Humanities Happenings

Updates from Saratoga Springs CSD

March/April 2015

District Literacy Team

District Literacy Team subgroups met in March & April and continue to work on their goals of improving progress monitoring, response to intervention (RtI) diagnostic tools and flow chart, writing K-8, and guided reading & accountable independent reading (GRAIR). The progress monitoring and RtI subgroups will meet together in June with a professor from St. Rose who will help us refine our process in order to meet student needs. The writing subgroup has been exploring materials from Lucy Calkins to develop common language, rubrics, and possible formative assessments to improve writing instruction.

We are also trying to determine the best acronym for students to use when responding to open ended questions in order to use consistent language across the district. RIPPS (restate, infer, proof, proof, summarize) or RAPPS (restate, answer & analyze, proof, proof, summarize)? Let your DLT representative know which you prefer!

If you are interested in joining this team, the next meeting is Wednesday, May 13th at 3:45 in MacFadden.
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Social Studies Taskforce

An ad hoc team of elementary, middle, and high school teachers will meet for the first time on May 26th to discuss the new Social Studies Frameworks, information released from NYSED, and begin to plan changes in K-12 instruction necessary to meet the new expectations.

Elementary teachers who are interested in being part of this group should talk to their principal. Social Studies teachers who are interested in attending should discuss with their department head.

3-8 ELA Testing & Scoring

Students across the district participated in 3-8 ELA assessments in April. Teachers in grades 2 through 8 worked under a tight deadline to score short and extended responses on more than 2400 assessments. Their hard work--as well as the hard work of all the secretaries, clerical staff, custodians, and administrators who had to organize and prepare materials behind the scenes--is greatly appreciated!
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Pen Pals from Kenya

Students in 6H at Maple Avenue each have a pen pal from the Ewaso School in Kenya. The students in Ms. Calvin’s social studies classes exchange letters on a monthly basis with their new friends. While English is not the primary language of the pen pals, they have been learning English in school. The Ewaso students previously had no electricity and therefore no access to electronic communication. Through a generous donation by people in the Saratoga Springs area, they were provided with 10 laptops and a generator. The students have been able to meet their pen pals via Skype. They ask each other questions, sing songs for each other, and laugh together just like they would with their friends here at Maple Avenue!

The Importance of Choir

Click on the link to view a video of composer John Rutter explaining the importance of choir. It is a lovely reminder of the importance of the arts to humanity.

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