Sailing Through the Week

Staff Memo for the Weeks of February 8th and February 15th

Important Dates

Monday, February 8

  • Staff Meeting at 3:45

Tuesday, February 9

  • Data Digs

Wednesday, February 10

  • Popcorn for all Students (Mrs. Card's Valentine Treat)
  • Pupil Count Day
  • Jeanne, Rachel, and Robyn to RESA
  • Parent Technology Night

Friday, February 12 - Tuesday, February 16

  • Mid-Winter Break
  • Wednesday, February 17

    • Digital Learning Day
    • Classes Resume
    • Popcorn Day
    • Conga Line at 3:15

    Thursday, February 18

    • Third Grade Pollution Solutions (10:30-11:50)
    • Fifth Grade Party Planning Meeting at 6:00 p.m.

    Friday, February 19

    • School Store
    • Daddy Daughter Dance, 6:00-8:00 p.m.

Upcoming Dates

Monday, February 22

  • Board of Education Meeting at 7:00 p.m.

Tuesday, February 23

  • Rachel to Elementary Ad. Team Meeting at 3:00

Wednesday, February 24

  • Popcorn Day

Thursday, February 25

  • Third Grade Math PD
  • Rachel at RESA (Elem. Prin. Mtg.), 8:00-11:30
  • ECSD Elementary
  • International Carnvial, 6:00-8:00

Friday, February 26

  • School Store

Monday, February 29

  • Staff Meeting, 3:45. Dr. Skalka will discuss bond proposal.

Tuesday, March 1

  • 504 Forms due to Carol
  • 10:00 March is Reading Month Kick-off Assembly
  • Rachel to Ad. Team Meeting at 3:00

Wednesday, March 2

  • Half Day for Students
  • PM Building-Based PD

Friday, March 4

  • School Store
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Staff Meeting Agenda for February 8, 2016

1. Self-Reflection

Goal: Send future self an email


2. Bond Proposal Presentation

Goal: Explain bond proposal and develop talking points to share with voters.


3. Curriculum Committee Updates

Goal: Receive updates from district content committee representatives


4. M-STEP Updates

Goal: Share M-STEP preparation plan.


5.Thoughts, wonderings, cares, concerns

Teacher Evaluation Process

Compared to the "drive by" teacher observation model, the new system seems to be much more effective in cultivating what really matters: developing a consistent definition of good teaching, providing opportunities to engage in meaningful conversations about practice, and focusing on teaching and learning. I am especially enjoying the professional dialogue during our pre-observation meetings and listening to teachers engaging in reflection and self-assessment. If you have not scheduled a meeting with me, please do so. My goal is to complete this process prior to the M-STEP.

MDE K-2 Assessments Pilots

The Michigan Department of Education is conducting a field-test administration of the K-2 Early Literacy and Numeracy assessments (formerly known as the Interim K-2s) this spring. The K-2s are benchmark assessments in mathematics and ELA for students in grades K, 1, and 2. The K-2s are completely aligned to Michigan’s content standards, and are administered online only (no paper/pencil version). Some East China teachers participated in the first pilot of these assessments in 2014, and we will be participating again this year.


Recent legislation taking effect next school year requires students in grades K, 1, and 2 be administered assessments in ELA and mathematics to support early literacy and numeracy across Michigan. Students who participate in the K-2s this spring will contribute to the data collected on each item as the state prepares for the operational K-2 assessments that will be available in the 2016–17 school year.


I am looking for one class in each of grades K-2 to take the assessment this spring to help us evaluate the process and know what to expect when these tests are rolled out to everyone during the next school year. Here is some additional information:


- No data will be reported back to the schools (no reports or data file are generated).

- Michigan educators helped develop these assessments.

- These assessments are said to be age appropriate.

- Students will assessed both ELA and Math.

- There are 2 parts to each assessment (25-45 minutes each).

- We are planning on scheduling these the last week in May (May 23-27).

- Catherine, Mike D., and tech will organize to assist based on our schedules.

- The assessments were created to model what the M-STEP looks like for grades 3-5.

- No pressure on teachers or students!


Please let me know as soon as possible if you are interested in participating in the pilot.

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Our Mission: Working Collaboratively to Ensure All Students Learn

Our Vision: Belle River is an inviting, caring school community that meets the needs of every 21st century learner, by using Best Practices to facilitate positive behavior support

and high expectations for lifelong learners.