December 6, 2015
During the Blue Ribbon conference, attendees had the amazing opportunity to hear Jayne Ellspermann's, NASSP Principal of the Year, keynote address as well as her session on "Power Hour". If you are not familiar with Mrs. Ellspermann, I highly encourage you to read articles that she has submitted to NASSP. She is currently the principal of West Port High School in Ocala, Florida. The school has an enrollment of 2,600 students located in a rural area of Marion County. She has moved this school from an "F" to an " A" school due in part to her leadership and innovative strategies to increase student achievement. One of her innovative ideas is the implementation of "Power Hour". Power Hour is an hour that includes lunch and club/tutoring/ study session time for students. There are no "lunch periods". Instead, students are empowered to seek out tutoring or participate in club meetings and grab their lunch during this time. Huntsville High School leadership team and I were able to visit West Port High School last week and observe "Power Hour". It was truly an amazing experience. We spoke to several students and they all responded with positive comments. Comments included:
- "I can participate in clubs now. I ride the bus and I wasn't able to stay after school."
- "I usually go to my AP study sessions during this time."
- "I can practice for my theatre performance."
- "I can retake or make up a test during this time."
- "I can work on assignments and go meet with my teacher during his office hours."
So, what was my big ah-ha moment? As I learned about Power Hour during the session and prior to my school visit, I honestly was concerned that students would view this as a time to find "other" avenues to entertain themselves. However, what I observed was the complete opposite. Students were self-regulated, empowered, happy, polite and intentional about the use of this time. My ah-ha~ if students are given the opportunity to own their learning and be responsible for their learning, they can and they will!
How can you increase student empowerment and ownership of learning in your school? Let's think outside of the box! Each of you posses the spirit of innovation just like Jayne! Go for it... I am hear to bounce ideas around with you!!!
To check out Power Hour, click the link below.
Morris Elementary School receives Blue Ribbon Beacon Award
Weatherly Elementary School receives the Blue Ribbon Beacon Award
Monte Sano Elementary School receives the Blue Ribbon Lighthouse Award
Lead Alabama PLP- please make sure that you have entered evidence for November and December.
Career Tech Exam Exemptions- Susan Moon emailed high school principals last week regarding CT semester exam exemptions. Students who receive a credential in a carer tech course ( courses are noted in her email) can choose to exempt their semester final. If you have any questions, please email Susan Moon or Shelton Cobb.
Schoolnet- Schoolnet begins this week. High school semester exams will begin next week.
Principals' Meeting - Look forward to seeing everyone Tuesday, December 8th. We will have time for feeder pattern conversations again during this time. :-)
Self- Monitoring Plans- Please make sure you share your self- monitoring plans with you faculty and develop ways to measure your progress with each of your self-monitoring.
Grades- please ensure teachers are updating grades. At least one grade should be added per week.
The Week Ahead:
Schoolnet testing week
December 8- Principal's Meeting, GRADUATION RATE CORRECTIONS DUE
December 10- AP/TOSA meeting; Board meeting
December 10- Freshman Academy Roundtable- Columbia High School
December 16, 3:30-4:30- SGA meeting for high school principals
December 21-January 1 Winter Break
January 4- Teacher work day
January 5- Students return
January 11- STAR ( the assessment calendar states- January 5- we have asked this be moved to January 11- more to info to come)
January 11- Report cards go home
January 12- Principals' Meeting- you will conduct Instructional Rounds on this day
January 13- Proof of Residency Window opens
January 14- Principally Speaking, board meeting
January 18- Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Holiday- No School
January 20- Digital 1:1 tour ( school TBD)
January 21- Vertical team meetings ( location TBD)
January 25-29 SITE DATA
January 29- LTF training
February 1- ACCESS window opens
February 1-5 National School Counselor Week
February 2- Principals' Meeting
February 9- ACT WORK KEYS for 12th grade
February 12- BUILT IN SNOW DAY- possibly no school
February 15- BUILT IN SNOW DAY- possibly no school
February 17- LIFE PE Waivers due to Secondary Programs
February 25- Graduation Planning meeting with principals and senior counselors
February 27 - i Register for rising 6th through 12th grade- VBS 10:00-2:00
Rigor, Relevance, and Relationships
Quad A- Low level of knowledge, no application
Quad B- Basic level of knowledge, real world application
Quad C- High level of knowledge, no real world application ( "the giver of content")
Quad D- High level, real world application ( cross- curricula, inquiry based, student driven, project based)
The Lee High School feeder pattern will be piloting this model beginning next semester. In the meantime, if you are interested in the rigor and relevance framework, please check out the link below ( ICLE homepage). Also, one important aspect of this model are rubrics, specifically rubrics for detemerming if a lesson is rigorous and relevant. I am also providing a link below of a high school that developed a rubric guide for what students are doing and what type of questions students are asking. One great way to empower teachers is to have teachers develop the rigor and relevance rubrics based on the framework. This allows teachers to dig into the standards and collaborate across disciplines to discuss strategies that increase conceptual learning. Please let me know if I can help with this! How will you build rigor and relevance in your school?
Thought for the Week:
~ Jayne Ellspermann