Trepa Times

Week twenty four

Iowa Assessments

Grades three-five will be taking Iowa Assessments on Wednesday-Friday from 9:00-11:00 a.m. Grades K-2 will still attend specials. It is imperative that hallway procedures be enforced during testing times. Like it or not, our school is now "graded" based on the Iowa Assessments. We are compared with others in our area and throughout the state based on our proficiency scores, our growth from one year to the next and our sub-group growth information. It is commonly referred to as the School Report Card.


Teachers:


  • During testing, it is important for you to move about the room. Do not stay at your desk. Students attend better to the tests when they know you are watching them. If you notice that a child is on the wrong test or skipped a line, it IS ok to let them know. Unfortunately, this happens every year, despite our best attempts.
  • Take notes of unusual occurrences. That way, if a score comes back that is unusual, you will likely be able to explain to parents the anomaly.
  • Set a timer so that they can see how much time is left. Putting it on the Promethean board is an excellent way to ensure everyone can see it.
  • If a student finishes early, you are to encourage them to review the test they just completed.
  • Read the directions EXACTLY as they are stated in the manual. These are standardized tests, they would not be if we were allowed to alter instructions and/or questions.
  • We CANNOT provide hints or give answers to ANY questions for students. This should go without saying...but protect yourself by following the script EXACTLY.
  • Students CAN use calculators for the math portion of the test. We do not take a calculation test anymore.
  • Keep track of the students absent during testing days. I will need this information on Friday to schedule make-up exams.
  • Please keep in mind that tests will be distributed prior to the start of school and picked up promptly at 11:00.
  • Hallway procedures must be followed and enforced.
  • We will NOT have snacks for kiddos that forget their own.


I was asked if grades 3-5 could attend specials as well, if all tests were completed by 11:00. I am going to allow this with this caveat: The FULL ALLOTTED TIME must be given, even if it appears all the students have finished early. This is to ensure that the "standardized" part remains standardized. Also, I do NOT want any child to feel as if their finish time determines whether they get to go to specials or not. So...if the FULL allotted time (what is provided by Iowa Assessments) is given and a special can still be attended, then it is ok. However, if it would require students to finish early to attend, then it is not ok.


The exception to the above are individual lesson times for orchestra and band. Students cannot leave during testing time, so NO Orchestra or Band lessons from 9:00-11:00 on Wednesday-Friday.


If you do not have a special during any of these times, please do brain gym activities between tests with the kids. Anything that crosses their mid-line is best. We wouldn't want to take tests for over an hour straight, nor would we do as well if we weren't able to stand, stretch and move.

Community Circle and Second Step

Just a reminder that if you haven't shared your weekly community circle day and time with me, yet, please do so. Currently, five schedules have been shared with me. If you recall, this was re-implemented due to our high occurrences of physical aggression. So, the focus for these lessons should be to help students learn how to use their words to solve problems and not their hands and feet. One idea was to utilize second step lessons during this time as they are already laid out for you. Second step is also a part of the district's health curriculum that we are to be teaching anyway.


Another idea would be to utilize the Olweus Bullying Prevention community circle ideas located in the CD's and books you should all have in your classrooms. Olweus Bullying Prevention actually requires community circles once a week, so we are killing two birds with one stone by bringing community circles back. If you need further ideas, please see our model teachers, instructional coaches or PBIS members. We are all in this together!

Progress monitoring and intervention follow-up

Please remember that progress monitoring and documenting interventions and their times is crucial to our decision making. Such information provides us with information with regard to which interventions are successful and why and perhaps helps explain why we are not seeing the progress we hope to see in some situations. If a student is not with you in the intervention group for any reason, please mark it as student absent. That tells us that they did not receive instruction that day. Also, if a student only attends the group for 10 minutes, while the rest are present for 30 minutes. Be sure to accurately document this. We do have some cases where students are chronically tardy or gone to appointments. Accurate documentation will let us know that it's not the instruction that didn't work for the child, but rather a lack of consistent time with the intervention.


As I stated before, this documentation is an area we MUST improve in, as the state follows this information closely. I will be in contact with those of you that I need to speak with about this, so no news is good news.

Duty Schedule

Gym: Hayward/Unertl

Bus: Bankson

Pick-up: Smart

Crow Creek: Parker/Chitty

Julie's Schedule

Tuesday

1:00-4:00 TLC meeting

Wednesday

1:30 Battle of the Books Judging

2:30 PD planning with Mark and Shane

3:30 Meeting w/teacher

Thursday

7:45 Professional Coaching/Conversation

3:30 PBIS

Friday

7:45 Professional Coaching/Conversation

1:30 Elementary Principal's mtg.