the RAH

April 11-15, 2016

U.K. boy with cerebral palsy cheered at triathlon finish line

from the Mayor-

We invite you to consider applying for Leadership Springfield’s next Principals of Leadership class. Tuition for this learning opportunity will be paid for by SPS. Please click on this link to apply for the next class.

At Delta Team last week, we provided your colleagues a draft of the Writing Instructional Configuration. We’ve asked them to pilot this instrument until the end of the school year and to provide us feedback for revisions.

I liked this article which provides a litmus test to determine if you like your job or not. I challenge you to ask yourself each question. Additionally, these questions would also be good to ask teachers.

7 Habits That All Great Leaders Have

These unexpected qualities set truly exceptional leaders apart from merely ordinary ones.

Senior Leadership Team

Wednesday, April 13th, 9:30am

1359 East Saint Louis Street

Springfield, MO

A reminder that this will be Senior Leadership Team only - no Elementary Leadership Team so you can experience the fullness and fulfillment of state assessment.

J and/or Bret will stick around after Senior Leadership should you need to connect.

from J

Welcome to MAP window. I am generally hesitant to bring up this critical time, mainly because you, classroom teachers and your staff have heightened anxiety during this window, and carry the greatest burden of (healthy?) stress. I absolutely expect and want our students to show what they know, but I also know this important but insufficient benchmark should not and does not give a complete picture how are students are growing and learning.

To give every advantage to our students, I will echo the message that has been shared before: take the online practice tests. This ensures it is more of a content assessment, rather than a technology assessment (how to use the computer to cut,paste, highlight, drag, etc., withing the MAP platform). Within our own system, there is a very clear and distinct performance gap last year between schools that used the practice test and those that did not. It is better to ask for a delay within the testing window and get the practice session in. I cannot encourage the use of practice tests strongly enough.

From Bret's invitation- if you haven't yet participated in the Principals of Leadership program, I strongly encourage you to consider this for next year. It is a great program that connects you to people and programs beyond education throughout our city.

A reminder to close out your growth plan before you leave on Friday, April 15 (can you think of a better way to remind you of tax day?) I'm looking forward to visiting Gray, McBride, Harrison and a make-up at Boyd. Due to SLT, a shortened week, and assessment, that may be all that time allows. Please don't hesitate to call if you need me to come by.

I read some great articles this week. This one below - Principals as Chief Culture Officers - gave me some great food for thought. Please take a moment to read and reflect.

Have a fantastic week!

Principals As Chief Culture Officers

School leadership, in our current context, requires that principals assume the role of Chief Culture Officer.

Professional Learning/Work Day (no students)

Friday, April 15th, 8am

District wide

Quality versus Quantity - from Julie Veatch

The value of students talking with each other while exploring and problem solving in mathematics is, without question, one of the most productive ways to develop rich understanding of a mathematical concept. While such discourse is also invaluable to teachers for informal assessment, we still need written proof of transfer. Students must be able to use and apply the learning when it’s presented in a formal, written format. They need purposefully chosen, quality problems with which to practice.

What do “quality versus quantity” problems look and sound like? The link below, “Four Purposes of Math Problems” by David Ginsburg, offers some helpful insight.

Kindergarten Roundup

Wednesday, May 4th, 6:30pm

4051 South Scenic Avenue

Springfield, MO

A Kindergarten registration event for families across the district to be held at Jeffries Elementary on Wednesday, May 4, 2016 at 6:30 pm. This event is to promote Kindergarten readiness for our 2016 incoming kindergarten students and also encourage families to get their kiddos enrolled for SPS Kindergarten and hopefully in Explore, if they haven't yet already.

The evening will include a presentation by Mrs. Zettl (counselor at Field) titled "Creating Independence in Your Child". Families will also have the opportunity to visit with Transportation, Nutrition Services, Before/ After School Care programs, Registration, and Explore. We will also have members of the P.A.T. staff on hand to answer questions and discuss kindergarten screenings and readiness skills.

More information will come from the Communication Office, but feel free to start sharing the information in your communications with your community.