Curriculum and Instruction News

Back to School 2016

The goal of the C&I department is to ensure high levels of learning for all members of the Fox C-6 community by coordinating our efforts in professional development, curriculum writing, and community engagement. We strive to ensure that all district initiatives work together so that everyone’s efforts in classrooms, in buildings, and on district committees are valued. The C&I bulletin is one way to see how our efforts connect and overlap.


Summer Success

Diving into a new school year feels so hectic it might be hard to remember all the things we accomplished last year and over the summer. In this C&I Bulletin you’ll read a lot about how our successes over the summer have set us up for a great new year. I’d like to highlight some great things that happened this summer that really will pay off in 2016-17:

  • Luke Heitert moved into a new role as Director of Information and Technology. This position combines the responsibilities of Luke’s former role as the Coordinator of Data and Information, and the vacated position of the Director of Technology. Luke’s considerable talents and energy are on display as the tech department ramps up the new school year with a renewed focus on customer service.

  • Two curriculum writing teams, K-5 Literacy and 6th-9th Math, move from the writing phase into the pilot phase of the curriculum revision process. Both groups are adding teachers and receiving resources to support the new curriculum.

    • K-5 Literacy will have one pilot teacher at each grade level K-5 in each building. For resources to support the curriculum, they have selected:

      • Units of Study: Writing with mentor texts.

      • Units of Study: Reading with mentor texts.

      • Words Their Way

      • Scholastic Building Leveled Libraries

    • 6th-9th Math has pilot teachers in each 6th grade, all middle school grades, and Algebra in each high school. Our curriculum emphasizes conceptual units, problem solving, and individualized practice of procedures and number sense. For resources to support the curriculum, we have selected Carnegie Learning.

  • You can see our efforts to synchronize PD, curriculum writing, and NEE indicators when you look at our most successful and well received summer learning opportunities.

    • Kagan Thinking Skills--54 teachers and administrators attended two days of excellent PD about establishing cooperative classrooms. All the structures emphasize using small groups and partners to elevate cognitive engagement and critical thinking. You probably know someone who attended. Ask them what they thought and how easy it is to implement.

    • Problem Solving and Critical Thinking in Math K-5, and 6-12 teachers each enjoyed two days of intensive math problem solving with Robert Kaplinsky. Robert's work tied-in perfectly with the focus of our math curriculum, our emphasis on critical thinking and cognitive engagement, and our focus on complex tasks for assessment.

    • Units of Study: Writing: Homegrown Institute--25 teachers and administrators enjoyed four days each with coaches from Teachers College Reading and Writing Project. They engaged as writers themselves and planned lessons to foster growth for writers at all levels of development. This supports a long-standing literacy PD initiative and is integrated fully into the developing literacy curriculum.
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Ways to get Involved

The C&I department engages with teachers all across the district. Here are some ways you can get involved:

  • Curriculum Writing Teams

    • In year 2, (the classroom pilot phase):

      • K-5 Literacy

      • 6th-9th Math

    • Will be starting year 1, (the research, writing, and selecting materials phase):

  • District-wide committees

    • EdTech Committee (JP Prezzavento): A representative group of teacher leaders interested in learning about, supporting, and promoting instructional technology.

    • District PDC (Contact your principal): Each building has a District PDC rep as part of the building leadership team. This group plans and monitors professional development opportunities across the district.

    • Curriculum Advisory Committee (Declan FitzPatrick): A representative group for parents, teachers, administrators and community members that reviews the work of the C&I department and provides communication and feedback to the Board of Education.

    • Building Teacher Leaders (Contact your principal): Formerly Department Chairs and Elementary Building Reps, this group is expanding to include K-12 representation for Library Media Specialist, Foreign Language, Art, Music, and PE.

    • Assessment Committee (Maria Scopino): A representative group of teachers and administrators who met once last year and will meet four times this year to review, revise, and update the district assessment plan. We are reviewing the benefit of each assessment we offer in our district, what can we reduce/eliminate, the cost of each assessment in terms of instructional time and resources and what content area does each assessment cover?

You can see that we are working hard to integrate everything we do to support teachers and create a masterpiece in 2016-17.

Professional Development


During the 2016-2017 school year, we will continue to focus our professional development around the 4 indicators of the NEE. As we reset the focus of our PLC’s this year, we will also continue to provide support around implementation of Power Standards and creating high quality complex tasks/assessments and scoring guides for the Unit of Instruction. We have created a visual to help us ensure consistency in our PLC work across the district. The Work of PLC's

Online PD Request Form

We will continue to use our on-line PD request form this school year. We have some friendly reminders in regards to PD requests.

1. Complete the on-line PD request form as early as possible

2. Wait for approval confirmation e-mail BEFORE registering

A. If you do not receive confirmation within 10 days of applying to attend an event,

contact Amy Zielinski at

3. Register for the event using the PO number provided in the attachment of your confirmation email. You are responsible for registering yourself for your PD.

4. Once you have completed the PD, scan and email or send confirmation of attendance to Confirmation can be an agenda, sign-in sheet, name badge, or certificate of attendance.

5. Complete the check request for reimbursement within 30 DAYS of returning from the PD for travel expenses if applicable. In order to receive reimbursement, you must provide itemized receipts.

Fall PEP Courses

The C&I Department is excited to announce our Professional Elective Programs (PEP’s) for the fall semester. All courses meet bi-weekly and will focus on district initiatives. Teachers who register for an elective course can choose to be compensated for their time in one of two ways:

  1. Receive a $20 per hour stipend for attending. Stipends will be paid upon completion of the course.

  2. Register with Missouri Baptist University to receive three graduate credit hours for completing the course. Teachers will need to register and pay for the course independently. After successfully completing the course, teachers will be able to apply for tuition reimbursement from the district.

Registration for all fall elective courses will open on Wednesday, August 24th at 4pm. See below for an overview of each course and click the links included for specific details and registration information.

Creating High Quality Units PEP

The Creating High Quality Units PEP is a bi-weekly program with seven 60 minute meetings, designed to provide participants with knowledge and skills to create high quality units based on the big ideas of Understanding by Design (UbD). Meetings will be held on Wednesdays from 4:00-5:00 in the FHS library training room. We will use the Unit of Instruction Assessment Planner as the framework for our units so teachers will be able to complete their UoI as part of this PEP. Each meeting will provide instruction, examples, and work time. Click here to review the PEP’s program guide with details about dates, times, requirements, and information. Click here to register for the Creating High Quality Units PEP.

Chrome Academy

Fox C-6 Chrome Academy is a bi-weekly program with six 90-minute meetings, designed to provide participants with knowledge and skills to innovatively implement Google tools into their classrooms and schools . Each meeting will provide instruction, sample activities, and practice time with specific Google tools. This semester, the C&I Department will offer two cohorts of Chrome Academy, an introductory cohort and an advanced cohort. Click here to review the Chrome Academy program guide with details about dates, times, and information about each cohort. Click here to register for Chrome Academy.

Federal Programs

Every Student Succeeds Act

SEE WHAT'S NEW IN FEDERAL PROGRAMS as States begin to transition from NCLB to ESSA. Visit to view information by state as it is released throughout the year long transition process. This is going to be an exciting year for Federal Programs. We will keep everyone posted as information becomes available! Have a great year!!!!

Title I Schools

Our Title I Schools in the Fox C-6 School District during the 2016-2017 will be as follows:

  • Hamrick Elementary- School-wide
  • Fox Elementary- School-wide
  • Meramec Heights Elementary- School-wide
  • Guffey Elementary- Targeted
  • Sherwood Elementary- Targeted
  • Simpson Elementary- Targeted
  • Hodge Elementary- Targeted


Literacy Curriculum Writing Teams

K-5 educators have been hard at work writing a K-5 literacy curriculum. Click here to learn about the process and how you can join the team.

Additionally, the District is now forming a 6th-12th grade literacy instruction committee for the 2016-2017 school year. Click here to learn about this project and how you can help steer the direction of literacy instruction in grades 6-12 in the Fox School District.

Instructional Technology

Teacher Laptop Pilot

One of the goals of the Fox Edtech Advisory team is to select a teacher laptop that will serve as a 24/7 teacher device to allow teachers to take their work wherever they go and give teachers and students a new way to interact with content.

Last spring, the Fox Edtech Advisory Team worked to identify the features and specifications needed on this device. After identifying features and specs, the team piloted three possible teacher laptops for the last few weeks of the school year. After completing the initial pilot, members of the Edtech Advisory Team, along with representatives from the Technology Department, and C&I narrowed that down to one laptop, the Lenovo Yoga 260. The Lenovo Yoga 260 will be piloted by 170 teachers this school year. After this expanded pilot, the district will determine a purchase cycle that will eventually replace all teacher desktop computers with laptops.

In the coming weeks, approximately 140 teachers will be contacted to participate in the laptop pilot. We look forward to continuing to learn how our teachers will interact with these devices and how we can use them to increase both student engagement and teacher productivity. If you have any questions about the laptop pilot, feel free to contact JP Prezzavento.

College and Career Readiness

What is CCR?? College and career readiness means that a high school graduate has the necessary English and mathematics knowledge and skills—including, but not limited to, reading, writing, communications, teamwork, critical thinking and problem solving—either to qualify for and succeed in entry-level, credit-bearing two- or four-year college courses without the need for remedial coursework, or in workforce training programs for his/her chosen career that offer competitive salaries, offer opportunities for career advancement, and are in a growing or sustainable industry.

To learn more about the District's college and career readiness program and about how you can have a voice on the district assessment committee, click here.

Contact C&I