NRES Staff Newsletter

Week of October 18th, 2015

Around the Building

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OTES Folder Updated and More

I've uploaded some more resources in the OTES folder on drive. If you have items that may be useful to everyone please let me know, so I can place them in there.

I'll be meeting with the other elementary principals tomorrow to discuss OTES and SLO's. After we meet I'll send out an email with an OTES/SLO update.

Please let me know if you have not received an email regarding your eTPES (electronic teacher and principal evaluation system) account. If you've previously accessed your account you would not have received an email.

Also, please let me know what information you may need to help with this new process.

4th Grade Social Studies and 5th Grade Science Test Results

The first official scores for new state testing came out this past week. I want to thank and congratulate our 4th grade and 5th grade teachers especially Roberta and Dane on the tremendous job they did.

4th Grade Social Studies (70% needed to meet the indicator)

  • NR-86%
  • RH-80%
  • SV-64%
  • Dist-76%

5th Grade Science (62% needed to meet the indicator)

  • NR-75%
  • RH-69%
  • SV-31%
  • Dist-57%

Testing Update

We will no longer be using the Iowa Assessment as a gifted screener or as an alternate for the Third Grade Reading Guarantee.

For Gifted Identification

When looking at our testing schedules and trying to find ways to reduce the time our students spend taking assessments, we have discovered that Ohio recognizes the STAR Assessment as an approved screener for gifted identification. Previously, we have utilized the IOWA. However, since the STAR is an approved instrument, we have decided to eliminate the IOWA in order to decrease testing time/increase instructional time.

The STAR assessment will be used as a pre-screener. Students who score in the 94% or higher in Math or Reading, will be tested by gifted staff. We will continue to take parent and teacher referrals as well.

We feel this is a beneficial option not only because it will be increasing instructional time, but also because we will be screening all elementary students three times each year.


This year we will be using the Terra Nova as an alternate assessment for the TGRG. The Terra Nova has a more user friendly layout and will be graded in-house to allow for quicker results return, and in turn allow us to target those students in need of intervention. We will administer the Terra Nova the first week of November.

A Concise Guide to the Science of Learning

From the Blog-The Brilliant Report

The following is a summary of the most useful cognitive principles that should guide parents, teachers, and managers:

  • Students learn new ideas by reference to ideas they already know . . . and so: we should help students connect new ideas to old ideas with well-developed analogies. (Read more about making good analogies here.)

  • To learn, students must transfer information from working memory (where it is consciously processed) to long-term memory (where it can be stored and later retrieved) . . . and so: we should show students how to employ the strategies of retrieval, spacing, and interleaving. (Read more about these techniques here.)

  • Students have limited working memory capacities that can be overwhelmed by tasks that are cognitively too demanding . . . and so: we should help students break tasks down into manageable steps. (Read more about when to make learning easier and when to make it harder here.)

  • We usually want students to remember what information means and why it is important, so they should think about meaning when they encounter to-be-remembered material . . . and so: we should teach students to self-explain—that is, ask and answer questions about the meaning of what they're learning. (Read more about the value of self-explanation here.)

  • Each subject area has some set of facts that, if committed to long-term memory, aids problem-solving by freeing working memory resources and illuminating contexts in which existing knowledge and skills can be applied . . . and so: we should expect students to learn, understand, and remember this set of facts—not just be able to "Google it." (Read more about the importance of committing facts to memory here.)

  • The transfer of knowledge or skills to a novel problem requires both knowledge of the problem’s context and a deep understanding of the problem’s underlying structure . . . and so: we should offer students a variety of examples that differ in their surface structure but share the same deep structure. (Read more about knowledge transfer and how it works here.)

  • Beliefs about intelligence are important predictors of student behavior in school . . . and so: we should encourage students to set learning goals, and should praise them for their effort and their use of effective strategies to reach those goals—rather than for being "smart." (Read more about the importance of a growth mindset here.)

  • The ability to monitor their own thinking can help students identify what they do and do not know, but people are often unable to accurately judge their own learning and understanding . . . and so: we should show students how self-explaining and self-testing can give them a more accurate sense of their own knowledge. (Read more about developing metacognition here.)

  • Students will be more motivated and successful in academic environments when they believe that they belong and are accepted in those environments . . . and so: we should let students know that we have high standards, and that we believe they can meet those standards. (Read more about creating a sense of belonging here.)

Behavior Management Reminders

As the first quarter comes to a close here are a couple of reminders regarding behavior:

  • Reinforce Positives - The expectations that we foster through our Incentive for Success Program (Caught Being Good, Star Student, Project Wisdom Announcements, HOF) need to be reinforced with students, especially those who may be some of our more challenging students. Find ways to recognize them when they are doing things "The Northridge Way." If you keep doing this, it will go a long way in supporting the expectations we have promoted with the students.

  • Clip Chart (K-3) - The Clip Chart system is a great way to help student visually monitor their behavior. During the course of the day, the clothespins move up and down the chart based upon the behavioral choices each student makes. Good behavior causes the clothespin to move up one level. Conversely, inappropriate behavior will cause the clothespin to move down one level. This allows teachers the ability to really focus on positive behaviors and not just the negative ones. Also, students using the Clip Chart can experience a true sense of accomplishment as their clothespin moves up the chart because of their good choices. If a student does end up on Outstanding, it’s because he/she earned it. They didn’t start out on that level. They actually got there by being a responsible, productive student. Here's a link to an e-book on the clip chart.


  1. Top of the Chart Category: clothespin clipped vertically.
  2. Off the Chart: clothespin clipped to teacher's shirt, necklace, or lanyard.
  3. Parent Contact at the Top of the Chart: clothespin clipped to Parent Contact sign located above the Clip Chart.

  • Behavior Point System (4 & 5) - The behavior point system is similar to the clip chart. something that is in place to try and give teachers the opportunity to discourage repeated poor behavior and encourage positive behavior. When issuing behavior points, I would suggest using them in 5 point increments, but you can issue less or more depending on the behavior. In addition, behavior point are for BEHAVIOR ISSUES. In other words, if students don’t turn in homework for a certain class, then behavior points should not be assigned. Also, when students reach behavior point levels of 15 and 30, phone calls should be made home to parents. This is crucial in getting parents to understand that there is an issue in class that needs to be corrected, and gives them an opportunity to work with us.

  • Interventions - All students respond to different things. Sometimes you may need to experiment with different intervention processes to reinforce expectations. When you get to a point with a student that traditional or typical interventions do not impact a student, the following link to PBIS World is a tremendous resource to assist teachers and educational leaders. The website will give you various strategies for assisting students who may have a wide range of behavior issues. Please take some time to look at this website when you have some time, or if you are experiencing some issues with a student.

  • Discipline Referrals - Please know that any time that you feel that I need to speak with a student as a “reinforcement” to your conversations or discussions with a student, I am more than happy to do so. If you feel that a student warrants a referral to the office for disciplinary action please fill out the online referral. Here's a link. I suggest you bookmark it for easy access.

  • A Marathon vs. A Sprint - For many of us, we want the correcting of student behaviors to be somewhat instantaneous. Kind of like running a sprint in a race - fast, quick, and moving on to the next thing when it is over. Unfortunately, correcting behavior is more like running a marathon - slow, steady, and sometimes a lengthy process. We don’t always want to hear that, but it is true. Keep in mind that many of the students that we bring into the building may not have consistent guidance at home. Therefore, it is important for us to teach, re-teach, and reinforce the characteristics and qualities that we know will be important as they move into middle school, high school, and beyond.

Math, ELA Blueprints Released for 2015-2016 State Tests

As part of the work to create Ohio’s State Tests for 2015-2016, the department has published test blueprints for math and English language arts covering grades 3-8 and high school.

Blueprints serve as guides for test construction and provide an outline of the content and skills to be measured on the tests. They contain information about individual tests, including the number of test items, the number of points on the tests and show how the learning standards are grouped in order to report the test results. The blueprints are available at this link < under “General Resources.”

The blueprints are an important milestone in the test development process. Ohio educators are working to help build new math and English language arts tests that – while still aligned to existing Ohio’s Learning Standards – will be 39-50 percent shorter than the previous PARCC tests. The new tests will be used starting in April 2016.

New practice site open for district test administrators

The enhanced Test Administrator Practice Site for the 2015-2016 school year

is now available on the Ohio’s State Tests Portal < ODE encourages personnel administering Ohio’s State Tests online to practice setting up mock test sessions in advance of testing. Please see the Test Administrator User Guide < for more information.

In addition, test administrators will benefit from completing the Test Administrator Certification Course < to prepare for Ohio’s State Tests. This course provides step-by-step instructions for starting a test session in the Test Administrator Interface, marking student test settings, approving students to test and monitoring a test session. Test administrators who used the Test Administrator Interface to administer science and social studies tests in spring 2015 also should review this year’s course.

The course is generic in nature; ODE advises personnel to review the companion document < while completing the course. The document offers Ohio-specific information and clarifications. Note that the course runs best with the Firefox and Chrome browsers.

MEMO 607-This week's quotes and articles come from School Administrator, American Educator (more next week), Independent School (more next week), The New York Times, AMLE Magazine, Education Week, School Adminstrator, and an online video. The headlines:

  • Changing the metaphor we use to describe the mind
  • What does real forgiveness look like?
  • Ruby Payne on connection and belonging in middle schools
  • Carol Dweck on glitches in the implementation of mindsets thinking
  • How can students' opinions of teachers have maximum impact?
  • Some do's and don'ts of using rubrics in classrooms
  • Four tiers of integrating instructional technology
  • World War II deaths

If you want an HTML version of this week's Memo, please click here:

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Things to do:

  1. Enter grades by Tuesday night @ 11:00 p.m.
  2. Make sure goals are set in STAR
  3. Fill out Mr. Miller's Key/Fob Survey
  4. Send Conference Schedules to Rob
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10 Day Forecast

Monday, October 19

  • Pledge-Doogs
  • Arts in the Classroom, Treasure Island, 1:15 p.m.

Tuesday, October 20

  • Pledge-Harris
  • IAT Meeting-Blaker, 8:00 a.m.
  • Grades Due, 11:00 p.m.

Wednesday, October 21

  • Pledge-Harris

Thursday, October 22

  • Pledge-Johnson

Friday, October 23

  • Pledge-Wyen
  • 3rd Grade Field Trip to Ohio Caverns
  • Grade Cards Go Home
  • Flu Vaccinations @ KRHS, 3:00-5:00 p.m. in the teachers lounge

Monday, October 26

  • Pledge-Doss
  • CCCHD Inspection (Health Inspection)
  • 2nd Grade Team Meeting, 10:00 a.m.

  • IEP Meeting-5th Grade, 2:00 p.m.

Tuesday, October 27

  • Pledge-Fairbanks
  • 4th Grade Team Meeting, 10:40 a.m.
  • Kindergarten Team Meeting, 1:05 p.m.

Wednesday, October 28

  • Pledge-J. Roberts
  • 1st Grade Team Meeting, 12:30 p.m.

Thursday, October 29

  • Pledge-Clay
  • IAT Meeting-Harris, 10:00 a.m.
  • PTO Meeting, 6:00 p.m.

Friday, October 30

  • Pledge-Kugler
  • Halloween Parties, 1:15 p.m.