Teaching and Learning News

February 5, 2016

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District of Distinction

Fort Thomas Independent was one of only five school districts in the state to be named a District of Distinction by the Kentucky Department of Education. To qualify as a District of Distinction, a district has to have an overall accountability score at the 95th percentile or higher (based on achievement, gap, growth, college and career readiness, graduation rate and program reviews, meet its current year Annual Measure Objective, have at least a 95 percent participation rate, and not have a Focus or Priority School in the district.

New Book Club Selection

The FTIS Book Club is reading The Storied Life of A.J. Fikry, written by Gabrielle Zevin. We will be meeting on Thursday, March 24. Our location and time will be announced soon.

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Annual Foundation Dance

“LIVE FROM FORT THOMAS, IT’S SATURDAY NIGHT!” is the theme of this year’s Fort Thomas Educational Foundation fundraiser dance! http://www.ftef.org/

Where: Fort Thomas Mess Hall, Tower Park

When: March 5th, 2016 8pm-Midnight

The Naked Karate Girls, a very popular and fun cover band will be playing and you can dress up for the SNL theme! In addition to the live music and dancing, a variety of foods from local restaurants are included in the ticket price. There will be a cash bar with craft beer, wine and mixed drinks and there will also be bourbon tasting! If you have any theme ideas for HMS teachers or anything let us know!

You can also take part in the silent auction! Bidding begins Friday, February 19 at 8am and closes Saturday, March 5, the evening of the dance. https://www.biddingforgood.com/auction/auctionhome.action?vhost=ftefauction

Tickets are $45 now or $50 at the door. You can also pay online with credit card at www.ftef.org and click “donate now” and choose the donation type as “dance ticket”.

Money raised goes to support The FTEF which does so much for us and the community. From renovations to teacher grants, they are always moving the district forward. It’s a great cause and will no doubt be a lot of fun so buy your ticket ASAP.

Rita Bird Pictures Needed

More pictures are needed for "The Bird Project" Facebook page. Also, please be sure to like our page so that you can see all of the cool things our students are doing.

New Deadlines for 2016 Outstanding Biology Teacher Award

Due to overwhelming interest, the dates for nominations and applications for the Kentucky Outstanding Biology Teacher Award (OBTA) have changed. The new deadline for nominations is February 7.

Current biology/life science instructors (grades 7-12) with at least three years of public, private or parochial school teaching experience are eligible. A major portion of the nominee’s career must have been devoted to the teaching of biology/life science. NABT membership is not a requirement. Unsuccessful candidates may be re-nominated in subsequent years. OBTA winners are ineligible for 10 years after selection.

Colleagues, administrators, students, the teacher/candidates themselves, or anyone competent to judge the candidate’s teaching effectiveness can make nominations. For more information on the process or to fill out a nomination form click here. Alternatively, forms may be e-mailed to the Kentucky OBTA Director, Peggy Welch, peggywelch851@gmail.com. Nominees will then be e-mailed a formal application packet. Completed applications are now due March 13.

Second Annual Innovate: Education (Attachment)

The Second Annual Innovate: Education will be held in Louisville on February 23 at the Henry Clay hotel. This summit will bring together business and education leaders from across the state to discuss innovation in public education and to brainstorm ideas to resolve issues blocking that innovation. We are excited to have two-time NBA All Star and Ballard High School graduate Allan Houston as our keynote speaker. Allan encourages education and life-skill development for disadvantaged youth through his charitable foundation, also while serving as the Assistant General Manager to the New York Knicks.

Attached is a flyer that contains information about the agenda. For more information, you can reach out to Amanda Riley, at The Fund for Transforming Education in Kentucky (The Fund).

Mindfulness Demonstration for Students

Why not take some time to learn about the benefits of mindfulness from a student perspective? Watch this clip to see a brief demonstration of how mindfulness can be demonstrated for students.
Mindfulness has the potential to be a very useful component in prevention and treatment efforts because of its effectiveness in reducing emotional distress and promoting emotional balance, improving attention, and contributing to motivated learning.

Digital Photo Contest for Middle School Students

The Kentucky Energy and Environment Cabinet (EEC) has kicked off its sixth-annual Capture the Earth digital photography contest for all Kentucky students in grades 6-8.

The Capture the Earth photo contest is open to all Kentucky middle school students. Judges will look for originality and creativity, photo composition, and a brief explanation of how well the photograph celebrates the beauty and diversity of Kentucky and encourages others to care about the state’s environment through stewardship and conservation.

EEC is accepting entries until 4:30 p.m. Friday, April 8. The winner will receive two nights’ lodging at a Kentucky State Resort Park of the winner’s choosing with his or her family. Middle school students may e-mail one photograph as an attachment to kidsphotocontest@ky.gov.

Official rules are available at http://eec.ky.gov/Pages/earthday.aspx. For more information, call Ricki Gardenhire at (502) 564-5525, or via e-mail at Ricki.gardenhire@ky.gov.

Pimser Workshops

NGSS Workshops
Learn how to design experiences to help students move towards a more scientific conception. Experience activities as a learner and discuss implications for best practice and highly effective teaching with other professionals. Leave each session with examples, resources, and a deepened understanding of how to implement the NGSS.

1-Day Short Courses K-5 $125
Strengthen grade-level specific content understanding and understanding of supporting science and engineering practices at the designated grade bands.

Weather and Climate
Grades K & 3 - June 28

Earth Systems
Grades 2, 4 & 5 - June 29

Space Systems
Grades 1 & 5 - June 30

2-Day Learn & Apply Sessions K-12 $250
Concentrated time to deepen understanding of critical components, examine support resources, and develop a product for use in the classroom. Leave with examples, resources, processes, and a useable classroom product.

Developing Units Aligned to the NGSS
June 13-14

Developing Classroom Assessments Aligned to the NGSS
June 21-22

ACT Science Boot Camp
June 23-24 $250

Experience the kind of learning you will want to provide for your students while learning research-based, best practices necessary for increasing college and career readiness. Practice strategies for accessing complex texts, analyzing data and opposing arguments. Develop tasks requiring these key processes and build a bank of test prep strategies to support learning.

History Educator Presentations Sought

Have an innovative classroom practice or engaging historical content to share with other educators? Then, please send in a session proposal for the Kentucky Historical Society’s

2016 Kentucky History Education Conference. The conference will take place from 9 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. ET on Thursday, June 23 at the Thomas D. Clark Center for Kentucky History in Frankfort.

Those interested in presenting should e-mail Whitney Todd with a tentative session title and short abstract (up to 200 words) as well as a resume. Each proposal should be loosely tied to this year’s theme “Taking a Stand in History” and be covered in about an hour.

Deadline for proposals is March 15. Those who are selected will be notified by April 1. Accepted presenters will have their conference fee waived and lunch provided.

If you do not want to present, please still mark your calendar for June 23-24 for the Kentucky History Education Conference (KHEC) on Thursday and the KHEC Field Study Bus Trip on Friday. Registrations will open April 15.

Upcoming Dates

  • February 8: Board of Education Meeting
  • February 9: Ed Study Seminar
  • February 10: Extra PD Session #3
  • February 11: Progress Reports
  • February 14: Valentine's Day
  • February 15: Presidents' Day, No School

Trivia Question of the Week

Who "kissed the girls and made them cry"?

Be the first person to respond with the correct answer, and you will receive a small prize.