All Things Bally

Published: November 10, 2019

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Principals Message

Inclement Weather

In the event of inclement weather, we will send a call/email/text to the numbers you have on file in our district database. These messages arrive after I receive my call from the district, typically between 5am and 5:30am.

We do, sometimes start with a delay and then move to a cancellation. Be aware that a second call may come later in the morning.

In the event of an early dismissal, we intend to send your child home in the manner you communicated to them when they walked out the door. If you need to change their afternoon transportation, please call 905-2620 and we will relay the message to them.

Erika Bowles

James Demetrakis

This Week's Events

Monday: Veterans Day Assembly, Drama Club Practice

Tuesday: Boys Basketball at Woodland

Wednesday: Drama Club, Photography Club, Books and Bites, Yearbook Club, Teen librarian at all three lunches, NJHS Induction Ceremony, at 6:30pm Academic Team Match at St. Paul (6th only)

Thursday: Academic Team Practice, Art Club, Comic Book Club

Friday: Forensics Team Practice, Sign Language Club

Ballyshannon SEL, Counseling, and Guidance

CLICK HERE to learn more about the programs Mrs. Palmer and Mrs. Steinbrunner organize for our kids.

Info From Our Teachers

6th Grade Newsletter for November--Click here!

7th Grade Newsletter for November...Click here!

8th Grade Newsletter for November--Click here!

Info from our PTSA

Thank you for participating in the Colorful Run. Update coming soon about profits and prizes.

The 8th grade is selling batteries for their 8th grade dance. Don't be left without batteries at Christmas!! Click here to order:

Our annual Poinsettia Sale begins very soon. These make GREAT gifts and centerpieces.

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Click the link below for a great article on Standards Based Learning.

Making Sense of Standards Based Learning

We use standards based learning at our school. Here's how we design it:

1. We use the district timeline for each grade level and each content area. (Click HERE and then click District Curriculum from the home page.)

2. Once we have identified the standards we will be teaching according to the district timeline, we create Proficiency Scales. (You can view all of your child's proficiency scales on his/her Google site. Ask them to pull it up for you at home.)

3. After we create our proficiency scales, we design a unit plan and daily lesson plans. The unit plan and daily lesson plans are created to lead kids to mastery of the standards through general and differentiated instruction.

Proficiency Scales will tell you what is required to score a 1, 2, 3, or 4 for each and every standard.

  • Students receive a 1 if they require help from the teacher in understanding the prerequisite skills of a standard.
  • Students receive a 2 if they have mastered all of the prerequisite skills and academic vocabulary necessary to master the standard.
  • Students receive a 3 if they have completely mastered a standard and demonstrated mastery over time.
  • Students receive a 4 if they pursue extended or deeper learning of a standard after they have achieved mastery. This will most likely occur during the tutorial period or as extension activities in class.

Teachers will begin awarding 1.5, 2.5, 3.5 at the next grading period if you have not seen them on progress reports already.

  • A 1.5 will mean that the student requires assistance on some skills, but is reaching mastery of prerequisite skills on their own for others.
  • A 2.5 will mean that the student has mastered all of the prerequisite skills and some aspects of the standard, but not full mastery of the standard.
  • A 3.5 will mean that the student has mastered the standard and has demonstrated some level of enrichment of the standard beyond mastery.

At the end of the year, the 1, 1.5, 2, 2.5, 3, 3.5, and 4 are converted to number and letter grades on the official report card.

4 = A+, 100

3.5 = A, 95

3 = A-, 90

2.5 = B, 85

2.0 = B-, 80

1.5 = C, 75

1 = C-, 70

All grades below 1 will register as an Incomplete. If the course is not remediated through summer school, the Incomplete becomes an F.

Because most grade-level standards should be mastered over the course of a year, it isn't logical to assume that children will have straight 3's in the first quarter. This way of learning and assessing learning is a yearlong process.

Traditional grading can be an inaccurate representation of a child's knowledge. Here are two examples:

  • Student 1 is struggling with the content and often confused in class. However, he takes advantage of every extra credit assignment the teacher gives. This boosts his grade when he doesn't do well on tests. He also completes all of his classwork and homework so he gets full participation points. These participation points are averaged into his low points he receives on assessments. At the end of the term, he receives an A, but he understands very little of what has been taught.
  • Student 2 can listen to the teacher teach in class, never write anything down, and still pass all of the assessments with flying colors. He often gets a perfect score on quizzes and tests. He does not, however, do any of his homework and many times doesn't complete his classwork. His participation scores are very low. When averaged with his assessment results, he receives a final score of C+ on the report card.

If you are the parent of student 1, do you assume he will have a good ACT score? As parents we should expect that what the school communicates to us is an accurate representation of knowledge. It may not be.

If you are the parent of student 2, do you assume he will struggle or is not learning? Would you label this student as lazy? The reality is that this student's grades in a traditional grading system may communicate one of those ideas but in actuality this may be a student who is not challenged, has already mastered the material, and who needs enrichment.

Standards based learning is a means of providing transparent communication to students and families about the understanding of the grade-level content. We implement standards based learning because we have confidence this method of learning will best prepare your child for high school and postsecondary studies. Your child works with their proficiency scales regularly. He/she should be able to pull them up for you and explain where they are for each standard.

Standards based learning also helps students realize deep learning takes time, resilience, grit, determination, and perseverance. Deep learning takes practice.

We know this can be tough for all of us who were raised with traditional grades in school. We're accustomed to points-based grading. We get a 5/10 on a quiz, we do a 10 point extra credit assignment, we turn in all of our homework, we get a 105% for the quarter. We feel good...but what about that 50% on the quiz?

Give yourself some time to learn more about standards based learning. Give us feedback and give us ideas for how to make this more understandable for you. We will continue to deliver education events to help support you as parents.

Mrs. Kegley will be organizing another round of Standards Based Learning 101 sessions during November. Stay tuned. We'll get you supported. As our instructional coach, Mrs. Kegley is also available for individual consult, explanation of how to use Canvas as a parent, and so much more.

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School Hours

Doors open: 7:00am (students report to gym or cafe)

Breakfast: 7:00-7:30am

Tardy Bell: 7:35am (students must be in their 1st period classroom)

Buses, Walkers, Bike Riders dismiss: 2:35pm

Car Riders dismiss: 2:40pm