Mullica Middle News
Week of October 15, 2018
Dear Mullica Middle Staff
I hope this email finds you well and ready to tackle another week at Mullica. I recently read the following in The Marshall Memo and thought some of you may enjoy reading it as well. I underlined two sections that I spent some time reflecting upon and challenge you to reflect upon them as well. What are your thoughts on these statements and recommendations?
A Sobering Report on Students Doing Below-Grade-Level Work
“While more students than ever before are enrolling in college, far fewer are succeeding once they get there,” says Bailey Cato Czupryk, Kate McGovern, and Andy Jacob in this TNTP report. “Nationwide, 40 percent of college students (including 66 percent of black college students and 53 percent of Latinx college students) take at least one remedial course, where they spend time and money learning skills they were told they’d already mastered in high school.”
To find the root causes of this phenomenon, TNTP partnered with five diverse school districts (including a charter management organization), observed 1,000 lessons, reviewed 5,000 classroom assignments, analyzed 20,000 student work samples, collected 30,000 student surveys, and conducted in-depth interviews with 50 students. Although the majority of students were doing the work their teachers assigned and were getting good grades, the work they were doing was often below grade level. This was especially true for low-income students, those with disabilities, English learners, and students of color.
Some details: only 17 percent of assignments gave students a chance to do grade-level work; fourth graders were often asked to do first- and second-grade work; some eighth graders were given a fill-in-the-missing-vowels task on a reading passage. This happens, the authors say, because teachers often came up with their own assignments and didn’t gear them to grade- level expectations. When students did get appropriately rigorous class work, it immediately boosted their achievement – especially if the students started out behind.
What is to be done? The TNTP report concludes that four components need to be present for students to benefit from their classroom experiences:
- High expectations from teachers;
- Consistent opportunities to complete grade-appropriate assignments;
- Learning experiences that get students deeply engaged;
- Instruction that gets students doing most of the thinking.
Sadly, only 16 percent of the lessons observed by TNTP researchers met these criteria.
“The Opportunity Myth: What Students Can Show Us About How School Is Letting Them Down – and How to Fix It” by Bailey Cato Czupryk, Kate McGovern, Andy Jacob and a large team of researchers and writers at TNTP, September 25, 2018,
*I followed the link and have been working my way through the full text of the study. It’s definitely interesting and presented in an engaging format. Check it out if you have time.
Let’s make this a marvelous mid-October week.
2018 PARCC Data Update
Several teachers requested the following data regarding PARCC. All differences between grade levels are in Levels 4 and 5.
Please email me when your SGO is complete and schedule a brief appointment for us to review it and have it approved. Deadline for requesting an appointment is Wednesday, October 24th. These need to be approved by the close of the school day on October 29th. I will be sending out a separate reminder email to all teachers and other staff members for whom I will be approving SGOs.
Professional Development Plans
All teachers who already have their summative scores for the 2017-18 school year and new to Mullica teachers need to have their PDP completed and approved by the end of the day on October 29th. This will be the main focus of our staff meeting on Wednesday morning. If you have a mSGP for the 2017-18 school year, you have 25 days from the date you receive your summative score to complete your PDP and have it approved. These scores have not yet been received by the district. I will keep you informed during this process. I will be sending out emails to the teachers and other staff members for whom I approve PDPs.
As promised, we will be alternating morning and afternoon staff meetings this year. The October meeting will be held in the Media Center on Wednesday 10/17 at 7:30 AM. The primary focus of this meeting will be to discuss and work on PDPs. Additionally, I will briefly cover a few other topics.
Coyote Chronicle Newsletter
Please remember to submit your articles and pictures for the Coyote Chronicle. I can organize this in several ways; by subject, grade level, teacher etc. Last month, there weren’t any submissions for special areas, since this is one of the highlights of the kid’s day I think they would love to have these classes included. If you didn’t send anything last month, and even if you did, please send something for this month.
Please use the Google form below for submissions to the October Edition.
New Jersey Student Learning Assessment
Last week we received notice that New Jersey will no longer participate in PARCC. Instead, students will be taking the New Jersey Student Learning Assessment for English Language Arts and Mathematics. As yet, I have not received information regarding the Science assessment. I will keep you informed of additional information as it is received.
The changes are broken down in the table below.
Calendar This Week
7:30 AM- Fall Festival planning meeting in the Media Center. Please plan to attend this meeting if you want to have your voice heard regarding the parade route, parties, parent involvement, the schedule for the day, and more. If you are unable to attend please make sure another staff member is aware of your preferences.
7:30 AM Middle School Faculty Meeting- Media Center
11:05- Flyers Assembly- Please bring students to the Gym after they transition to your class. The assembly will focus on teamwork, sportsmanship, and good character.
6:30 PM School Board Meeting
1:30-2:15 Elementary School Youth Alliance Assembly “Destroy Illusions”
2:30-3:15 Middle School Youth Alliance Assembly “Destroy Illusions”
6:30 Family Performance of “Destroy Illusions”
10/31/18 Fall Festival