February 1, 2016

“Choose to be optimistic, it feels better.”

--Dalai Lama XIV


Important Assessment Information

It’s that time of year again to begin planning for the Spring 2016 MAP Grade Level assessment! The first step in planning is to establish your building’s Site Test Coordinator (STC).

STC Information

· Must be either a certified full time teacher serving in a classroom, assistant principal or principal.

· Will be the building contact responsible for all things necessary for successful testing implementation.

· Please fill out this Google Doc and assign who will serve in this role at your school by Friday, February 5th

Contact: Dave Whitham, 523-0327.

Explore is coming!

2/4 Explore kiosks delivered

2/8 Explore registration opens.

2/10 or 2/11 Explore liaison training


Smithsonian Tween Tribune

Tim Zeigler shared this great site for from the Smithsonian. It offers mini-lessons at varying reading levels. It is primarily for middle school, but has good info for older students who could use a boost with reading. As you can see by the pictures below, the articles are high interest on a variety of topics.


From Dave

We are on week four of David Conley’s “Four Keys to College and Career Readiness” (CCR)! Many of our students are first generation college students and will need targeted support to be successful in their transition into the postsecondary arena. Conley’s insight into “key transition knowledge and skills” is definitely worth a read!

Key transition knowledge and skills. The concept of CCR revolves around the idea of ensuring that students graduate from secondary schools prepared for what they will face beyond high school. Given the climate of international competition and the challenge for all students to pursue postsecondary learning, it is imperative this transition be successful for both the well-being of individuals and the economic condition of the United States. Researchers have produced numerous findings related to the rigorous endeavors associated with success in postsecondary learning. However, it has become evident that taking the right courses in high school merely makes students “college eligible” (Conley, 2014, p. 87).

To truly be ready for postsecondary success, students need to have goals and aspirations that will drive their next steps. They need to realize “the significance of the fact that they are about to embark on a life transition, one of the most significant and wrenching transitions they will ever face” (Conley, 2014, p. 87). This reality sets the stage for a careful look at Conley’s (2014) five aspects of key transition skills all graduates will need to possess: contextual, procedural, financial, cultural, and personal. I will share briefly about contextual skills and discuss the remaining skills over the next few weeks.

Contextual. Students need to develop an understanding of the context surrounding admissions requirements for most postsecondary institutions. It is also important for students to understand the alignment between the postsecondary institution to which they are applying and their personal interests and aspirations. “Students who know what they want to do with their future are better able to make the decisions necessary to arrive at the point of being fully prepared for college courses by the time they leave high school” (Conley, 2014, p. 89). Aspirations provide a key guide to what options students may pursue in postsecondary learning.

Helping students explore their aspirations is an important first step in preparing for this life transition. Attaining appropriate cognitive skills, content knowledge, and learning strategies are important components of the rigor needed for CCR; however, it is only the first half of CCR. While students do not need to select a specific career in high school, “they need to be honing in on what interests and engages them and where they want to expend time and energy to become skilled” (Conley, 2014, p. 89). Establishing the contextual aspect of each student’s transition from secondary to postsecondary learning creates high levels of academic relevancy and ensuing engagement in the overall process.