Interactive Writing Debrief. This month we will gather to share an Interactive writing "debrief. " Staff will present the Interactive writing PowerPoints developed during the February in-service and currently available on Google drive.

March 16 - PLT: Grade K-3 teachers are encouraged to use this months PLT to work with grade level team members to record suggested revisions (in red) on the Word version of this year's Report card, in the curriculum 000 folder on the "L" drive. Ms. Grabas will assist staff members to complete this activity.

Special area teachers will use the time to work to identify "sub" standards associated with your "parent" standard currently recorded on the report cards grade for grades K-3. Mrs. Bram will work with you during this activity and will assist you to format and submit your work.

During this same session, Mrs. Fransko will offer the last ICS workshop of the year for teachers in ICS partnerships in grades 2-6. Teaching teams review resources on the latest co-teaching strategies (turn-keyed from Marilyn Friend's workshop), celebrate the year's successes, and plan for PD needs for next school year.

March 28- Calculate your SGO PLW (3:30-4:40 SH "new" computer lab): This flex hour eligible after school PLW will be held in an open lab format. During this lab time staff who would like assistance to work with Ms. Anderson to accurately calculate their SGO scores.

March 29 - Fountas and Pinnell PLW (3:30-4:40 SH Media Center): Join Mrs. Travaglini for this flex hour eligible after school voluntary F & P Training. This more advanced F & P training moves beyond the administration of this benchmark assessment and focuses on comprehension. Cannot stay for a full hour? Staff can attend for a 30 minute or 60 minute session.

PLT&GLT - Understanding Group Norms

By now, each of you have been introduced to, and hopefully established, and practiced the use of norms within your grade level PLT and GLT. Administratively, we too are using norms within our meetings and discussions to facilitate productive dialogue as a group, especially as we discuss data.

What are norms?

Norms are the framework from which team members commit to conduct business. Attention to their development and adherence to them ensure the success of the group and facilitate the members’ ability to deal with critical issues. Effective groups generally have a set of norms that govern individual behavior, facilitate the work of the group, and enable the group to accomplish its task.

Why establish norms?

Norms assist collaborative workgroups in ensuring deliberate actions are taken to organize their work and to promote interpersonal relationships among team members. Development of team norms codify team expectations about task completion, team processes, and interpersonal interactions. Establishing group norms and using protocols to structure conversation helps ensure that everyone's hard work is maximized and informed action is taken.

To learn more about the purpose and use of group norms, check out the following article:

PLT Focus

GLTs and PLTs are another form of job embedded professional development and the focus for March PLT discussion include the following:

  • SGOs: Grade level teams may discuss any data collected using the new data protocol introduced in January's PD splinter session. and consider any adjustments that need to be made in instruction as a consequence.
  • MCA Data and My Practice: Continue to examine your MCAs in relation to where your students are currently performing and where you expect them to perform at the next MCA.
Reminder: Each PLT will record minutes for the meeting (set up in Google). You may record and organize the minutes however your PLT would like. The following key information should be evident in the meeting minutes: date, attendance, goal(s) for the PLT meetings, progress toward the goal, and the direction for the next meeting.

Independent Study

Teachers have the opportunity to explore topics and receive up to 20 flex hours a year. This includes independent study and options currently available to staff include Fountas and Pinnell benchmark assessment system DVDs and the DVD's available with Calkin's writing program in grades K-2. If you have an idea or area of interest you would like to explore and earn flex hours please see Ms. Anderson.

Job Embedded PD

Teachers have the option of using GLT and PLT to explore topics with their team such as those described above. There are two teacher resources available to work with staff during the school day this year:

ELA: If the topic is ELA related please consider asking Mrs. Travaglini to work with you and can offer and support ELA related topics in your classroom in addition to supporting the implantation of "new" ELA programs material into the classroom.

Digital Literacy: Mrs.Bram is available to work with teachers (and students) and can assist teachers in areas pertaining to digital literacy. Mrs. Bram can also offer teachers a training or a refresher on commonly used programs such as Powerpoint and Word. Please sign up for these weekly periods in Mrs. Bram schedule using the online reservation sign-up page, which will detail the days and periods Mrs.Bram is available to work with you!

Flex Hours

All information related to flex Hours, can be found on the South Harrison webpage by going to For Staff - Professional Development - and Flex Hours.

  • Please note all flex hour reflection forms should be submitted within five days of a workshop.
  • Requests to use of Flex Hours should be submitted to Laura LaPalomento at by the designated date.


ELL Access 2.0 - Standardized Testing

March 28th- April 8th: SH students receiving ELL services in the 2015-16 school year will be participating in Access 2.0 testing. The testing will occur in the "old" computer lab and will be administered by Mrs. Travaglini. Every effort will be made to minimize the interruptions these assessment pose to instructional time. However, students who are participating in the testing are not responsible for "making up" material missed during the testing administration and should not be given work missed in class to complete for homework.

Model Curriculum Assessments (MCAs)

As a reminder, each MCA must be administered by the assessment deadline and all scores must be submitted on or before the submission deadline.

The remaining assessment deadlines are:

E/LA & Math Unit 4 MCA: April 22, 2016

E/LA & Math Unit 5 MCA: June 17, 2016

For grades K-6 (ELA and math), the common reporting protocol (CRP) document should be sent home within 5 days of the submission deadline to report student progress to parents. As a reminder, all MCA materials (revised assessments, scoring guides, and reporting protocols) have been shared via Google.

For questions regarding MCAs, please contact the Data and Assessment Supervisor, Mr. Robert Rosenheim at


Detailed information about grading procedures for the 2015-16 school year was e-mailed to teachers before the winter recess and is also on the district "L" drive in the Curriculum 000 folder. Mid trimester all teachers online gradebooks were checked and staff were reminded of the grade range entries expected by mid trimester. As a friendly reminder, as you begin to think about trimester III, please plan appropriately for student assessment. Ensure you are staying within your approved grading ranges as you plan and update your grade book in a timely manner to promote effective communication with stakeholders.

Highlights of the procedures described in the document include:

  • A description of the grade weight and ranges for grade K-6 for classroom, department and special area teachers.
  • An outline of the expectations for grade book use for teachers who report using standards based grades

Grade K-3 staff are reminded that all grade K-3 teacher are required to use the online grade book for Trimester III. Any staff member needing assistance in the use of grade book or have questions about grading procedures please contact the Elementary Instructional, Supervisor, Rachael Anderson, at

2016 PARCC Testing Schedule (regular administration)

South Harrison Township Elementary School

• ELA (3, 4, 5, 6) and Mathematics (3, 4, 5, 6): May 2nd – May 10th

Test Information:

Testing will last between 80 and 110 minutes each day.

For grades 3-5, the ELA portion is comprised of 3 units and the mathematics portion is comprised of 4 units.

For grade 6, the ELA portion is comprised of 3 units and the mathematics portion is comprised of 3 units.

*PLEASE NOTE: All make-up testing will occur after the regular administration has concluded.

PARCC GLT Discussion

During the week of March 7th, Ms. Mesmer and Mr. Rosenheim will be visiting each GLT meeting (grades K-6) to discuss the 2015 PARCC data. Continuing the conversation from the January Faculty meeting, Ms. Mesmer and Mr. Rosenheim will discuss South Harrison's overall district and sub-claim performance data from the Spring 2015 PARCC assessment. We look forward to continuing the conversation!


Teacher Evaluation: 2014-2015 mSGP Release Updates

The New Jersey Department of Education (NJDOE) is preparing to release 2014-15 teacher and principal median Student Growth Percentile (mSGP) scores in late March. These SGP scores correspond to those who teach language arts in grades 4 through 8 and math in grades 4 through 7.

More information regarding the release of SGP scores will be released to teachers by the District as we receive them from the state. In the meantime, additional information regarding SGP scores can be found by accessing the link below.


  • Updated SGP Overview - explains that SGP is a norm-referenced methodology, creating a relative ranking of students within an academic peer group and not based on absolute performance.
  • Updated SGP Video - provides a more comprehensive overview of the measure.

SGO 2.1 On the Road to Ownership - What now?

  • March 25, 2016: SGO Process complete (begin preparing for summative meeting)

As we enter the month when SGO wind will close please remember to save sample student evidences for discussion in the spring.

Information and support on Student Growth Objectives (SGOs) can be found on the staff website under For Staff - Evaluations - and SGO Information


Patricia Calandro, Chief Academic Officer

Rachael Anderson, Elementary Supervisor K-5

Katie Fransko, Special Education Supervisor PK-12

Stefanie Fox-Manno, Humanities Supervisor 6-12

Robert Rosenheim, Data/Assessment Supervisor K-12

Megan Bruder, STEM Supervisor 6-12

Gail Bram, Curriculum Lead K-3 and Special Areas

Amanda Grabas, Curriculum Lead 4-6 and Special Education

*Please see your curriculum lead with any requests for PD, resources, or other questions/concerns regarding curriculum and instruction