Designing our Design LAB

2015-16: A Year of Learning, Making and Designing Together

Welcome Back!

Welcome to April! There's snow on the ground, so it might feel like we're ending Christmas Break, but I've double checked-it is in fact Spring. This is a crucial part of the year for staff and students. For the students, we're headed into the home stretch. This means different things for all our students. Seniors believe it's time to stop working and time to stop coming to school. We have to guard against this because as we know, many of our students are not yet on track to graduate. For other grades, students begin thinking of this time as the "end of the year." In fact, we have most of the fourth quarter to go, and tons of state testing to accomplish.


For staff, we often view this time of year as a time to slow down and ease into the end of the year. This cannot occur at Design Lab this year. As we know, we are a failing school. We've got to determine what instructional practices we need to adjust, add, and change to improve student learning. We must also determine what systems, structures, and policies we need to adjust, add, or change to support our school.


I hope everyone is returning rested and rejuvenated because there's lots to be done!

You Can Make It Day

The district declared Monday, April 4th a You Can Make It Day, so students do not have to be in uniform.

Individual Meetings This Week

Please make sure you have read the email I sent to everyone on Thursday, March 24th. Each of you received an email inviting you to your fifteen minute meeting with me on Monday.

As a reminder, we will discuss:


-What you intend for students to learn in the upcoming week

-What standard(s) you are teaching during the week

-How you will know if the students are learning what is intended

-What your plan is for students who may not be learning what is intended

-What support you need from me to help all students learn what is intended during the week


I will be coming around this week to visit classes and check lesson plans. I won't be collecting anything, and these are non-evaluative visits. Please leave your lesson plan for the day on your desk, so I don't need to interrupt your lesson to ask you for it.

Robotics This Week:

There is Robotics this week, but because of NWEA Testing, it is shifting from Wednesday to Friday, April 8th. Please tell all Robotics students this on Monday.

Visitors to Design Lab This Week

We have two visits scheduled for this week:

Friday, April 8-9:30-10:30-The Cleveland Transformation Alliance (Team of 2-3) will be visiting. They will be visiting classrooms.

Friday, April 8-Ann Mullin from the Gund Foundation is visiting from 12:00-2:00. She will be visiting classes.

Testing in April

April is filled with student testing. We all need to be on the same page regarding when testing is occurring and who has what responsibilities. As a staff, we have always stepped up and done everything possible to make sure testing runs smoothly. I have no doubt we will continue this practice again this testing season. Please make sure you are reading all emails from Jessica Yox. Her last email, regarding NWEA testing was sent out on 3/24. Please review it. Here are the highlights:


Our first tests are this Tuesday, April 5th and Wednesday, April 6th.



The testing schedule is as follows:


Tuesday, April 5, 2016 - Reading Assessment

Start Time: 8:20AM

End Time: 10:00AM

Ninth Grade Proctors: Stickel, Paris, O'Hara, White

Tenth Grade Proctors: Witt, Senor, Beavers, Bailey

Late Arrivals: Romito (1st), Yeung (2nd)


Wednesday, April 6, 2016 - Math Assessment

Start Time: 8:20AM

End Time: 10:00AM

Ninth Grade Proctors: Gill, Paris, O'Hara, White

Tenth Grade Proctors: Romito (7th)/Witt (6th), Senor, Beavers, Bailey

Late Arrivals: Stickel (7th), Yeung (6th)


11th and 12th grade classes will take place as normal (and pass at the bell), with no passes during classes.



Each proctor will be assigned students, similar to the groupings used for the Winter NWEA offering. These lists will be posted on the office window when students arrive back from spring break on April 4, 2016. Tests will take place in the proctor's classroom. Ms. Bailey will test in 202A, Ms. White will test in 203A.

Testing Schedule Changes! Please Be Aware of This and Let Students Know On Monday

On Tuesday, April 5, we will follow our regular school schedule.

On Wednesday, April 6, we will follow a reverse schedule (7th - 1st). By following a reverse schedule, we will still ensure each teacher receives a prep period, and we will not have to deal with two days of instruction without all of our classes. Ms. Yox will print off a copy of the reverse schedule on Monday, but all class times will remain the same.

Proctor Responsibilities

Proctors will need to:

  • ​Collect cell phones from students prior to testing.
  • Once testing begins, inform students of the website, Test ID, and password.
  • Monitor the testing room until 10am. No student is allowed to leave the testing room until testing has ended throughout the building. If a student is still testing at 10am, Ms. Yox will move the student to an alternate location and continue testing.

Late arrivals, as well as any 11th/12th grade students enrolled in a proctor's class, will be monitored each day. Ms. Yox will place a note on each proctor's door with instructions for these students. Ms. Yox will also provide you with the website, Test ID, and password Tuesday morning.

Motivating Students for the NWEA

Please remember how successful we were in motivating our students to take the NWEA seriously in the winter. We need to repeat this for the Spring Test. Ms. Asberry has scheduled meetings with the relevant 9th and 10th grade teachers to give an updated version of her successful pep talk. Please make sure you are talking to all students about getting to school on time on Tuesday and Wednesday, being at their best, and taking the tests seriously.

200 Minutes This Week

After having three extra days of personal planning after school; here's the plan for the week:

Monday, April 4-Personal Planning Time/APT/BLT Meeting

Tuesday, April 5-Personal Planning Time/APT/BLT Meeting

Wednesday, April 6-Learning by Doing

Thursday, April 7-Learning by Doing