The Curriculum Chronicle

Bonus Back to School Edition (8/24)

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Mailing list (Everyone)

Still getting these emails and you think you shouldn't? Someone at your school still isn't getting these messages? Please double check you and your PLC are all receiving my emails. I'd like to avoid emails if possible that clog up your inbox and save information for the monthly newsletter. As we get started this year, you're getting another one early. Yay!

PLC Informational Survey & Equity Audit (Everyone)

Don't forget to complete your informational survey and equity audit. Please bring a copy of this audit to district PLC on 9/19.


https://forms.office.com/Pages/ResponsePage.aspx?id=O2Kl6_5QN069OITMpTBd54iBmZlkOUFBrvt5z-FOHZlUNlYyN05HSENBOEowSTRPSzZZUFpJR0VEMS4u

District PLC Sign Up (Everyone)

You should be receiving information via Infinite Campus messenger on how to register for your district PLC this year. In ELA, we are offering 11 PLC choices: ELA6, ELA7, ELA8, Reading, English I, English II, English III, English IV, AP English, Journalism, and Central Academy English. With the exception of Academy English, all PLCs will be hosted at Lincoln High this year and will run from 2:45-3:45. Our first PLC is scheduled for September 19th at Lincoln High School. Room assignments and specific instructions will be coming from your PLC Facilitator through IC messenger.


Please sign up for your district PLC as soon as possible so you get all of the info!


Other District PLC days for your calendar:

Nov. 7

Jan. 23

Feb. 13

April 3


*Edit: ELL and SPED will have separate PLC's coordinated with those supervisors. Co-teachers or those of you who may fall into more than one category may choose where you feel you will get the most support.

Novels (Everyone)

Book requests. Whew! I am so excited that many of you have taken the lens of equity and relevancy to heart and are revamping your instructional plans! In order to see new materials in every building in every grade 6-12, I may not be able to give you EVERYTHING on your list.


Books are purchased in class sets per teacher (40) or lit circle sets (15). We CANNOT buy per pupil. Please plan accordingly.


I will review the final requests and hope to place and order by 8/31. I will be reserving funds to account for 2nd semester requests. If I determine that I am not able to fulfill one or more of your requests, I will connect with you to determine other funding sources. Please be willing to share your novels with other buildings and pack up and transfer materials back to Central Stores as quickly as possible. If you receive materials in a bar-coded bin from Central Stores, please put it back in that bin. This system cost money to implement and makes storage and transfer so much easier.

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Below is the master list of requests (so far). Many of you have book store rooms or classroom sets collecting dust that have never been bar coded or traceable. Jeremy knew better who had what etc. but I'm starting out blind. If you could check the list below and indicate if you have any of the materials, and how many, it would free up funds for other purchases.


If you have books that are clearly just taking up space, PLEASE box and transfer them to Central Stores. The retrieval system is so easy and allows us all to share materials instead of duplicating sets of un-used materials.

Guides and Topic Assessments

Have you found any errors on topic assessments or curriculum guides? The switch in personnel left a few things lost in translation. I am working to fix any errors as quickly as they are pointed out to me. I appreciate your feedback and want you to have the tools you need to do your job. Never be afraid to point out a mistake to me.

Achieve 3000 Training (Achieve 3000 users, primarily 6-8)

Our Achieve 3000 trainer will be in Des Moines for 4 sessions throughout the year to support our implementation and provide us with new tools the system has to offer.

9/11-9/13

10/30-11/1

2/19-2/21

4/2-4/4

I am working on a schedule where Nicole will be in the following buildings for 1/2 day working with individual teachers and PLC's; Weeks, McCombs, Hiatt, Callanan, Harding, Hoyt. These dates were chosen because they align with teacher directed Wednesdays. Nicole will be available for ANY user at Callanan for drop in support. I will provide the exact schedule and room numbers prior to 9/12.


We have additional days available with our trainer that have not yet been scheduled. If you are finding a significant need, please reach out so we can arrange support at other times throughout the year.

MAP (and discontinuation of the SRI)

MAP has multiple uses in our district including translating into a score for text complexity in grades 9 & 10. When an 11th or 12th grader is seated in those classes, we have traditionally used the SRI to find an appropriate Lexile for this grade. The SRI has become an unsustainable program and will no longer be supported for use in our district. In order to still meet the needs of upper-classmen in this situation we ask that you do 1 of 3 things.

  1. If the student is an 11th grader and you feel their data from 10th grade is valid, please go ahead and use that.
  2. If the student is grade 12+, they may take MAP as it offers great diagnostic information that may be helpful beyond the Lexile/RIT score.
  3. (not my top choice, but it is an option) The student can be exempted from that topic score.

MAP for 9th and 10th graders is fully supported (so a 10th grader in English I isn’t an issue). There are additional testing seats available to be used by upper classmen if we are judicious with their use. FLEX labs have been encouraged to use historic data for student screening instead of their former use of the SRI. Of course, if the tool is used for progress monitoring or deeper diagnostic screening, we see great value in moving our attention solely to MAP.

This may affect staff who have little experience working with MAP and may need support in implementing it correctly. The testing window is for district data collection only. The test may still be administered outside those windows for extenuating circumstances, and as the district does not collect data on 11, 12+ grades, it does not impact our overall data picture.

As a reminder, the decision was made to remove the winter testing requirement. Teachers who use MAP as a part of their progress monitoring process may still offer a winter test, but the data pull will no longer be attached to it. Hopefully that frees up some instructional time.

Don't forget the testing window!

6-8 MAP Reading

Sep 4 –Oct 1

Dec 3 – Jan 11

May 6 – May 17


9-10 MAP Reading

Sep 4 – Oct 1

Dec 3 – Jan 11 (no longer required)

Apr 22 - May 17

Angie Thomas Author Visit

Sad news...

Because of the time of the event, transportation has informed me that we will not have enough buses to transport and still be available for elementary dismissal. I will be in communication if there are students/teachers who wish to drive themselves and the logistics for that.

Because Roosevelt initiated and coordinated the event, they will be the priority with regards to transportation this time.

We will be working to bring in other authors and share the fun around the district. Thank you for those who expressed interest but I will have to restrict my invitation at this time.