Aug 8-18, 2017
Welcome back! It's go time! As you are mostly likely expecting, here is my reminder of The BIG 3 for students. First day. Last day. And the 180 days in between:
1) Every student has positive, meaningful interactions with adults that care for them.
2) Every student gets fed.
3) Every student gets home.
There's many associated thoughts/actions that can go with these. If you wish, review last year's welcome back RAH by clicking here.
And as an invitation for you - here are The BIG 3 for you as leaders:
1) Every staff member has a positive, meaningful interaction with you that let's them know they are valued, that their work matters, and that their impact changes lives.
2) Every staff member knows who you are, what you stand for, and your commitment to their success.
3) Every staff member see you model your beliefs.
It's going to be an amazing year as we focus on the journey of learning together!
Clicking above will take you to the what & why of this model shared at the principal's kickoff
from J- cont'd.
Elementary District- Standard 3.1. Our focus is on math & numeracy. Within the math workshop model, we are paying particular attention to teaching the state standard and then using small group differentiated instruction to help students perform at a minimum proficiency standard. Although the focus is math, it is expected that the practice of using effective mini-lessons will spill over into reading and writing workshop practices.
Elementary Site- From the model, please choose from one of these three as your site focus:
- Standard 5.3- Learning Culture/Classroom Management. This may be a best choice If you have severe building behavioral challenges, a high amount of new hires or staff that has opportunities with behavior management, and/or just wish to renew/rebrand/reestablish the culture of learning in your building. This is also the best choice if you feel that focusing on the power of relationships connected to learning needs to be your building focus.
- Standard 6.4- Ignite. This may be best if you are a year 3 Ignite school, or have a number of staff that are new(er) that weren't a part of or didn't capitalize on being a year 1 or year 2 Ignite school.
- Standard 1.4- Integrated Units. This may be the best option if your staff is well established with positive relationships and learning culture, and are proficiently rolling with Ignite. It may also be the best option if you are looking at going deeper with PBL.
Beyond district and site growth goals, teachers may choose one or two other areas to stretch themselves. It may be that the district and site goal aligns to areas they want to grow, so no additional goals would be required. If interested, they may choose any of the remaining components from the elementary model, or they can choose any other standard for individual needs. Thank you for honoring their voice and choice in this process.
Concerning the Principal Growth Plan, I believe the elementary model is best and almost fully encompassed by Standard 2: Teaching and Learning, which states "Education leaders have the knowledge and ability to ensure the success of all students by promoting a positive school culture, providing an effective instructional program, applying best practice to student learning, and designing comprehensive professional growth plans for staff." As you review Standard 2, you will note that there are three specific indicators: Promote Positive School Culture; Provide an Effective Instructional Program; and Ensure Continuous Professional Development. You have the autonomy to choose which indicator(s) you wish to focus on this year for your growth plan. At least one indicator from Standard 2 will serve as your must-do. I would ask that you select at least one other standard/indicator as a may do, according to where you wish to grow.
I am aware there is potential that SPLS plans may need be updated due to this model. SPLS is meant to be fluid and a playbook, not a specifically detailed map. Adjust accordingly.
Please let me know if you have any questions.
A very different perspective concerning a question we ask when kids return to school. What question might you ask instead?
Friday, Aug. 11th, 8:30am
3710 South Jefferson Avenue
No food/refreshments are being provided - please bring your own to meet your needs.
Should you have para changes/questions over the next few weeks, please let me know.
We will have 11 Learning Coaches in the system this year. I will assist in overseeing this initiative and will update you pertinent information via this newsletter. My steps thus far include:
· August: Kathy Gross sent an informal survey to the original four Learning Coaches and their principals concerning celebrations and OFI’s from last year.
· August 18: I met with Allison, Brian, Kathy, and Nichole about their roles in the Learning Coach initiative last year.
· August 24: I meet with the original four Learning Coaches to attempt to discuss strategy for their work this year.
The first AP Cadre meeting of the year is on August 30th.
I attended a conference this summer in which we were reminded about the Correlates of Effective Schools (Lezotte). According to the author, all high performing schools have the following in place:
1. Safe and Orderly Environment
2. Climate of High Expectations for Success
3. Instructional Leadership
4. Clear and Focused Mission
5. Opportunity to Learn and Student Time on Task
6. Frequent Monitoring of Student Progress
7. Home-School Relations
ActivateSPS (celebrating 150 years)
Monday, Aug. 14th, 8:30am
525 South John Q Hammons Parkway
Transforming lives will be the theme of our keynote speaker Manny Scott, whose story is told in part in the 2007 movie "Freedom Writers." By age 16, his story was almost over: his father was incarcerated, he dropped out of school, had lived in 26 places and his best friend had been brutally murdered. He will share his story about how he overcame these early obstacles to achieve success in spite of the path he was headed down.
ActivateSPS is for certified staff and leaders. Please arrive between 8 a.m. and 8:20 a.m. to pick up your T-shirt and find your seat. While refreshments will not be served, you may bring your own beverage and take it into the auditorium. Please park in the parking garage on the west side of the building. Carpooling is encouraged.
When the event concludes by 11 a.m. you will return to your school for professional learning/work.