Designing our Design LAB

2015-16: A Year of Learning, Making and Designing Together

The Week Ahead

This is a short week before Spring Break. But as a failing school, it's vital that we not treat the week as free time. I expect teaching and learning to be occurring all day every day, Monday through Wednesday. Our students cannot afford to have time wasted in class. Given that it is a short week, I expect attendance to be down. We need our students in class. We will not be having meetings with our 200 minutes this week. Between your planning time and our after school time, please call students and their families and get students into school.

Report Card Conferences

Report Card Conferences will be held this Thursday, March 24 from 8:00-2:30. The district calendar listing the start time as 7:30 AM is incorrect. The day will run on our school schedule. Please plan accordingly.

Report Card Grades are due by 7:30 AM on Monday, the 21st.

We will not be mailing home any report cards this quarter. We are trying to get every family to come in to meet with you and pick up the report card.

The APT Team has agreed to have staff use Tuesday and Wednesday to call every parent to explain to them that they need to come in to pick up the report card. Let's work together to contact every Design Lab parent. If you have any questions about how we are using the time, please ask Rob Senor. Robo calls have already gone out to families, but the personal call will matter towards getting families into school.

When a family comes in, make sure you are inputting that we met with them in e-school. I have previously sent out the directions explaining how to input this information. We have many parents who I know have come in to meet with you who are still listed as having never attended. There will be plenty of time between Tuesday and Wednesday after school to update these records in e-school.

NWEA Testing After Break

We're headed into a massive testing cycle, including NWEA, AIR, and end of course assessments. We'll talk about the calendar together after break. But please be aware that we will hold NWEA testing on Tuesday and Wednesday, April 5 & 6. We will run the schedule as we did for the Winter NWEA testing. All 9th and 10th grade students will be testing in the morning. Please begin talking to your students now about this test. NWEA will give us the best possible indicator of whether or not our school will be Failing or not at the end of the year, and whether or not our 9th and 10th grade students are on track to graduate.


I've asked Michelle to use Monday, April 4 to schedule class meetings with you to give students an updated version of the excellent pep talk she gave before the winter NWEA testing cycle. Please plan your lessons for the week return accordingly.

Individual Meetings To Support Teaching and Learning

Our individual 15 minute meetings will continue beginning on Monday, April 4th. That is our first day back, and I will be sending out invitations before we leave for break. In the meantime, I will be around this week to visit classes. As a reminder, please leave your lesson plans out, electronic or hard copy, on your desk, so I don't have to interrupt your class to see them.

Focus on Actions in the Standards

As we discussed on Tuesday, we are teaching the right content at the right pace. The key area we need to improve is to focus on the actions within the standards. I saw and heard evidence of a few of you emphasizing the actions in the standards last week. But this needs to be all of us, all of the time. Focusing on compliance and doing the work does not mean students are learning. Ensuring students are analyzing and providing evidence of learning, explaining, understanding, and interpreting are examples of the learning we don't see enough. Make the actions within the standard your focus and ensure that student are providing evidence of the action and learning will improve.

Young Troubled Minds-Next Session-Wednesday

The seniors will be working with Young Troubled Minds all day Wednesday, March 23rd.

Robotics This Week

There is Robotics this Wednesday, March 23rd.

Is Social and Emotional Learning the Key to College Success?

This weeks' article talks about the importance of social and emotional learning as it relates to getting students ready for college. The author points out the huge difference between students being college eligible and college ready. This is a difference we must consider. We're graduating college eligible students from Design Lab, but not college ready students. The social emotional piece is equally important. We know we're not meeting our students social emotional needs because we're losing tons of 11th grade students. They are telling us they don't feel connected to our teachers. They don't feel cared for either. Our college students lack persistence, and all our students struggle with putting anger aside and getting to the learning. Please check out the article. This is an important discussion and we'll need to put specific actions in place for 2016-17 to address growing social and emotional learning. I'd like your voice to be a part of the conversation.

Tornado Drill

We will hold a tornado drill on Wednesday, March 23rd.

200 Minutes This Week

Monday, March 21-Personal Planning Time

Tuesday, March 22-Calling 5th period families to get them to come to report card day on Thursday

Wednesday, March 23-Calling 5th period families to get them to come to report card day on Thursday

Thursday, March 24-Personal Planning Time