Uinta County School District #1
Weekly Newsletter, December 2017-Volume 5
UCSD#1'S PATHWAY TO EXCELLENCE
The document entitled a “Pathway to Excellence” begins with the district’s vision, mission, and core value statements. It was approved by the school board as the district’s strategic plan in September 2017. It contains the district’s goals, critical commitments and non-negotiables for the 2017-2018 school year. It is concise, only three pages, and was developed to clarify the district’s direction and priorities.
The Pathway to Excellence was created collaboratively over the last ten years, and all district employees have had a part in its development in one way or another. As a living document, some of it is written in the language of our past, and is reflective of the many years of hard work and coordinated improvement efforts. Looking forward, it will focus more on the High Reliability School’s (HRS) indicators and terminology. The commitment of district leadership is to stay focused on the HRS indicators for the next five years until all of our schools are certified as High Reliability Schools.
To learn more about the Pathway to Excellence and HRS, click on the links and read through the documents. The objective is to have all employees focusing on the same goals, to have the same critical commitments, and to own the same non-negotiables.
WELCOME TO THE UCSD#1 TEAM!
Shannon has many years of secretarial experience in both the public and private sector. She's worked a good portion of those years with a school district in California before moving to Wyoming. Prior to her new position with the district, Shannon worked for the Wyoming WIC Program where she enjoyed working with the Evanston community. She's excited to be a part of the UCSD#1 team and looks forward to utilizing her skills (and learning new ones) in this position.
Alicia has lived in Evanston with her husband and three children for 6 1/2 years. She has been working for the school district for four years. She has worked as a substitute for the para-professional's and secretaries at Davis Middle School and was also lucky enough to work as an AVID tutor for three of those years. She worked at the Evanston Youth Club for 3 1/2 years. Although she will miss that job tremendously, she is very excited for her new position as a Para-Professional and a new chapter in her life with UCSD#1! She is looking forward to helping her students be successful in their learning and excited to learn and grow as a Para-Professional.
JOIN THE FUN!! CHRISTMAS SPIRIT WEEK IS COMING!!
Kick off the holidays with our first annual district-wide Christmas Spirit Week! Don't forget to share your pictures with us so that we can show them off! Send them to firstname.lastname@example.org. Invite your students to participate if you wish!
MONDAY DECEMBER 18TH
Long Winter's Nap-Wear your favorite pajamas!
TUESDAY DECEMBER 19TH
Awkward Family Photo Day-Wear your flannel shirts and take some funny photos with your colleagues!
WEDNESDAY DECEMBER 20TH
Ugly Sweater Day-Find your ugliest Christmas sweater and show it off!
RECOGNIZING AND CELEBRATING SUCCESS!
The first quarter of school, and then some, has been one of the most productive I’ve seen in 22 years of education! The level of collaboration taking place, and its impact on curriculum, are purely outstanding. I’ve had the opportunity to sit in on, or hear about, multiple middle school Thursday PLC meetings. The depth of conversation taking place about standards, content, and student performance will surely pay dividends for the students we serve. While the high school teachers have not had the same amount of time to work together, they are having similar conversations in many content areas.
To be very clear, the process of creating our guaranteed and viable curriculum through collaborative efforts by grade level and content level teams will take us three to five years. The following visual represents the bulk of the work in designing a guaranteed and viable curriculum.
Although each content department and grade level is at a different place in the process, great work is being done that will transform student achievement in our district. Students, teachers, and parents all look forward to the day when we can make the promise that all students in a grade level or course will be taught and assessed on the same essential learning goals. Thank you for your commitment to making this happen in UCSD #1. I look forward to our continued work together.
Please share the exciting things going on in your school or classroom (or someone you'd like to recognize) so that we can add them to the newsletter!
ELA/Reading Pilot Overview
Reading is the foundation of all learning. As you know, we have had a group of intentional teachers that have been meeting with the purpose of researching and studying the ingredients of effective ELA practices. The group has met regularly since the beginning of the 2016-2017 school year. Guiding principles (phonemic awareness, phonics, fluency, vocabulary and comprehension) were developed and serve as the anchor for the work that continues. Included in the guiding principles are the Wyoming Core ELA Standards.
Numerous comprehensive resources were studied and a careful analysis lead to the selection of two programs/resources to be piloted during the 2017-2018 school year. These two programs are Reach For Reading developed by National Geographic and Core Knowledge developed by Amplify. There are currently 18 classrooms ranging from Kindergarten to 5th grade that are participating in the reading pilot and all four elementary schools are represented as well. A decision will be made in April, 2018 regarding the resource that will be selected as a tool to support our curriculum and meet the demands of the Wyoming Core ELA Standards.
It is important to remember the rigorous and relevant instructional practices that have been an integral part of our approach to English Language Arts instruction. These research and evidence based practices will continue to be utilized in classrooms throughout the district. Effective practices currently in place will continue to impact student growth in ELA classrooms. These instructional tools, strategies and techniques include: effective lesson structure (connect, teach, active engagement, link, share-gradual release of learning), small group instruction, guided reading, purposeful strategy groups, learning targets, success criteria, questioning, accountable talk, think alouds, modeling, close reading, quiet signals, turn and talk and engagement strategies, classroom libraries, feedback, conferring, assessment, data analysis, running records, progress monitoring, independent reading, student self assessment and goal setting.
Communication will continue as we move forward in this process. Please feel free to ask questions as they arise.
Cheri Dunford, Supt., Board Exec. Assistant Ext. 1021
Dr. Joseph Ingalls, Assistant Superintendent K-5 Ext. 1026
Doug Rigby, Assistant Superintendent 6-12 Ext. 1025
Alicia Johnson, Instructional Services Admin. Asst. Ext. 1024
Kristine Hayduk, Human Resources Ext. 1023
Matt Williams, SPED Director Ext. 1040
Shannon Arellanes, SPED Admin. Asst. Ext. 1041
Bubba O'Neill, Activities Director Ext. 1060
Dauna Bruce, Activities Admin. Asst. Ext. 1061