September 8, 2015
"A mind stretched by an new idea can never be returned to its original dimension." ~ Oliver W. Holmes
Interesting summary for your perusal
The following (I promise it's not as long as it looks) is a summary of recent research regarding exactly what the title states. It's a good reminder of the importance of instructional leadership and collaboration both inside and outside the classroom.
Instructional Leadership, Teamwork, Efficacy, and Student Achievement
In this American Journal of Education article, Roger Goddard and Yvonne Goddard (The Ohio State University), Eun Sook Kim (University of South Florida), and Robert Miller (independent consultant) report on their study of the impact of principals’ instructional leadership in 93 rural, high-poverty elementary schools in a Midwestern state. The researchers found a strong causal relationship down this chain:
- Principals’ instructional leadership;
- Teacher collaboration;
- Teachers’ efficacy beliefs;
- Fourth graders’ achievement in reading and math.
Here are the details in the first three areas, with strong results in each leading to strong results in those that follow:
Instructional leadership – Characteristics of principals who were strong instructional leaders:
- Very knowledgeable about effective instructional practices and curriculum;
- Very knowledgeable about effective classroom assessment practices;
- Provide conceptual guidance for teachers on effective classroom practices;
- Set high standards for teaching and student learning;
- Directly involved in helping teachers address instructional issues in classrooms;
- Push teachers to implement what they have learned in professional development;
- Actively monitor the quality of teaching in the school through systematic and frequent classroom visits;
- Develop a shared vision of what the school could be like;
- Encourage people to express opinions that might be contrary to the leader’s.
Teacher collaboration – Strong instructional leadership produced these types of teamwork:
- Regular, frequent common planning times for team meetings;
- The principal participating in team meetings
- Agendas in meetings focused on specific goals;
- Collaboration on developing materials and activities for classes;
- Collaboration on instructional strategies and analyzing student assessment data;
- Collaboration on what helps students learn best;
- Collective work to select instructional methods and activities and evaluate curriculum and programs;
- Collective work determining professional development needs and planning PD;
- Collaboration with the principal on school improvement and effective operations.
Collective efficacy – Instructional leadership and teacher teamwork fostered these beliefs, which in turn resulted in higher student achievement:
- We believe that every child can learn;
- We have the skills needed to produce meaningful student learning;
- We can motivate students;
- We can get through to the most difficult students;
- We don’t give up when students don’t want to learn;
- We have the skills to deal with student disciplinary issues;
- These students come to school ready to learn;
- Students’ families provide advantages and motivation that help students learn;
- The opportunities in this community help ensure that students will learn;
- Students feel safe in this school;
- Drug and alcohol abuse in the community are not preventing students from learning.
“Leaders have tremendous potential to influence the collective work and beliefs of teachers in their schools,” conclude Goddard, Goddard, Kim, and Miller. “Our results… confirm that principals’ instructional leadership is a significant positive predictor of collective efficacy beliefs through its influence on teachers’ collaborative work… The more robust the sense of collective efficacy characterizing the schools in our sample, the greater their levels of student achievement, even after controlling for school and student background characteristics and prior levels of student achievement.”
“A Theoretical and Empirical Analysis of the Roles of Instructional Leadership, Teacher Collaboration, and Collective Efficacy Beliefs in Support of Student Learning” by Roger Goddard, Yvonne Goddard, Eun Sook Kim, and Robert Miller in American Journal of Education, August 2015 (Vol. 121, #4, p. 501-530), available for purchase at
Click the red button to go directly to the staff online calendar. The two weeks shown below is just a snapshot as of 8/10/15
- Please note that the Faculty Meeting has moved to 9/15 and the PLC Meetings are on 9/29. The CogAT Meeting has changed from 9/10 to 9/9.
- Please ensure that the passport goes home every Friday. This is a school wide expectation.
- There will be a PTA Spirit Wear sale for staff on September 10, 10:30a.m. - 2:00p.m., in the Tiger Conference room. All items will be $8.
- Remember that all classrooms should be locked and projectors turned off when no one is in the room.
- Boy Scouts are visiting in classrooms on September 9.
- Please submit transportation changes to Mia AS SOON AS POSSIBLE, preferably by noon to ensure all information is correct and timely.
- ALL staff members, certified and classified, must have entered the PD&E tool by September 2 to start the plan for the year. See snapshot below for how to start your GEES if you are a classified employee.
Who is Making IT Happen?
- Thank you to Sally for ALL the help that you have given!! You are amazing and truly appreciated every single day!!!!!
- Cafe Staff for get 100 on their Health Inspection.
- Thank you to Heather Garren for being so wonderful to work with!!! We are going to have such an amazing year together!!! :)
- Laurie Aldridge is the new Textbook Queen. She has been working hard to make sure teachers have what they need for students. Thank you for going to new classes to learn all about Textbook Inventory. Kuddos to you!
Early Release Information
Early Release days for parent conferences are Wednesday, Sep.23, and Thursday, Sep. 24. Please follow the directions and timeline for on-line scheduling of conferences.
- Wednesday, September 9, 2015 - Send home/e-mail Parent Letters with information about on-line Early Release conference sign-ups that gives the password for parents to use.
Complete conference information, including how to use PTCFast, our online
conference scheduler, can be found on eCLASS here https://instruction.gwinnett.k12.ga.us/d2l/le/content/22374/viewContent/1628474/View
- September 11 and 18 - Send home reminders in class newsletters.
- Friday afternoon, Sept 18th- Give a copy of your conference schedule to appropriate special education teachers, reading teachers and Mia Latimore.
- Wednesday, September 23, 2015 - Early Release- No AKS/CQI
- Thursday, September 24, 2015 - Early Release-No AKS/CQI
- Friday, September 25, 2015 - Complete survey on Early Release data sent by Christy.
Please follow the Early Release schedule for the two days and note the changes. Lunch times have been adjusted, but students still eat in the cafeteria and have a 30 minute lunch period. However, Specials on those two days are 30 minutes, not 45. (See attachment) Schedule is also posted in the Harbins Handbook under Schedules.
Early Release Schedule
Early Release Teacher Information
EIP (Early Intervention Program) Meeting
The EIP (Early Intervention Program) meeting will take place in the Professional Learning Room on September 10 during your planning time. All general education classroom teachers should attend. Please bring your KidTalk information for your students.
We will use this as a working session. Bridget and I will review the EIP rubrics and information concerning EIP. You will have time during this session to complete the rubrics for students who qualify for the EIP support.
eCLASS Fall Course Offerings
NEW Classworks' Applied Mathematics (K-8)
Classworks’ Applied Mathematics is 310 new problem-solving activities for grades K-8 that are appropriate for whole-class, small-group and independent work. These are standards-based intellectual challenges designed to promote conceptual understanding as well as the ability to reason and communicate mathematically. Each activity is differentiated, with a Progress, Meeting, and Expanding level - all addressing the same standard with varying levels of difficulty. The activities have built-in differentiation opportunities with multiple choice and open-ended response questions, digital tools, student hints, an interactive canvas, and audio recording capability. There are multiple ways to solve the problems, and teachers can use the activities to promote critical thinking and problem-solving, as well as real world application for the math skills.
Wednesday, September 9 - 4:00 - 6:00 - Discovery Lab @ ISC
Thursday, September 17 - 4:00 - 6:00 - Discovery Lab @ ISC
Georgia Department of Education provided US Constitutions for 4th grade
During the week of September 1, 2015, you will receive a shipment of pocket constitutions, titled “The Words that Built America.” There should be enough copies to provide one to each fourth grade student and teacher. State school superintendent Richard Woods would like to have them given to the students on Constitution Day, September 17; however, any day during Constitution Week (September 14 –18) would be fine.
Teacher resources are listed on page 54 of the booklet. If for any reason you do not receive enough copies for your fourth grade students, please contact the social studies office.
Leadership Academy Conference for 2015-16
Each grade level will have a daylong leadership conference which consists of 6 sessions. The students will rotate through all of the sessions. (Number order of the habit does not impact the order in which students attend sessions.
Teachers with split classes need to give the Administration a list of how the students will be split the Friday before your Leadership Academy Conference.
Teachers will stay with their classes. They will have a planning period during their regular specials time. The specials teachers will assist with each session during specials.
Archer Cluster . . . for your information
Archer Cluster Commitments
LSPI Goal: Archer Cluster core area teachers will meet vertically to align formative assessment practices to increase student learning outcomes and expectations across grade levels. The Archer Cluster Schools will increase the percentage of students achieving in the exceeds category each year as measured by our summative assessments.
We will ensure the development of successful/responsible adults by committing to:
1. Using the Formative Assessment Cycle. It is what is best for students.
2. Giving ongoing, timely, and specific feedback.
a. Feedback for the teacher from assessment to inform instruction
b. Feedback from the teacher to students to improve learning
3. Deploying standards-based, common, formative assessments.
a. Organize assessments by standards
b. Reassess students by standards
c. Assessment/Test corrections by standards
4. Ensuring students have multiple opportunities to demonstrate mastery.
5. Having open dialogue with our peers and holding each other accountable for these commitments.
Media Center News
Dot Day is TUESDAY, September 15th – we will be decorating DOTS during story time classes that week but if you are in grades 3-5 and would like to decorate DOTS let me know and I will give you a class set of dots for your students to create. Dot Day was started in 2009 by educator Terry Shay to celebrate the book The Dot by Peter Reynolds and has grown as a day to celebrate Creativity, Courage and Collaboration with your students. I have some Skypes lined up for my story time class the week of 9/14 to connect with other classes to celebrate Dot day and share how we are “Making our Mark” in the world. To learn more about Dot Day visit their website or come talk to me
The book The Dot is also available on our BookFlix database under the Family and Community tab.
Gladiator Hockey Hat Trick for Reading flyers went home on Friday. This is an completely voluntary program for students – they need to read three books between now and the program deadline of October 2nd, record the books on the sheet sent home and return the sheet to the school. Please put any sheets returned in my box. The students who participate will receive a voucher for a ticket to a Gwinnett Gladiator Hockey Game. If you have any questions please let me know.
Save the Date: Archer Cluster Barnes & Noble book fair will be at the Snellville Barnes & Noble Saturday, December 12th.
PTA Fundraiser - Read-A-Thon
2015-2016 Promotion Criteria
4th & 5th Grade Teachers
The Craft of Teaching Grammar Staff Development
Participants will study Jeff Anderson's Craft of Grammar series. Teachers in grades 4-5 will meet for four evenings to work through the teaching of language through writing. Jeff Anderson will join the final class.
When: September 9, 16, 24 from 4:15 PM - 5:45 PM. September 29 from 4:45 - 6:15 PM.
Registration for course #15500 will open in the PD&E tool on September 24, 2015 at 8:00 AM. Registration is limited to the first 120 participants
Reading and Writing Communication Reports
Measured Progress Testlets in SchoolNet
Mark you calendars:
The main administration of CogAT is scheduled for September 16th - 18th with makeups on September 21st and 22nd.
CogAT will be administered to all students in grades 1, 2, & 5.
The CogAT testing meeting has been moved to accommodate professional learning needs on the calendar. It is now during planning on Wednesday, September 9, for grades 1, 2, and 5. All other grade levels will continue with SIT re-delivery.
Mobile devices are having periodic trouble connecting to the GCPS login screen and/or to eCLASS. We will let you know when all issues have been resolved by the county.
Are you not receiving notifications when someone shares a document with you in Google Drive? Click here for directions on how to forward your harbins.org email to your GCPS Lotus Notes email.
The eCLASS office is hosting lots of great professional learning opportunities this fall. Click here to see a flyer of offerings - many are at schools closer to here than the ISC. All registration is through the PD&E Tool.
Need help on eCLASS, Reading Eggs, or Study Island? There are videos and handouts made just for Harbins in the eCLASS Harbins Training Page. Click here to go to the training page (must be logged in to eCLASS first)
GCPS has given teachers free access to hundreds of great online courses through the PD&E tool. Just type “ME” in the search bar in PD&E, then click “Online” on the left-side to view lots of great courses, including using SchoolNet, iPads in education, Evernote, Twitter, & more - all can be viewed at your convenience.
Classroom Spirit Award
Leaders in Learning
A Chrome file has been shared with each teacher, please go in to list your Leader in Learning each month when Montine sends out the notification email.