Black Bob Staff Memo

week of May 9-13, 2016

Upcoming Events

Next Week

Monday, May 9 A Day

9:00 2nd Grade Safety House

6:30 5th Grade Celebration

Tuesday, May 10 B Day

Collaboration Meeting Day

5th grade to Wildwood (Trisha out of the building)

Wednesday, May 11 C Day

National school Nurse Day

AM Kindergarten Eat at School

Grade level talent shows during specials time

4:00 BLT meeting

Thursday, May 12 D Day

4:00 Battle of the Books 1st Round

7:00 PTA meeting

Friday, May 13 E Day

Wacky Hair Day--Spirit Day

3:00 LAST Brag reward for the year

Next week:

Monday, May 16 A Day

10:00 and 1:00 Classified Staff Meeting

3:00 School Wide Writing Celebration

4:00 Mary Lu's Retirement Celebration

Tuesday, May 17 B day

1:00 FT General Ed Transition Meeting

8:45 Final Battle of Books (grades 3, 4, and 5 invited)

Wednesday, May 18 C day (last day for specials)

Last day for EC and Kindergarten

9:00 Talent Show

Happy Birthday, Brittany!!

Thursday, May 19

Sign up in lounge for specialists to take your class for 30 minutes outside.

Last 1/2 day of school for 1-5th grade students

11:40 Dismissal

12:00 PTA Luncheon and Staff farewell--everyone welcome!

Friday May 20

Professional Day

Assessment Updates

Fall MAP Window

August 29th through September 23rd

MDPT Scoring

The MDPT scoring day was a huge success. A big thank you should be giv-en to all of the classroom teachers, IRT’s, department chairs, and prin-cipals who made it go so smoothly!

CETE was especially grateful for the number of MDPT’s that were scored by Olathe teachers. The following is an excerpt from an email from Mary Matthew regarding our scoring:

Thank you for participating in the MDPT scoring process! Because of your participation we have finished scoring both 3rd and 4th grade prompts and are now at the half way mark for almost all of the other grades! We will be sending a follow up survey in the next few weeks which we hope you will encourage staff to participate in so that we can improve our process for the future! Again, thank you, thank you, thank you!”


The State is providing access to IStation for Reading (an on-line individualized reading program). It is a 5 year plan that started in 2015-16 and the State would need to authorize it every year.

Basic info:

Students take an on-line reading assessment that is adaptive but starts out grade specifically. From that it creates an instructional plan based on the needs identified in the assessment.

State provided on-line program includes Reading, Writing, and a home component that goes preK-8 but is most appropriate for elementary.

Istation can be used on a computer or iPad.

Once the student completes the on-line assessment, the student gets placed in the on-line continuum of instruction based on the assessment. The teacher cannot over-ride this and place the student. The student can’t “click” out of it to another spot in the program (SPED people liked this feature).

OnOn-line instruction is composed of 16 cycles (units). Cycle 0 begins with letter knowledge, by the time students get to Cycle 12, it is using content area text to develop comprehension (Earth Science, Timeless tales, etc.)

AssAssessment and instruction follows “Best Practice for Reading”

Monthly an assessment is embedded into the student’s lesson (the first time the student logs in that month) and students then get moved in their placement in the program.

No minimum usage requirement, recommend 2-3 on-line sessions weekly of:

K: 15 minutes

1-5: 30 minutes

Often used as a center and may take up “2 rotations of centers”.

To use Istation at home, the teacher sends an Istation generated letter after the student has completed the on-line assessment in school. At home students can do Ipractice and instructional games, they cannot take any of the assessments at home.

Will require a 2 hour PD for teachers to know how to interpret data generated in the program. PD is either a “live” webinar that Mary Jo will set up for late August, early Sept. between 4:00-5:30 that teachers will access through their computers in their own building/classroom. If the identified date doesn’t work for a teacher’s schedule, the teacher can view the webinar when if works for them (it will be a “video” of the webinar that was provided for the district)

Implementation is flexible based on buildings wanting to implement it, buildings are NOT required to implement Istation. Not all teachers in a building need to participate, it is very flexible, it can be just one teacher, but I would recommend at least 2 so the teacher would have a “buddy” to work through questions they might have, it can be just a resource teacher or a classroom teacher. PD would take place after school or during building professional development time, not during district professional development time

Istation is implemented as an additional and optional resource and it is NOT as a part of the MTSS process. It can be utilized as a strategic option for independent work, NOT as a replacement for direct instruction by a teacher either whole or small group

Istation can be utilize in Gen Ed or SPED.

Please have a clear understanding that this program is funded through the State, it is expected to be renewed by the state for the next four years, and will not be funded through District funds once State funding has concluded.

We will upload all students and all buildings for Istation in late August. By being uploaded it does not mean anyone needs to use Istation but it is easier to upload as a system. Mary Jo will contact principals to see if their building is interested in Istation in August, if so, the principal will provide Mary Jo with a contact person (a teacher or principal, the responsibility will be to communicate to teachers who are interested about the training and to communicate to Mary Jo if there are challenges). Students can start using Istation once their teacher has received the training.

Buildings who field tested Istation this spring: BW, FV, IC, ML, WV. Field testing was not done schoolwide but rather with interested teachers.

Teaching and Learning Staff Changes

April is always an exciting and busy time in the school year as teachers and administrators are working tirelessly to strongly finish a school year and yet frantically planning for the upcoming school year. During this busy time of year, I wanted to share the current staffing changes taking place in the Teaching and Learning Department.

Gail Holder, Assistant Director of Teaching & Learning

Gail Holder has accepted the opportunity to serve as Assistant Director of Teaching and Learning. Along with her new administrative duties, Gail will continue with her district secondary ELA responsibilities next year. Along with assisting in managing the daily details of the T &L Department, a large portion of Gail’s responsibility in this position will be supervising the Curriculum Coordinators including the purposeful integration of next year’s district initiatives into district professional development days. We have been able to fund this position with re-purposed T & L personnel funds by not filling the two classified administrative assistant vacancies in the Assessment Department, and so this position is of no additional cost to the district.

Brad Bingesser, District Facilitator of Physical Education and Health

Due to budget constraints and the need to provide district support in the state’s new accreditation focus areas, Brad’s Curriculum Coordinator position has been modified to Facilitator. We are extremely appreciative that Brad will remain in the physical education facilitator leader-ship capacity and will continue to lead the district physical education and health teachers, especially in the areas of district professional development days, curriculum and equipment. For the 2016.2017 school year, Brad will be teaching and coaching at Frontier Trail.

Lindsey Colling, Part-Time District International Language Curriculum Coordinator

With the reduction of the elementary Spanish program, Lindsey’s full-time coordinator position has been modified to a part-time position. For the 2016.2017 school year, Lindsey will be the district part-time international language coordinator and then will be teaching part-time at Olathe South High School.

College and Career Curriculum Coordinator

With the district and state’s increased focus and accreditation man-dates on supporting the mental health, well-being, and positive transition to post-secondary journeys for all students, the district has created a new coordinating position. Along with the aforementioned details, this position will also serve as the district liaison to all k-12 counselors and the person responsible for implementing the district’s plan for Individual Plans of Study, a new requirement with the State of Kansas. This position has been funded through the reduction of both the Physical Education Coordinator and International Language Coordinator; therefore this position is of no additional cost to the district.