C & I Update

Together is Better 11.17.17

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As we approach the Thanksgiving holiday, I am thankful to each and everyone that plays a role in making a difference in the lives of our students and families. I am looking forward to spending time with family and friends, as I hope you are as well. To my PUSD family: Happy Thanksgiving!

New Media Specialist- Justina Anderson

Welcome Justina Anderson to PCOE and PUSD! Justina joins our team as our Media Specialist. She is here for all of your curriculum material needs. Please continue to use the Textbook Request Form. She can also be reached via email jdanderson@pcoe.k12.ca.us.

Welcome Justina!

Fire Science

Plumas Unified School District science teachers are using a new fire science curriculum to ignite students’ passion for science. The Sierra Nevada Fireworks curriculum about the science of wildland fire was developed as a collaboration among PUSD, Missoula Fire Sciences Laboratory (of the USFS Rocky Mountain Research Station), and the Plumas National Forest. While the curriculum for the Sierra Nevada is brand new, many activities were adapted from the original FireWorks Educational Program, published in 2000. Mrs. Groh's 3rd Grade Class at Quincy Elementary school is currently using the curriculum. On Tuesday 11/14 Martin Senter, the Fuels Batallion Chief with the U.S. Forest Service-Plumas National Forest along with two Fire Engine Operators visited QES. They demonstrated, using the Firework Curriculum Matchstick Forest, how wildland fires spread. They discussed surface vs crown fires and the effect of slope and wind in the spread of fire. The students also got a chance to learn about the fire engine and the various tools used in fighting wildland fires.

At the end and the beginning of the presentation, Martin emphasized the importance of safety, and that the students should never play with matches.


Maria Johnson’s first graders at Indian Valley Elementary are learning how to self-regulate through mindfulness practices that focus on using breathing exercises and positive thinking to stay focused. Mrs. Johnson shared, “Mindfulness is a way to regulate ourselves, both students and teachers so that we are in a place to learn and focus - it’s all about being present. It helps all children, but especially those who have trauma in their lives, learn how to stay in the present moment.”The four strategic pillars of the MINDUP curriculum are neuroscience, mindful awareness, positive psychology, and social-emotional learning. The students learn that everyone is born with an invisible and empty bucket that they can fill with positive actions and emotions towards themselves and others. Their buckets can also be emptied by negative behaviors. The class also learns about the different parts of their brain and how stress makes it difficult to learn and focus. Mrs. Johnson shared, "The kids really understand the concepts, they are regulating themselves at school and on their own at home, and they are working hard to interact positively with one another to keep their buckets filled."


Frank Carey is Plumas Unified's ALICE (Alert, Lockdown, Inform, Counter, Evacuate)Training instructor. He recently attended a national ALICE conference in Nashville and every 2 years completes the required training to remain certified. He runs an ALICE training twice a year at each school site, where he trains the school staff on ALICE protocol. Additionally, he helps organize an annual ALICE Drill at each school site to give the students and staff an opportunity to practice the methods and strategies that they learn about. Last week Portola Junior/Senior High successfully completed their ALICE drill. The week's leading up to the simulation the parents were notified and students and teachers talked and prepared for various variables and considerations. Once the drill was in motion each class had to decide if they would evacuate or lockdown their classroom based on where the shooter was hypothetically based. Principal Sara Sheridan and Frank Carey both felt the drill was a success and that most classrooms responded well.

Elementary Benchmark Assessment- STAR Reading and STAR Math

Thank you to our 2nd-6th grade teachers for having all students complete STAR Reading and STAR Math. As we end the 1st trimester, we end this assessment window.

Instructional Coaches

From Yvonne:

If your students are using Google Docs, there is a new Chrome extension for teachers called CheckMark. CheckMark provides a quick process (pre-set comments) for you to give students feedback on Google Doc assignments. According to the reviews, presently there is not a way to customize the comments, but an alternative would be to use the comment feature in Docs.

Here's a YouTube video on how to use CheckMark: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=S4ddR2x3aXo

Here is the CheckMark website: http://www.checkmarkclass.com/

Yvonne: ycasalnuovo@pcoe.k12.ca.us

Susan: sfrediani@pcoe.k12.ca.us

Next Generation Science Standards

PUSD continues to make progress with implementation of NGSS. In addition to the K-6 modules developed by CES teachers being implemented across the district, our high school teachers are making progress on revising the 7th-grade curriculum and developing the new 9th-grade course, The Living Earth, which will take an integrated approach to high school science. PUSD sent a team of 8 to the NGSS rollout in Chico this week where participants attended breakout sessions in their content area focusing on lesson design around phenomenon, inquiry, and assessment. Thank you to Ron Logan and Wendy Jackson for your leadership as Science Vertical team co-leads, and to Rob Wade for your expertise in NGSS.

Career and Technical Education

CTE teachers have been busy finalizing their site plans for CTEIG funds. These Career and Technical Education Incentive Grant funds are upgrading and modernizing our CTE programs. Thank you to our CTE Vertical Team lead Gina Pixler and our CTE teachers who are assisted by consultant Laurie Wann, in finalizing site plans due Dec. 1.

Adult Education

We are making progress with establishing and implementing Adult Education. Through a grant from our Adult Education consortium, PUSD is in the process of hiring teachers to offer night classes in Portola and Quincy this year and looking to add Greenville and Chester next year. These courses can be Basic Skills in Math and English, GED test prep, ESL, and for credit courses leading to a high school diploma. Classes in Quincy and Portola will begin in January- look for more information coming out on these offerings in December.


Our PUSD/PCOE testing window for CAASPP is April 9, 2018 - June 8, 2018. Each site will develop their site-specific testing window.

Designated supports- Now is the time for teachers to be considering the designated supports in the CAASPP assessment system. Principals will be working with their teachers to identify which students would benefit from which supports.

English Learners

Our English Learners will participate in a new assessment this spring, the ELPAC, which replaces CELDT. Thanks to Nance Reed, Berenice Coronado, Joe Moctezuma and Donna Waller for helping with the transition to this new assessment.

State Accountability

The new state accountability system, known as the California School Dashboard, will be coming out in December with new data for each school including Chronic Absenteeism, and College and Career Readiness. The Dashboard can be found at: https://www.caschooldashboard.org/#/Home

1:1 Computing

Our 1:1 teachers met this last week for day three of four of in-person professional learning. These year 2 cohort teachers are doing a great job on implementing 1:1 computing. We are focusing on our two goals of student engagement and personalized learning. During our professional learning day, we focused on using Google Slides to increase engagement and collaboration, monitored our progress with the SAMR model, remixed a Madeline Hunter lesson plan, learned about and made a Screencastify and had choice learning time through Kyte learning.

We are moving forward with our next steps and working with our amazing tech team to be prepared to implement 1:1 computing for all students in the 18-19 school year!

Would you like to see what we're up to in our professional learning, join our Google Classroom: class code nfdax8

School Plans

Principals and Site Councils have been working hard on their Single Plan for Student Achievement and moving on to their School Accountability Report Cards. These plans are essential in aligning goals, actions, and services with site budgets, as well as reporting out on progress. Thank you to our committed Site Council members who are essential to this process.

Vertical and Grade level teams

Thank you to our Vertical and Grade level team leads.

Dates for 17-18

Links to minutes:

TK/K 11.3.17

1st/2nd grade . 10.25.17, 11.3.17

3rd.4th 10.26 3rd grade 10.26 4th grade

5th/6th 11.3.17

CTE 11.3.17 CTE Collaborative Website

Electives 11.3.17

English 11.3.17

Math 11.3.17

Science 11.3.17

Social Studies 11.3.17


Nearly every high school in our district is involved with WASC this year.

QHS is working on their self-study. PHS and CHS are preparing for a mid-cycle visit and Daryl Hutchins is beginning the process of obtaining accreditation for Jim Beckwourth High School. Thank you to everyone for the valuable work that is done through the WASC process.

Upcoming Dates

11/28/2017 ILT Workshop

12/12/2017 ILT

12/13/2017 Board Meeting

12/18/17-1/1/18 Winter Break

1/4/18 Counselor Meeting

1/8/18 Science VT Meeting

1/9/18 Math VT Meeting, 5th-8th grade math teachers

1/10/18 Board Meeting

1/11/18 3:10 Elementary Grade level Google Hangout

1/15/18 No School- MLK Jr. Day

1/18/18 ILT

1/29/18 De-escalation Training for all front office staff

1/20 ITL Workshop

Useful Links

Textbook Request Form

Technology Help Ticket

username: plumas help password:technology

TK/K- 6th Grade ELA

ThinkCentral for all your textbook resources

Curriculum and Instructional Services

Kristy Warren

Assistant Superintendent, Instructional Services

@kristymwarren on Twitter

@PlumasUSD on Twitter