Lincoln Lion's Local Buzz

February 22, 2019

Faculty Meeting Monday

Monday is our next faculty meeting. One thing that we need to do is to revisit what we are doing with our Gutsy Goals and data folders. Our Leadership team met last month and reviewed our journey towards our vision and our one year plan. One item that we all agreed we need to have a "check in" on our data folders. What I'm asking all teachers to do is to bring 3-4 data folders from your class. This isn't about the best ones you have. We need to look and talk about the reality of what is working, what is not working, and what we can do to improve our practice with these folders. So pick out your best, your worst, your in the middle and bring it to the meeting.

If you are a related arts teacher, I believe that some of your goals are in grade level folders. So you can talk about them with the folders that the teachers bring. PreK might not have any goals, but Misty you can be part of the discussion and provide feedback based on what you are seeing. This would be the same for Marsha and Kristen.

Tuesdays' PLCs & CICO Changes

Tuesday was a great day with Jason Gordon discussing our problems of practice. I hope many of you received some new ideas or next steps to address issues that are problematic for your grade. As we know with addressing behavior concerns there is no magic pill that will help us solve something in an instant. It takes time. I would like you all to implement some/all of the things that we talked about in your meetings over the next month. When we come back in March to talk about our books we will spend some time to revisit what we talked about on Tuesday and what has hopefully worked to address your problem of practice.

Also when we met there was some discussion about our CICO process. Specifically folks talked about the desire to see a child's points all day rather than just entering the score for the period of time that they are with the child. Teachers expressed that they do not have any idea what the rest of the day looked like, which would be helpful. Teams also sought some understanding about the check out process to ensure that students are not getting over rewarded or rewarded after a mostly not good day with a small treat.

To address this, Henry has worked some technological magic and has updated the Excel sheet that others really liked to allow teachers to see the students full day's worth of progress. The explanation of this process was given to teachers (and I'm pretty sure this is just for those on electronic CiCO forms) in an email yesterday from Henry. For all of this to work so you can see the full day's picture of a student it is imperative that all teachers fill out the CICO form at the end of each block of time while having a conversation with the student--remember while we need the data, the child gets the most out of this process by the conversations you have with them giving them concrete feedback on their behavior during class. Once you fill in the CICO form Henry will update the Excel form. As you can imagine, on busy days, it may take a minute for him to update the form. If he is with a student, he can't fill out the form. As always, our students are a priority. So if you have an empty Excel form, this could mean one of two things--teachers connected to the student have not entered scores, or it is a very busy day and Henry is working with children and hasn't been able to update the form.

The second thing that the behavior team discussed and looked to address was a concern that several of the PLC groups discussed about students returning from CICO daily with treats even though the day had been less that good. We came together as a team and created a uniform protocol for what should happen at check out. We hope this will be supportive of the students work to improve their behavior, and also not have you all feel undermined if students are returning to you with treats after a day that is not treat worthy.

New procedures for daily CO for all CICO students:

  • Rewards should not be happening daily unless this is part of a 2.5 system or part of the behavior plan that is arranged in advance. 2.5 rewards mostly occur during the day w/o the CICO person.

  • To help students work towards a reward/goal CICO people will track 5 days of good days (does not have to be consecutive.) When the child has a total of 5 days that are above their point goal (ex: 80%) they can receive a reward. It is possible that a child may need a modified total of days (ex:3 days) so they can be successful. This could be done but on a case by case basis.

  • On days that a child is not at the 5 day total for good behavior, the check out should consist off a positive conversation, and not include a smaller item or tangible reward (ex: small piece candy) All tangible rewards should be saved until the child has earned 5 days.

We hope that these new procedures will help with reinforcing the right behavior in all students who are currently receiving CICO support.

Dismissal Reminders - courtesy of Sheppard

Please do not dismiss walkers,car riders, or CICO students before the 3:15 bell. Students are arriving in the office and the lobby before school is out. Only kindergarten dismisses before 3:15 and we are determining a new location for them to wait until they can join their siblings.

No students should be sent to wait in the office earlier than 3:25.p.m. The end of the day is an incredibly busy time in the front office, and the crowd waiting has grown beyond what is reasonable for Kathy and Judy to manage while Suzanne and I finish up car duty. If car duty finishes before 3:25, please have students call home from your classroom before sending them to the office.

Officer Valentine will be working with us to curtail parents from picking up later than 3:30 p.m. As it stands, some students have been waiting in the office for over an hour by the time parents arrive.


Yesterday I attended the first of several Building Test Coordinator meetings. These are the highlights worth sharing thus far:

  1. Extended time in DOUBLE TIME this year.
  2. 5th grade SCIENCE is online this year and students MUST have exposure to platform before taking the TCAP Science. As TCAP approaches, I will have more information about what constitutes "EXPOSURE" and how we document that for M. Hubbard.
  3. Security Agreements for Test Administrators (Teachers) and Proctors are new this year. We will sign those soon.
  4. Teachers may keep BENCHMARK A test booklets and review items missed. Before TCAP testing begins, I will be re-collecting those copies of the benchmarks A and B so that they can be destroyed. DO NOT LET STUDENTS TAKE BENCHMARK ASSESSMENTS home! Test items are very difficult to write - and we may need to reuse some benchmark items in the future.
  5. Those of you with English Learners (ELs or ESL students) can discuss with Pam Whitlock whether on not you have been providing READ ALOUD to that student. If yes, then that student may have that accommodation on TNReady as well as benchmark assessments.
  6. Claiming is just around the corner. Closer to time, I will know the exact attendance requirements that determine partial or exempt status.
  7. I currently have BENCHMARK B in my possession. Get together with your team and start thinking about:
  • how long you will need to reteach skills identified as deficit by benchmark A
  • when you want to administer Benchmark B (window opens in March so aim for the first couple of weeks- keeping in mind that you will need to reteach before leaving March 22 for Spring break. ) After Spring Break - TCAP window opens April 8th. KCS will probably begin the following week.
  • IF you need small groups arranged differently

On a final note - THANK YOU for working so hard on completing BENCHMARKS. I know testing has unpleasant challenges, but the information we ascertain helps us identify where there are gaps to fill- which is such an incredible opportunity. I remember having to fight feeling somewhat defeated when I KNEW I had taught a concept well and confirmed understanding, only to see my student NOT PERFORM as well as I hoped they would come assessment time. We know the hard work we have put in and we just have to keep plugging away with our kids- coaching them with strategies that help them apply what they know come test time. Thank you - for all you do each and every day for our kids.

Updated focus for PLCs

In order to have time to review our benchmark data before TNReady testing starts we need to move around some of our PLC focus in order to analyze our data sooner rather than later.

Next week we will discuss our benchmark data in grades 3, 4 and 5 PLCs. Grades K-2 can have choice on what they want to discuss. If you have data that you'd like to discuss we can or we can look at curriculum or ways we can support students ability to persevere through difficult tasks (a topic that has come up a lot in meetings but truly just a suggestion here). I would just like to have a focused conversation on something that is important to your grade level.

Grades 3, 4 and 5 will meet in the conference room to discuss data so we can have Unify up on the big screen. Please ensure that your benchmark data is in to Leigh Anne BEFORE you leave on Friday so we can get it up loaded into Unify and you have an opportunity to review it before Tuesday. All teachers in grades 3,4,and 5, need to complete the benchmark reflection portion of the data review form that we completed a few weeks ago on this new data.

The form is in your grade level PLC folders. You do not need to create a new smart goal, but you may want to review the micro goals that you set to achieve this goal and see if adjustments need to be made based on your new data. Friendly reminder to make a copy of the data form and rename it before you type in it as you prepare for our meeting on Tuesday.

Teaching kids to have Effort

Just because this has been a hot topic all year, but really has been on everyone's minds lately, here are two resources that I found on the web that are interesting reads/watches as we continue to support the idea of effort based instruction.

In addition to these two links, I think it is worth a revisit to chapter 6 in High Expectations Teaching. The chapter is Teaching Effective Effort and gets to the heart of what we have been talking about in PLC's lately. I think it is worth a reread/skim.

March Newsletter

Blink!! February is basically OVER! I will need any grade level/content area updates for the March Newsletter by next Thursday (February 28th) before you leave for the day. Thanks!

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