Middle School Principals'Newsletter

January 2016

How is it going?

Coming back from break is a reflective time of year that may lead you and your staff to ask the question, "How is it going?" Your goal, your focus, your target for the year (that you talked about in the fall) is important to revisit. What is your progress toward that goal? How will you know when you are "there"?

Revisiting goals lets your staff know that you have not forgotten, or let them forget your target for the year. You help to make them and yourself accountable for what you said in the fall. It also helps you and your staff to make mid-course corrections if the pace or the target is not being reached.

"So, how's it going?"

Are Students Hiding Their Apps?

Click HERE to read the article from the Huffington Post

The Vault Apps that Keep Secrets

Click HERE to read the article from the New York Times

Have you been reading about Fixed and Growth Mindsets?

Here is a great info-video that illustrates the difference between

Fixed and Growth Mindsets.

View it Yourself

View it with Your Staff

View it with Your Students

View it with Your Parents

What would happen if students knew about this?

What would happen if the parents knew about this?

Must-Watch Video Of The Day: New RSA Animation Of Carol Dweck Talk

From edutopia, a Flipboard magazine by edutopia

I, and many others, always look forward to the infrequent release of an RSA Animated talk. They are visualizations of talks given by…

Read it on Flipboard

Teen Engagement Starts with Respect

Great article to discuss as a staff.

Teen Engagement in Learning Starts With Respect

From edutopia, a Flipboard magazine by edutopia

Photo credit: Bruce Matsunaga via flickr (CC BY 2.0)Julie BaronClassroom ManagementAdolescents learn more easily when they feel heard, understood, and…

Read it on Flipboard

Spring 2016-Testing Schedule Update

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Key Dates to Remember:


School System Review (SSR) OR Interim Self-Assessment or Self Assessment

DUE March 18

School Improvement Plan (SIP)

DUE September 1


District System Review (DSR) OR District Interim Self Assessment or Self Assessment

DUE April 22

Assessment Links and Updates


MDE Link to all Things M-STEP


Update from Office of Assessment & Accountability

  • January 14: Spring 2016 Guide to State Assessments
  • January 7: Classroom Activities Eliminated, Pre-ID, Accommodations Webinar
  • December 17: M-STEP Building & District Aggregate Data Public Release
  • December 10: M-STEP Parent Reports, WIDA ACCESS for ELLs
  • December 3: Test Results Embargo Reminder, WIDA, Accommodations
  • August 20: News on 2016 M-STEP & MME, KEA Pre-ID

Principals Guide to the SAT

Professional Learning at GISD

January 2016

February/March 2016

Happening Right Now!

Tuning Up Classroom Assessments

January 12 and January 19

  • How confident are you that your current assessments are tightly aligned with the new Common Core State Standards?
  • How confident are you that your current assessments are rigorous enough to assess students at the appropriate depth of knowledge?
  • How confident are you that your current assessments are of high quality and produce valid results?

This 2-day workshop will provide background knowledge to ensure assessments are aligned to the Common Core and guide participants through a process of analyzing and modifying current assessments being used in their grade, course, building and/or district.

This K-12 workshop is great for teams of teachers using common or interim assessments within a PLC. Participants will need to bring a current assessment with them, printed out on single-sided sheets of paper.

Tuning up Classroom Assessments with Dr. Ellen Vorenkamp. Click here to register!

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