Sipley School Weekly Howl

Week of Monday, January 4, 2016

The book is called opportunity and its first chapter is New Year's Day.

Edith Lovejoy Pierce

Happy New Year!

Welcome back from break! I am excited to see everyone! I am sure that you are excited to see our students. The break brings rejuvenation and excitement. It also affords us an opportunity to reset. Take time this week to reconnect with students and the expectations of the classroom and school. This time can propel us into the second half of the 2015-2016 school year.


Remember that D.E.B. will begin on January 18th. This affords us time to reconnect with students via Significant 72 type activities.

Math Methods will begin January 25th.

AIMSweb SWAT is scheduled for January 14th (PM) an January 15th.

STAR testing can take place between January 12 and January 22. Do not test students on January 19th. All STAR testing will be scheduled by classroom teachers.

If you send a student to the office, please use an ODR. There are ODRs in the office. I need some note of what happened. I will track ODRs for the remainder of our year. I expect to have students sent to me when they are non-compliant (refusing to listen to directions), vandalizing school equipment, using profanity, physical, verbal, or mental intimidation, stealing, physically hurting someone, or bullying. Please use your judgment when making the determination as to whether or not to send a student to the office. While the principal’s job is not to sit in an office and wait for behaviors, I will do my best to make sure the office knows my whereabouts so they can contact me. Please know that I may not be able to get to behaviors right away. Like you, I have a schedule that I have to follow and meetings to attend, so I may not get to a disciplinary issue right away.

Formative Assessment used in Conjunction with F.O.C.U.S.

We had an engaging meeting on formative assessment prior to break. We shared, "To the extent that evidence about student achievement is elicited, interpreted, and used by teachers, learners, or their peers, to make decisions about the next steps in instruction that are likely better founded, than the decisions they would have taken in the absence of the evidence that was elicited. The focus is on decisions."

We will plan, implement, and discuss formative assessments during PLC meetings. Thinking with the end in mind, I have an idea of what full implementation of formative assessment will look like. I envision teachers having a solid understanding of learning outcomes, from which they consider when planning, that consist of unit assessments that connect to the State Standards. I can see teachers teaching with purpose as they embed formative assessment questions that align to those aforementioned ends. The formative assessment questions are planned and allow teachers the opportunity to use information gained, to make changes in instruction during a lesson or at the start of a following lesson.

As shared in our meeting, I truly believe that teaching with F.O.C.U.S. will increase student growth and progress toward college and career readiness.

The Following Gifted Information Will Be Going Home to Parents This Week...

Woodridge 68 uses a four step process for identification of gifted students which includes:

1) Nominations

2) Screening

3) Review

4) Placement

All students in grades 2 and 6 are automatically screened; parents of second and sixth graders will receive a letter with details in early January. For students in other grades to be screened, a student must be nominated by a teacher or parent. Nominations will open Monday, January 4, 2016. Completed nominations must be received in the school office or postmarked no later than Friday, January 29, 2016. No action is required for students who are already a part of the gifted program. Review and identification for gifted services will occur in May, and letters regarding placement will be mailed this summer.

Gifted program info & nomination form

New Visitor Procedures

We have begun using the Raptor visitor management system to enhance our program of safety for students and staff. Part of keeping students and staff safe is knowing who is in our buildings at all times and the Raptor system will allow us to do that.

All visitors will need to present a government issued photo ID, which will be scanned into the Raptor system. Raptor then checks it against the Department of Justice’s national database which includes the registered sex offender list and court ordered custody restrictions. Once approved, a visitor badge is then printed with the visitor’s name, picture, date, time and where in the building they will be going. Upon departure from the building, visitors return to the office and are signed out electronically. This also gives us the ability to print lists of who is in the building in the case of a fire or other emergency.

Safety is our highest priority and the Raptor visitor management system provides a consistent way to aid in keeping away people who may present a danger to our schools.

Notes and Reminders

  • Begin 2016 with Significant 72 activities.
  • Revisit school-wide behavioral expectations (hallway behavior, properly entering the school after lunch/recess, washroom behavior, etc.).
  • Use ODR forms when sending a student to the office.
  • ACCESS testing begins January 11. Please see the schedule that our bilingual staff has sent out.
  • Our second session of after-school clubs will begin Tuesday, January 19th. We will offer a STEM class, a photography club, and a math club. Thank you to our facilitators - Pete Ceresa, Marcia Pyburn, and Ryan Barba and Lisa Quigley. Details will be outlined on the permission slips.

General Reminders

  • Ongoing communication with parents is critical. Please keep parents in the loop regarding their child's progress. (The second quarter ends January 22nd. Ensure there will be no surprises for parents on the second quarter report card.)
  • Lesson plans are due each Monday.
  • Ensure you are conferring with students and offering small-group instruction/guided reading as necessary in reading and writing respectively.
  • Stay consistent with math fact practice. We cannot allow students to enter the next grade without learning grade-appropriate math facts.
  • As mentioned early, use an ODR when sending a child to the office for disciplinary reasons.

A Glance at the Week Ahead

Monday - I will meet with Title I TAs in my office at 2:05.

Tuesday - I will leave in the afternoon for an RtI Committee Meeting

Wednesday - 6th Grade PLC at 8:25 - 9:15

Wednesday - 3rd Grade PLC at 9:20 - 10:10

Wednesday - 4th Grade PLC at 10:15 - 11:05

Wednesday - 1st Grade PLC at 2:05 - 2:55

Wednesday - Kdg. PLC at 3:00 - 3:30

Thursday - 5th Grade PLC at 8:25 - 9:15

Thursday - 2nd Grade PLC at 1:15 - 2:05

On the Horizon

  • ACCESS Testing Begins January 11 (see schedule)
  • STAR Testing Begins January 12 (no testing on Monday, January 11).
  • AIMSweb SWAT January 14 and January 15
  • January 15 - Staff Party
  • January 18 - No School
  • January 19 - DEB resumes
  • January 21 - Schoolwide Assembly
  • January 25 - Math Methods Begin

Inspiring Education and Innovation

In partnership with family and community, Woodridge School District 68 provides a comprehensive educational foundation for all children in a safe, caring environment, preparing them to be productive, responsible, and successful members of society.
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