Staff Weekly Update

January 15, 2016

"Life's most persistent and urgent question is, 'What are you doing for others?"

-Martin Luther King Jr.

Thank you for all that you do!

Aaron & Lewis

EMEA Volunteers Needed!

Dr. Schleizer sent an email titled IMPORTANT STUDENT GROWTH EVALUATION UPDATE: EMEA VOLUNTEERS NEEDED on January 8, 2016, on behalf of the committee working on the student growth component of the evaluation process that will become part of our process next August. Please be sure to review this email and consider volunteering to participate in the piloting of the student growth plan. If you have any questions, please see me.

A copy of the email is included below.

Dear District 63 Teachers,

The District 63 Performance Evaluation Reform Act (PERA) Joint Committee is ready to run a pilot of the student growth plan in preparation for full implementation next fall. We are holding a full-day meeting on February 17, 2016, to share our plan with volunteers who are interested in piloting our student growth plan. An overview of the plan will also be shared with all teachers at Institute Day on March 15, 2016. Our hope is to have a group of volunteers representative of different content areas, grade levels, and teaching assignments. All volunteers will be provided support in piloting the plan.

The role of the volunteers will be to pilot the plan in a non-evaluative way, and to provide suggestions and feedback on the plan’s strengths and areas for improvement. Note that participating in the pilot does not result in a student growth component being included in the summative evaluation rating for 2015-2016. Additionally, participation in the pilot will not impact a teacher’s student growth results for 2016-2017. Piloting involves creating a plan to measure student growth, assessing student learning within the plan, and reporting back to the PERA Joint Committee with reflections and other feedback. Professional development hours will be provided to any teacher that participates in the pilot.

If you are interested in participating in the pilot, please complete the form at the following link by January 15, 2016:

More information on next steps will be provided in the near future to teachers who volunteer.


Rachel Lin, Gina Dell’Aringa, Charlene Cobb, Shawn Schleizer, Ashema Powell, Sophia Arvanitis, Cathy Garbossa, Howard Sussman, Nichole Gross, Scott Clay, Nicole Sandine

ACCESS Testing Update

Hello Teachers,

We are having some technical difficulties with the testing system. Due to these issues, we have to make adjustments to the testing schedule. We will contact you via email individually if your schedule changes and will work to keep you updated as best as we can.

Thank you for your patience and flexibility,


Winter MAP Testing Windows

3rd - 6th Grade Teachers,

Similar to our fall testing set up, please schedule MAP testing sessions - one reading test and one math test - amongst your team members, using your grade level Chromecarts. Our ESL Team will be utilizing some of the chromecarts for ACCESS testing, but they are working to not use carts assigned for MAP testing.

MAP Testing Windows

  • 6th & 5th Grades - January 11th - January 21st
  • 6th & 5th Grades Make-ups - January 22nd
  • 4th & 3rd Grades - January 25th - February 4th
  • 4th & 3rd Grades Make-ups - February 5th

AAC Brandy will be facilitating make-ups for this round of MAP testing. So, if you have a student or students who need to finish or make-up a missed test, fill in the needed information on the MAP Make-up Form.

Upcoming Dates

Monday, January 18th

  • NO SCHOOL - Martin Luther King Jr. Day

Tuesday, January 19th

  • PBIS Team Meeting @ 7:50 a.m.
  • SPED Resource Team Meeting @ 7:50 a.m.
  • 6th Grade Tier Meeting @ 10:25 a.m.
  • Kindergarten Tier Meeting @ 1:20 p.m.
  • 2nd Grade Tier Meeting @ 2:00 p.m.

Wednesday, January 20th

  • Optional Website Wednesday @ 7:50 a.m.
  • 5th Grade Tier Meeting @ 8:55 a.m.
  • 3rd Grade Tier Meeting @ 12:30 p.m.

Thursday, January 21st

  • Guided Math Cohort @ 7:50 a.m.
  • PFA Tier Meeting @ 7:50 a.m.
  • 4th Grade Tier Meeting @ 8:55 a.m.
  • Core Team Meeting @ 1:00 p.m.
  • 1st Grade Tier Meeting @ 2:00 p.m.

Friday, January 22nd

  • Family Friday @ Lunch

Keep on your radar...Literacy library purchases for classroom teachers are due by January 29th.

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Do you have a morning or afternoon duty next week? If you are not sure, check the schedule here (or use the picture above).

Also, don't forget to check the Indoor Recess Schedule in the event of undesirable weather.

Making MLK Jr. Day "Stick" for Students

Help students put in perspective Martin Luther King, Jr.'s life, his impact on the Civil Rights Movement, and his significance to American culture and history. Each link below includes numerous lesson plans, activities, background resources, websites and videos.