District Student Achievement Team

January 2019

Happy New Year!

I can’t believe it but 2019 has arrived. This past year has flown by in what seems like the blink of an eye. So here I am reflecting on the past year and dutifully committing myself to lofty New Year’s resolutions. I realize I’m not alone. Millions of people around the world have made promises to themselves for the year that lies ahead. If you are one of those people, I wish you all the best. However, I suspect I’m not alone in my struggle to achieve those challenging goals. This year not only do I promise to be kinder to others but most importantly to myself. I will strive to wake up each day with the mindset and resolve to do better. I encourage you to do the same. Never underestimate the power of our intentions. If we are what we think and believe, then our attitude and the purpose behind what we do and how we live matters more than anything. To me, this is what can make or break any aspirations we have. The New Year’s holiday is a great, universal reminder to set self improvement goals but any day can be a chance for us to think about what example we’re setting for others, including our students, and to see if things need to change so we can strive for better.

“We do not learn from experience. We learn from reflecting on experience.” – John Dewey

Course Proposals for Consideration

Listed below are nine course proposals for DSAT Consideration

District Updates

English Language Learners Update

As a district administrative team, we're in the process of evaluating our 2018 Spring WIDA results and monitoring our English Language Learned progress based on NWEA and other classroom performance. We're also working as a team to determine our plan to provide research-based interventions to meet the needs of our ELL student population.

Instructional Technology Team Update

Assessment Update

Winter NWEA Testing Window

We are currently in our winter NWEA testing window. This primarily affects our elementary students and any other secondary student that we'd like to check in with to help us determine their progress towards their academic goals. Our winter NWEA testing window began January 7th and runs until February 15th.

Statewide A-F School Accountability System

Before leaving office, former Governor Rick Snyder signed House Bill 5526 into state law (now Public Act 601 of 2018), which among other things, requires the state to develop and implement a statewide A-F School Accountability system beginning September 1, 2019. By August 1, the Michigan Department of Education (MDE) is required to develop a “statewide system of accountability measurements to improve the national educational ranking of this state” using specified measurements. The department shall submit its proposed standards for determining letter grades and rankings to a yet-to-be appointed peer review panel.

For more information, see the January 10, 2019 MDE Memorandum

Michigan’s Parent Dashboard for School Transparency

New metrics and enhancements are expected to be released in January for Michigan’s Parent Dashboard for School Transparency. New staffing and student data will be added, and existing metrics will be updated with data from the most recent school year. The Dashboard will also provide a new School Services and Offerings section that describes some of a school’s unique “points of pride.” The online Parent Dashboard—which received more than 1,000,000 views in its first year—shows the performance of every public school in Michigan, including public school academies. Users of the MISchoolData.org web portal who have a secure login account are expected to be able to preview Dashboard changes in the near future, with a public release to follow. Information in the Dashboard comes primarily from facts and data schools already provide to the state. School overview information and most fields in the new School Services and Offerings feature is pulled from the Education Entity Master (EEM). Schools with missing or out-of-date information can update their EEM records at any time. New or corrected information will appear after the next regular Dashboard update (scheduled three times per year). Immediately following the public release, updated Parent Dashboard Communications Tools will be available on the Michigan Department of Education’s Parent Dashboard Resource page. These resources were designed for schools, libraries, and other organizations to use to distribute news about the Parent Dashboard to parents, grandparents, and other caregivers in their networks.

Bond Update

Although next summer might still seem like a long ways away, thinks are happening fast with the Bond Issue. Here is a list of some of the progress that has been made since the last update:

  • Over break we received our second new bus purchased with bond funds.
  • New Overhead bus bay garage doors have been installed.
  • New Emergency Lighting was installed at the Education Center.
  • Bids were accepted and contracts have been awarded for $632,000 in renovations to the WWMS Auditorium with work scheduled to begin on May 1, 2019. The renovations will be highlighted by the replacement off all of the auditorium seating and carpeting.
  • Bids were accepted and contracts have been awarded for $2.3 Million in renovations to the WWT Athletic Stadium Complex. Work is scheduled to being at the end of May 2019. This project includes the complete demolition and replacement of the existing bleachers, press box, ticket booth, concession stand and bathroom facilities. The new facilities will be much larger than the existing and will include team rooms for both the home and visiting teams.
  • Bids have been accepted and a recommendation to award contracts will be going to the Board of Education on January 14th for $1 Million worth of work at Pinewood Elementary next summer. The work includes the widening of the driveway, new concrete and asphalt along with a new digital site sign. Inside the building, the office will be relocated to the front of the building with a new secure entryway. Classrooms will be receiving new ceiling tile and lighting and the main corridor carpet will be replaced. In addition, many of the buildings antiquated HVAC units will be replaced with new.

This is just a portion of the work that has been going on this fall/winter as we still have bids in various states for the remaining renovation to take place at Briarwood, Westwood, Enterprise, WWT and WWMS this summer.

Federal and State Funding - Grants Update

35A Literacy & STEM Holiday Break Camp

Our camp aimed to provide our participants with a dynamic hand on learning experience, where students improve their reading and writing skills, reinforce literacy strategies, boost your child’s reading confidence, and have FUN! The camp was led by four of our outstanding elementary teachers. The camp included one-on-one and small group support and stimulating activities that align with students’ classroom instruction and Michigan’s literacy standards. We greatly appreciate our participating parents’ willingness to give up their valuable vacation time over the holiday break to share their children with us.

Listed within the link provided there are more tips and resources to help inspire some activities and further reading & writing at home.

35A Extended Day Tutoring

At each elementary schools there is extended day tutoring. This support is provided to students in kindergarten through third grade and are invited based on their Individual Reading Plans. Each elementary school may have a different grade level focus but all are using Leveled Literacy Intervention (LLI) to provide small group instruction. Groups either meet before or after school. We appreciate the our parents' support in our participating students' attendance and commitment to the program.

Title I Parent and Family Engagement Event

Our Title I Parent and Family Engagement Team was thrilled last month to welcome over 200 students with their families. Participants were able to enjoy dinner with one another and rotate through two session where they experienced a few of our Project Lead the Way STEM projects. Additionally, there was an opportunity to take home books and other STEM resources aimed to extend the learning at home. Based on the overwhelmingly positive feedback we received from parent feedback surveys, we're hosting a Elementary STEM Advisory Council meeting at Briarwood on January 31st at 6:30 pm. More information is listed within the flyer below. All are welcome. Please help us in spreading the word.

Title I & II: Professional Development Opportunities

We are currently in the process of submitting to MDE our Title I and II amendments. Our updated Title II plan allows us the opportunity to allocate our carry over funds. Some of the changes within our Title II plans include: additional PD funds provided to interested staff to receive math coaching and instructional support, PLTW summer training for both of our elementary STEM teachers, and district representation at the MACUL conference this March in Detroit. We will also have funds available to send a small team of Reading Recovery teachers to the the National Reading Recovery Conference in Columbus, Ohio.

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