Spaulding Staff Bulletin

September 4, 2015

A Great Start!

I want to thank everyone for the terrific start to our school year. I have heard from students and staff alike that it was a nice start to the year.

In our opening meeting, Emily Graham's introduction to breathing exercises helped set the tone for the year. Please note that Emily is willing to come into your classes to help instruct your students on the breathing exercises. Some have already taken advantage of this and report very calming effects in their classes.

All departments have been hard at work with the implementation of the transferrable skills rubric and modified grading practices. I want to especially thank Lauren Demers, Mike Whalen and Jesse Carpenter for their troubleshooting the IC challenges we were/are having. Brendan Eaton and Jesse Willard are also members of the teacher leaders for IC, so please feel free to contact them if you have IC related questions. We do realize that there are still some challenges with IC and implementing our transferrable skills evaluations. This is something that we are working on and appreciate constructive criticism and patience.

The Freshman Orientation Day was a huge success! Many students commented on it being a good day, and inspite of the last minute switch to an indoor BBQ, George and his team at Fitz Voigt turned out food for freshmen, parents and staff in a remarkably efficient manner. We had approximately fifty parents come for our opening day festivities...each year our number grows and we are very happy to have parents attend on this day. I also heard from a number of staff that working with only a few students was much easier to get to know the students and that the format of the rotations appeared to be effective.

The first day of school with an assembly appears to be a nice opening day ritual. The hypnotist did provide us with entertainment, but also an important message about being in control of oneself and concentration being a powerful tool.

The new advisory configuration continues to be a matter of adjustment. Some staff and students have had good starts to the year and others have needed some tweaking. Modifications to individual schedules in the interest of supporting students will be made on a case by case basis. Enriching Students is now up and running, thanks to Shannon Lessley and Gail Cooper.

Pete Cudney, from NFI, provided us with our first formal introduction to trauma informed instruction. The CMI team, along with the counselors, nurses, access coordinator, school psychologist and administration, will participate in six additional trainings this year. The group will work on strategies and information for the full faculty. Additionally, the plan is for the full faculty to receive multiple trainings next year, with support from the group. A number of staff have indicated an interest in participating as a member of the CMI team - a couple more classroom teachers would be helpful to this team. If anyone is interested in participating in the team, please let me know.

-Brenda Waterhouse

Leadership Meeting: September 3, 2015

Highlights (please see full notes for more detail):

Feedback on Opening Days - Generally positive with some suggestions for improvement.

Transferrable Skills & Modified Grading - IC is the most challenging component right now. If we can find supports for making the IC work more smoothly, this would help implementation tremendously.

Trauma Informed Instruction - The reading (Helping Traumatized Children Learn - Cht. 1) helped think about our approach in the classroom. As a leadership team, we will need to identify our needs so that we can focus our training and measure our strategy efforts.

Nuts & Bolts - October 14, 2015 will be Readistep and PSAT testing for students in grades 9-11. This will need to be a day with a modified schedule for the morning and the afternoon will be parent teacher conferences (being changed from the October 15th original date). Additional details will be coming.

About SHS

Entering the 123rd school year, Spaulding High School has the distinction of the Vermont high school with the same name for the longest period of time. Our "new" campus is entering its 51st year. With approximately 775 students and 125 staff, our goal is to help students achieve and become productive citizens.

ACT - College Readiness

Twenty-four students took the ACT College Readiness assessment. The scores show improvement in all five areas: English, Mathematics, Reading, Science and Composite. The greatest gains in the average ACT scores from the previous years was in Reading (8.5% increase) and Science (10.1% increase). Also, worthy of note is that the Mathematics average for SHS was above the state average (23.2 vs 23.0).