Raymore Update: 9/16/13

News For & About our Staff Family & PLC

Welcome to our School Family!!

Please welcome Laurie Icenhour to our night custodial staff. She will be taking Larry Westcoat's place. Laurie will join our family this week. We wish Larry well on his new adventures at the high school and look forward to getting to know Laurie.

Read-A-Thon Continues...we need your "hype!"

This is kind of a big deal in that it is our ONLY PTA fundraiser this year...and we count on all those monies to fund all they support (field trips, class grants, carpets, etc.)! I know pushing prizes does not relate to a target NOR is it in keeping with building internal motivation, but.......thanks for all you can do to hype this up and support kids, PTA, and our school!

Papa John's and Sonic Night Celebrations

The Papa John's classroom winner was Mrs. Thompson's class! Congrats! Our PTA raised $134.09 from the Sept. 4th Papa John's night. Our hard work at Sonic paid off as well! We raised $274.00. Thank you to everyone who worked and/or supported either night!

MVP (Most Valuable Piece of information) from my reading

Cultures Built to Last: Systematic PLCs at Work (DuFour, Fullan, 2013) (Current book study by PDC, Leadership Academy, & Dst Administrators)

Ch1: Clarity Preceds Comptetence p.14-17

"Underpinning these six qualities [see at the very bottom of this newsletter] are three big ideas...that serve as the core of the PLC process:

  1. A relentless focus on learning for all students
  2. A collaborative culture and collective effort to support student and adult learning
  3. A results orientation to improve practice and drive continuous improvement
The process itself cultivates and deepens the [mindset and] sense of common purpose, mutual accountability, and collective efficacy of the group to achieve results never before attained.

PLCs are about people, practices, and processes--they are not a program. They are fundamentally a change in culture--the way we do work around here."

My takeaways: The three big ideas already marry through discussions & intentions our staff currently has! Our intent to focus on EACH student's progress on LT scoring progressions, collectively meet to analyze & plan as a team, and more are strong building blocks. Re-greening the big ideas and strengthening our systematic processes will deepen & strengthen our effectiveness as a culture/"way we do work around here" as DuFour & Fullan offer.

PDC and My Learning Plan (MLP) Updates

My Learning Plan is going to be very useful to us this year. We will be using it on a consistent basis in order to track our PD and register for PD events. Therefore, a few changes in procedures have been put in place:

  • Staff will need to have prior approval from all prior approvers in MLP before they register for an event.
  • Registrations should be done by a PD rep (Stephanie Cain) when possible and not done by the staff member themselves
  • All out of state travel requires approval through ASC.
  • Please log on to My Learning Plan and check your personal profile updating any changes in your profile that may need to be made (name change, building change, different position, etc).

PDPs, Walk-throughs, & PBTE Reminders

Each visit to our school or in your classroom is an opportunity to showcase our journey toward rigor & relevance! The point of walk-throughs is to gather building wide patterns of success and need that will drive our PD or coaching of teams, individuals, or building.

  • PDPs: The form is now ready in TalentEd. Please look at your PBTE document and select 2-3 goals from the criteria (pending admin input). Use one of those to draft your PDP focus for this year and enter it into Talent Ed by 8:20 Tuesday Sept. 24. We will meet to discuss individually, although you may elect to partner with a colleague in your focus. PDPs are individual. Also, new teachers (Yr1-2) need to select Classroom Management as the overarching area.
  • Walk-throughs: We will initially use this set of look-fors jointly constructed by a couple of elementary principals:

  • PBTE: Remember, your PDPs are connected to one of 2-3 PBTE indicators selected with admin input. The goal is to evaluate all staff this year with those "on cycle" according to that frequency/process.

Mid-terms & Report Cards

  • No Q1 formal mid-quarter reports will be sent (Same as last year)
  • Instead, prior to conferences/near mid-quarter, remember some sort of check-in call, etc. with parents of a student well behind is expected (Surprises at conferences never go well nor are best practice!) KISS: Keep It Simple & Specific...remember to begin with a strength & end with reassuring you'll share more about the plan at conferences you as the teacher have designed to help their child reach mastery
  • We are continuing discussion about Q2-4 mid-quarter forms/formats/expectations. Stay tuned.
  • Parent-Teacher Conference forms conversation is still on-going. Stay tuned.
  • We will not print report cards for parents or conferences (Same as last year)
  • Conference time-band request forms will be sent home this Friday, Sept. 20. Please ensure all are returned to you or calls home made as appropriate no later than Monday, Sept. 30. The Conference Time pow-wow will be Tuesday, Oct. 1 in the library from 8-8:20 am. Bring your forms! Reminders:
  1. SpEd or RTI students require a "double-length conf" co-planned/scheduled.
  2. AMP will let you know the kids they plan to confer with and need to schedule theirs back-to-back with your conference time.
  3. TLC will let you know who they will confer with and need to schedule back-to-back OR join yours.

Curriculum Symbaloo

http://www.symbaloo.com/mix/pk-6curriculum Includes:

  • 2013-14 Reading correlation chart
  • Year 3 PTR benchmark expectations for teacher use & admin walk-thrus
  • Model lessons
  • Smarter Balanced performance events
  • Teacher Guides to login to & codes for BYOC, PTR videos, Pearson Success Net, etc.
  • NEW! GHGR lessons-CCSS correlation guide
  • etc.

New Thinking from Debbie Miller Video- GRR, Targets, Goals, Assessments


What has changed in the 10 years since Debbie Miller's Reading with Meaning was published? Debbie reflects on how her thinking has changed in areas such as gradual release of responsibility (GRR), how to use learning targets to empower students, and assessments that match goals. This video really puts all of the things we have been working on in perspective. It confirms we are doing powerful teaching that leads to a persistence of learning.

Reminders & FYIs

  • Remember to check the RE Shared Calendar for events! We are still adding, and things change.
  • Remember to add your lesson plans to the Google RE Shared Folder each week.
  • Remember to add your current class schedule to the Google RE Shared Folder & before you implement changes; post outside your door too.

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PLC: Our Mission, Vision, Values

As a professional learning community, we commit to three big ideas:

  1. Focus on Learning
  2. Build a Collaborative Culture
  3. Focus on Results

We answer four questions:

  1. What do we expect our students to learn? (Goals/Expectations)
  2. How will we know they are learning? (Assessment)
  3. How will we respond when they don’t learn? (DI Intervention)
  4. How will we respond if they already know it? (DI Extension)

To fulfill our mission & vision:

  • M: Preparing each student for a successful and meaningful life
  • V: Turning today's learners into tomorrow's leaders

With these commitments:

  • We are committed to consistency & accountability for each student's success.
  • We are committed to a system of support for students and adults.
  • We are committed to a safe, trusting and collaborative environment.
  • We are committed to best practices.
  • We are committed to high expectations for learning, behavior and citizenship.
  • We are committed to quality communication & positive relationships with all stakeholders
  • We are committed to effective communication regarding student progress.
  • We are committed to data-driven decision making.
  • We are committed to use of appropriate channels for communication.
  • We are committed to a guaranteed (consistent) and viable (doable) curriculum.
  • We are committed to maintaining fiscal responsibility while improving student achievement