The "Oskaloosa Syllabus"

September 2013 - News You Can Use!

Welcome to Oskaloosa!

We have some new faces in our buildings this school year. Please help me welcome again the following teachers to our Learning Community. Pictured from left to right:

Melissa Letzring (4th Grade), Kari Ohnemus (long-term sub in Math at MS), Autumn Reisetter (HS Special Education and PE), Zach Trummel (HS PE), Sarah Zimmerman (1st Grade), Marian Raum (MS TAG and Instructional Coach), Katie Carper (5th Grade), and Liz Roe (4th Grade). We are thrilled they are joining Team Osky!


PLC Shirt

Be Part of Team Osky

Jeans may be worn - WITH THE PLC SHIRT - each 2nd Wednesday of the month once they are in. Show you are part of the Osky Learning Community ANY day by wearing your shirt!

Oskaloosa PLC's

"PLC principles are not just articulated by those in positions of leadership: even more important, they are embedded in the hearts and minds of people throughout the school."

Building Leadership Capacity: 2013-2014 PLC Facilitators Are:

  • Kinderprep - Shelli Eveland
  • Kindergarten - Dawn Anderson
  • 1st Grade - Megan Vande Voort
  • 2nd Grade - Angie Grubb
  • 3rd Grade - Allison Stout
  • 4th Grade - Dawn Deffenbaugh
  • 5th Grade - Amanda Doud
  • Elmentary SPED - Betsy Anderson
  • MS LA - Kim Lowry
  • MS Math - Casey Bisher
  • MS Science - Chad Farner
  • MS Social Studies - Joe Bell
  • MS SPED - Jack Arthur
  • MS Tech/IT/FCS - Josh Bandstra
  • HS LA - Molly Sterner
  • HS Math - Beverly Jenkinson
  • HS Science - Tamara Knudtson
  • HS Social Studies - Amanda Reynolds
  • HS SPED - Jennifer Sheets
  • Foreign Language - Laura Brehm
  • FCS/IT/AG - Dave Bower
  • K-12 Art - Brent Knoot
  • K-12 Guidance - Greg McCaulley
  • K-12 PE - Ginny Foster
  • K-12 Music - Rich Waddington
  • 6-12 At-Risk - Todd Warnecke


Make Sure You Have the Following in Your Classroom

  • 1-4 Extended Coding Explanation next to your Learning Targets
  • Characteristics of Effective Instruction Poster
  • Blooms Taxonomy Poster
  • Style Guide Poster
  • Oskaloosa Mission and Vision Poster - its seems some classrooms do not have this - as it will be updated this school year, we will not purchase additional until next year.


Learning Targets - "I CAN" statements

Expectations for the Year

  • Have a dedicate space in your classroom
  • Have deliberate and purposeful conversations with your students
  • Tie your Learning Targets to the GLB and grade code


Professional Development Plan - 2013-2014

Make sure you are reading the PD Plan for the year. I has DLT, DAC, CT schedules, Vertical Team and PLC Information. It also has information about the Personal Technology Plan you are creating this year. It also has a comprehensive list of dates of meetings across the district. If there are questions, please feel free to ask!


NWEA MAP Changes for this year!

MAP - or Measures of Academic Progress will be a little different this year. It will be web-based this year. Since that is a change, administration will look a little different as well. Mrs. Barnhart and Dr. Cooksley will arrange for training in each building so proctors are well prepared when testing begins.

Assessment Dates for this year: September 17 - October 9th (Fall) and April 7th - April 24th (Spring)

Reminder that the Assessment Calendar has all assessment dates listed!!! Go to Staff Resources to locate each calendar. K-2, 3-5, and MS/HS

Sub Finder Categories

Sub Finder has choices to choose from to explain WHY you will be absent. The professional leave choices are as follows:

  1. Curriculum Team Meeting - choose this if you are working with Dr. Cooksley at CO with Language Arts, Math, Science, Social Studies, Art, Music, FCS, AG, IT, Technology, Foreign Language or PE.
  2. Conference/Workshop - Choose this if you would like the district to provide a substitute, transportation, conference fees, or hotel for an AEA workshop or a content-area conference.
  3. Special Education - Choose the appropriate building if you are a Special Education teacher whether you are attending a conference, workshop, or district SPED meeting at CO.
  4. SINA - choose this if you are a member of the Elementary SINA Team and you are attending a meeting at the AEA or staying in the building to meet.


In addition you have this choice:

School Business - choose this if you are attending a meeting, training, going to the AEA for a meeting that has to do with a building initiative. Examples so far have been: Learn Pad Training or PBIS training at the AEA. These are not workshops, rather they are meetings or trainings.


If ever in doubt, simply ask and we will direct you to the appropriate choice! :-)


Angela Maiers Works with the Elementary

Angela Maiers continued her work with the Elementary around Workshop Model and Genre Studies on August 16th. Her opening remarks had the staff thinking about how Oskaloosa is being brave with its work; how are you also being brave?


Middle School and High School Learn More About PBL!

The MS and HS staff led an informative day of learning around PBL - Project Based Learning - on August 16th. This year both MS and HS staff will be developing PBL learning opportunities for students in their classrooms. To learn more about PBL's, visit the Buck Institute at the link below.


Cultivating Leadership

Any time you have demonstrated leadership in your building or in the district, you may find a puzzle piece come your way! If you want to nominate or recognize a colleague, please let me know and I will send them a puzzle piece!!!!


New Walkthrough Template

Consistency being the goal, the walkthrough template will mirror the "Tool For Improvement" this year. Each of the categories below will be assessed with a 1-4 based on the rubric.

  • Student Engagement
  • Learning Targets
  • Rigor
  • Formative Assessments used
  • Instructional Techniques utilized


Grading Reminders - Infinite Campus

  • Grades K-3 do not give letter grades - ONLY 1-4. 3rd Grade was added this year :-)
  • Categories - Make sure categories equal 100%.
  • If you create a "Practice Work" or "Homework" or "Assignments" category - it may NOT be calculated higher than 25% of a students' grade.
  • Make sure you are tying some evidence to both the overall grade as well as the 1-4 for each GLB
  • Evidence should be gathered to show what a student KNOWS, not just compliance - be sure you are assessing content and not just completion of work
  • Extra Credit will NOT be given to students based on non-academic evidence. Grades should reflect what they know on their GLB's not that they brought in tissues or did an extra assignment.
  • Grade levels and courses should have the EXACT same grading criteria: categories and weighting along with the common assessments
  • Work Habits are graded separately and anything considered a work habit should NOT be calculated into a students' grade or 1-4 coding!