The CIA Report

December 2015 Edition

Welcome to the December 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 January 6 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

The Language of Leadership

Communication is such an important aspect of leadership. Sometimes, even when we think we are being so careful and selective with our wording, we still struggle to get it just right.

Shelley Burgess (@burgess_shelley), educational leader, national speaker, and wife to Teach Like a Pirate's Dave Burgess (@burgessdave) discussed the power of words in her blog post: "5 Reflections on the Language of Leadership".

While most of what she has written may feel like common courtesy or common sense, it is important to remember that as leaders our words have great power (sometimes so much more than we'd really like!). I found reflection "#4 - Be careful....most of our praise is judgmental too!" to be very eye opening for me regarding the feedback that I offer to teachers.

This is a quick read and a nice reflection for this time of year. I hope you are able to take a moment to read through it!

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From the Right-Brained Center of CIA

All Levels

Curriculum Revision

As we begin the new year, curriculum review for K-12 Art, K-12 Music, 6-12 Social Studies, 9-12 Theater, and 9-12 Publications will ramp up a notch or two. Teachers are busy visiting other districts to learn more about their curriculum and course offerings, so that we can consider ideas that we have not before.

Each group will meet a total of 3-4 times January - May. During this time we will be reviewing standards, debriefing about their observations, and making plans for the curriculum development that will begin in the fall of 2016.


As you are aware, we are waiting to see what the Missouri State School Board will decide in March in regard to new state standards. If the standards are approved, it is likely that next year the ELA curriculum will undergo review and realignment (not rewrite). In addition, we will have conversations about what will need to happen with K-5 Social Studies curriculum (6-8 are currently reviewing and revising).


English Language Learners

Our awesome ELL teachers realize that communication with parents about their student's progress needs to improve. Thus, they spent some time developing a progress report, aligned to the standards assessed on the ACCESS, to be sent home twice a year. Mary Standish will be sending these to her buildings to be sent home with students. Please be on the lookout!

New York Teacher's College

We are so thrilled to have NYTC here in our district on 1/13 and 1/14 to help us learn more about the new reading spiral units! Please be sure you have responded to Margo's email request regarding the teachers who will attend from your building.

Words Their Way

All K-5 teachers will continue their learning about Words Their Way on the January 19 PD from 7:30 -11:00. The Words Their Way teacher leader teams are working hard to put the finishing touches on their plans for that morning.

I appreciate you all being present during this PD on our last district PD day. Please make plans to attend again on 1/19. Locations will be shared with you when they have been finalized.

Please remember that we are in Year 2 of a 3-year roll-out plan for Word Study (you can see the roll-out plan by clicking HERE. The learning goal for this year is: Teachers will understand how to use both assessment and the district provided resources (primarily Words Their Way) to differentiate word study instruction. The learning on January 19 will further support the learning toward reaching that goal.

Secondary Information

Content PD

Both Karen and I believe it is incredibly valuable and important for our content teachers to have opportunities to learn together about their content.

Thus, I have been working with several of my content areas to develop or to support content specific professional development for the January 19 PD day:

  • 6-8 ELA teachers will continue their PD focused on workshop teaching
  • 9-12 ELA teachers will continue their focus on providing choice and time for independent reading
  • 6-8 Social Studies teachers will be collaborating about technology and how it can be used to support and demonstrate social studies learning
  • 9-12 Social Studies - we're trying to get some folks from UM-St. Louis, Lindenwood, and St. Charles Community College to come and talk about what they need/want from graduates (unfortunately, they are not very responsive)
  • 9-12 World Language will be focused on learning teacher specific and student specific strategies for remaining in the target language for the majority of the class period
  • 9-12 Art have the opportunity to engage in collaborative learning about clay techniques with facilitated by an outside presenter
  • 9-12 Music teachers have the opportunity to collaborate together or to attend the Orff training provide

From the Left-Brained Center of the CIA

All Levels

Grant Money from MasterCard

MasterCard has graciously supported WSD over the years in a variety of ways including Telementoring, Girls Who Code, and Girls4Tech. They continue to fund our district at very high levels and intend to do so in the future. MasterCard contacted me this week to streamline their communication with us and establish a chain of communication. We have several projects with them and they are requesting that all grant requests and communication come through me.

I am in the process of writing one grant for all of our initiatives with MasterCard for 2016. If you have any new ideas you would like for me to include in the grant for MasterCard to consider, please notify me by 1/6/2016 to discuss. Their philanthropy focus is on:

  1. Entrepreneurship – Youth and adults become a productive part of the financial mainstream and are connected to the economy.

  2. Women in Technology and STEM – Encouraging and promoting the participation of youth and women in STEM disciplines, contributing to awareness and consideration of STEM careers.

Please indicate how MasterCard employees can be engaged in your idea.


The goals of the committee members who wrote the new science standards being considered by Missouri are to have students:

  • love and learn science by doing science

  • persevere

  • solve problems that are not Google-able

They are very much like the NGSS, but are not the NGSS.



I have created PLTW flowcharts to show the PLTW progression from MS to HS and the HS PLTW progression. These were developed to communicate to students and parents.


Please notify me by 1/6 of the PLTW and other training needs of your building for existing courses that need to be funded from the CIA department. I already have budgeted for:


    • CSA - 1 teacher from each HS
    • DE - Holt HS
    • FMS: MD, DM
    • Liberty: EDD, BI

New curriculum:

    • FACS - Pathways for Careers in Teaching

    • FACS - ProStart

    • Business - CompTIA A+ certification for 1 teacher from each HS

    • PE - NASP certification for 1 teacher from Holt and Liberty

It has been a pleasure working with you all over the last 1.5 years. Have a great holiday! … and cheers to the best year ever for you and yours.


From Both of Us

AP Training

As the new year quickly approaches, like you - we need to begin budgeting for 2016-17. In that budget we need to include training for the PLTW and new curriculum as mentioned in The Left-Brained report, and we also need to budget for AP courses.

As you are looking at things for next year, please consider how many teachers you think you will need to receive training in order to teach AP courses next year. Please reach out to the coordinator for that content area, and let us know what you are anticipating so we may include that in our budgeting.


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We wish you a restful and relaxing holiday break! You are truly an awesome group to work with, and we look forward to learning with you in 2016!

Karen & Keri

Dr. Karen Hill

Follow the learning at #wsdlearns!

Dr. Keri Skeeters

Follow the learning at #wsdlearns!