Curriculum and Instruction News

May 2017

#TeachersDeserveIt

I love the #KidsDeserveIt hashtag teachers use on twitter to shout out the ways they demonstrate their passion for what they do. Teachers share what motivates them to make learning fun, to focus on what’s most important, and to treat everyone with kindness and respect. They do it because they have unconditional positive regard for every child in their care. They do it because this job is hard and we can burn out. Sharing and showing how we stay motivated, how we recommit every morning, and how we stay positive despite the obstacles, connects us to a community of support and provides us with a lift when we are down.


I hope you can see in the hard work of the C&I team that the reason we do what we do is because #TeachersDeserveIt . Teachers deserve to have the books, materials, resources in their rooms that support all their students. If we want to foster independence and choice in our students, we have to support teachers with independence and choice too. Teachers deserve to have a curriculum that creates a space to collaborate around the most important work and makes sure that we value the things that are most important. It has to be clear enough to provide focus, and roomy enough to allow for choice. Teachers deserve to bring their passion to work every day. They deserve a curriculum that values that work the most. They deserve professional development that is customized to who they are, what they teach, and where they are in their development as a professional. I hope you can see that what drives us in the C&I department is getting teachers what they need because you deserve it.

Curriculum Updates

K-5 Literacy

Because #TeachersDeserveIt, Tina Risse, building principals, and the K-5 Literacy Curriculum Writing Team, have mapped out a differentiated PD plan and material adoptions for each building grade level team. As teachers learn more about implementing balanced literacy, they will receive PD and materials to support the components of balanced literacy they have chosen to work on this year.


Each grade level team will continue to work with the Writing Units of Study and add on other components of balanced literacy depending on what they are ready for.
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6th-9th Grade Math

After adopting curriculum and a year of piloting Carnegie Learning materials in 6th-8th grade and Algebra classes, 2017-18 will be a modified roll-out year for math curriculum. After feedback and lots of discussion, math teachers asked for changes to the roll-out plan for math materials. We are adopting Carnegie Learning as the math materials for 6th-8th grade courses, but are going back to review new materials for Algebra and the math software to support learning. Algebra teachers will continue to have access to the Carnegie Learning online resource center, while we look for other materials.


As part of the process, math teachers in each secondary building will have 5 days of individualized PD with a math instructional coach. Each math department will decide how best to balance the days between PD workshops, demonstration lessons, and in classroom coaching. We will be going back to the pilot phase for math elearning software and piloting ALEKS, iXL Math, and other computer-adaptive programs.


Limited Pilot Materials

6th-12th-grade ELA, Science, and Social Studies will begin their pilot phase next year. In order to pilot materials to support the curriculum we looked for products that could support only a 1-year commitment. Our primary focus was on making sure that we had access to the necessary teacher resources, an electronic student resource, and if possible an electronic database of content-rich nonfiction texts. Because of the speed with which we need to get 6th-grade classrooms up and running we have focused on the most necessary materials first. Every 6th-grade teacher will be involved in the pilot, so they can have access to the newest materials. Each subject area is taking a slightly different approach. Over the summer course level curriculum writing teams will be meeting to match the pilot materials to the units they have drafted.

6th-12th English Language Arts

We are focusing on adding enough novels and other paperback titles so that each student will have an individual copy. Teachers deserve to be able to assign whole-class reads and literature circle sets. No more books that have to stay in the classroom for the kids in next period. Now students will be able to take their books home and read. The curriculum writing team has set up a scope and sequence of thematic units, so we can determine the appropriate text-sets for each grade level without any repetitions.


We will also be adding an Academic Literacy class to 6th, 7th, and 8th-grade at all middle schools and Fox High School.

6th-12th Social Studies

The curriculum writing teams have already selected several teacher resources.


Still under consideration

We will be piloting these in all 6th-grade Social Studies classrooms, at least one 7th and 8th-grade class per building, and all US History Classrooms (9th-10th-11th). All social studies teachers will have access to the materials including World History, and Government and Politics. Over the summer and into next year, we will be working on selecting student texts and classroom libraries.

6th-12th Science Materials

The curriculum writing team is still deciding between two options, both are electronic teacher resources with additional student resources embedded.

Under consideration

We will pilot these material in all 6th-grade science classrooms, at least one 7th and 8th-grade classroom per building, all 9th-grade Physics and the Earth Science classrooms, and at least one Biology and Chemistry classroom per building.


You can see there is a lot going on. We are working hard to ensure that teachers have everything they need for their students because #TeachersDeserveIt.

Professional Development

PD Updates

We have had a busy year of learning! Some of the highlights from this year include:


  • Sending 115 teachers to Kagan workshops to increase student engagement in the classroom

  • Creating PLC leadership teams in all buildings and resetting expectations for PLC time across the district.

  • Increasing knowledge and understanding of Balanced Literacy through both building and district-wide PD opportunities

  • Helping 6th grade teachers transition to the middle school level through peer observations and professional development opportunities

  • Increasing understanding of critical thinking in math with the help of Robert Kaplinsky workshops for K-12 and other building level PD opportunities presented by staff members

  • Developing understanding and practical applications of STEM in elementary school with a cohort of 22 teachers

  • Supporting the integration of technology in the classroom with Chrome Academies

  • Offering PD opportunities for teacher’s assistants and aides as well as secretaries based on their feedback on the Needs Assessment

  • Providing WHEELS Character Education training for all district bus drivers

  • Developing an understanding of the Design Thinking process in a partnership with the Mehlville School District


As we wrap up the 16-17 school year, we are already starting to plan for next year. In order to help us plan and provide meaningful PD for the upcoming school year, please take a minute to complete our Needs Assessment if you have not already done so. To complete the survey, click on the appropriate link:



Teachers, Administrators, Counselors and Librarians


Nurses, SLPs, OT/PTs, Diagnosticians, Teacher's Aides, Teacher's Assistants and Secretaries

Travel Expenses

As of January 2017, the district will begin pre-paying all hotel and travel expenses for staff members attending out of district professional development. The on-line PD request form has been updated to include hotel information. Please make sure to provide ample time for us to book your hotel and/or flight when applying for PD. Teachers will still need to complete a check request form to get reimbursed for food and mileage. To review the updated Travel Policy click here.

Literacy

Secondary Academic Literacy Courses

Literacy educators have long agreed that independent reading has a strong influence on academic achievement. With this in mind, Fox C-6 middle and high school teachers recently came together to develop a course entitled Academic Literacy. This course is being offered to students in all of our middle schools and as part of a pilot program at Fox High School. Our goals for this semester long course will place students in a position to:


  • Select and read authentic texts at their “independent” level.

  • Develop reading stamina and increase the number of books they read each year.

  • Write to capture their thinking about reading.

  • Talk about the texts they are reading.

  • Develop academic vocabulary for talking about texts.

  • Talk with teachers about the texts they are reading in order to set goals and to monitor their progress.


The Academic Literacy course will begin fall of 2017. Course instructors will meet throughout the first semester to discuss, reflect upon, and polish the Academic Literacy curriculum. This meaningful course will launch purposeful conversations related to how we lift the level of reading for all students.

Federal Programs

ESSA News

Missouri State Requests Waivers for the following items as amended under the Every Student Succeeds Act from the U.S. Department of Ed.

The Department of Elementary and Secondary is currently accepting public comments on the following waivers until May 31st. Those wanting to comment can do so here: https://dese.mo.gov/sites/default/files/Request-for-Comments-on-Waivers.pdf


Waiver requests being made by DESE are as follows:“Right Test, Right Time” Concerning EOC Assessments Waiver

Letter from Missouri Education Commissioner Vandeven to U.S. Department of Education requesting waiver to continue “Right Test, Right Time” https://dese.mo.gov/sites/default/files/Waiver-Req-Advanced-Content.pdf


Title I Part A Reporting of Per Pupil Expenditure One-time, One-year Extension Request

Letter from Missouri Education Commissioner Vandeven to U.S. Department of Education requesting a one-time, one-year extension for reporting per pupil expenditures as amended by ESSA. https://dese.mo.gov/sites/default/files/Waiver-Req-Reporting-Per-Pupil-Expenditures.pdf

English Language Learners News

ACCESS Score Changes Raises the Bar for English Language Learners

New mastery criteria has recently been established in the scoring of the ACCESS exam taken every year by English Language Learners across the state. The new scoring criteria will require students to demonstrate higher language skills to achieve a score indicating proficiency. This change is being made, in part, to increase efforts to meet the demands for national college and career readiness. Fox C6 Title III teachers (ELL Department) are up for the challenge. Our ELL department is currently exploring and planning instructional strategies that have been proven by research to increase the understanding and application of academic language by English Language Learners. With the scoring bar being raised, districts across the state can expect to see a small dip in growth trends for English language learners. The success of our ELLs will continue and the only change will be the parameters used to measure their achievements. Parents will receive student scores early in the fall of the 2017-18 school. For a better understanding of these changes, staff members are encouraged to read the informational 4 page explanation found here.

WIDA has also provided a concise parent’s guide to understanding the ACCESS Score Changes which can be found here.

Social Work Information

Recovering from a disaster takes time and patience. If assistance from government or volunteer organizations is available for your community, learning how to access and utilize this assistance can help make recovery less stressful for you and your family. By following the steps on this page, you and your family will be able to begin getting your home and lives back to normal as quickly as possible following a disaster. Click here to learn about receiving disaster assistance.


Gayle Beck

Fox C-6 Social Worker and Homeless Liaison

636.296.8000 ext. 2361

College and Career Readiness

Testing Season is Coming to an End...

THANK YOU, THANK YOU, THANK YOU to all of the amazing principals, counselors and teachers for being SO flexible with testing this school year due to the flood. It is devastating the impact it has caused on our Fox C6 community. My heart aches for the families who lost their homes. I appreciate everyone pulling together to see that all students get tested prior to the end of the school year. We are fortunate to have THE best kiddos testing here in our district! See below for a reminder of the testing extension deadlines we were granted.


MAP

Per DESE the Fox C6 School District has until

May 24th (if need be)


EOC

Per DESE the Fox C6 School District has until

Bio and Govt May 10th

Alg I and Eng May 12th

Alg II May 17th


AP

Per College Board the Fox C6 School District has until

May 17th-19th and May 24th- 26th


ACT STATEWIDE FOR ALL JUNIORS

May 16th make-up day for any junior that was absent on the original testing date of April 19th


IRC/TSA (CTE COMPLETERS)

June 30th was granted for the extension to complete all testing


Maria Scopino

scopino@foxc6.org

@FoxC6CCR

Instructional Technology

Prepare your Classroom Technology for Summer Vacation

As we start planning for the end of the school year, there are a few things you can do to ensure that your computer and the files on it are secure over the summer and ready to go when you arrive back at school in August.


1. Backup files.

Backing up files on your computer is crucial to ensure that the beginning of the year runs as smoothly as possible. If you store all your files in Google Drive then you are all set! Google Drive automatically saves and updates files as you work on them and those files are available from any device where you have Internet access.


If you utilize Microsoft Office and store files on your computer, it is important to back up those files to your Z: Drive. The District provides each staff member with 5 GB of secure, networked storage. Any files that currently live on your computer should be moved to your Z: Drive.


2. Secure technology equipment.


When you prepare your classroom for summer, please secure your classroom technology by locking it in your desk or closet. This includes laptop docking stations, ethernet hubs or switches, and projector remote controls. If the Technology Department has issued you a teacher laptop, please take it home over the summer so that your work can be with you in case you need to do any preparations for the upcoming school year and use it for any summer PD you attend.



As always, if you have any issues with your classroom technology please submit a tech request.

Chromebook Care

Two of the biggest selling points of Chromebooks is that the Chrome Operating System (OS) automatically updates itself to the more recent version each time the device is shut down and that Chromebooks have battery power to last an entire school day. However, when we simply close the lid of a Chromebook, it doesn't shut down and cannot update.


When you use Chromebooks with your students, please make shutting down the device part of your daily routine. This simple, 10 second task will improve the battery life of the device and ensure that the next student to pick up that Chromebook will have the most current, up-to-date version of the Chrome Operating System possible.

Special Education Update

The Special Education department presented at the April 11th Board meeting. The presentation included a short video that highlights the great work of the students, staff, and parents. Click here to view the video.

Summer PD

Reminder that there are professional development workshops geared towards Special Education being offered this summer through the district: (See the Summer of Learning Brochure 2017 for details and registration information)


    • Language Impairment Workshop (Sped Staff), July 24th 8:30-3:30

    • Best Practices in Co-Teaching: Secondary (Sped and General Education Teachers) July 31, 8:30-3:30

    • Best Practices in Co-Teaching: Elementary (Sped and General Education Teachers) August 2, 8:30-3:30

    • IEP Compliance Training (All Sped Staff), August 1st 8:30-3:30


*Please note that there were changes to a few dates. These dates are now fixed.

Tyler Student Information System

Great news!

A new update for Tyler SiSK12 is coming up in June. The update will be similar to the recent release of Student 360, only this update will be specific to teachers. Classroom 360 is meant to improve and streamline the teacher portal experience while keeping all the functionality that is currently available. Staff members will be given the option to use Classroom 360 or continue using the current view of Tyler SISK12


If you have any questions about the Tyler program or need assistance with any aspect of that program, help is just an email away. Send your comments/questions/requests to SISK12help@fox.k12.mo.us. You can also call Lu Wiethop at extension 2252 for assistance.

Contact C&I