Spot On!

A Monthly E-Newsletter for Spotswood Educators

March 2015 Vol 3, Edition 6

Motivating a Community

of Learners

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Dear Colleagues,


The calendar says it's Spring but the weather still feels like Winter. Although we have not fully transitioned into warmer weather, I think we are all hopeful that it will arrive soon. With the arrival of Spring comes thoughts of the school year beginning to wind down. Just three months remain in the school year, yet there is still so much to be done.


Before I discuss upcoming events, I want to take time to say THANK YOU to everyone in our school district who had a role in making the PARCC testing experience successful for our students. There were hours, days, and weeks dedicated to device preparation, building schedule changes, weather schedule changes, student preparation, and modifications to instructional time. I personally thank everyone for their efforts and energy in assuring that our district, students, technology, and schools were ready for PARCC. This was no easy feat, but we made it through thanks to the effort of everyone involved.


As April approaches, I encourage you to continue participating in our Going Google training schedule. So far it has been successful thanks to the efforts of our pilot teams and staff who have attended the sessions. We will update our YouTube channel with videos from each training so staff who missed the sessions will have a resource available. Additionally, we are discussing PD training for the summer. This will include Google training.


Finally, I wish all of you a relaxing and enjoyable Spring Break. I know the rough winter has reduced our overall break but I hope you find time to spend with your family and friends.


Scott

Going Google Training Schedule

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Going Google

Apps and Tech Stuff

Digital Citizenship

Digital Citizenship - Tom Manley

FACT Meeting Minutes

FACT Meeting – March 17, 2015

GAFE and Classroom

Google training is going well. The more hands on practice that is received the better.

Videos and Tip of the Week are very helpful.

Effective July 1, 2015 the district will officially transfer to Google. At this time everyone should begin using their SPSD.us email.

The conversion process to Google is fairly simple, by clicking and dragging files. It has been suggested that folders be created before transferring files. It might be advantageous to copy your files onto a flash drive before transferring your files. Step by step directions on how to transfer files will be available in May. Tech support will also be available to help with this transition.

Google is teaming up with T-Mobile and Sprint. This partnership should help to make a seamless connection between all devices.

Laptops

District laptops from last year seem to get exceptionally hot even when they are lifted so air can properly circulate.

PD certificates for district workshops and in-service days should be received shortly.

Calendar

The district will consider incorporating an extra snow day into our 2016/2017 calendar. Our 2015/2016 calendar will remain unchanged since it has already been approved and distributed.

Class size – Enrollment and class size will be reviewed to determine if an additional first grade class will be required at Schoenly.

PARCC -

PARCC testing is running smoothly in all schools. Our children were well- prepared and ready for this test. While the content may have been challenging, the students were able to efficiently navigate the computerized format of this test. Dr. Rocco was exceptionally proud of how well we were able to get things up and running with minimal issues. He also would like to thank all staff and teachers involved for how prepared they were and how effectively they administered the test.

The Department of Education will need to come up with a standardized policy for all schools on how to handle “Opt outs”. In order for districts to receive funding, 95% of students need to take the test.

Apps

Graphite.org helps educators find information that is aligned with our standards. This app helps us find things that are relevant to what we teach and are rated by other educators.

Send e-newsletter ideas, articles or resources to srocco@spotswood.k12.nj.us