McAllister Minutes

Week of: October 22 - October 26

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McAllister Minutes

Another great week in the books! We had 50's day, many field trips, t-shirt sales, 1st Grade Math Content Academy and many more. My hope is that you have found some time to rest, relax and re-focus this weekend in the midst of all the hustle and bustle. The week ahead proves to be fairly standard, we have our 3rd Annual Career Fair & it is set to be just as incredible as it has in years past. Furthermore, attached in this newsletter, I have re-posted the grading expectations that were shared at the beginning of the school year - please be sure that we are not only monitoring grades but also using them as a form of communication. It is imperative that we are utilizing the appropriate # of grades per subject area. If you continue to have questions with this please reach out to me or your grade level admin. Continue to maintain your level of high expectations, procedures and processes!


  • October is Parent/Teacher conference month, be sure to round out those conferences - feel free to use time before school, during planning or after school. Our goal is to give all parents the opportunity to meet/connect. (If you share a room with ASP, please make sure to schedule conferences in an alternate location after school - front office conference room, media center and PL room are all available spaces.)
  • If students arrive to your class without a tardy pass please do not send them to the front office to get one as they are not tardy. Students that come in the front office after the 7:40 bell will be given the appropriate passes. If this becomes an issue with specific students please contact grade level administration so we can address appropriately.
  • Be sure that grades are consistently updated in PS, grades are feedback to both our students/teachers.


Below I have listed a few updates and reminders to activities planned for the week ahead:


  • Monday, October 22 - Friday, October 26- Red Ribbon Week
  • Tuesday, October 23, 2018 - Leadership Team Meeting - PL Room
  • Friday, October 26 - Fantastic Fridays with the Hupman Group - Breakfast to be served in the PL room.
  • Wednesday, October 31- United Way Fundraiser - Students/Staff Dress up and support United Way through a donation.
  • Friday, November 16 - "Heroes Overcome" - This presentation will directly tie in with our 7 Mindsets and be a memorable reminder. My hope is that you all will enjoy this experience!

***Traveling on a field trip soon? We recently purchased an ice machine for your convenience - it is located in the gymnasium - Coach Moon and Anderson can point you in the right direction if you need a hand.***


With an intentional focus of consistency on being curious & crazy for kids you will ALWAYS find a culture that is student focused!


Have a great week!


Have a WONDERful Week!

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7 Mindsets Read-Aloud

As an admin. Team we decided that in order to help further develop the mindsets while tying in a reading component – we would all embark on a school-wide read aloud with your class/classes. I mean who doesn’t like a good read-aloud – Sign up for a time that is most convenient for you and your students below.


If you decide that as a grade level you would like us to schedule a grade wide read aloud we can certainly do that as well and just pull you into the lunchroom or media center for ample space.


Our hope is to be in line with the mindsets as they are being taught – as of now we are on the last week of Passion First so we would likely be starting with the next mindset.

Thanks in advance!

Sign up Here~!

Lesson Plans & Gradebooks

Lesson Plans

Each week, the administrative team holds a weekly PLC. As the instructional leaders of the school, our PLC will always have an instructional focus. As you know, we have made a commitment this year to improve lesson planning and meeting the needs of ALL levels of learners through appropriate instructional strategies, planning and assessment. With this comes a commitment to review lesson plans and provide feedback. Moving forward, we will choose a grade level, resource area, or specials area each week to review and communicate this at least one week in advance. This coming week (10/22), 3rd Grade lesson plans will be reviewed by the full administrative team, including our ILT; the following week (10/29), we will review 1st Grade lesson plans. Lesson plans are submitted to the teacher specific Google folder. Nothing is hidden, nothing is secret. Clearly, this isn’t a “gotcha” since you are being told which plans are being reviewed. But, much like anything, if you aren’t regularly practicing the skill, that will become evident when it is intensely reviewed. The expectation is that every content/course is preparing, submitting, and using lesson plans weekly. Some of you write unit plans - GREAT! These still should be reviewed and put into a weekly plan. Much like a monthly budget, if you prepare it and look at it just once in a month, you will never be (financially) on the best track.


Gradebooks

Gradebooks, first and foremost, are a form of communication. Communication is an area in which we should always strive for improvement. And, some of you are really needing to improve your use of PowerSchool gradebook as an effective form of communication. Every teacher should be in his/her gradebook EVERY week at least once, making sure grades that are recorded are up-to-date. If you stop and think about the gradebook being a form of communication, it makes sense that it could be considered as a tool to improve student achievement and progress. As the principal, and as the instructional leader here, I have a strong expectation that all gradebooks accurately and effectively communicate a student's progress.


Lesson Plans and Gradebooks – “The Connection”

You plan your instruction, and you plan your assessments. Assessment results are then recorded in the gradebook in PowerSchool. If your gradebook isn’t being updated regularly/properly, it is probably because you aren’t planning regularly/properly. If the PS gradebook is going to be an effective form of communication, then you must use it efficiently and effectively. This includes reporting grades in a timely manner. How, exactly, are stakeholders to use the grades (communication) to positively impact the student achievement? Right? How are stakeholders going to help us support the work in classrooms and our school if student achievement is either not being reported or being reported late? So, I am adding gradebook reviews to our weekly lesson plan reviews - when we review your lesson plans we will also review your gradebooks.


If there is something more about our expectations regarding lesson planning and grading that you believe should be better communicated by me, please let me know.


If you need help with lesson planning, your gradebook, or communication, ask me, please. Or, maybe you just want to talk about some point in this information- that is fine, too. If I am not a good go-to for you, how about your grade chair, ILT or supervising AP? Let's work together to make sure the foundational elements of our instruction are solid.


We do so much very well, and for that I am always thankful. I can truthfully say that there is not a day that I am not thankful that I am at MES with such talented educators. Thank you, all, for your commitment to excellence and success. And, for your commitment to being better.

Gradbooks (Review) _ Be Sure we are meeting the standard with regards to # of grades, type, etc.

McAllister Elementary School Grading Policy

Grades 1-5

This document is supplemental to the Bryan County Schools Grading Handbook.

What does a student’s grade represent?

A student’s grade reflects his or her mastery of the respective grade-level academic standards. To be an accurate picture of what a student has learned, assessments must be horizontally aligned with the curriculum. Furthermore, a grade should not be influenced by factors such as homework, behavior, work habits, and adherence to classroom procedures.

Work Habits

New to Bryan County Schools for the 2018-19 school year is the Work Habits Rubric, which will enable teachers to report on students’ work habits like responsibility, participation, assignment completion, and interpersonal skills. This information will be printed on students’ progress reports and final report cars and replaces Citizenship Grades reported in past years. Traditionally, teachers have taken points off student work for reasons such as not writing their name on the paper, spelling errors (when spelling is not the standard being assessed), lack of participation in group tasks, and lateness. Parent contact and the work habits feature in PowerSchool are the appropriate ways to communicate concerns such as these.

Formative vs. Summative Assessments

Formative tasks are assessments while learning and can be formal or informal. Formative assessments help identify and give feedback on students’ strengths and weaknesses as they continue progressing towards mastery. They occur frequently during a given unit of study.

A summative task is an assessment of learning to include such formats as unit tests, rubric-scored performance tasks, quizzes, and writing tasks. They are given at the conclusion of a learning unit and hold students accountable for mastery of curriculum standards respective to the grade level.

It is best practice that prior to any summative assessment, teachers take advantage of the many formative assessment opportunities. Feedback from formative assessments should always be provided to students, and, in many cases, to their parents in order for there to be continued academic support at home. It is also best practice for teachers to list out the standard(s) being addressed on a given assessment for informative purposes.

Grade Reporting and Calculation

MES utilizes a Rolling Gradebook with only summative assessments used to calculate a student’s grade in each academic area. Students receive a progress report at the end the first three 9-week periods and a final report card at the end of the fourth 9-week period. See the BCS Grading Handbook for more information on rolling grading.

In a given 9-week period, teachers should record the following for each subject in the PowerSchool gradebook:

· Reading, Language Arts, and Math—6-9 summative assessments

· Science and Social Studies—4-6 summative assessments

A 50 is the lowest grade that is to be entered in the gradebook for a summative assessment. If a student earns a grade less than a 50, the teacher should notify the parent of the grade and document the actual score in the comment section of the PowerSchool gradebook.

It is best practice that teachers title assessments in an informative manner and identify the standards assessed in the description portion when creating an assessment in PowerSchool.

Redoing Assessments

Teachers may choose to offer remediation and a “redo” of a summative assessment. Differentiation, remediation, or intervention instruction should be should be provided for the student prior to the “redo” opportunity. The higher grade earned will be recorded in the gradebook—the two grades should not be averaged nor should there be a grade “ceiling”—in order to accurately render mastery. Teachers should directly contact parents when a student fails a summative assessment. When allowing a student to redo an assessment, the teacher reserves the right to use an alternate form of the first assessment.

It is best practice for teachers to maintain open communication with parents especially when a student is not demonstrating mastery of the standards. Further, if an original assessment has a selected response format, the redo should involve more student action than simply making test corrections of the original assessment.

Homework

Homework is an excellent opportunity for students to work on maintenance of skills that have been previously mastered. It is not a time for students to improve upon something they do not yet fully understand or when they are still are progressing towards mastery. It is up to teacher discretion to differentiate homework. When homework is assigned to students, teachers must take time to provide quality feedback to students on the day the assignment is due in class. Homework will not be graded, but teachers are welcome to motivate students to complete homework through incentives.

Missing, Make-up, and Late Work

Teachers are to accept make-up, late, and missing work from students without penalty as assessments are to be graded for mastery of standards. When student work is missing, teachers should enter “M” in the gradebook for the missing assessment. Zeros should not be used as place holders for missing work. Teachers are able to note that an assessment was submitted late in the comments section of the grade in PowerSchool, which is visible to parents. Further, lateness can be reflected in the Work Habits section of the PowerSchool gradebook. If a student is frequently submitting late work, teachers should directly contact parents.

Transfer Grades

When a student enrolls at MES during the middle of the academic year, his or her grades from the previous school will be used to help calculate final grades. Teachers should take the previous average in a particular subject area and enter that grade for each assessment the student missed prior to enrolling at MES. In the comments section for the assessment(s), teachers should input the following statement: “Grade represents student’s average in this subject area from previous school.” The data clerk will communicate grading information to teachers upon receipt from the student’s previous school.

It is best practice to work with transfer students and their families to provide opportunities to learn the curriculum even though the student was not present for the initial instruction. However, teachers and students will not be held responsible for the relevant summative assessments given prior to the student’s enrolling at MES.

Group Grades

Group activities especially performance tasks are excellent learning experiences that allow for collaboration and meaningful conversation between students.

It is best practice for teachers to avoid giving group grades as they do not reflect an individual student’s mastery of the standards; instead, teachers should use these as formative assessment opportunities.

Extra Credit

There should not be extra credit opportunities for students.

Zeroes

Zeroes should not be recorded in the gradebook. See the statements on Grade Reporting and Calculation and Missing, Make-Up, and Late Work.

It is best practice to directly contact the parents of a student who earns a zero on any assessment.

McAllister Elementary School Grading Policy

Grades 1-5

This document is supplemental to the Bryan County Schools Grading Handbook.

What does a student’s grade represent?

A student’s grade reflects his or her mastery of the respective grade-level academic standards. To be an accurate picture of what a student has learned, assessments must be horizontally aligned with the curriculum. Furthermore, a grade should not be influenced by factors such as homework, behavior, work habits, and adherence to classroom procedures.

Work Habits

New to Bryan County Schools for the 2018-19 school year is the Work Habits Rubric, which will enable teachers to report on students’ work habits like responsibility, participation, assignment completion, and interpersonal skills. This information will be printed on students’ progress reports and final report cars and replaces Citizenship Grades reported in past years. Traditionally, teachers have taken points off student work for reasons such as not writing their name on the paper, spelling errors (when spelling is not the standard being assessed), lack of participation in group tasks, and lateness. Parent contact and the work habits feature in PowerSchool are the appropriate ways to communicate concerns such as these.

Formative vs. Summative Assessments

Formative tasks are assessments while learning and can be formal or informal. Formative assessments help identify and give feedback on students’ strengths and weaknesses as they continue progressing towards mastery. They occur frequently during a given unit of study.

A summative task is an assessment of learning to include such formats as unit tests, rubric-scored performance tasks, quizzes, and writing tasks. They are given at the conclusion of a learning unit and hold students accountable for mastery of curriculum standards respective to the grade level.

It is best practice that prior to any summative assessment, teachers take advantage of the many formative assessment opportunities. Feedback from formative assessments should always be provided to students, and, in many cases, to their parents in order for there to be continued academic support at home. It is also best practice for teachers to list out the standard(s) being addressed on a given assessment for informative purposes.

Grade Reporting and Calculation

MES utilizes a Rolling Gradebook with only summative assessments used to calculate a student’s grade in each academic area. Students receive a progress report at the end the first three 9-week periods and a final report card at the end of the fourth 9-week period. See the BCS Grading Handbook for more information on rolling grading.

In a given 9-week period, teachers should record the following for each subject in the PowerSchool gradebook:

· Reading, Language Arts, and Math—6-9 summative assessments

· Science and Social Studies—4-6 summative assessments

A 50 is the lowest grade that is to be entered in the gradebook for a summative assessment. If a student earns a grade less than a 50, the teacher should notify the parent of the grade and document the actual score in the comment section of the PowerSchool gradebook.

It is best practice that teachers title assessments in an informative manner and identify the standards assessed in the description portion when creating an assessment in PowerSchool.

Redoing Assessments

Teachers may choose to offer remediation and a “redo” of a summative assessment. Differentiation, remediation, or intervention instruction should be should be provided for the student prior to the “redo” opportunity. The higher grade earned will be recorded in the gradebook—the two grades should not be averaged nor should there be a grade “ceiling”—in order to accurately render mastery. Teachers should directly contact parents when a student fails a summative assessment. When allowing a student to redo an assessment, the teacher reserves the right to use an alternate form of the first assessment.

It is best practice for teachers to maintain open communication with parents especially when a student is not demonstrating mastery of the standards. Further, if an original assessment has a selected response format, the redo should involve more student action than simply making test corrections of the original assessment.

Homework

Homework is an excellent opportunity for students to work on maintenance of skills that have been previously mastered. It is not a time for students to improve upon something they do not yet fully understand or when they are still are progressing towards mastery. It is up to teacher discretion to differentiate homework. When homework is assigned to students, teachers must take time to provide quality feedback to students on the day the assignment is due in class. Homework will not be graded, but teachers are welcome to motivate students to complete homework through incentives.

Missing, Make-up, and Late Work

Teachers are to accept make-up, late, and missing work from students without penalty as assessments are to be graded for mastery of standards. When student work is missing, teachers should enter “M” in the gradebook for the missing assessment. Zeros should not be used as place holders for missing work. Teachers are able to note that an assessment was submitted late in the comments section of the grade in PowerSchool, which is visible to parents. Further, lateness can be reflected in the Work Habits section of the PowerSchool gradebook. If a student is frequently submitting late work, teachers should directly contact parents.

Transfer Grades

When a student enrolls at MES during the middle of the academic year, his or her grades from the previous school will be used to help calculate final grades. Teachers should take the previous average in a particular subject area and enter that grade for each assessment the student missed prior to enrolling at MES. In the comments section for the assessment(s), teachers should input the following statement: “Grade represents student’s average in this subject area from previous school.” The data clerk will communicate grading information to teachers upon receipt from the student’s previous school.

It is best practice to work with transfer students and their families to provide opportunities to learn the curriculum even though the student was not present for the initial instruction. However, teachers and students will not be held responsible for the relevant summative assessments given prior to the student’s enrolling at MES.

Group Grades

Group activities especially performance tasks are excellent learning experiences that allow for collaboration and meaningful conversation between students.

It is best practice for teachers to avoid giving group grades as they do not reflect an individual student’s mastery of the standards; instead, teachers should use these as formative assessment opportunities.

Extra Credit

There should not be extra credit opportunities for students.

Zeroes

Zeroes should not be recorded in the gradebook. See the statements on Grade Reporting and Calculation and Missing, Make-Up, and Late Work.


It is best practice to directly contact the parents of a student who earns a zero on any assessment.

Happy Birthday to You!

10/18- Michelle Derr

10/23 - Laura Teague

10/31 - Sharon Roberts

Making Moves at McAllister

Use this form to acknowledge the good hard work your peers around you are doing - these will be posted weekly as a form of encouragement/acknowledgement. Because after all - You ALL deserve it!
  • From Anonymous to Ms. Little: BUSTED: Mrs. Kellie Little stops by the MES lost and found each morning to tidy up and organize the items, making it is easier for our Wildcats to quickly locate their lost items...she rocks!
  • From Ms.Wilson to Ms. Habecker: Big shout out to Mrs. Habecker for stepping up and filling in the grade level chair while Mrs. Nelly was recovering. Her positive attitude and organizational skills kept our team planning run smoothly.
  • From Ms. Finnegan to Ms. Yant: Tiffany's hard work on her Math centers and instruction is incredible. Her ability to accept feedback or make changes to her instruction, shows her dedication to each child in her classroom. After many years in the classroom, she is still doing whatever she can to make things better and better. Fantastic job!
  • From Random Stranger to Ms. Taylor: Sarah Taylor is hands-down the best PR agent MES has ever seen. She is incredibly talented at making adorable advertisements for all of our events & activities, and she gladly shares her hard work with all of her co-workers. WE LOVE YOU SARAH and cannot thank you enough for being such a valued teammate!!!
  • From Ms. Loncon to PK Paras & Teachers: Have you ever noticed how much they love our littlest wildcats?! They are always there to hold a hand, wipe away tears, give a hug, and are ALWAYS smiling. Not to mention, have you seen their amazing lines coming down the hallway! You definitely don't hear them. Their kiddos are rocking those hallway expectations day in and day out. I cannot think of anyone better for our wee wildcats to spend their first "big school" year with! Thank you ladies for all you do to grow those little minds! You are simply amazing!
  • From Secret Admirer to Hicks, Nobles, Taylor, & Tinney: Hard work pays off, just ask these ladies! Your MES colleagues are SO PROUD of y'all, and can't wait to see your BRIGHT IDEAS come to fruition...YOU ROCK!!!

Click here to Make it Known

7 Mindsets

Weekly updates will be posted in this section. I look forward to the impact that 7 mindsets is going to have on our school community! If you are ever planning to be out on a Mindset Monday or just need a hand in delivering a lesson - the administrators and counselors are more than happy to help. Use this link to find the lessons click here.


  • PK-2 - Lesson 3.1 - The Introduction & The Meaning of Being Connected
  • 3-5 - Lesson 3.1 - The Introduction & Embrace Everyone
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McAllister Staff Guide

In a school of over 135 it can be hard to know everyone's name...Have you had a chance to look at the staff directory where pictures of our staff members can be located?

Have you checked this # Lately....#MESrocks

Click this link to see all of the awesome things our teachers have posted on twitter this week. Always remember to use the #MESrocks when posting to keep these items united!