ENSC Weekly Notes
January 19, 2015
Strategic Plan Update
While the current plan is coming to completion, it doesn't mean we need to start from scratch again. This time, we will review the current plan and assess our success in meeting the goals, consider new goals, and develop new action plans. Below is how ENSC plans to develop/update their strategic plan:
1. Hold at least three meetings to collect input.
- Stakeholders - parents, community members, Board members
- Staff members
3. Develop or review new goals and action plans
4. Obtain Board approval
If you are interested in participating in one of the meetings as a stakeholder or staff member, please let me know.
I believe we have appropriate methods for assessing the reading abilities of our students and our teachers do very well to provide interventions for successful passing of the iRead 3 test. The cost of moving this test to second grade is projected to be $1.2 million. I can think of far more impactful ways to spend $1.2 million on educating Indiana students.
Extra Credit - Does it support learning?
This post discusses the value of assigning extra credit and does it truly support learning and should students receive credit for "effort." If you believe providing extra credit points for bringing in a box of tissues or having a parent sign a note is appropriate, ask yourself what standard or concept does that activity support. Also, reflect upon ways you may deduct points from your assignments. Do you deduct points if a student does not have their name on a paper? Do you deduct points if it is not stapled in the correct corner? Do you deduct points if a students turns in an assignment late?
What does a grade mean? Does an "A" mean a student has mastered the standards at a 100 percent level? When a university sees an "A" on the transcript, what does this mean to admissions? When an employer sees an "A" on the transcript, what does this mean to the employer. Grades continue to be the measuring stick for mastery of standards, adding and deducting points for "effort" distorts the level of mastery from a student.
Reflect on your practices for assigning grades. Are they a true reflection of a student's mastery of the standards and, are their other ways to assess student progress and mastery of standards?
All Star of the Week
The All Star of the Week is Janis Engerman. She is the kitchen manager at East Noble High School. Janis is a household name at East Noble; for those of you who have been around for a while. Janis is always willing to help no matter what the task. She has four children that all graduated from East Noble. They were all in many extra-curricular activities and Janis has been involved with just about every booster club there is. She continues to help out with many events sponsored by East Noble clubs and teams, beauty pageants (her daughter Sara was Miss Indiana), the city of Kendallville, and the community. She started her career at East Noble High School in 1991 preparing vegetables and salads. She worked there until 2006 when she took the food service manager position at LaOtto Elementary. Janis was there until they closed the school in 2009 and then took over the kitchen at East Noble Middle School. In 2013, she went back to the High School as cafeteria manager. Janis is always fun to work with, treats others fairly and truly believes in people. East Noble Food Service is truly blessed to have Janis on our team!
Curriculum and Building Notes
While we are still experiencing problems with all students completing the Acuity test, we have learned some invaluable information from those who were able to complete the test. I am still waiting to have a conversation with the DOE about the problems but let’s get back to what we learned.
I have heard from some teachers that students found the Equation and Expression Entry Questions (Students use a keyboard number pad to create a typewritten math equation.) challenging because they were not familiar with typing out an equation. Scrolling also seemed to problematic. In addition, the students simply struggled with the rigor of the content.
The scrolling issue should be resolved. However, the other problems are fully within our control. Reflect for a minute and ask yourself…How much time has been spent practicing the new question types? We cannot wait until 20 days prior to the test to start introducing the numerous question types to students. The students need to see them now and frequently. Are your homework questions altered to reflect the new question styles? Are you working them out in class as a teachable moment? Are you letting kids solve them in groups so that they understand someone else’s thought processes?
Alternative Learning Center
This week the students crossed the 70 credit mark for earned credits in trimester 2. It shows how hard they have been working and the progress they are making. Each credit earned is a step closer to graduation. Graduation might seem a long way off for some students, but it gets here quicker than they think. It's important to earn each credit attempted to stay on track.
Another great week at the ALC!
On Monday, Miss Shelby Carmichael, Miss Limberlost, will be visiting with each grade level. She will be talking with OUR students about how goal setting leads to success. They will be watching a short video clip about Martin Luther King Jr. and how his goals led to his dreams becoming a reality. Afterwards, students will be setting their own goals. These goals will then be used to create a school wide bulletin board.
OUR next Panther University on January 27th all grade levels will be presenting information to parents to help clear up any questions or issues that may arise when they are at home helping their children with school work. The presentations will include how to find ELearning materials on the school website and/or classroom sites. Panther U will begin at 6:30 that evening and we hope all will attend.
Mr. John Arnold visited the 6th grade this past week and discussed energy with OUR kids. Mr. Arnold explained the program East Noble is involved in for saving energy and money, his role, the teacher’s role and the student’s roll as well. Mr. Arnold showed the kids some of his cool “toys” that he gets to use to check each and every classroom in the district to ensure each building is doing its part. He explained the schooling that he went through to become Mr. Johnny Shut It Off. He also explained that there are career opportunities in the energy field that are much different from years past. Thank you to Mr. Arnold for spending the afternoon with OUR 6th grade.
This coming Tuesday evening the PTO is sponsoring roller skating in Auburn. The event begins at 6:30. Thank you to the PTO for all that they do for all of OUR kids.
These videos were created with Mrs. Smith's 1st grade buddies.
East Noble High School
Throughout high school there are many opportunities to learn life lessons that don’t come from a textbook. What kids learn through athletics and extra-curricular opportunities, and how they learn to interact with the challenges of diversity are the memories that define who we are for a lifetime. This past week we had one of those defining moments. An event so memorable it will forever be etched in the fabric of our character. It is a testament to the character or our kids, their parents, and our teachers who are eager and willing to stretch themselves for the selfless service of others. It is a proud and defining moment for our school and with our community’s full support, illustrates characteristics that most people only talk about. At East Noble High School, we do more than just talk…we put our words into action in order to maximize the potential of all students.
The ENHS Special Education Department is pleased to have a new addition to our team of teachers. Kelsey Mapes joined us on January 5th. Mrs. Mapes recently taught at Marion High School in the special education department. She is a graduate of Ball State University. Mrs. Mapes is married and lives here in Kendallville. Her husband is a familiar face at Albright’s Grocery Store in the Meat Department. We are excited to have her join us!
East Noble Middle School
The return to school allowed teams to meet in our “Room for Success” to analyze the first semester data, discuss progress and goals, and arrange RTI meetings. During this time, Mr. Deming met with students in the auditorium to set goals for the students and discuss missing assignments. We will also be beginning a STUDY ISLAND competition soon, and students are challenged to think of awards they want to work for.
We hosted our honor students for breakfast this week, and want to commend the students for a job well done. 7th grade had 39% of students on honor roll last grading term, and 8th grade had 44% of students with honors. The end of the semester also brought eligibility for over 150 new potential NJHS candidates! Students will be receiving information on how to apply to join via email.
ENMS is wrapping up basketball season next week with an exciting COMMUNITY APPRECIATION week next week. On Monday, we have our final boys gold game of the season. On Tuesday, we host Indian Springs in girls’ basketball. This is a PINK OUT benefit game for the American Breast Cancer Foundation—WEAR PINK! Our student, Lexi Ortiz, will making a speech before the game. On Thursday, boys blue basketball hosts DeKalb. This is also when our PEP BAND will be performing at home. We want to fill the stands with crazy blue & fans. The ENMS dance team will be performing at games next week also! All concession drinks will be $1.
ENMS wishes Amanda Munger well as she begins her maternity leave this week, and welcomes the return of James Gardner as her sub.
North Side Elementary
This week at North Side was exciting. Our second graders were able to go see a performance of Snow White at the high school. The students really enjoyed the lovely show and the opportunity to get out of the building and do something special. Many thanks to all the people that helped put the show on and organize this event!
Academically it was a busy week as we begin counting the days to ISTEP. Intermediate students participated in an ISTEP readiness test and began Acuity testing. Primary students continue working on middle of year mClass testing for reading and math skills. These middle of year assessments give us important insights into how students are progressing and what direction we need to take for the remainder of the year. In art (pictured below) students continued to add to their considerable collection of completed works by finishing up a “ROYGBIV Snowman.”
Teachers continue to find creative ways to implement technology and keep students engaged. Pictured below is Mrs. Emerick’s sixth grade class “playing” (they’re secretly learning) a review game having to do with geometric concepts using Cahoot.it. Cahoot.it is an online trivia style game similar to what you might play at Buffalo Wild Wings. The game involves a timer and assigns points to contestants based on how quickly they give the correct answer. The game is played on the internet and you are able to easily compete with a class or group
Rome City Elementary
Third grade Romans were able learn about bullying on Thursday. ” Kids On The Block,” a puppet group came and presented a show to the students to learn about bullying and to encourage other not to bullying.
Rome City First Graders had Miss Haley from the Limberlost Public Library visit. The students listened to a Mo Williams story and discussed the difference between a want and a need. Writing was incorporated into the lesson. Students were to express in writing what the pigeon in the story wanted verses what the pigeon needed.
South Side Elementary
South Side held our school Spelling Bee this week for grades 4-6 following the word list and guidelines of the National Spelling Bee. It was a hard-fought win wrought with drama with cheers and sighs from our student audience as the bee ran upwards of 30 rounds before a winner could be named! Big congratulations go out to winner Kati Mosley who will move on to participate in the county bee! Also, nice job and congratulations to runner-up Mikiah McDonald who will take Kati’s place if she is unable to attend at the county level!
Our grade level update this week comes from 4th grade: South Side fourth graders have been reading and writing about electricity. The power we rely on has fused together their reading block, their writing workshop, and their science block. As part of their study of electricity, they are testing conductors and insulators using a simple circuit. There is just something so energizing about using wires, a battery, and a light bulb to see if you can run the electricity through an item. Students have also been writing about what life would be like without electricity. The fact that one class experienced a morning without electricity in the classroom has given their writing a jolt. Don’t be shocked if these students begin building circuits at home to test conductors and insulators. We are positive that this will recharge your energy for learning as well!
Wayne Center Elementary
Art students at Wayne Center have been painting Art That Is Out of This World in preparation for the FAME Festival Fusion Project. Students listened to the theme music from the movie E.T. and developed a painting that was inspired by the music. The artwork will be turned in to the festival headquarters at the Auer Center for Arts and Culture to be judged. Our students will be competing with students throughout northeast Indiana. The winning artwork will be made into posters to promote the FAME Festival in March. Wayne Center students have done well in the past and are hoping for a winner this year also.
This week, music students have been learning to be independent musicians by putting small performances of songs together. One class is performing “Alabama Gal”. While one group sings and dances the Virginia Reel, the other group takes turns accompanying on the new Orff instruments. Wayne Center was fortunate to receive these new Instruments from an Arts Parts Grant through the Dekko Foundation. The students have done a great job with this project.
Approximately 40 fifth and sixth graders participated in the annual school spelling bee on Tuesday. The students did a great job spelling their way through some tricky words. In the end, sixth grader Shayla Bowker won the Bee and was named our school spelling bee champion. Classmate Leigha Vosburgh was runner-up. Shayla will represent Wayne Center in the upcoming Noble County Spelling Bee.
It has been a good start to the second half of the school year. In physical education, students have been keeping true to the No Excuse University concept by participating in a school wide challenge to walk to college. The gym’s college choice was Arizona State University. This is approximately 1,800 miles from Wayne Center! Having the students in each class come in and pick up pedometers that count the number of steps a student will take has allowed each class to accumulate miles. (There are roughly 2000 steps in 1 mile). So far the students have walked over 200 miles!! They still have a long way to go, but this challenge will go to the end of the school year. Currently, the top place class is Miss Northrup’s 5th grade class, followed closely behind by Miss Thomas’ 5th grade class. All classes are doing really well and are excited to come in and get to stepping. Lastly, a big shout out and congratulations goes to Keegan Foster. Keegan will be representing Wayne Center in the county round of the Elks Free Throw Contest. Keegan won the district round a month ago for his age group and will shoot next weekend to see if he can move on. He has been in the gym practicing hard! If you see him, please wish him good luck! Good job, Keegan!