Principal's Newsletter

September 22, 2015

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Way to go to 5th grade for inviting Dr. Buckman to help with objectives! She was impressed with the deep conversation about instruction and the plans for more intentional planning and teaching!

Our counselors ROCK at Kid Talk!! They are conducting classroom observations, teaching about zones, and forming groups to provide interventions for students!

Second Grade was engaged in great conversations about writing during their PD day. Lots of talk about Writer's Notebooks and aligning their instruction to their writing rubric using backwards design!

Reading teachers are busy seeing kids and even get to fit in Kindergartners this year!

Kudos to Fourth Grade for saving time at the end of their PLC meeting for discussing objectives and sharing resources for helping kids meet the objectives!

SPED is working on a new system this year called Tienet and they are doing a great job navigating this new system! They are also problem-solving ways their PLC can better support students and the work of classroom teachers.

First Grade is getting ready to collaboratively score writing on their half day! They have spent time organizing their assessments and looking over their end of unit assessments to plan.

Great conversation in Third Grade about Galileo and using student data to monitor teacher effectiveness!

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Title Funds

There are Title Funds from last year that have rolled into this year. We have until the end of the month to encumber those funds. PLC teams have recently been approved to have 4 FULL collaboration days that will consist of professional development aligned to our SIP plan and time for planning. Your EDCs have more information on dates and will be getting your input on your topic for professional development.

I am also working on getting EVERY teacher some Cooperative Learning resources. This is also part of our SIP and we plan to move forward with this part of creating the learning environment later in the year. When we start that professional development I want you to have resources at your finger tips! Stay tuned...

Some other items are in the works and as soon as I can share that information I will send it your way!

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Walkthroughs and Objective Expectations

Remember walkthroughs are just a snippet of what is happening in instruction. We don't see what happened before we walked in and we don't see what happens after. All three administrators welcome conversation about the feedback you receive from a walkthrough. If you have trouble finding one of use please see Jane. She has access to my calendar and can schedule a time to chat.

When we come in the classroom please keep on teaching. We are there to see the great work happening in the classroom and we don't want you to stop teaching to explain what you are doing. Walkthroughs are about learning and getting a pulse on what is happening in the building and are not used as an evaluative tool.

The purpose for all three administrators to come at the same time is to calibrate our scoring and feedback to remain as consistent as possible throughout the process. We are learning too from the work that you do! Keep up all the great things you are doing!

The building expectation at this point is to continue growing and learning to implement the 4 recommendations to be QFIC. An objective should be posted for the subject/content you are currently teaching.

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Progress Monitoring

The building expectations for Progress Monitoring through AIMS Web is that students who fall below the 25th percentile on the norms table will need to be progress monitored weekly by the classroom teacher. If you need the norms table see Angie Regan. FOR NOW only progress monitor using RCBM in grades 2-5. In grades K-1 you will choose one sub-test in the following priority order:

1. Letter Naming Fluency (if this is lowest start)

2. Letter Sound Fluency

3. Phoneme Segmentation

4. Nonsense Word Fluency

There are various times in your daily schedule that you can be progress monitoring. You could use time in the morning as kids are working on morning work, take one day from a group time, or progress monitor a student while guided reading groups are transitioning from one group to another. If you conduct one on one conference with students during reading you could use a conference time with a student to progress monitor.

Do not stress if a walkthrough is conducted and you are progress monitoring. We get it. We know this is part of the expectations for gathering information about teaching and learning. The more important thing during that walkthrough would be that the students who are working independently are working on meaningful work.

Angie will be providing some optional training on progress monitoring the week of October 5th. You do not have PLC that week, but you may attend the training if you need it!

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What Are Your Administrators Learning?

This year administrators are required to have a learning goal and believe it or not it has to be SMART! The three of us are working on the CITW work and providing teachers with feedback that is valuable and useful. During the afternoons on the PD half days we meet and will be researching best practices on teacher feedback.

Our personal learning goal is that 90% of administrator walkthrough data will be QFIC in setting objectives by the end of the 2015-2016 school year. We will be conducting research, practice giving feedback, and constantly monitoring our walkthrough data to ensure we meet our goal. We are always looking for ways to improve as instructional leaders and through our learning we want to improve learning for teachers too.

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SMART Goals and Student Data Monitoring Forms

Many of you have been asking about SMART Goals and the Student Data Monitoring Forms. For PLC SMART Goals the expectation is that ALL of the priority standards in ELA and Math be monitored. For the Student Data Monitoring Form your PLC will choose one subject either ELA or Math and monitor 2-3 priority standards that are the lowest.

Administrators are taking a data day on October 1st to pull this data for you. You will be given time on October 19th to write your SMART Goal and complete the Student Data Monitoring Form with your PLC. We will spend that morning getting a current reality as a building and you will do the same as a PLC. We originally asked for this information to be turned in by October 9th, but you can wait until the 19th when we work through the information as a building.

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Major or Minor?

If a student has gone through all the steps on the minor form and makes it to a major (step 4) the referral needs to get to the office to be addressed by an administrator. This should be sent down with another student or dropped off by the teacher unless the student is disrupting the learning environment or a safety concern to other students. At that point ask for an administrator or CPI team to come to the classroom.

If a student exhibits a behavior that is a major referral, follow the same process. The office needs the referrals in order to address the situations. If you have questions regarding a particular student or a consequence for a student please see an administrator.

The Behavior Steering Team meets weekly to discuss students and next steps to help students be more successful. The overall goal is to address student behavior skill deficits in a positive manner and provide classroom teachers with support for these students.

More information and professional development for behavior and our building process will be provided on October 19th.

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Intervention Data Team Update

The intervention data team met last week and finalized the list of students who have met the data triggers for intervention. They meet again on Thursday to begin to look at grade level schedules, select an interventionists, and select the appropriate intervention for the students. PLC input will be sought in order to ensure students are placed in the most appropriate intervention. The team will also share the data for student selection.

Any student receiving a Tier 2 or Tier 3 intervention MUST also be seen daily in guided reading by the classroom teacher. Interventions do not replace Tier 1 guided reading instruction rather it is a dose of something different to address a specific skill deficit.

Hold tight for just a little while longer.....interventions will be starting sometime in second quarter.

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If you need an administrator at a parent/teacher conference for support please let one of us know and we will be there.

Remember the goal of conferences is 100% participation! If you have a parent who can't come in or who doesn't show up for their scheduled time please work to reach them via a phone conference. When your conferences are complete for the evening you may go home. Don't forget to turn in your conference form to the office when you are finished.

PTO will provide dinner from Red Burrito on Tuesday night between the end of the day and the start of conferences. In the past building funds have been used to provide food on the other conference night, however, Principals have been asked to suspend spending money on food from building budgets. If you would like to participate, Jane will be collecting $5 and we will be ordering pizza and salad for dinner on Thursday, October 8th. Your fabulous administrators will be providing dessert! We want to make this night easy so we will take care of the ordering and get everything set up so it's ready by the time school ends.

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PLC Needs Survey

Please take the PLC Needs Assessment individually. Below are the links. If you meet as a building PLC use the first link and if you are part of a district PLC use the second link.

We will be using the results from this survey on October 19th to create PLC plans and set next steps for PLC teams. Make sure you take the survey to have your voice heard!

This was also sent in an email from Michele Kelly, our District PDC representative. So far only 15 people have taken the survey and the goal is to have 100% participation.

Building Link

District Link