Monday Memo

Upcoming Events

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Thankful for YOU!

Welcome back! I hope that all of you had a restful week. It's hard to believe that this school year is nearly half way over! I just wanted to say thank you to every staff member that takes the time to show up every single day. This school, as a whole, is showing some remarkable growth. It's all because of the hard work and dedication you all show every single day. Thank you for challenging the "status quo" and shooting for something that is rigorous and unique. As you continue your journey through this school year, please know that you are appreciated!

Parent Teacher Conferences

Just a friendly reminder to set up and document your parent-teacher conferences. Please refer to the email sent on November 9, 2015 for the parent teacher conference form. When you've contacted all of your parents, please submit that form to Brandon's mailbox before you leave on December 18, 2015. **Remember, this documentation may be needed for state record keeping.**

Professional Growth Plans

We've been fortunate enough to have a little bit of flexibility because we are a charter to not have to submit these until now. However, every teacher (including special education) and counselors are asked to submit two professional growth goals by December 18, 2015. These are simple goals that are submitted through compass. Please don't stress over this. They simply need to be complete. Please see the link for more information about PGPs. If you have any questions please schedule a time to visit with Brandon or Brionne. http://www.louisianabelieves.com/docs/key-compass-resources/compass-professional-growth-plan-guidance.pdf?sfvrsn=5

Differentiation

We frequently have parents commenting on Facebook, via email, and face to face about how much accommodation we provide for our students here. The truth is our numbers for students with exceptionalities are growing. What this means for each of our teachers is that we have to provide alternative ways of delivering instruction. Differentiation is an integral part of good classroom instruction. For our students with exceptionalities, it is federally mandated. In efforts to improve our quality of instruction as a school and to remain within compliance, we are adding a walkthrough component to Whetstone specifically addressing differentiation strategies. These walkthroughs will be conducted by either Brandon, Brionne, Malisa or Candace. The walkthrough will be followed by a scheduled feedback session if needed. While these walkthrough aren't evaluative, they are extremely important. As a professional learning community, it is extremely important for all teachers to respond immediately to the recommendations given during these feedback sessions so that no student is falling between the cracks.


Additionally, there are plans to restructure the way intervention works. We will be ready to roll out a more intentional intervention plan beginning in January. In the meantime, it is absolutely imperative that all teachers are providing tier 2 instructions for students that require it.

Decorations

During this time of the year the holidays inspire us all to want to decorate and create a festive environment. One of the things that set us apart as a school is that our decorations are created by us. During this time of the year, I want to remind you of a few of YACs best practices:



  1. Decorations should be student created. Try building a mini thematic unit around the holidays. Give students the opportunity to create something from what they've learned. As long as your unit is tied to academic standards, they can create almost anything!
  2. Respect diverse cultures. The beauty of being in America is embracing the "melting pot". The holidays are a great opportunity to learn about how different cultures celebrate the holidays.
  3. In the hallways, make sure that your student work is accompanied by a gallery sheet. See Mr. Roscoe with questions around the gallery sheets.


So as we head into this (warm) holiday season, let's create a fun atmosphere for our learners that allows them to celebrate and learn simultaneously. Let's the decorations begin!

A Little Bit of Happiness!

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