Teaching and Learning News

March 15, 2016

Val-Ed Survey Window Ends March 17

As part of the PPGES process, teachers and other certified staff will be asked to participate in the Val-Ed principal survey. The Vanderbilt Assessment of Leadership in Education is a research-based evaluation tool that measures the effectiveness of school leaders by providing a detailed assessment of a principal’s perceived performance. The 360 degree survey is taken by teachers, principals, and administrators to provide comprehensive and constructive feedback to the principal. The results of the survey are designed to help the principal become a better leader for his/her school in much the same way that the Student Voice Survey provides helpful feedback to teachers from their students.

Your role in this, as a teacher, is completely anonymous. While you are taking the survey online, you are not identified in any way. There is no “login” so there is no trail back to your computer. This is to assure you that you can answer the questions carefully and completely.

We very much appreciate your taking time to complete the survey. It will take about 20 minutes. Principals must receive a certain number of surveys in order for the results to be registered, so it is very important that everyone participate.

The survey window runs from March 7-March 17.

You will be receiving a letter shortly that is addressed to “Teacher 1,” “Teacher 2,” etc. The letters will be passed out at random, so again, there is no way to know who is taking the survey. The letters contain the information you need to take the appropriate survey.

Current Val-Ed Completions Rates

Principals must have at least a 50% response rate in order to receive their Val-Ed results. Current completion rates are as follows:
Woodfill- 47%
Moyer- 63%
Johnson- 66%
HMS- 56%
HHS- 73%
The deadline to complete the survey is Thursday, March 17.

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. The location and time will be at the Fort Thomas Antique Mall at 7pm.

Mark Your Calendars for K-Prep Testing Windows

Elementary: May 5-11
Middle: May 5-11
High: May 19-25

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.
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KySTE Teacher of the Year

Congratulations to Heidi Neltner for being selected as the KySTE Teacher of the Year! Heidi received her award Friday during the closing ceremonies at the annual KySTE Conference. Way to go, Heidi!

KySTE Presenters

Thank you to all of our faculty and staff who volunteered to present at KySTE. I had the opportunity to see some of the presentations, and Fort Thomas was very well-represented. Everyone did a great job, and it was really neat to see how many of you began with the big picture in mind and included our district's mission and vision. We are truly living it in Fort Thomas!

Summer PD Day

Friday, May 27 will be a district professional development day for the 2016-2017 school year. The focus will be on technology integration. Please make plans to attend.

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.

Compete for $1,000 investment prize in investor education contest

Dash for the Stash, an investor education and protection program and contest, will begin next week at participating libraries across Kentucky.

The contest will run from March 15 to May 15 and is being launched by the Kentucky Department of Financial Institutions and the non-profit Investor Protection Institute, which will present one statewide winner with a $1,000 prize to open or add to a retirement investment account.

The contest is similar to a scavenger hunt, but instead of collecting objects, participants collect information about saving and investing. People can enter the contest by visiting a host location, then going online to answer questions that can be found on posters at those locations.

Click here for more information, including a list of participating locations.

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National Crime Victims’ Rights Week Poster Contest

The Office of the Attorney General, Office of Victims Advocacy, with assistance from the Kentucky Association of Child Advocacy Centers, announces a poster contest for National Crime Victims’ Rights Week, April 10 – 16. The contest is open to children and youth from throughout Kentucky. All posters received by close of business March 21 are eligible for participation in the contest. Contest rules and additional information can be found at the following link: http://ag.ky.gov/family/victims/Pages/default.aspx.

Upcoming Dates

  • March 15: Report Cards
  • March 16: Extra PD Session 4
  • March 17 & 22: Ed Study Seminar 6
  • March 21: Elementary CINSAM
  • March 24: McGraw Hill Digital Conversion Site Visit @ HMS & HHS
  • March 28: Middle School CINSAM
  • April 4-8: Spring Break

Trivia Question of the Week

What was St. Patrick's real name?

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