Elementary Principals' Newsletter

September 2014

Welcome Back!

We hope you have had a great couple of weeks welcoming students and families back to your building! You are the lead learner in your school! We are excited to help lead your learning and bring you the most up to date topics that are of interest to you every month! Go Elementary School Principals!! --Elementary Principals' Core Team

August "Leadership in Action"-Follow up

  • What were your thoughts on, The Leadership Challenge?
  • What did you determine were some strengths?
  • What did you notice were some areas to work on?
  • How did you follow up?

Coming up in October is Creating a Positive Culture and Ensuring Student Success!

October 2nd. Make sure you have registered!

Articles to Use with Your Staff!

Need a quick article to use at your next staff meeting and don't have time to go searching? Here are a few for you to use with a few activities. Use all of them, or just a few---you decide!

Routines & Procedures: Creating a Culture of Learning

How can classroom routines and procedures support teaching and learning? Have teachers brainstorm their top 3 strengths and challenges and share in small groups. Read this article from Edutopia. Teachers can take this short online quiz to assess their classroom management effectiveness, jigsaw an article or two and collaborate on ideas to build a stronger culture of learning.

Jigsaw a Book: The Highly Engaged Classroom

Copy this S.O.S (Summary of the Summary) of the Highly Engaged Classroom and divide your staff into 6 groups. Assign each group to summarize the summary. Finally, have individuals review the strategies and select one or two to learn more about to increase student engagement in their classrooms. OR, divide this into several meetings to give teachers time to explore and practice strategies from each chapter!

Increasing Our Success Stories

What can we do that is new or different to ensure more of our students are successful? A recent EdWeek article suggests that to keep students as the focus of our work, we can explore these three questions at the beginning and throughout the school year:

· How does the school experience we offer support each student in order for him or her to be a successful learner?

· How are we using the talents and abilities of the school faculty and staff to help support students get what they need in order to be successful learners?

· How can we recognize the differences in the needs of our students and what systems do we have (or can we put) in place in order to help more students experience success?

Here are some suggested activities for using this article with staff.


  • 2014-15 K-12 budget bill: requires MDE to develop new summative assessments for Spring 2015 to replace MEAP and MME.
  • These assessments will measure the Common Core State Standards, not the GLCE's and HSCE (except for SS and Science).
  • The legislation is also requiring that an RFP be issued by September 1st for a new summative assessment system for 2015-16.

What will be tested:
  • ELA & Math: grades 3-8 and 11
  • Science: grades 4, 7 and 11
  • Social Studies: grades 5, 8, and 11

Testing windows and approximate times:
  • This update provides a summary of all required assessments and their approximate time
  • The high school summative assessment window has been extended. See the Spring 2015 Testing Schedule Update: September 11, 2014 for current information.
  • There were no details regarding the college entrance/work skills assessments yet--so there will be more hours of testing for 11th grade.
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MDE Office of Assessment & Accountability

Updates: Week of September 8, 2014

Upcoming Professional Development

Our Fall E-Catalog is Online!

Click here to navigate our beautiful professional learning catalog with offerings from September to December. Please share with your staff! http://goo.gl/dTvVky

Upcoming Opportunities

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