NRES Staff Newsletter
Week of April 10, 2016
Around the Building and Other Places
Note important reminders as Spring 2016 Ohio’s State Tests begin today
Today is the beginning of the statewide testing window for spring administration of Ohio’s State Tests. As your district prepares to administer state tests on its selected dates, test coordinators and test administrators will benefit from reviewing an important email message that American Institutes for Research is sending them today. The department is reprinting the message below.
Reminders for Districts Testing Online and on Paper
Dates for Spring Testing – The spring test windows are listed on the Important Dates page of the portal. Districts must select defined test windows per the instructions provided in Section 2 of the Test Coordinator’s Manual. Districts must complete testing within the district’s selected test windows, including make-up testing. There will be no extensions of the published test windows.
Essential Manuals – Please be sure to review the Test Coordinator’s Manual and/orDirections for Administration Manual to familiarize yourself with policies and procedures you will need to know to fulfill your role. The District Test Coordinator Checklist provides district test coordinators with important test administration reminders and testing support contact information. The Test Administrator Checklist provides test administrators with important test-day reminders for schools administering tests online or on paper.
Reminders for Online Testing
Online Testing Checklist – Test administrators must use the Online Testing Checklist when administering Ohio’s State Tests to students testing online. It includes step-by-step directions, the oral script that test administrators must follow (information to be read aloud to students is printed in bold letters), descriptions of test settings and accommodation codes, and troubleshooting tips.
Testing Times – Find specific English language arts, mathematics, science and social studies test times at this link. Test administrators are responsible for ensuring that students receive the appropriate amount of time for each part of each test. The Test Administrator Interface does not enforce testing time.
Pre-ID – Districts must add to TIDE all students participating in the spring administration of Ohio’s State Tests, regardless of test mode. Students who are testing online cannot access the Student Testing Site until the district or building test coordinator pre-identifies them in TIDE. Refer to the Guidance Document for 2015-2016 Ohio Pre-ID Files for more information.
User Accounts – District test coordinators are responsible for creating user accounts for any new personnel in the district or for delegating this task. Authorized users create new accounts under the Manage Users task in TIDE. Refer to the Online User Management Guidance Document for additional information. Find the instructions for troubleshooting log-in issues in the TIDE FAQ document.
Secure Browsers – You may download the AIR Secure Browsers and AIR SecureTest Apps for the 2015-2016 school year from the Secure Browsers page of the portal. Schools administering Ohio’s State Tests online must download and install the AIR Secure Browser on the desktops and laptops that the students will use for testing. If students will test online using Chromebooks or tablets, districts and schools must download and install the AIR SecureTest App on these devices. Find the detailed installation instructions in the Secure Browsers Installation Manual. See additional information about preparing your network and devices for online testing in the Technical Specifications Manual.
Help your Child Avoid Test Anxiety
The word test can cause a certain amount of stress in any student, no matter how well she is doing in school. Confidence and a positive attitude are key to overcoming it — and parents can help on both counts.
Consider sports. You take your child to practice, where she learns the rules of her game. You cheer for her to urge her toward success. When she does well, you celebrate. When she doesn’t, you encourage her to practice and try again.
You can help your child overcome test anxiety the same way. First, talk about what the school is expecting her to learn and be able to do. You can find this out by talking to her teacher. Ask the teacher how you can help build your child’s confidence — and what material you can review with her. Encourage your child every step along the way as she builds knowledge.
If you are preparing your child for state tests, ask his teacher how to help him understand what the tests will look like. Also, the teacher can explain how you can work with your child at home on the Ohio Department of Education’s student practice resources and practice tests.
It’s important to remember that Ohio’s State Tests are based on Ohio’s Learning Standards. These standards lay out what students should know and be able to do in each grade. Ohio teachers choose questions for state tests that match what their students are learning in their classrooms. This is your child’s opportunity to show what she has learned throughout the school year. Keeping this in mind, your child should go into test day with confidence.
Finally, put every test in its proper place. We should all try to do our best on a test, but we shouldn’t allow the test to terrify us. No single test — even at the end of a school year — can have lifelong consequences for your child. Explain to your child that she wants to do well to show herself what she has learned — not to keep something terrible from happening. Your school should support her in the same way.
Helping your child build confidence and putting tests in their proper perspective will ease the pressure on your child when test days roll around. It also will give her a better overall school experience.
Online video training program for those supporting individuals with autism
April is National Autism Awareness Month, and Ohioans can benefit from a free, online video training program that helps families and providers develop a range of skills and techniques to guide their work and support of individuals on the autism spectrum. ASD Strategies in Action provides practical information and skills, demonstrated through real-life settings in the home, school, community and workplace, to help everyone who interacts with individuals with autism spectrum disorder.
The program is designed to meet the needs of adult learners and busy families by providing anytime, anywhere learning opportunities. Learning modules are available through a custom-designed, online, mobile-friendly platform. Content is organized by strategy and age range — from early childhood to young adulthood — which users are able to access and complete on their own time and at their own pace. While practitioners will have the option to earn professional development hours and a certificate, the program is designed so that every user can gain knowledge and implement the skills learned immediately.
The training is free to all Ohioans and available on a paid subscription basis in other states and countries, impacting millions across the globe. For more information, visit autismstrategies.org.
Introducing the Student Success Resource Library
Resources are available for identified students who need additional help to graduate from high school and prepare for success in life.
Developed by the Ohio Department of Education, the Ohio Education Research Center and Battelle for Kids, the new online Student Success Resource Library provides effective, proven practices to engage students and keep them on the path to graduation. New resources are added throughout the year.
Access templates, links, videos and research-based practices that you can start using today to:
- Identify students at risk of dropping out;
- Intervene and keep these students in school; and
- Offer advising to ensure students successfully transition to careers after high school.
The goal is not only for students to graduate but also to be working in or preparing for the jobs of their dreams. Many of the resources support implementing a strategic and sustainable policy as early as the middle school grades.
Jeans the next two wednesdays
The next two Wednesdays (4/13 and 4/20) we are allowed to wear jeans for a
$5 donation each day. All the money collected will benefit kids with
autism at Hearts for ABA. They will be using the money to purchase
communicative devices and gross motor equipment.
Also, my sister and I are having a Zumbathon and silent auction on Sunday,
April 24th from 6:00-7:30 at Central Christian Church on Villa Rd. The
cost is $15 and all money will go towards Hearts for ABA as well. If you
can't attend, and would still like to make a donation, it would be greatly
Thank you in advance for your support for this worthy cause!
Third-grade teachers may receive seed packets for Earth Day
The Ohio Nursery and Landscape Association is offering a limited number of third-grade classrooms free Sweet Basil seed packets in conjunction with the Plant Something campaign’s observance of Earth Day on Friday, April 22. Information about planting the seeds is available here.
To receive free seed packets for your classroom or to ask questions, send a message firstname.lastname@example.org with your address, phone number and number of third-grade students. Questions also be directed to Roni at (614) 899-1195. The seed packets are made possible by a Specialty Crop Block Grant through the Ohio Department of Agriculture.
Value-added roster verification 2016 begins April 11
If your district is participating in value-added roster verification, note that the principal or school set-up period runs April 11-26 and the teacher roster verification period is April 27 to May 17. Participating in this annual process is the best way for districts to ensure that when teachers with value-added data receive their reports next fall, the reports will accurately reflect teachers’ instructional influence on student progress. When teachers have the opportunity to verify their rosters, the reports’ student performance information is more helpful to them as they consider the results of their teaching strategies.
- Teachers participating will verify the following information:
- Grades, classes and subjects they taught this year;
- Students they taught;
- Months during which students received their instruction; and
- The percentage of instructional responsibility they had for each student during the months selected.
To review more information about how roster verification works, sign up for a live teacher webinar (which offers the opportunity for questions and answers) on page 2 of this flyer. These hour-long sessions will be held on April 28, May 3 and May 4. The recorded webinar will appear here following the first event.
Also, please see answers to Frequently Asked Questions, Roster Verification Guidelines and links to resources for learning more on the department’s Roster Verification Web page.
$martPath offers free interactive grades 1-6 lessons on finance and economics
New Explora for Educators; digital versions of professional journals, lesson plans and standards correlations
Explora for Educators, available at no charge through INFOhio, gives Ohio’s preK-12 educators access to a large collection of professional databases including Academic Search Premier, ERIC and EBSCO’s Professional Development Collection. In addition, Explora for Educators includes lesson plans and collections of articles covering current education topics such as differentiation, the achievement gap and online testing.
IWonder offers links to Web-based instructional sites for grades 3-9
IWonder (iwonder.infohio.org), a collection of safe, reliable websites handpicked by Ohio school librarians to support student exploration and Ohio’s Learning Standards in grades 3-9, is now available to all Ohio schools courtesy of INFOhio, Ohio’s preK-12 digital library.
IWonder encourages students to pick a question to find resources – for example, Do You Have a Math Problem to Solve? or Do You Want to Explore Your Creativity? or Do You Want to Learn More About Money? The website then leads them to a series of engaging sites to help them find answers and practice their skills. New sites will be added regularly. Students, teachers and parents may submit their favorite sites using the Suggest a Site link on the IWonder home page.
Free eBooks available to all preK to grade 3 classrooms
Scholastic BookFlix, a collection of paired fiction and nonfiction eBooks that promote foundational reading skills, such as vocabulary and fluency, is available at no charge to all pre-kindergarten through grade 3 Ohio classrooms through INFOhio. This year, Scholastic has added five new fiction/nonfiction book pairs for a total of 120 pairs. The new titles are:
- One Zillion Valentines and Valentine’s Day;
- Emily’s First 100 Days of School and 100th Day of School;
- John, Paul, George & Ben and Benjamin Franklin;
- Fletcher and the Falling Leaves and How Do You Know It’s Fall?; and
- How Do Dinosaurs Go to School? and Back-to-School Safety (both titles also are available in Spanish).
Children can choose to have the books read to them or, as their reading skills improve, read them on their own. Each book pair also includes comprehension games to test a student’s ability to understand words used in the stories, distinguish fact from fiction and put story events in order.
MEMO 631-This week's quotes and articles come from Education Week, Educational Leadership (more next week), The New York Times, Journal of Staff Development, Harvard Business Review, The Chronicle of Higher Education, and Literacy Today. The headlines:
- Dylan Wiliam on feedback that makes a difference to students
- Angela Duckworth on uses and misuses of assessing character traits
- Thomas Guskey on evaluating and planning professional development
- The seemingly impossible demands of the modern principalship
- Rethinking traditional teacher compensation and support
- Effective exit interviews
- Making good use of the final minutes of a class
- Interactive writing 101
If you want an HTML version of this week's Memo, please click here:
If you'd like to listen to a podcast of last week's Memo (#630), please click here:
Things to do:
- Schedule time with Rob to tie on blue ribbons.
- Update Supply List
- Complete Teacher-to-teacher communications
- Create 2016-2017 class list
10 Day Forecast
Monday, April 11
- Meal Magic Begins
- 3rd Grade Team Meeting, 7:55 a.m.
- 2nd Grade Team Meeting, 10:00 a.m.
- 5th Grade Team Meeting, 2:20 p.m.
- 504 Meeting, 4th Grade, 2:30 p.m.
Tuesday, April 12
- IAT-Doogs, 7:50 a.m.
- 504-Harris, 10:00 a.m.
- 4th Grade Team Meeting, 10:40 a.m.
- Kindergarten Team Meeting, 1:05 p.m.
- IEP Meeting-Blaker, 2:00 p.m.
Wednesday, April 13
- 4th Grade ELA Testing
- 1st Grade Team Meeting, 12:30 p.m.
Thursday, April 14
- 4th Grade ELA Testing
- Young's NR Night, 5-9 p.m.
Friday, April 15
- NEAT Meeting, Rob Out
- Mother/Son Game Night
Monday, April 18
- Interim Week
- 5th Grade ELA Testing
Tuesday, April 19
- Interim Week
- 5th Grad ELA Testing
- 1st Grade Field Trip
Wednesday, April 20
- Interim Week
- 3rd Grade ELA Testing
Thursday, April 21
- Pledge-J. Roberts
- Interim Week
- 3rd Grade ELA Testing
- Board of Education Meeting, 6:00 p.m.
- 2nd Grade Music Program, 7:00 p.m.
Friday, April 22
- Interim Week
- 3rd Grade Project Pillowcase
- Last Day to Checkout Books
Old Business-Previously Released Items
- Please DO NOT send student to the kitchen for ice during school hours. This is a safety issue. The cooks are preparing food and using equipment that may be hot.
- During recess duty please make sure you circulate the area. One teacher should be positioned "up top" closer to the building and one "down lower" by the tree. This will increase supervision, and allow for intervention to possible situations.
Thank you for your help in these matters, and let me know if you have any questions.
Meal Magic...Coming to a Cafeteria Near You!
Northeastern Local School District is implementing a new management system for the Food Service department called Meal Magic. Each student will have a lunch account, which will be accessed by using a school assigned keypad number at the register. Students will enter their number into the keypad located at each register to purchase their food. At this time students will still be able to pay with cash at the register, however they will need their Student Lunch ID Number to purchase a lunch.
For convenience, the district is also updating EZ Pay accounts to allow for prepayment of
meals for your student(s). EZ Pay is our online system that currently allows parents to pay all school fees online.
The lunch charge policy will stay the same - students will only be permitted to charge three
lunches. No breakfast charging will be permitted.
Northridge will implement Meal Magic on Monday, April 11th. A district letter will be going out to parents prior to implementation.
REMEMBER...This will be a new system for everyone. Please be patient with the cafeteria staff, tech. dept., and students.
Technology Help Desk
Over Christmas break the technology department began using a new FREE helpdesk software called Spiceworks. Spiceworks will allow us to better rack technology needs. We will be using this software for submitting, tracking, and handling your technology needs. The Spiceworks program allow us to communicate better with you on your technology needs and issues. For your part you just need to submit a technology ticket. You will receive email updates automatically as your ticket is handled and completed. This should help us complete your issues quickly and more efficiently. If you are having an issue you just go to our web page www.nelsd.org, RESOURCES, STAFF RESOURCES, TECHNOLOGY HELP DESK REQUEST (3rd item on left). Enter your email address, a SUMMARY of the issue (PLEASE enter your building initials to start summary), a detailed DESCRIPTION of the issue, select your LOCATION, click SUBMIT REQUEST. You will automatically receive an email with your ticket number and other information.
Springfield Tutoring Academy
The Clark County ESC is excited to announce our collaboration with the Springfield Tutoring Academy. The Springfield Tutoring Academy provides after school tutoring in all subjects, dyslexia assessments and Orton Gillingham tutoring. This is a non-profit organization providing a service to students in Clark County. We are sharing this information with you so that you are aware of this valuable resource for students who need extra support outside of the school day. The attached flyer provides more information and can be copied and shared with parents and colleagues.
See a great opportunity for Professional Development? I'd like to help!
There isn't always money for PD or money to get subs for a lot of people; however having one or two people attend workshops/conferences with the expectation that they will share with others when they return can help foster a more powerful Professional Learning Community within our school.
Sharing would consist of coming back and presenting at a staff meeting and "coaching" those of us who might be interested in going further with the topic/idea.
So be on the lookout for great PD and let me know.
Complete your PHA by June 1, 2015 to earn $35 wellness dollars!
EARN YOUR $35 TODAY!
You can earn $35 today by completing your Personal Health Assessment (PHA) through the EPC Wellness Program. The PHA will take about 20 minutes to complete and consists of questions related to individual lifestyle practices and health history factors that impact your health.
To start earning your wellness dollars visit epcwellness.org and log in using your username and password. New users can select 'Sign Up Today' to register on the wellness website.
EPC Wellness: Participate and Earn Rewards!
Dear EPC Participant,
Don’t miss out on your reward! Make sure to complete the following steps as you participate in EPC wellness:
Step #1: Complete Personal Health Assessment
Step #2: Complete Reasonable Alternative – Your Roadmap for Health wellness workshop (required): $50
- Login to epcwellness.org
- Click on #1 Your Roadmap for Health
- On the Manage Workshops page scroll down the list and find ‘Reasonable Alternative – Your Roadmap for Health.
- Click Sign Up
Step #4: Redeem wellness dollars for gift cards in the Hallmark Gift Card Center
- Complete steps 1,2, and 3 no later than August 31, 2016
- Complete step 4 no later than September 30, 2016
Please click HERE to review the attached program guide to help answer any questions.
You can also email email@example.com for additional help.