January Supervisor's Corner
Kingsway Regional School District ~ 2016
Celebrating Success in the New Year!
- Congratulations to Mark Anderson who was named the January 2016 Spotlight Teacher!
- Congratulations to Mrs. Robin Jaramillo (High School Science) and Mrs. Emily Virga (Middle School Special Education) who have been selected as Kingsway Regional School District's Teacher of the Year at their respective buildings!
- Thank you to the Business and Technology Department as well as Apryl Palazzo and the HS Guidance Department for coordinating a highly successful 2015 Hour of Code at Kingsway Regional High School. Throughout the week of December 7th, students engaged in a wide variety of computer science activities and were able to demystify coding and learn basic computer programming. To date, over 100 million students worldwide have participated in an Hour of Code.
- Congratulations to the Kingsway Regional High School marching band who came in first place at the Delaware State University US Bands Group 2A National Championships with a score of 97.1 (the highest score Kingsway has ever received). The marching band also won Best Overall Effect, Best Music, and Best Percussion. Congratulations to Marching Band Director, Mr. Nick Kline, and supporting faculty members Mr. Joe Henderson, Ms. Ashley Blubaugh, and Mr. Tom Stelling.
- New STEM Instructional Supervisor: We welcome Ms. Megan Bruder as the new STEM Instructional Supervisor for grades 6-12 at South Harrison Township Elementary and Kingsway Regional School District. Megan will be joining the Curriculum and Instruction Team beginning in January 2016. We look forward to working with her in the new year!
- Strategic Planning for Vision 2019: Promising Excellence begins January 13th at 7pm in the west cafeteria. Come be a part of the plan!
- The Third Annual Curriculum & Program Night and Open House will take place on January 27th from 6:30-9pm.
Kingsway Regional High School Offers a Business and Leadership Academy in 2016!
This September, Kingsway Regional High School will expand its Academy Program offerings through the introduction of its Business and Leadership Academy.
The Kingsway Business and Leadership Academy (KBLA) is a four-year program for motivated incoming 9th graders that is designed to afford students with the business and financial skills necessary for success in any professional career. The overarching goal of the Academy is to provide students with a comprehensive curriculum relevant to the underpinnings of the business world using a collaborative student-centered approach to learning. Understanding and learning within the program will center on reinforcement of concepts found within the Framework for 21st Century Learning, which highlight “…the skills and knowledge students need to succeed in work, life and citizenship, as well as the support systems necessary for 21st century learning outcomes.” Through their active participation in this program, students will be effectively prepared for college business programs through exposure to various foundations critical to the business world with a focus on collaboration, project-based learning, and emphasis on 21st Century Learning. These skills, such as critical thinking, financial literacy, flexibility, collaboration, etc. are not only critical to a student’s success in high school but also college and career.
The Business and Leadership Academy will be presented to the community at Curriculum and Program Night on January 27th.
PLT Focus for January
- SGOs: Use a variety of formative & summative assessments to determine how students are progressing on grade-level standards. Look for similarities and differences in student performance and discuss ways to adjust your instruction when needed.
- Preparing for the next CSA: Continue to examine your CSAs in relation to where your students are currently performing and where you expect them to perform at the next CSA. (see Item Analysis section from the December Supervisor's Corner).
- Curricular revisions: As you progress through the year and find units of instruction in need of improvement, please continue to make any needed revisions to curriculum documents that are located in Callisto.
- Special Education (only): Continue to research ways to track accommodations and modifications. Begin to shift the conversation to modifications: What are appropriate/fitting curricular modifications? How do we know when they are necessary, and what do those modifications looks like?
Reminder: Each PLT will record minutes for the meeting (set up in Google). You may record and organize the minutes however your PLT would like. The following key information should be evident in the meeting minutes: date, attendance, goal(s) for the PLT meetings, progress toward the goal, and the direction for the next meeting.
DI & Assessment Literacy
January 19th and January 25th mark the final meeting dates and the conclusion of our Semester I PD focus on Differentiated Instruction at Kingsway Regional Middle School and Kingsway Regional High School respectively.
During Semester II, the focus of our PD Mondays will concentrate on Assessment Literacy. Joined by members of the Curriculum and Instruction Team, faculty Department Chairs will be introducing Assessment Literacy during the February In-Service day. More information will be forthcoming regarding the February In-Service.
Grading: Closing out Semester I & Beginning Semster II
As we close out the semester at both the middle school and high school, there are a few key items to remember when it comes to grading.
Grades communicate important information to students, parents, and others within the school. For example, An “A” should communicate that the student not only “gets” the standard being taught, but the student can apply the information. A “B” should communicate that the student “gets” the standard being taught. A “C” should communicate that the student “gets” the majority of the standard but there are gaps in knowledge. A “D” should communicate that there are major gaps in understanding. An “F” indicates the student does not “get” the standard being taught at all.
Therefore, a teacher's online grade book is a "snapshot in time" and an important tool when communicating a student’s most current or “real time” status in the class and progress toward mastery. Consistently updated grade books promote communication among stakeholders and demonstrates the progress a student is making toward mastery of the course standards. When grade books are not updated on a frequent basis, students and parents are not provided the opportunity to have timely information regarding student progress. Additionally, unexpected large project scores toward the end of a grading period which impact a student’s grade significantly should not occur.
Semester Recommendations for Teachers
We recognize that many teachers already implement some of the practices below and encourage you to continue to maintain a consistent open-line of communication with students, parents/guardians, guidance counselors, case managers, administrators, etc. in an effort to fully support student progress throughout the school year.
- Revisit Routines: Establishing routines, procedures, and expectations at the very start of the school year for things such as homework, missing work, absences, retakes, corrections, etc. are critical. For example, when a student is absent from class, place missed notes and assignments and or assessment notifications in a folder secured to a bulletin board. When students return to class, have him or her access the folder. If the student missed an assessment, leave a note for the student to come see you; follow up with that student. Revisit these throughout the year, especially as we enter a new semester. Post these procedures on your website for both students and parents to access and review at back to school night.
- Grade Book & Communication. Every two weeks, ensure your grade book is updated with all current assignments. If you notice any concern that a student may be at risk for receiving a failing grade, inform both the student and parent (email or phone). Provide specific information as to why the grade may be low (i.e. missing work, attendance, low assessment grades, etc.) as well as what options there are for the student to get themselves back on track (i.e. SMART assistance, after school help, retest, AAP, etc.). Use multiple means for communicating with parents. For example, if you are emailing a parent and not receiving a response, contact that parent via phone. It is beneficial to also to keep the student’s guidance counselor in the loop along the way.
- Monthly Grade Book Printouts. Implement a procedure in which monthly grade book printouts through Power Teacher are provided to students. A suggestion may be to ask those students who are in danger of failing to get the printouts signed by a parent/guardian. If it is not returned the next day, contact the parent/guardian via email/phone.
- Early, frequent, and decisive intervention. Rather than waiting for a student’s failure in a course to precipitate a parent meeting, contact the student’s guidance counselor to set up a meeting to discuss what issues are persisting, what interventions are available, and how to best support the student for a successful school year.
- Plan for Assessment. Map out your grading for the semester to ensure you will have the proper amount of assignments/assessments in each of the categories by mid-semester and end of the semester. Do not administer large assessments toward the end of the semester that may catch the student/parent off guard. If there is a concern that a student may fail at the semester, the expectation is that consistent communication has occurred between and among teacher/student/parent.
Professional Development: January PLWs
The PLW workbook is updated with all of the January workshops!
- January 11, 2016: Using Your Curriculum to Write Essential Questions (continuation of the November PLW on How To Make Your Questions Essential)
- January 12, 2016: Preparing for Annual Reviews: Criteria for Recommending Modifications and the Least Restrictive Continuum
- January 14, 2016: Excel Basics
- January 20, 2016: Tips and Strategies for Working With ELL Students
- January 21, 2016: Understanding the New SAT
- January 27, 2016: Helping Students Track Their Own Progress
- January 28, 2016: Demystifying PARCC Score Reports
Content-Specific Presenters Needed! If you have an idea for a PLW, please contact Stefanie Fox-Manno. She would love to learn more about your ideas for a workshop. As a presenter, you receive 3 professional development hours and get paid for the hour that you present.
Please remember to submit reflection forms for Dragon Hours within five days of a workshop. All information related to Dragon Hours, can be found on our webpage by going to For Staff - Professional Development - and Dragon Hours.
Supporting G.R.E.A.T. Instruction
To support G.R.E.A.T. Instruction, we have included examples and explanations on DQ 2, Element 6: Identifying Critical Information.
Element 6 sets the tone for the lesson.
It is here that the teacher carefully selects the critical information to be taught and ensures it is at a high enough level to ensure rigor. The focus here should be for a teacher to identify elements of the new content that are critical to a student’s success in meeting the learning goal. Each learning goal should have 2-3 critical-input experiences that provide focus for the teacher and the students. These critical-input experiences should utilize a variety of learning modalities and be fast-paced and engaging to help anchor the information in memory. Implementation strategies include the following:
- Storyboards, Graphics Organizers, Pictures, Movie Clips, Demonstrations, or Photographs
- Relevant Stories, Personal Stories, Dramatic Enactments, or Audio Presentations
Body Language and Voice to Portray Excitement or Suspense
- Raising or lowering voice, Eye contact with students, Gesturing, Facial Expressions, Movement around room, or Pause time at key points
Scaffold Supports and Extension of Learning
• Create sentence strips that contain critical and non-critical content and have students sort them into those categories
• Develop specific routines to identify critical content so that students recognize the cues
• Post resources that students can reference such as, picture keys, important steps of a process, interactive word walls
• Provide pictures of hand gestures used when presenting critical content
• Provide a list of key words
• Prepare a list of questions to hand to students who struggle with identifying critical content
• Provide a graphic organizer that has some examples already embedded
Extension of Learning:
• Students create their own organizer
• Students create their own questions about the critical content
• Rank critical content in order of significance
Have students create a quick guide on ways to identify critical content as you are reading
Please access the video links below for more information:
2016 PARCC Testing Schedule (regular administration)
Kingsway Regional Middle School
- Testing will last between 80 and 110 minutes each day. The ELA portion is comprised of 3 units and the mathematics portion is comprised of 3 units.
- ELA (7, 8) and Mathematics (7, 8, Algebra I): April 19th – May 10th
Kingsway Regional High School
- Testing will last between 90 and 110 minutes each day. The ELA portion is comprised of 3 units and the mathematics portion is comprised of 3 units.
- ELA (9, 10, 11) and Mathematics (Algebra I, Geometry, Algebra II): April 12th – April 22nd
*PLEASE NOTE: All make-up testing will occur after the regular administration has concluded.
PARCC: Updates and Information
• Individual score reports (ISR) for middle school students who took the 2014-15 PARCC Assessment were sent home before winter break. At this point, all ISRs have been sent home to Kingsway parents and students.
• A second PLW, "Demystifying PARCC Score Reports," has been scheduled for Thursday, January 28, 2016. This PLW will breakdown and examine the PARCC individual score report (ISR), explain how to interpret the PARCC scores, and provide a myriad of PARCC resources for educators.
• We have added several educator-specific PARCC resources on the district website. You can find these resources on our district website under For Staff – Curriculum & Instruction – and PARCC Resources
• December 2015: Student-level PARCC score reports released to districts (Middle School, Elementary Schools)
• January 2016: PARCC disaggregate data released to districts (High School, Middle School, Elementary Schools)
• March 2016: Educator median Student Growth Percentile (mSGP) reports released to districts for use in finalizing 2014-15 evaluations for qualifying educators.
Should you have any specific questions regarding PARCC, please do not hesitate to contact Robert Rosenheim at firstname.lastname@example.org.
*PLEASE NOTE: The PARCC will only be administered once this school year during the spring.
SGOs 2.1: On the Road to Ownership - What Now?
Continuously revisit your SGO goals, as your instruction and students' progress through the school year should involve using data gained from your formative and summative assessments. Please remember to save sample student evidences for discussion in the spring. Information and support on Student Growth Objectives (SGOs) can be found on our website under For Staff - Evaluations - and SGO Information
Kingsway SGO Timeline
- February 15, 2015: SGO Revision Deadline
- March 25, 2015: SGO Process Complete (begin preparation for summative meetings)