Eagle Mountain-Saginaw ISD
This past week I had the opportunity to spend four days with Stacy Summerhill and Colleen Clower in a Houghton-Mifflin Harcourt Math Summit. What learning we experienced as we worked math in different ways, took our thinking to more complex levels, and gained a better understanding of the importance of exploring math equations and the variety of ways the numbers can configure to create the "right" answer. I am not shy in my statement that I had to work my brain hard at times! I even found myself wanting to get the calculator out and check my answers. What I learned is that we all need reminders of the work we are asking of our students; there are times when a learner really has to put the grit on and get dirty with the math to in the work; working with others offers new perspectives and new solutions as well as friendships. I also learned that even an adult needs brain breaks.
I hope you enjoy the various articles in today's newsletter. I have included a variety of articles that cover development of our image through communication and or dress as well as a couple of articles on technology and learning and even one on cursive handwriting, a possible lost art. All of these articles offer food for thought and great discussions.
Please make sure you take a look at the article on the importance of workplace attire. The article does an excellent job of telling the why's of the need for professional attire. While the article is focused on the business world, the application to our work in education is relevant. As leaders of the building and leaders of learning, you are the faces of not only your campus but our district. Sometimes the pressure to be relaxed in dress is taken too far, and jeans become the norm, even for leaders, rather than the occasional reward or Friday Spirit Day attire. Consider the work you have to do, the message you wish to promote for your campus and our district, and the importance of being treated as professionals. The first impression goes a long way. That also helps lay the reasoning behind the PRincipals' Communication piece. May you find golden nuggets of learning in these articles as you brand your school.
The articles included for technology are meant to help you as you lead the learning and consider the factors that impact the success. With our work to increase devices on campuses, keep in mind it is not just having the device, but it is using the technology devices to "amplify whatever pedagogical capacity is already there" (Toyama, Why Technology Alone Won't Fix Schools, 2015). As we search for best practices of technology, we have to overcome certain myths, like the myth that scores naturally go up when technology is accessed. Technology should be a natural imbedded resource where learning is taken to a deeper level of understanding or the learning is enhanced or amplified because of the use of the technology.
Also, don't forget about reviewing your Campus Improvement Plan! See below for instructions.
Have a super week, and thank you for working with your staff to complete benchmarks, working with PLCs on your campus to analyze the data and plan for next steps, and for communicating with parents and students the meaning of the benchmarks and working with students to set goals for success in the learning.
See you in DLT on Thursday morning! Breakfast and lunch will be provided.
Time for Plan4Learning Review
Can you believe how fast this school year is flying by? It is almost time for the 2nd Formative Review in your Plan4Learning CIP or DIP.
To quickly complete the 2nd Formative Review, follow these steps:
- Ask the "Person Responsible for Monitoring" each strategy to Sign in athttp://plan4learning.806technologies.com
- Click on "Goals" to reveal the drop-down menu
- Select "Formative Review Quick Update" (the second button)
- To the right of each strategy, find the Formative Review drop-down menu and select a response for the appropriate month
- Save your responses
- That's all there is to it!
Things to remember:
- The purpose of this review is to simply check progress and refocus, if necessary. Of every strategy, ask, "Is it working?" and "Is it still a good plan and the right plan?"
- It is OK to mark a strategy as "No Progress" if it is not time to start the strategy. For example, if you have a strategy that is scheduled to begin in March and you have not done any work on the project, mark "No Progress." That is not a negative evaluation.
- It is not a bad thing to discontinue a strategy. If you planned something and now you see that it just will not work, mark it as "Discontinued." Then, go back to the Main Menu Bar and open the Strategy (Go to the Goal, then the correct Performance Objective and finally to Strategy). In the box marked "Evidence that Demonstrates Success," delete what you originally wrote and explain why this strategy was discontinued. Be sure to save!
Distinguished author and researcher, Douglas Reeves, conducted research on the correlation between improvement plans and student achievement. What he found was that high achieving schools monitored their plans frequently. Every program, initiative, and strategy was subject to the relentless question, "Is it working?" He went on to say that high-achieving schools with superior evaluation processes in their plans could not only tell you what was working well, they could also identify practices that they stopped doing as a result of insufficient evidence of effectiveness. (Reeves, Douglas B., 2009, Leading Change In Your School: How to Conquer Myths, Build Commitment, and Get Results, Alexandria, VA: Association for Supervision and Curriculum Development, p. 81-82)
Frequently drawing people back into your improvement plan helps a school maintain focus. Remind your faculty and staff about the goals and the priorities in your plan. Challenge them to reflect upon their actions and to stay the course! Contact us if you need additional assistance.
We are here to support, serve you, and provide any additional assistance as needed. Please contact us to help you and Chat with us LIVE in the LIVE CHAT box!
The Plan4Learning Team
PRincipal Communicator February 2016--Communication Tips on Newsletters!
Feb. 16 AP LEAD Eagle Mountain ES 8:30-11:30 ; Ed Willkie MS 12:30-3:30
Feb. 17 Digital Learning Day
Feb. 18 DLT @ HCTC 8:30-11:30
Feb. 19 Elementary Principals at EMES for Link Project 8:30-10:30
Feb. 24 Aspire 2022 Kickoff Review
Feb. 25 Aspire Personal Education Review 8:30-12:00 HCTC 101
Aspire Technology Review 1:00-4:30 HCTC 101
Feb. 29-March 4 Celebrate TX Public Schools Week
March 4 Aspire Collaborative Planning 8:30-10:00 HCTC 101
Aspire Culture 10:15-12:00 HCTC 101
Aspire Recruitment, Retention, PD, 1:00-4:30 HCTC 01
March 14-18 Spring Break
March 25 Bad Weather Day
April 5 Aspire Review --Assessment 8:30-4;30
May 28 Foundation Academic Excellence Awards Gala HCTC 6:30 pm