Curriculum and Assessment Updates

November 2022

Ayla Steere - School Counseling and Plants

In 2013 Ayla visited NH for the first time moving into her dorm at Plymouth State University, and never left. She graduated from PSU in 2017 with a degree in Interdisciplinary Studies, where she was able to build her own degree in Women’s Health.

After graduation she worked in PSU’s Admissions Office as an Transfer Academic Advisor while working on her graduate degree in School Counseling that she completed in 2019.

Outside of school, Ayla has been the JV Volleyball Coach for three years; she has played volleyball since 2005. She serves on the Plymouth State University Alumni Board of Directors and is the Scholarship Coordinator. This past May she purchased a home in Bristol with her partner where they spend much of their time making it their own with their two kitties and several plants.

This fall she launched the newly created Senior Seminar pilot course where students are working on picking a “problem” to solve. They are really interested in systems and how how they operate.

Plymouth State, A University Like No Other
* If you would like to have a classroom activity or lesson featured in an upcoming newsletter, please email me! I'd love to share the wonderful work happening in your classes.

Rooted Relationships

Following up on Charlie Appelstein's presentation on positive behavior interventions, the Podcast Rooted Relationships takes a look at the intersection between education and science in building strong relationships for young people to flourish.

"Just as a system of roots supports and nourishes trees as they develop and grow, nurturing relationships with adults provide a foundation for young people’s development by offering them guidance, encouragement, and new opportunities. Cultivating strong roots nourishes young people and supports their development and growth. This podcast provides scientific insights from renowned researchers and experts that will help you build meaningful relationships with young people."

The first episode is a conversation with Dr. Angela Duckworth about her research into grit and work at the Character Lab - insights for parents and educators, based on science.

How do you define character?

We define character as everything we do to help other people as well as ourselves.

As an organizing principle, we separate character strengths into three dimensions. Strengths of heart, such as gratitude, enable harmonious relationships with other people. Strengths of will, such as grit and self-control, enable achievement. Strengths of mind, such as curiosity, enable independent thinking.

Character Lab also recognizes and supports a diversity of frameworks including SEL, whole child, and 21st-century skills.

Practical Trauma-Informed Strategies to Reduce Anxiety in Students


Speaker: Jessica Minahan, MEd, BCBA

December 1, 2022 | 8:30 am - 3:30 pm Central Time

With up to one in three children struggling with anxiety in this country, overwhelmed adults require a new approach as well as a practical and easy-to-implement toolkit of strategies that work. In the time of COVID19, and the subsequent societal changes, anxiety has become ever-present in students of all ages. It is probable that during a pandemic that heavily impacts everyday life, levels of anxiety in children and teens are even higher, and the possibility of subsequent trauma greater.

Through the use of case studies, humorous stories, and examples of everyday challenging situations, participants will learn easy to implement preventive tools, strategies, and interventions for reducing anxiety, increasing self-regulation, accurate thinking, and self-monitoring in students. Virtual classroom and traditional classroom examples will be shared.

Jessica Minahan, MEd, BCBA, is a licensed and board-certified behavior analyst, special educator, as well as a consultant to schools internationally ( Jessica has over seventeen years of experience supporting students who exhibit challenging behavior in urban public school systems. She is the co-author of The Behavior Code: A Practical Guide to Understanding and Teaching the Most Challenging Students (Harvard Education Press, 2012) and author of The Behavior Code Companion: Strategies, Tools, and Interventions for Supporting Students with Anxiety-Related or Oppositional Behaviors (Harvard Education Press, 2014).

Learner Objectives:

1. Describe the relationship between anxiety and working memory

2. Describe why traditional breaks might not be effective for students with anxiety or trauma histories

3. Identify why common interventions may not always work for students with anxiety-related behavior

4. Enumerate strategies for reducing negative thinking toward writing

5. Participants will be able to enumerate strategies to promote initiation skills in students with work avoidance

Registration Cost:

Early Bird (Register on or before November 4th, 2022), $150

Regular Pricing (Register after November 4th, 2022), $175

Math Pilots, K-8

Brave educators in grades 2, 3, 4, 5, and 7 started piloting new math programs after extensive discussion last school year. During the summer Math Retreat, a review of eight different math programs. We researched each, using EdReports for additional information and ratings. We settled on two programs to pilot:

Illustrative Math

Eureka Math

The Mascoma CIA is using a Math Program Review Rubric , (thank you to the Massachusetts DOE for this resource as part of their Curate Program - Curriculum Ratings by Teachers), to assess the validity of the pilot programs as well as our current math programs (Everyday Math and SAVVAS).

We will report out results of the pilots and rubric scores at a January faculty meeting.

Math Professional Development - YouCubed

The youcubed team and I will also be busy in the coming months hosting a new series of workshops about Teaching Mathematics through Big Ideas! These workshops incorporate the latest research and teaching strategies from youcubed and are tailored for either the elementary years or the middle years of schooling.

Teaching Mathematics through Big Ideas in the Middle Years

Teaching Mathematics through Big Ideas in the Elementary Years

Discovery Education

Check out the November Newsletter for resources that support timely events like Native American Heritage Month, Election Day, Veteran’s Day, Thanksgiving, and much more!
Tech for Tomorrow Virtual Field Trip | Discovery Education and The Tech Interactive

Assessment Schedule

Please find attached the 2022-2023 MVRSD Assessment Schedule and resources

Frontline for Professional Growth

Please see the Frontline Help Document for directions, including screenshots and videos, on the Frontline process for tracking individual professional development. Additionally, the Frontline Help icon in the top right-hand corner has a wealth of information.

Check with your building P.D. Representatives for individual questions.

Big picture

Virtual Curriculum, Instruction and Assessment meetings

Grade and subject specific curriculum meetings will begin in October. We will continue to meet virtually - a calendar.invite with a will be sent to each group.

22-23 Faculty In-Service Calendar

November 10 - ED (elementary & IRS Parent-Teacher Conference)

January 13 - ED

March 30 - ED

March 31 - Teacher Workshop Day

April 19 - ED (elementary & IRS Parent-Teacher Conference)

May 3 - ED

Early Release and PD Days, 2022-2023

Please follow this link to find the draft schedule of professional development for the 2022-2023 school year. We will continue to focus on completing Scope and Sequence documents; the Math Institute work on this document will help shape our formatting. We will use this information to start planning common Performance-Based Assessments (PBAs).

Director of Curriculum, Instruction, and Assessment

Angel Burke

“Be the change you wish to see in the world” ~ Mahatma Gandhi