Staff Connections Weekly Newsletter
January 13, 2022
Connections is a weekly communication provided to the staff. It is intended to reduce the amount of email team members receive by bringing all of that information into one document. It will also provide a snapshot of the upcoming weeks events and happenings.
We hope this will meet your communication needs. If there are ways to improve our communication methods, we are always happy to hear feedback!
January 2023 Institute Day:
We are eager to share the details about our January Institute Day with you all!
In response to feedback shared previously by staff, the departments across District 15 have worked hard to coordinate and plan a full day of professional learning for January 17th.
On Institute Day, staff will engage in meaningful professional development focused on curriculum, resources, and instructional strategies and increase knowledge in their professional areas of focus.
To review the detailed schedule and information for the day, please visit the CCSD15 Professional Learning website. The schedule indicates the staffing groups assigned to specific sessions, in addition to the session location. Please note your session location, as staffing groups will be meeting across many District 15 buildings and not always at your designated home school location.
While we do not anticipate many significant changes to the day’s plan, please be sure to check back with the schedule closer to the Institute date to ensure you have the most up-to-date information.
PTA Family Steam Night Looking For Volunteers
Save the date for an in-person event this year on 15th February 2023.
For those who don't know, STEAM Night is an annual tradition where members of our community present and interact with Science, Technology, Engineering, Art and Mathematics activities and information. The students love this event and we look forward to putting it on each year.
If any teachers are interested in presenting, we have included the link below to the sign up form, please fill it out and give us an idea of a presentation/experiment you'd like to do! We will be live and in person this year so if you have something the kids can participate in, All the better!
January Classroom Refresh
When we return from any break, it is vital that building and classroom expectations are revisited with students. This allows us to proactively approach behavior and refresh expectations with students.
During the first week back from winter break, every school in the district will be engaging in Whole-School Expectations revisits and Station Rotations. We are also asking that teachers utilize the first weeks back from break to revisit classroom expectations.
The Department of Teaching and Learning is providing resources to guide you in planning and preparing lessons to review behavior expectations within your classroom or space.
Focusing on proactively stating behavior expectations prior to any transition or activity is the framework District 15 is moving towards. As creating a safe and conducive learning environment, as well as being responsive to our students’ needs is a priority, teachers should utilize allocated SEL, and additional instructional time as needed, to focus on this work.
Winter Benchmarking Is Coming!
It’s almost time for Winter Benchmarking! We are benchmarking all of our kindergarten, first, and second grade students and all students who are being progress monitored, including students in Tier 2, Tier 3, and special education. At the elementary schools, the interventionist will be communicating with the kindergarten, first, and second grade teachers to discuss the benchmarking schedule.
You can review the Winter Benchmarking 2022-23 slides. Special education teachers, if you are the provider of support for students in 3rd-8th grade for math and/or reading you will give the benchmarking assessments. If you have further questions, reach out to your coordinator.
We are adding the assessment results for Fastbridge to Infinite campus for parents/guardians of students in kindergarten through second grade. Parents/guardians and staff will login to Infinite campus and be able to access Fastbridge results under assessments.
Students in reading/math intervention in grades 3rd-8th will have a letter sent home and/or emailed from the intervention provider. The data will be added to Infinite Campus the week of February 6th. Initial communication will be shared with families in January.
Evaluation Reminders To Complete
By Dec 15 - Formal Observation 1 (with Evidence Progress Report) & Midpoint SLO Review
Tenured Year 1
October 1 - March 31 is the window to complete:
Informal Observation (prior to Evidence Progress Report) Principal Completes
Evidence Progress Meeting (Between Teacher and Principal)
Tenured Year 2
Formal Observation (with Evidence Progress Report) should be completed from October 1- March 31st. Please sign up with Danielle to schedule these meetings. Mid Point SLO Review by January 15th.
Accessing FastBridge Data
FastBridge Benchmark Assessments are one of the screeners D15 utilizes to initially identify students who may benefit from Reading Intervention. For information on what FastBridge is, the Assessments it offers to each grade level, and how to access your class reports, please click here. Should you have any questions, or would like additional information, please let Sara or Ashley know.
Sara & Ashley
School Safety New Procedure! Please Read
Effective immediately, when visitors ring the doorbell at a school, the office staff will ask the visitor their name and the purpose of their visit. If the visitor is a parent or guardian that is just dropping off a forgotten lunch or homework assignment, etc. they will be asked to leave it on the "drop off" table in the vestibule.
Please remind parents to label the items they drop off with their child’s name and grade level/teacher to ease the delivery of the items.
When parents/guardians or visitors are at the school for a meeting or to volunteer, they will be required to provide a driver's license or state ID which will be used to produce a visitor badge for the individual to wear on a yellow visitor lanyard while they are in the building. The office will keep the license/state ID and return it to the individual when the visitor badge is returned as they leave the building. This will ensure all staff can visually see that only individuals cleared through their office are in our schools.
When a parent/guardian comes in to pick up a student early from school, they will be asked to produce a state ID for verification.
Inputing Majors and Minors
Folders For BAS Assessments
Each teacher recieved at the 9/30 staff meeting folders for each of their students to put BAS assessments in. The office will collect the folders after the spring assessment and will sort them over the summer for teachers based on their class list. The folder should include the fall and spring assessments.
We are waiting to hear what will happen to the folders after 6th grade.
We will repeat this process each year so that over time staff will have good data to look at as students go through each grade level. If you have any questions please see David.
PH Google Calendar
Please make sure to have your google calendar synced with the school calendar to be up to date on events that will be taking place during the school year. Please see the office if you need assistance. Below are directions for you if you would like daily calendar agendas to pop up.
In Calendar, go to Settings Settings.
Pokemon Cards At School!
The Green Team met and discussed many different things. Here are some items to please take note of.
*January PAW Goal will be 1200
* The team also felt that a grade level reinforcement would be appropriate as well. We will have a Kahoot reinforcement game on Thursday the 19th. Please refer to the sign up sheet for the times you selected as a grade.
Please look for the cool tools to utilize with your class.
Thank you everyone!!
Please use Infinite Campus to fill out minors. If you have any questions please see Charlie or David
Katie’s Coaching Corner
Education Favorites of 2022
Click here to read about the recent education research, popular articles, and educational podcasts from 2022!
Coaching Check -In
Please consider taking this anonymous survey to provide feedback and/or to request instructional coaching support!
Guided Reading: Click here for a bank of GR resources.
Running Records: As your guided reading groups are up and running, remember all of the books have a running record available on the T&L & FPC websites. (Click here). This is a great way to assess students without giving a full BAS.
Book Clubs: Have students use a calendar for each week to track their progress. Click here for Book Club resources from our PD last Spring.
K-3: Shared Reading - Listening Library
Did you know you can create a customized listening library of shared reading books of your choosing? FPC has a feature that allows you to select shared reading books of your choosing and create a customizable link to add to Clever for your students to access. This could make a great classroom center! Reach out to Katie for more details.
Linguistic Supports - IM
Click here for a complete list of academic and content vocabulary words for each grade level with supporting visuals to help support our language learners (and all learners).This wonderful list was developed by our ESL department, and contains vocabulary cards and visuals for every IM unit.
Here is a supporting article from IM that provides some suggestions and strategies for language learners (and all students).
Feel free to click on my schedule below to set up a meeting if you'd like to talk about ways to implement these strategies into upcoming lessons! Always happy to serve as a thought partner.
I'd love to collaborate! Click here to sign up for a time to meet!
Field Trips For The 22-23 School Year Can Now be Submitted
Field Trips requiring busing may not be scheduled before the SY22-23 Winter Break
Do not advertise the field trip until it is approved.
Field trip procedures and Forms must be provided to the requesting teacher and the “Educational Trip Request” and “Field Trip Form A” must be returned to the building administrator.
The Field Trip Checklist should be provided the relevant staff to help them with planning the field trip (this checklist’s use is not required, but is encouraged)
Allowable field trip locations: Palatine, Schaumburg, Hoffman Estates, Arlington Heights.
All field trips must have a 9:30 departure and a 1:30 return to (be at) school time.
No more than two field trips per grade level are allowed.
A class should not take more than one field trip in any given month.
The fieldtrip’s cost cannot exceed $15 per student.
Field trips cannot be scheduled during standardized or state testing windows.
Teachers must consult with the school nurse to ensure students with medical conditions have planned and appropriate support to attend the field trip.
Students and staff may choose to wear masks throughout the school day.
Students and staff members who test positive for COVID are asked to report the positive cases to their building nurse. D15 Health Services team will follow up providing guidance regarding the dates of return to school and required masking.
Those who test positive will continue to isolate for five days following the onset of CDC listed COVID symptoms or from their test date (if symptom-free).
They are able to return to school on day 6, fully and consistently masking for an additional 5 days or isolate at home for a full ten days.
- We will not provide remote access to classrooms. Instead, teachers will provide work for students as they do for any other absence
- Rooms will be cleaned daily. Rooms will be disinfected if a positive COVID case is reported.
A letter will be sent to staff to inform them of a positive case(s) in the building.
DCFS Recent Questions
DCFS Recent Questions
1. Must we notify parents before a DCFS worker interviews their student at school?
No, we are not required to notify parents in advance of a DCFS worker interviewing their child. We do require a staff member (ideally an administrator) to sit in on the interview with DCFS and our students when they are conducted at school.
2. If the DCFS caseworker asks for a copy of student records (i.e. IEP, evaluation data), are we required to provide them?
If the student is not being taken into DCFS custody and there is no immediate emergency requiring the immediate release of the IEP, then we must have a signed consent from the parents/guardian or a court order to release the student records.
All details about the DCFS reporting process can be found in the D15 Student Distress Response Binder.
Academic Assistance For Students of Concern
Beth Wec - 8th
Gina Luby - 27th
Kelly Loudermilk - 28th
Mihoko Yamamoto - 29th
Door Duty Week of 1/16