Curriculum and Instruction News

March 2017


On Wednesday, March 29th, 2017, more than 500 parents will attend the first ever Fox C-6 Parent Summit. We know having engaged parents leads to student success. This is an opportunity to connect with parents, answer their questions, provide them with resources, and make it easier for them to be fully engaged in their students’ lives. Dr. Nisha Patel (Assistant Superintendent), who initiated this project, and Marilyn Jackson (Assistant Principal, Fox Middle School), who is spearheading the planning committee, have provided enormous energy to get this project moving forward. Once they had surveyed parents to find topics of interest, and recruited volunteer presenters to provide the more than fifty breakout sessions, the project had developed momentum. This conference is going to happen. Parents are excited. Volunteers are finalizing their presentations. Todd Scott (Principal, SHS) and Ryan Sherp (Principal, FHS) are cooking a spaghetti supper for anyone who wants to attend. People are already planning what we can add for the Parent Summit next year.

Getting a new idea started takes time, patience, effort, and communication. Once people see the value and understand how their contributions will help, they add their effort and and energy. Plans get moving, people get excited, and an idea takes on a life of its own.

Our 6th-grade Transition is well underway. On March 23rd, 6th-grade teachers spent the morning visiting their new buildings, and meeting with next year’s departments and PLC teams. Back in September it was hard to envision all the steps that had to be completed before this would be real. Now so many people are involved, contributing their energy and insight, figuring out decisions that have to be made, managing logistics, and sharing the load. Because this idea has momentum, students will have more opportunities and more choices. Our enrollments are more balanced, our resources are deployed more efficiently, and our students are going to get more of what they need.

Momentum is starting to build in each of our curriculum projects. Next year, each elementary grade level team in each building will have a customized professional development plan to support their learning about balanced literacy. Just as we differentiate instruction for students, we have to differentiate and individualize learning for professionals. Many teams will be focusing on adding Guided Reading. They will be learning about using running records and leveled libraries in small flexible reading groups. Some teams will be digging into Words Their Way as an approach to word work, phonics, and phonemic awareness. People are on different steps of the path, but we are all moving in the same direction. People are beginning to see how their contributions will keep this transition moving.

In late July more than 400 math educators from across the entire region will convene on the Fox campus for four days of intensive math learning at Adding It Up StL. Eighty teachers are attending from Rockwood schools, fifty from Mehlville, many others from Parkway, Webster Groves, Wentzville, and UCity. Four world-class keynote speakers, and twenty-five local math leaders, including teachers from Fox, will be facilitating breakout sessions. Lots of people are contributing time and energy to make this a fantastic experience.

6-12 ELA, Science, and Social Studies curriculum writing teams are laying out the units for next year’s curriculum. They are reviewing materials to add to 6th grade classrooms, and to pilot in new courses. They are beginning to see what their new courses will look like. They are getting excited about how we can create great experiences for our students.

Next year we will kick-off a K-5 Science curriculum writing team.

Art, Music, PE, FACS, and Business teachers have all had collaboration days where they laid the foundation for a common curriculum and ways to ensure that all kids get what they need.

All in all, all across the district, we a building momentum. People are getting excited and seeing how their contributions make a difference. They are providing the energy and the insight that keeps us moving forward.

Professional Development

Summer of Learning

The C&I team is excited to once again offer a summer of learning for Fox C-6 teachers! We are offering PD opportunities in literacy, math, technology, critical thinking, student engagement, SPED and more. To learn more about the specific workshops and conferences offered this summer, please visit

Please remember to both register for the event and complete a PD request form to ensure that we have appropriate documentation and approval for each event. Please contact Amy Zielinski if you have any questions.

Instructional Support Specialists

The C&I team is excited to announce the hiring of 5 Instructional Support Specialists to work with the C&I team to develop and deploy professional development on a variety of district initiatives. Beginning next school year, teachers can expect to see Instructional Support Specialists offering content-specific after-school PD in the form of PEPs and other learning opportunities outside of the school day.

We were excited to have 23 highly qualified educators applied for the Instructional Support Specialist positions. The following teachers were hired for this extra-duty opportunity based on their experience leading PD, their desire to continue learning, and knowledge of their content area:

ELA: Lynn Orton, SHW

Instructional Technology: Jen Walter, AMS

Math: Eva Rudolph, FMS

Science: Robin Greene, FHS

Social Studies: Jordan McGaughey, SHS

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.


Summer of Learning: Focus on Literacy

The summer of 2017 is filled with several opportunities to grow as a learner in the area of literacy. The summer learning workshops have been designed to meet the needs of a variety of teacher learners.

Early Emergent Literacy Workshop (Early Childhood and Kindergarten)

This one- day workshop will join together pre-k and k teachers across our district. Participants will collaborate around pedagogy specific to the early emergent literacy. Specific time will be devoted towards reviewing developmentally appropriate literacy practices coupled with intentional planning and teaching.

6-12 ELA Workshop

This two- day workshop will focus on reading and writing workshop and how it translates to the secondary level. Participants will engage in discussions related to the structures, assessments, and systems that can be employed in ELA to elevate the level of thinking in reading and writing.

Units of Study Writing for Beginners

This two- day workshop is specifically targeted to K-5 teachers who are at the beginning phases of implementation of Units of Study-Writing. Participants will explore the structures of writing workshop and how to design effective lesson plans. Part two of this workshop will focus on assessing writers and how assessment is used to guide instruction.

Teachers College Reading and Writing Homegrown Institute: Units of Study Reading

This four- day institute will focus on Units of Study Reading across the year in a reading workshop. Participants will gain useful information related to the components of balanced literacy as well as comprehension strategies. Assessment and planning for work with individuals and small group will be central to much of the discussions throughout the institute.

Participants will be divided into a K-2 section and a 3-5 section in order to meet the needs of individual grade levels. Spots are filling up quickly for both sections.

If you are interested in any of the learning opportunities above, click here to enroll today!

Fox Federal Programs and Home School Partnerships

With March being the month we will hold our district-wide Parent Submit, it is a great time to communicate ways parents and community members can stay informed on federal activity that directly influences the federal programs we are able to provide. Here are a few sites where parents and community members can read about current news and information in education:

If you know of any ELL families, feel free to share this flyer with them about free adult English language courses offered by Jefferson College.

Instructional Technology

Summer Chrome Academy

We are excited to offer 4 sessions of Google Chrome Academy this summer. Chrome Academy is designed to bring educators together to learn best practices of integrating Google tools in the classroom. Details about both the introductory cohort and advanced cohort of Chrome Academy are below.

Fox C-6 Introductory Chrome Academy

Dates: June 19 - 22 OR July 24-27

Location: June: Fox HS Library, July, Fox Service Center Training room

Facilitator: JP Prezzavento

Reimbursement: Stipend or Missouri Baptist University Credit*

Description: The introductory Chrome Academy cohort is designed for K-12 educators who want to learn how to implement Google tools in the classroom. The Introductory cohort is designed for educators who may have some experience using Google tools in the classroom but are still working on the basics of Google tools. Participants will leave this workshop with knowledge of Google tools and a tool belt of communication tools and learning activities that can be immediately implemented in the classroom on PC's Chromebooks, AND mobile devices. 3 hours of graduate credit is available to Chrome Academy participants through Missouri Baptist University.

Fox C-6 Advanced Chrome Academy

Dates: June 26 0 29 OR July 31 - August 3

Location: Fox HS Library

Facilitator: JP Prezzavento

Reimbursement: Stipend or Missouri Baptist University Credit*

Description: The advanced Chrome Academy cohort is designed for K-12 educators who have experience using and integrating Google tools in their classrooms. The advanced cohort will focus on best and next practices of integrating Google tools in the classroom and will provide participants with learning activities and communication tools that can be immediately implemented in their classrooms on PC's Chromebooks, AND mobile devices. 3 hours of graduate credit is available to Chrome Academy participants through Missouri Baptist University. Click here to see if the advanced cohort of Chrome Academy is for you.

If you are ready to empower your students to use technology to create, collaborate, and communicate, click here to register for Chrome Academy.

Special Education Update

Autism Awareness Month

April is Autism Awareness Month: Let's be sure to find ways to be better supporters of the Autism community all year long (even after April has ended).

Here is one mom's story about being the parent of a child with autism.

Summer PD

Reminder that there are professional development workshops geared towards Special Education being offered this summer through the district. Click here for full descriptions of the workshops below.

  • Language Impairment Workshop (Sped Staff), July 25th 8:30-3:30

  • Best Practices in Co-Teaching: Secondary (Sped and General Education Teachers) July 26th 8:30-3:30

  • Best Practices in Co-Teaching: Elementary (Sped and General Education Teachers) July 27th 8:30-3:30

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

Tyler Student Information System

New quick help documents have been added to the district website under the Tyler Training area. To access the help documentation, login to the district website, click on Staff Resources and then click on Tyler Training. There are currently quick-reference sheets available for Registration and for the Student Data Grid.

The Registration folder has documents relating to the steps to take for registering new students, returning students and new families to the district. There is also a document on editing existing family data.

The Student Data Grid folder has some information on data grid navigation menus and icons, to assist in using that tool.

The data and information team is in the process of creating help documents for different areas of the Tyler program. We will accept and review any and all suggestions for these help documents, and add them to documentation where possible. Each time the C&I newsletter comes out from now on, there will be a link to a new help document and/or a video. These documents and videos will then be available on the District website in the Staff Resources area.

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

Contact C&I