NRES STAFF NEWSLETTER
June 1 - June 5, 2015
The Little Engine That Could!
It has been a long journey this year. I know for me personally with the death of a parent and sudden health concerns I have battled a lot to make it home. But I made it with the support from an amazing group of loving people - MY NORTH RIVERSIDE FAMILY.
As we depart the train and proceed to our separate destinations: cruises, beaches, mountains, couches, mom's house, favorite restaurant, movies, shopping, indulging in mindless pleasures. Let us not forget what we accomplished this year:
- We were #1 in writing within our Feeder Pattern.
- We were #1 in reading within our Feeder Pattern.
- We were # 11/22 in the district in writing.
- We were #14/22 in the district for reading.
LET US CELEBRATE! WE ARE AMAZING! :)
We need to rest and recoup. The engine needs to repair itself for another run.
- Mingle with Friends
- Cook and Bake
- Drive down the Coast (oh there isn't one) :)
- Lay out by the Pool
- Try Karaoke Singing
After you have had a little down time. Think about the theme for next year: Keeping It Reel. What does that mean? It means that we will continue to be REEL about:
- Student achievement: ensuring each and every student is working to his/her potential.
- Teacher dialogue/conversations: we will hold ourselves accountable for the work that is done. It's like Tug-of-War, if we are going to make progress we need to pull together.
- Professional Development/Learning: keep and open mind about learning and doing. If we want different results, we need to refine and try new strategies.
Keep IT REEL.
REAL WORK... REAL CONVERSATIONS...REAL LEARNING... ALL ACCESS (ALL THE TIME)!
I am excited about summer vacation (BEACHES AND FRIENDS); but I am equally excited about next year... The possibilities are endless... reelly! :)
End of Year Technology
· Network and Wireless Upgrade - New wireless network will eliminate KISD Staff and KISD Student Networks. Users will be automatically placed on the correct wireless based on user login. There will be a guest network available. Details regarding access to the guest network have not been finalized. Each classroom will have a wireless access point. We are moving from 900 access points (APs) to over 3,000.
o High Schools/ Learning Center - Summer 2015
o Middle Schools - Summer 2015
o Intermediate Schools - Fall 2015
o Elementary/Early Learning -Fall 2015
· New Teacher and Campus Web Site - The design for the new teacher and campus web site was a collective effort from our District web programmer, Jeremy Tice, and our consultant, Old River Creative. Old River Creative is responsible for the web designs of the Houston Airport, North Face apparel, and Levi Straus among others. Input was gathered though structured interviews with District students, teachers, administrators, parents, and community and Board of Trustees members. Sites will be launched by June 15, 2015 and campus Web Masters will be trained over the summer. All sites will work with mobile devices and Macs.
o Teacher web site used for public presence (one way communication)
o Canvas is slated to be used for teacher/student two-way communication and turn-in of digital assignments(Canvas will be piloted beginning June 1 with participating teachers)
· Learning Management Systems- Edmodo vs. Canvas – Currently the District does not pay for the use of Edmodo, however, there are features that are not present. The enhanced feature set, including populating class rosters, comes with a fee around $30,000 for the 2015-2016 school year. During the past year, ESC XI has been exploring Canvas and Schoology as regionally supported LMSs. They did not consider Edmodo as Edmodo does not meet interoperability standards. Keller ISD also explored Canvas before we began using Edmodo district wide and liked the features, but did not have the budgeted funds to acquire Canvas. ESC XI has negotiated a price comparable to the fee for the Edmodo upgrade for the 2015-2016 school year. Based on s at the GradeBook Advocate meeting, several teacher volunteered to pilot Canvas this summer. If all goes well, Canvas will be provided (with dedicated training) to teachers for the 2015-2016 school year.
· TAC upgrade - New features to the gradebook were demonstrated and discussed.
o History of grade changes(Parents will see the most current grade)
o Assignment Detail page
o Emergency Attendance
o Improved copy assignments page
o Load Report Card marks in ‘Multiple’ view
o Mass enter Scores, Citizenship and Comments on Report Card & IPR pages
· Exploring new Student Information System (SIS) and gradebook - It was noted that the TAC Gradebook did not have “color” as requested in the latest upgrade. Due to this and several other documented concerns of our current system (eSchool and TAC/HAC), the District administration is forming a task force to review Skyward SIS as a future option. eSchool and TAC will be used for the 2015-2016 school year. A decision will be made in early fall 2015 regarding a recommendation and timeline for a potential migration to Skyward.
· Moving back to Eduphoria Workshop- Due to the upcoming transition from PDAS to T-Tess (Texas Teacher Evaluation and Support System) Eduphoria will be developing the new template using this model to incorporate staff development tracking. My Learning Plan does not offer this option.
· Student Email – Possibly using Gaggle to filter student email to allow for less restrictions so students can use instead of creating their own personal accounts. The group overwhelming felt that the cost of Gaggle filtering for all KISD student email (roughly $100,000 yearly) was not practical. Actual KISD student email is used very little, especially at grades K-6. This does not affect the email login that all students have to login to Google Drive and other applications. Possibly changing nomenclature to include fewer numbers to make it easier for students to login and use was also discussed.
· Staff email and Office 365 – Moving to cloud email to minimize storage impact and allow staff to have more than 5 GB per mailbox. Office 365 allows for 50 GB mailbox. Office 365 also has access to online apps for Word, PowerPoint, and Excel. With Office 365 we have the ability to download the Office product to 5 personal devices. There is a link in KCloud to get to Office 365 for Keller ISD.
· Bright Bytes yearly survey - As part of meeting HB 5, Keller ISD annually will gather Qualitative data from students, teachers, parents and the community regarding digital learning. The Bright Bytes survey will replace the former STaR chart yearly survey and will be administered to all KISD stakeholders in the November timeframe each year. Teacher and campus administrators will have immediate access to the Bright Bytes data.
· Changing of network passwords once each semester - In order to ensure a safe and secure digital environment, all staff will be required to change district login passwords once each semester. This requirement will be initiated the first week returning from winter break each January, and the first week teachers report each August. Detailed instructions will be posted on the main page of K-Cloud. A self-service portal is available with security questions to help remember forgotten passwords.
· E-mail Signature - Instructions on how to create a District approve email signature are attached to the End of Year Technology procedures located on the main page of K-Cloud. All KISD staff are required to follow the email signature guidelines. Technology End-of-Year procedures - The end-of-year technology “check list” can be accessed on the main page of K-Cloud. Users must be logged into K-Cloud to experience full functionality of asset management. Examples of the information found in the End-of Year Technology checklist:
o Preparation of classroom technology for summer
o Imaging of computers
o Carts and mobile devices
o Monitors and docking stations
o Classroom Phones and voice mail
o Summer Salvage
o KISD email signature(required)
Summer CPI Training!
NRES ATTENDANCE AND SPIRIT STICK WINNERS!
The spirit stick attendance winner will be the classroom with best unexcused attendance. In case of a tie, the classroom with the least number of tardies will be recognized. In the event tardies are the same then the number of students in the class will be the deciding factor.
Kinder: Ms. Mcginty and Mrs. Hernandez
First: Ms. Rodgers
Second: Ms. Smith
Third: Ms. Gonzalez
Fourth: Ms. Rodriguez and Mrs. Baldwin