Secondary Spotlight

September 7, 2015

Happy Labor Day!

I hope everyone has had a wonderful Labor Day Weekend. This past week I had the opportunity to sit in on PLCs at Johnson High School and Hampton Cove Middle School. I first want to thank these schools for allowing me to visit! The conversations that teachers were having about data and instructional rounds were so powerful! I look forward to visiting all schools' data meetings and PLCs meetings.

In our principal meeting, we discussed "Cultures Built To Last". This book has great strategies to strengthen a school's PLC. It reminds me of the oldie but goodie, Whatever It Takes. How do you PLCs look in your school? Have your teachers established PLCs norms? Are your teachers driving the PLC agenda and the meetings? A great place to start a data meeting or a PLC meeting is with the 4 Critical Questions:

1. What is it we expect our students to learn?

2. How will we know when they have learned it?

3. How will we respond when some students do not learn?

4. How will we respond when some students already know it?

Check out this link for great ideas to strengthen your school PLC:

If you need any ideas or would like to discuss how to strengthen your PLC, please let me know! Glad to help :-)

A few reminders:

  • ACT Prep Course and After School Feedback - please send your feedback to your DOI and Donna Clark on how these courses are going. Please send in by Friday, September 11th.
  • Thank you for sending in your action plans! If you have any revisions to make, please make sure you send these in by Tuesday afternoon.
  • Just a reminder to send in your PD STI form. ~A gentle reminder that this PD day is focused on Culture Responsiveness.
  • CIP due September 25. Kay Zirbel will be sending an email with dates she will be available for assistance if you need it.
  • PEARSON PD Update- there will be no subs available for PEARSON PD this year.
  • Please ensure the M2M surveys are conducted this week.
  • Please make sure to read the revised STC handbook that Dr. McNeal sent last week regarding Testing Duties and Ethics. Please complete the form and return it to Dr. McNeal by September 14. ( I have attached the ALSDE info to this email)


September 8 ~ Assistant Principal/ TOSA meeting

September 9 ~ Freshman Academy Kick Off at HHS

September 9 ~ PBiS Overview for principals 1:00-3:00 Community Room

September 10~ Math Coaches meeting, ETC Room , 3:30-4:30

September 10~ Assistant Principal/ TOSA meeting

September 11~ ACT Prep Course and After School Tutoring Feedback to Christie Finley and Donna Clark


September 14 ~ Testing ethics form due to Dr. McNeal

September 17 ~ Principally Speaking ( The School's Foundation); Freshman Academy Administrators' Roundtable at Johnson High School

September 18 ~ 1/2 day for students; 1/2 PD for teachers

PSAT SATURDAYS at HHS - please remind students selected to attend. This past Saturday we had about 50 students.

Struggle Time in Secondary?

Why yes, of course! Do you have teachers that use struggle time at the beginning of each period. Struggle time, or metacognition activities, allow students to problem solve, collaborate and lead their learning! It works, trust me! It is an excellent way to build student engagement and inquiry based learning. How would you rate your school on using struggle time? Take a look at the article below for ideas of implementing "productive struggle and student facilitated learning".

Thought for the Week:

"Children are the priority. Change is the reality. Collaboration is the strategy."

Judith Billings