Oskaloosa "Syllabus"

May 2016 ~ News YOU Can USE!

Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA) and Adequate Yearly Progress (AYP)

No Child Left Behind has been reauthorized and so the way states are held accountable is changing for next year. What does that mean for Oskaloosa?

  • Being named Schools in Need of Assistance (SINA) has been suspended or "frozen" for one year. That means the status of our schools remains the same as it is this school year. That means the Elementary remains in "restructuring" for an additional year
  • Oskaloosa will continue to be given dollars to support school improvement as a SINA school who provides Title I services.
  • Adequate Yearly Progress (AYP) is no longer going to be used to determine district health. The Department of Education will provide districts with a report card yet this year, but the site will be dismantled after this year. Schools will no longer report our progress in this way
  • The Department of Education is still creating our accountability system - but it will be in combination with the new way of doing site visits called Differentiated Accountability. The traditional site visit will no longer take place.
  • Differentiated Accountability will be based on the percent of students meeting target scores on our Screener. We will either be labeled as Universal (90-100%), Targeted (fewer than 80%), or Intensive (fewer than 60%). The state will then work with the district to identify areas of need and assist in problem-solving achievement issues.
  • Smarter Balanced will more than likely be our state assessment, but the Iowa legislature has not made that determination at the time I am writing this.
  • Iowa Assessments (what we currently use) will continue to be available to Iowans next year whether Smarter Balanced is our state assessment or not.

I continue to learn more about what ESSA means for Oskaloosa. I will update you as information becomes available.

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April District Leadership Team (DLT) Update

DLT met on April 5th. The main topics for discussion were as follows:
  1. Growth Mindset video was watched. See video link
  2. Standards - Based Grading Video update - the HS Video Productions class is finishing up their editing and will have a finished product in May
  3. Grading Discussion - suggested rubric changes were discussed. Adding a "IE" for Insufficient Evidence and changing "Exceeds Expectations" to "Demonstrates Excellence" were discussed.
  4. DLT will vote on the suggestions in May
The Growth Mindset

Growth Mindset

DLT members worked in partners to develop a growth mindset statement to counteract a fixed mindset statement.
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What is your personal goal to move to more of a growth mindset?
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District Advisory Commitee (DAC) Update

DAC met on April 26th. The topics of discussion were:
  1. They received an update on the video the HS class is making about Standards-Based Grading.
  2. Grading Guidebook was discussed. We had a healthy conversation on grading practices. Excellent student and parent feedback was provided. Helpful feedback on the proposed rubric change was given as well.
  3. Ideas on the proposed report card were discussed. The report card will have the teachers pictures on it, it will be landscape versus portrait, and the Purpose of Grading is prominent. The report card was well accepted.

PLC Shirt and Jean Day

May 11th!!

Last day to show your Osky PLC Pride! - Well, with a PLC Shirt and Jeans anyway!

Teacher Leadership Positions Available

Applications are being accepted for the following leadership positions. Please contact Lisa Walston for the necessary information. Applications are due by May 6th

  1. 4th Grade PLC Facilitator
  2. K-12 Art PLC Facilitator
  3. K-12 Music PLC Facilitator
  4. 7th/8th Grade LA/SS PLC Facilitator
  5. 6th Grade Lit/Writing PLC Facilitator
  6. HS LA PLC Facilitator
  7. HS 9th Grade Vertical Facilitator
  8. HS 10th Grade Vertical Facilitator
  9. HS MTSS/Homeroom Vertical Facilitator
  10. MS Technology (1:1) Vertical Facilitator
  11. MS PBIS Data Vertical Facilitator
  12. MS PBIS Social/Emotional Vertical Facilitator
  13. MS Writing in the Content Vertical Facilitator
  14. NEW Mentors - existing Mentors do not need to apply
  15. Elementary Math Vertical Facilitator (NEW)
  16. Elementary SPED Vertical Facilitator (NEW)
  17. MS District Wellness Facilitator (NEW)
  18. HS District Wellness Facilitator (NEW)
  19. ELEM District Wellness Facilitator (NEW)

Professional Learning Community

PLC to Watch in May - 2nd GRADE!

SMART Goal: 100% of second grade students will read fluently (proficiently) or increase 1 word per week until May 2016 (GLB 2.02).

Action Plan for the Year
• Skill-based groups
• Integrate fluency into core instruction (guided reading groups)
• View videos of classrooms practicing fluency
• Implement The 6-Minute Solution whole class

SMART Goal: 100% of second grade students will be proficient or show an increase of 13 data points using the AIMSweb M-CAP from Fall 2015 to Spring 2016.

Action Plan for the Year
*Number Talks
*Implement a 5 minute mini lesson (daily rotation of math skills)
*Focus on Core skill
Professional Learning Communities (PLC) in Bethel School District

Iowa Core Connection

For Parents AND Teachers

Questions to Consider

  • Ms. Wessling talks about how the Core focuses on the skills of learning. How will you focus on these skills in your classroom?

  • How could you adapt the exemplar performance tasks for use in your classroom?

  • Why is it important to teach literacy across disciplines?

Questions to Consider

  • What does Sarah mean when she says that "Common isn't the same?"

  • What is the difference between ELA standards and literacy standards? Why are both important?

  • Sarah says, "The Core will require us to integrate." How will you do this in your classroom?

Literacy Look Fors and the Tool for Improvement

Teachers at the Elementary, MS and HS took part in some "learning walks" using a tool created this year. Instructional Coaches and Admin took the "Tool for Improvement" and looked more closely at the Instructional Technique category. Since it is fairly vague, we wanted to list the techniques each building expects to "see" or what the administrators are "looking for" when they do walk through observations.

Similar to Learning Walks illustrated in the embedded video below, teachers will collect instructional information and reflect on their own practice. Those teachers who took part in the initial trial felt it provided them insight into their colleagues' classrooms. Seeing how other grades and content areas teach provides insight into our own practice and what we need to improve our practices as a building, in general. In addition, teachers use the "Tool for Improvement" in a similar way - to learn more about best practices.

The tool will be used multiple times next year, along with the Tool for Improvement, to continue our school improvement process. We are excited to learn together!

Critical Friend Network

Next year Oskaloosa teachers will be part of "Critical Friends Network". Whether it is conducting peer observations, increasing their technology skills, or collaborating in PLC teams. We need to continue to work together to be the best we know we can be.

The video below gives an idea of what Critical Friends are:

Learning Post

Learning Targets Come ALIVE!

The sticky notes were created by a Kindergarten student in Mrs. Wymore's class. He brought them to school one day and presented them to his teacher - PROUDLY!

Sitting in the car while waiting for his mother he reflected on his learning. He wrote down on the stickies what he is able to do as a result of his learning.

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Word Wall in Physical Education?!!!

A student teacher at the Elementary takes teaching literacy seriously. He created a word wall and uses it while students are lined up at the end of each class period to teach literacy. At the same time he can assess the knowledge of students on PE concepts.

Super Idea!!!!
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Graffiti Wall! Students in Mrs. Roach's class read many types of literature - when they are inspired by something they read, they put a quote up on the Graffiti Wall. I asked a student if he had a quote up there and he proudly pointed it out. And then two girls followed suit. They LOVE it!

Students get to share what they love to read with their peers.

What sort of inspirational way do you connect learning for your students in your classroom?

This is the challenge question for May. Let's see how many of you read this to find the challenge!!!!
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Professional Development Plan

Coming soon!

I am putting the finishing touches to the 2016-2017 document and will send it out in early May for your review. Please take time to look at your learning opportunities embedded next year.

Instructional Coaches

Have you worked with an Instructional Coach lately?

NO???? YES!!!!

It's not too late! While they have been super busy, they are there to

May Laughs

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