Edgerton Weekly #23

February 26, 2016

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5 Essentials

It's that time of year again when we take the 5 Essentials Survey. Your feedback is so important. It helps us reflect as a building on what we do well and where there is opportunity for growth. You should have gotten an email from 5 Essentials. The subject line is "Reminder: Invitation to take the 2016 Roseville Teacher Survey". If you haven't yet, please take the time to take the survey. If you haven't received a email from 5 Essentials, please check Sendio or let me know. Our 6th graders are taking the survey as well. The survey closes on March 18, 2016. Thanks in advance for your feedback and time.

Upcoming Professional Development

Friday, March 4 is a Professional Development Day. We'll be at Edgerton for the day. It's an opportunity for us to learn and be scholarly educators. Here is our agenda:

8:15-9:15 Formative Assessment of Learning Targets

9:15-11:15 Language Objectives and EL Instructional Best Practice led by our EL Team

11:15-12:15 Lunch

12:15-3:15 Math Expressions; The first hour will be led by Miles and the last two hours will be academic choice for Math Expressions

2016-2017 OLPA

The following information is for anyone involved in OLPA Testing. I received the following message from Jake Vondelinde that I thought you might all be interested in. :)

"Contrary to previous messages from MDE- OLPA will be available next school year! Just wanted to provide you with a heads up. The following message is from MDE: OLPA will be offered again next school year. The OLPA will be available for Reading in grades 3-8 and 10 and will be available for Math in grades 3-8 and 11. The assessment is an optional exam that is aligned to the Minnesota Academic Standards and is administered in the same manner as the Minnesota Comprehensive Assessments. At this time, the OLPA is not part of the assessment budget beyond school year 2016-17."

Overrepresentation ODR and Suspension Data

If a parent requests information regarding our Office Discipline Referral overrepresentation rate for black students/students of color, please defer them to me. While we share this data as a district, we do not share this data for individual sites. The same policy applies for suspension rates. It would be a breach of data privacy to release this information at the school level. Also, if families are looking for information, all data requests go through the district. This is a delicate conversation that I would prefer to have with families. Please let me know if you have any questions or if you would like to talk more about it.

Equity in All We Do-Windows and Mirrors

This week we had a staff meeting regarding Windows and Mirrors. For those who were not here, W&M is about providing students with windows into the world they live in and mirrors of their own lives. Simply put, it entails a classroom teacher talking to their class about equity, reading aloud a book that deals with social justice issue and then facilitating a discussion with their students around that issue. Something I forgot to mention this morning, when we did this work at Carver we gave the students a survey before we started the work and after. Based on their feedback, bullying was reduced by 50%. The books we have used in the past focused on: race, poverty, gender roles and GLBT Family. Based on the survey's you filled out, we are willing to move forward with this work. Everyone who circled a response circled yes. The E-Team will work on next steps and select the books we use.

Below is a reminder of the goals we hope to accomplish with Windows & Mirrors:

  1. Preventing student conflict and bullying;
  2. Increasing student achievement; Research shows how having a safe, respectful environment positively impacts student achievement.
  3. Improving school climate so all students and families feel safe and welcome; We want to create a safe space for students and families. It is our job as educators to equally ensure the safety of all our students. Every student deserves to feel valued in our school and in their classrooms. It is also an opportunity to develop empathy and caring. Our school is an inclusive school family. Everyone belongs here.
  4. To prepare our students to be global citizens. It's important to acknowledge that we live in a diverse society where there is a wide range of beliefs. Our purpose is not to get consensus around beliefs but rather to teach that regardless of our beliefs, the way we treat people matters. There is a difference between beliefs and behavior. Our focus is behavior. In this school, we treat each other respectfully and with kindness. In this school everyone has a right to feel safe and proud of who they are and who their family is. We are creating an environment that prepares our children to live peacefully and respectfully in a theologically diverse society.

Background Checks

I wanted to send out a quick reminder on background checks. If volunteers are supervised with students they do not need a background check. If they are not supervised with students, they do need a background check. For example, if you are going on a field trip and the volunteer will be alone with students, they should have a background check. I don't want to provide barriers for volunteers, but we also need to make sure our students are safe. Here’s a link to the background check form. The background checks usually take 2-3 weeks. There is a cost associated but if a family can’t afford it we can cover the cost.

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