Intermediate Staff Newsletter

For the Week of April 16, 2018

Dear Staff,

80 degrees on Friday to snow on Monday! Welcome to Ohio weather. Hopefully, you were able to enjoy some of the sunshine late last week as we await the consistent arrival of Spring. We want to take this opportunity to thank you for providing feedback and insights into the teaming structure for next school year. As a reminder, you can fill out this survey if you have additional information you want to share about teams. This survey will close Monday evening. We will be making a final decision about the teaming structure this week.

This week was the start of Ohio State Testing as well. Things got off to a smooth start thanks to everyone chipping in to create a positive testing environment. Something we didn't anticipate was Thursday's lockdown. While this was definitely a learning opportunity, we were able to secure in place within a couple of minutes. There has been ongoing discussion and reflection regarding the event that took place and continuous improvement of our response. The bottom line is that we did a great job keeping students safe thanks to the quick response by all staff.

Looking ahead, this week brings four days of testing. As a reminder, testing is happening all over the building and goes beyond the 90-minute testing window for many of our students who have the extended time accommodation. Be sure to be aware where students may be testing outside of the time window and do your best to help students transition between classes quietly.

Thanks for all you do! Let's have a great week-

Katie, Kate and Barry

*Throughout the month of testing, we will include testing information (from last week's newsletter) at the bottom of our newsletters for quick and easy review.

Supporting our Students

While our students got off to a great start, the beginning of testing can bring about a serious case of test anxiety. Consider reviewing this tips with students! Be watchful of students who may be experience test anxiety and support them like you always do-with a kind heart, a positive mindset and extra words of encouragement.
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News to Share

1. You may want to remind students, if you have not already done so that they can use headphones for math and science. If students use text-to-speech feature (which is now a universal accommodation automatically turned on for everyone taking math and science), they may have to adjust the sound volume, speed, etc. This is done at the beginning of testing when students log in. Take your time when logging students into the test. Follow the online checklist directions. If students do not want to use text-to-speech for whatever reason, they will have to turn it off. There are directions about this in the Online Test Administrator Checklist. Students are not required to use text-to-speech unless written in their IEP. It is a personal choice.

2. At Tuesday's staff meeting we shared the news that a 1-1 initiative will be presented for approval at April 23rd's Board Meeting. If you were not able to attend the meeting, you can click here to see the presentation. At the conclusion of the meeting, we showed a video about Apple Classroom. Unfortunately, we ran out of time to view the whole video. You can click here to be taken to the video if you'd like to watch it in its entirety.

3. We need your help during 4th and 5th grade dismissal. Several students have been observed saying goodbye to their teacher and then sprinting to their busses. With so many students boarding buses at the same time, we need help in slowing our students down and encouraging them to walk all the way to their bus doors. This same message is being communicated with the Primary staff. Hopefully, all of us will be able to help slow our students down and get them loaded on buses safely.

Thanks for your help.

4. If you take your students out for an extra recess, please be sure to keep them on the playground closest to the MS Cafeteria. The Primary uses the playground closest to their building and have recesses ongoing throughout the day. We know students may need an extra break after testing and appreciate your help in keeping our larger students on the Intermediate playground to keep all students safe.

5. There have been several questions about "test prep" procedures now that the testing window is open. If you have students who have been working in the Performance Coach books, they may continue to do that work. If you stop instruction to have students practice test questions on the OST practice tests, that is considered "test prep" and needs to stop for the remainder of the window. The best way to determine if something is "test prep" versus regular instruction would be to ask yourself if it has been in place prior to testing and if it's connected to what you are teaching or have taught. The exception to this would be if you have students on a practice test site to review testing tools and/or question types. Please note though, these have been reviewed for 4th and 5th graders in their technology classes.

6. We still need 8 more classes worth of letters for 6th grade testing. If you haven't had your class help, please consider taking some time to write our amazing 6th graders some encouraging letters to begin their testing next week.

7. You will likely get an email sometime this week about Roster Verification and Linkage for Value-Added. The Teacher window opens on April 18 and goes for several weeks into May. We will be reviewing linkage and roster verification procedures at our April 24th staff meeting.

8. We are excited to share that Kristen Messenheimer will be transitioning from 4th grade to our Intermediate Literacy Coach to lead our work implementing Lucy Calklins Writing Units of Study next year. She will be working closely with the Primary Literacy Coach Angelica Johnson to make sure our students have a consistent experience as they progress through the elementary grades. To learn more about Kristen's experiences prior to joining us this year, please revisit the new staff biographies shared at the beginning of the year by clicking here.

Week at a Glance

Announcements: R Wing- 6th Graders- See Pledge Schedule

Monday, April 16th- Culture Committee Meeting 8:30

Tuesday, April 17th- Specialist Meeting 8:30; MTSS meetings 8:30; 4th Grade OST-ELA Part 1-See schedule

Wednesday, April 18th- 5th and 6th Grade ELA Meetings; 4th Grade Team Meeting; Pre Alg. A Meeting 8:30; 4th Grade OST-ELA Part 2-See schedule

Thursday, April 19th- Science, Math 6, Math 5, Social Studies 6 Meetings 8:30; 5th Grade OST-Math Part 1-See schedule

Friday, April 20th- 5th Grade OST-Math Part 2-See schedule

OST Reminders (Repeat from Last Week)

1. Be sure to check this schedule daily. You'll want to match the date to the tab on the bottom. Double check that your special or lunch is not adjusted due to testing.

2. Please make sure that things are covered or taken off of the walls in your classroom if students can use something to help them on the test. When in doubt, take it down. Let us know if you have any questions.

3. Student teachers and extra adults in the room other than necessary staff need to leave the room during testing time. They could certainly help monitor hallways/common space areas and restrooms for noise level during testing.

4. All identified ELL students have extended time to complete their test

5. Testing tickets will be printed by homeroom classroom. Testing ticket's along with mints will be available the first day of testing in room 137. You will find an envelope with your name on it. Inside the envelope will be your testing tickets (by homeroom) and a bag of mints. This will be ready to go by 7:30 am on your first day of testing. It will be YOUR responsibility to keep your testing tickets until the final day of testing is completed. Teachers that are pulling students from a homeroom should plan to pick up their testing tickets from the students' homeroom teacher. If you lose a testing ticket or need them reprinted, please email Donna.

6. Review the Script and Test Administration Manual. The paper copy of the script will be delivered to your mailbox on Monday. If you are not a homeroom teacher, you can find additional copies by the copier in the office.

7. If you are giving the assessment, these two documents must be on file:

New Albany Testing Administrative Guidelines

New Albany Annual Notice

*You likely turned them in prior to our first round of MAP testing.

8. An email will be sent to you the morning of your test. This will contain any last minute information as well as links to everything you will need.

9. Make sure you have our phone numbers in your phone. Text or call with any issues that arise. Katie 614-746-3888, Kate 419-308-8364 or the office 3000 (they will radio us).

10. If you need a refresher or haven't reset your password see below: Recommended Test Administrator Certification Course (Recommended for all new teachers and anyone who needs a refresher). As promised here is a direct link to reset your TIDE password. Simply click the bottom red line of text in the sign in box and reset your password. **** You must reset your password each year, and must do this prior to administering testing.

Testing Accomodations and Information (Repeat from last week)

Many of our students receive testing accommodations for OST. If you have a student in Reading or Math Intervention with Angie, Michelle, or Amanda, those students will take their test in a small group. Angie and Amanda will be helping administer the test for Michelle while she is out on Maternity Leave. If you have students that are receiving an extra dose of test prep, they will take their test with the class. If you have a question about students that work with our T and L team, please see Kate.

Students that are on a 504 may have testing accommodations as well. It is the classroom teachers job to make sure that students receive the correct accommodation. While we've double checked our work, we could use your help by making sure your students on a 504 receive the correct accommodations for testing.

Students who are on an IEP may have testing accommodations as well. Their case manager's along with Jodie Faller and Amy Smith have determined how these students will be grouped.

Please also check the accommodations spreadsheet under the tab called Quillin ELL to look for ELL students who will be receiving small group testing and/or translator services.

It is very important that we ALL review documents regarding testing accommodations (including all 504's and IEP's ) just to make sure we have an appropriate plan prior to the first day of testing.


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