Heritage Happenings

November 13, 2014

HMS Staff Newsletter Kick Off

Staff- My hope is to begin publishing a weekly newsletter to keep everyone updated on upcoming events, share resources and ideas and to highlight and celebrate one another. If you have pictures, shout-outs, or other things to share, send them to me and I will publish them. Be sure to check this each week for info because this will replace most of the random emails and will be a one stop shop for all your HMS needs.
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First Annual Staff Tech Week

Why Are We Doing This?

Next week is going to be a great time to connect with each other and gain some great ideas for technology integration. The purpose is to create casual job embedded chances for you to see lessons in action and to try some tools yourself. The PDC team thinks that this is a much better way to learn than a formal presentation. Please be sure to review the schedule that was sent out. A huge thank you to our eLeads teachers- Carolyn, Tara, and Alyssa for moving this forward with their ideas.
The link below will get you to the flyer if you need it.
HMS Tech Week movie 2


I have met with most teams to check in on the progress of our level 1 data teams. I am very impressed by the work we have done to move this forward. If you get a chance, stop by conference room 4 to see our data wall and the results we have collected.
These meetings have reminded me of a few key points-
1. Remember that failure is a big part of learning. This year is all about learning the process. If your team has struggled with the pre-assessment you are in good company. Be sure to ask for help and ideas.
2. The focus of the process is instructional strategies. Your assessment results and what they tell you about your students' learning should drive your decisions about the strategies your team chooses. There are resources being collected in conference room 4 to help identify effective strategies.
3. Be sure your team is analyzing student responses not just grading the assessments. Sorting kids by scores doesn't work. I have challenged each team to make their piles before they grade. This way you can better identify disconnects and gaps in learning.
4. Have your team work on the timing of pre-assessments and data review so that you give yourself enough time to plan the unit. Otherwise, you will make teaching decisions based on opinion or previous experiences rather than the needs of the current students.
5. Commit to the process and your teammates. Connect with your teammates and make sure that you are moving in the same direction. Be willing to self-reflect on how you are approaching the process. Is it as a committed collaborative team member or as an independent contractor who shows up for meetings?
6. I am proud of our progress and I love bragging about it every chance I get!

Grading Action Team

This team met this week to begin researching and reviewing best practices for grading and feedback. We currently have 4 members- Jacey Barnes, Tricia Falke, Scott, and Kerry. We have decided to spend the first 2 months doing research and contacting schools with solid programs. We are reading a great book, "Fair Isn't Always Equal" by Rick Wormeli. If you would like to join us, we would love to have more voices and brains. Just let me know so I can get you a book.
As the year goes on we will be sharing findings, getting staff input, and recommending any needed changes to create a system that is consistent, easy to understand, and focused on learning and growth.
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* Congratulations to Olivia, Brandi and Michael on an outstanding production of Annie Jr.
* Thank you to all volunteer club sponsors and folks who stay after hours to connect with kids. You all are difference makers!
* Congratulations to Rebecca Groebe for a very successful and interesting Penguin project with the KC Zoo and Antarctica scientists. It was a one of a kind experience for kids.
*Congratulations to Michael Dragen for a great showing at the All District Band auditions.
* Thank you to our curriculum council reps who work to align our curriculum standards and are our voice at the district meetings.
* If you have any you want me to add, be sure to email me!
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Upcoming Events

Nov. 14 Last day to sign up for benefits
Nov. 17-21 Tech Week
Nov. 25 Last Day Before Thanksgiving Break- The schedule that day will be normal.