Monday Memo

February 15, 2016

Week at a Glance

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Dean of Student Search

As you all are aware, we are still in need of a second Dean of Students. If you know of any interested candidates, please submit their resume to Brionne, Meghan, or Brandon.

Staff Check-In

As we navigate through the second half of the school year, we want to start preparing for the future. Many have already began thinking about life in the 2016-2017 school year. Starting this week, Brandon will reach out to you to discuss where you see yourself in the 16-17 school year. This will be our foundation for planning for next year.

Progress Reports

On Friday, February 19, 2016 we will be sending home our progress report. Throughout the course of the school year, we've had several hiccups with Kickboard and tracking student performance. Teachers, please make sure as you prepare to send home your progress reports, that grade are being recorded accurately. Student grades should be given based on that students performance on any assessment that you are giving him or her. Please note that your student grades will reflect more accurately as you assess more often.

Forms of Assessments

As educators we are all aware that while paper assessments may be the easiest to grade, they don't always give you the best information. We know that we should be working to find the most accurate information about students in order to guide their instruction. The best way to do this is to use assessments that make sense. Attached to the Monday Memo is a document giving several ways to give an assessment in your classroom. This is an extremely helpful tool determining the best assessment for the unit/lesson you are teaching.

Though giving an assessment is never fun, it is very necessary. It should be the foundation of how we plan our lessons. If we utilize the Understanding By Design model (which we all should be) all of our planning starts with then end goal in mind. Your lesson is then developed based on the assessment you've determined. If your lessons/units are development in this fashion, the data yielded will be much more accurate.

During our weekly feedback sessions we will be focusing in on the alignment of your assessments with your lesson plan.

Celebration of Learning

The celebration of learning in the arts has been rescheduled for Thursday, 2/18 5:30 - 7:30 PM.

From the last event that was cancelled we had:

Mary Rooney A.R.T.

Bethani Pete- 2nd Grade Dance

Monica Fontova - Arts Integration

Arts for Learning Presentation*

Contemporary Dance Team*

Valorie Polmer - 2nd Grade Visual Art

Sherri Marina - 5th Grade Drama

Gymnastics Team*

Lorraine Anton - 4th Grade Creative Writing

Cammie West - Kinder Theater

Amie Wood Art and Early Elementary

YACS Band and Dance Team*

*after school program/yala

If you are on this list, please confirm that you can present for 2/18. 2nd grade, is there anyone that can do Ms. Bethani's Dance with the 2nd grade?

If you have anything you can add it this, please let me know and we'll include you in the program. Also, we're looking for art to hang up around the Gym for the event, so please let me know if you have anything and we'll get it hung up.

Acuity Testing

This coming Tuesday and Wednesday we will be administering our first round of readiness tests from Acuity, a resource that replaced ANET. Grades 3-5 will be taking the readiness test. On Tuesday the 16th we will administer the ELA (Reading Portion) and on Wednesday the 17th we will administer the Math portion. Since it is the first time we will be doing this we want to make the environment as similar to end of year state assessments as possible.

Here are some things that need to happen for that to be possible:

- Testing will be from 9:10am-10:25am.

- 1st and 3rd grade will switch specials times on Tuesday and Wednesday. (3rd grade will go at 8:10 and 1st grade will go at 9:10)

-We have a lot of accommodation small groups so we are asking that PE and Spanish go to the first grade classrooms for their specials time so we can use the classrooms in the gym for these accommodations.

-Hallways and breezeways must be at a level zero during the ENTIRE testing time. Including the second grade building because we will be using offices in that hallway and the SPED room for testing.

It is really important that we work together as a team! We all know how smart our students are and now is the time for them to show it! This assessment will be great data for us to use in making sure our students are prepared for the LEAP assessments in April. Remember we must be D-termined! Thank you in advance your understanding and teamwork!

Why more academics??

The conversation has been brewing all year and it is a valid concern. Why does it feel like we are focused more on academics and less on art? Here's the mission behind the madness.

Our slogan

"Academic excellence through Arts Integration". When perspective parents tour our school and talk to our guides (Brandy, Roscoe, Rickie, Brandon) they will hear and see this slogan everywhere. Our flyers carry this motto. It's who we are. Here at YACS our goal is to create "thinkers". These thinkers are students that can utilize various skill sets to solve a problem. Eventually these thinkers evolve into problem solvers. And problem solvers grow to become the leaders of our country. Whether in business, politics or education, we want to give our student the foundation to achieve their goals. That foundation is a strong academic education.

Our Parents

Our parents are looking for a school that will prepare their child to be a well functioning and contributing citizen in society.

The State of Our School

Any educator can walk onto our campus and know that great things are happening daily. Our students love this school. Our parents love this school. The employees love this school. The only thing that is missing is the proof that our model is viable. Therefore, because we love this school and our student love this school and their parents love this school, we have an obligation to demonstrate (in whatever fashion, state test or no state test) that we are educating our students.

All of this is factored into where we are headed as a school. Let's focus in on building the best academic foundation for our students. Let's do this by creating high quality, rigorous, art-integrated lesson plans that focus on delivering an academic standard as soundly as possible. Achieving this goal will require ALL staff members to be on-board in doing whatever it takes.

Make Morning Meeting work for you!

Ms. Noonan: Morning Meeting