E-Staff Weekly for 5/9/16
Message from Dr. Scheid's Office - BrightBytes Survey
Once again we are partnering with BrightBytes, an educational research and analytics organization, to learn more about our schools’ technology use for student learning. To better show our growth over the past year and showcase the impact of our initiatives, we’ve made a commitment to re-collect. Our goal is to gather metrics on technology access and skills, and on our district's technology environment, in order to understand the connection between technology use and student achievement. Re-collection also allows us to prioritize different initiatives based on the changes in our profile.
We are asking each of you to complete the survey linked below by June 3, 2016.
- All certified staff and administrators must complete the survey.
- Your responses are anonymous.
- The survey should only take about 10 minutes to complete.
Please use the following link to access your school’s survey: www.BByt.es/BU7FT
- Please schedule a time in the computer lab or utilize your computing devices in your classroom for students to complete the survey. A link has been added to the top page of the Seylar Website.
This is message is only for Grade 4 & 5 Teachers (Regular & Special Education), reading specialist, IST, or any teacher who provides direct instruction in the tested eligible content should also be factored into this equation.
This Monday, May 2nd, marks the beginning of the PVAAS Roster Verification Process. This will be the first 3 year rolling average for some staff members and will be included in their 82-1 teacher’s final rating form. The timeline for this process is listed below:
- District Preview: May 2-May 13
- Teacher Verification: May 14-May 27
- School Verification: May 28-June 10
- District Final Verification: June 11-June 24
There are 2 parts to the verification process:
- Identifying Full or Partial % of Instruction (Any teacher who provides direct instruction in the tested eligible content should also be factored into this equation. For example…reading specialists and IST teachers)
- Student + Teacher enrollment (The number school days the student was enrolled in the course from the beginning of the year to testing window)***Absences do NOT count for students and teachers; the only exception would be a teacher who is replaced with a long-term substitute.
The PVAAS calculations are based on the following dates:
- PSSA ELA: 4/12/2016 Math: 4/19/2016 Science: 4/25/2016
- Keystone Algebra I: 5/17/2016 Biology: 5/23/2016 Literature: 5/25/2016
- Notify the building principal prior to making a change in the roster (when a teacher makes a changes, it will affect other teachers).
- Once the School Verification window opens, May 28th, the principal review each teacher’s roster for accuracy.
Via email several resources were sent to assist you in this process. In addition, teachers and administrators can access additional resources at https://pvaas.sas.com/ You do not need to sign-in to access the resources.
Things to consider:
- The District assigns permissions to the building principal.
- If a teacher is out on leave, the School Admin (principal) should complete the roster verification process on behalf of the teacher.
- If a teacher works at 2 different buildings, then the teacher should complete/verify the rosters at each school.
- PASA is not included in PVAAS
- A teacher needs to have a minimum of 11 students in order to receive a score. (Principals and teachers should still complete the verification process regardless of the class size)
If you have any questions or concerns, please feel free to contact me.
Spring Orchestra Concert
Wednesday, May 18th, 7:30pm
144 East Walnut Street
Message from the library...
- May 9th
- May 13th
- May 20th
- May 23rd
- May 25th
- May 27th
- June 6th
- June 10th
- Harassment (GCN)
- Act 126 Mandated Reporter (GCN)
- Act 71 Youth Suicide Awareness and Prevention (GCN)
- SEL training (Video and Powerpoint presentation) – for new staff members
- Policy 824 – Maintaining Professional Adult/Student Boundaries (will be reviewed in future faculty/department meetings)
Teaching Resources, Inspiration, and Sometimes a Good Laugh!
Charlotte Danielson on Shifting from Teacher Evaluation to Development
In this article in Education Week, teacher-evaluation guru Charlotte Danielson says, “Every superintendent, or state commissioner, must be able to say, with confidence, ‘Everyone who teaches here is good. Here’s how we know. We have a system.’” So why, asks Danielson, has it been so difficult to ensure good teaching in every classroom?
One reason, she believes, is that school-based administrators “don’t always have the skill to differentiate great teaching from that which is merely good, or perhaps even mediocre.” Another problem is the lack of consensus on how we should define “good teaching.” Is it improved test scores? That idea has run into a number of methodological problems, says Danielson. Is it rubric scores based on classroom observations? She worries that when administrators assign a score after watching a lesson, “teaching is distilled to numbers, ratings, and rankings, conveying a reductive nature to educators’ professional worth and undermining their overall confidence in the system.”
“I’m deeply troubled,” says Danielson, “by the transformation of teaching from a complex profession requiring nuanced judgment to the performance of certain behaviors that can be ticked off on a checklist.”
Only about six percent of teachers are ineffective, she continues. For the remaining 94 percent, the emphasis should shift from ratings to learning. And what do we know about professional learning? That it requires:
- Active intellectual engagement – That is, self-assessment, reflection on practice, and on-going conversations;
- Trust – “Fear shuts people down,” says Danielson. “Learning, after all, entails vulnerability. The culture of the school and of the district must be one that encourages risk-taking.”
- Challenge – “The culture must include an expectation that every teacher will engage in a career-long process of learning,” she says, “one that is never ‘finished.’ Teaching is simply too complex for anyone to believe that there is no more to learn.”
- Teacher collaboration – PD and supervisory suggestions rarely drive classroom improvements, says Danielson. “Overwhelmingly, most teachers report that they learn more from their colleagues than from an ‘expert’ in a workshop… or being directed by a supervisor to read a certain book or take a particular course.” Most often, classroom improvement comes from working with colleagues analyzing student work and planning curriculum.
Policy leaders, concludes Danielson, should undertake a comprehensive redesign of personnel policies. Here are her preliminary thoughts on what a new system should include:
- An emphasis on professional learning in a culture of trust and inquiry;
- A career ladder from probationary to continuing status after about three years; from that point on, the main emphasis becomes professional learning;
- Differentiation in the evaluation system, with novice teachers getting support from a mentor and being evaluated every year;
- Career teachers assessed periodically to ensure continuing quality;
- Teacher leadership positions (mentor, instructional coach, team leader) for which experienced teachers in good standing are eligible to apply; these come with training and support, extra compensation, or released time during the regular school day;
- The ability to identify seriously underperforming teachers, support their improvement, and if sufficient progress isn’t made, deny them tenure or continuing employment.
“It’s Time to Rethink Teacher Evaluation” by Charlotte Danielson in Education Week, April 20, 2016 (Vol. 35, #28, p. 24, 20), www.edweek.org
M. M. Seylar Elementary School
Education is a very personal thing. We at Seylar believe that every child has the right to achieve their highest potential and for them to be inspired, to dream, to be excited, and to have pride within themselves and for their school community. Our mission is to combine these beliefs with your child’s innate passions and love for learning to bring together a mind’s on approach, where students are engaged, challenged, and supported so they can achieve their personal best.