The Curriculum Chronicle

October 2018

Big picture

Level 2 and Level 3 Disconnect

As we update our scales each spring, we decide on movement and new arrangements of standards to support our instruction. This can leave a few items disconnected from the regular vertical articulation. If you are finding scales that seem to have an issue between the 2s and 3s, please complete the form below and I will address the issue as quickly as possible

Teachers are encouraged to take notes about additional 2s you need to create in order to effectively meet the needs of your students. As many of our schools transition to Schools for Rigor and create success criteria, I appreciate any notes and additions you have for improvement of the guide.

Incorrect or Missing Novels

Most buildings should have received some delivery of materials. If you have not, they should be out for transfer this week. If you have received your order and have extra items that you did not request or are missing items, please email me directly so we can problem solve the issue. There were a few texts that our publisher had on back-order and are still pending delivery. I will personally collect additional items and transfer to the necessary schools.

I am actively working with the warehouse and our purchasing department to improve our experience for the next round of requests.

Spring Novel Requests

The fall novel order was not as smooth as I would have liked and many of you waited far too long to receive your materials. Many factors were at play and I have been looking into ways to improve our process, with the help of our Central Stores team. In an effort to streamline the process and create a more comprehensive database of requests, I am asking that you complete any requests for SPRING 2019 no later than November 2nd, using the form linked below.

Please follow the procedure as outlined below so your request is processed with the large group. Individual emails for books will not be honored.

  • Complete this form based on the total number needed for your PLC. Please be sure that ELL and SPED co-teachers are considered in your totals.
  • Electives/singleton teachers will submit individually for those courses
  • Submit 1 form per novel
  • The rationale portion is new. This will give me a better understanding of the materials we are using and how they serve our students.
  • If I feel I must decline a request, you will be notified by Nov. 20th

Transfer of Materials

Novels purchased with curriculum funds should not be stored indefinitely in buildings.

When you finish the use of a novel PLEASE box and transfer them to Central Stores as quickly as possible, even if they were not bar coded. In an effort to get materials to you as soon as they were delivered, we did not bar code class sets and would still like to do so when they are returned to Central Stores.

The retrieval system allows us all to share materials instead of duplicating sets of unused materials. We must get in the habit of sending materials back to Central Stores so they can be correctly inventoried. If you receive materials in a bar-coded plastic tub, PLEASE put the books back in that tub for return to the warehouse. They were purchased to make this system and storage easier for everyone.

If there are damaged novels that you would no longer use in your own classroom, do not send them back. It saves Bobbi time not to have to sort out damaged stock.

Please include a copy of the transfer form, the titles and quantities included in your shipment (accurate count, minus damaged or lost materials) clearly on top of the box and is often easiest if you've moved materials to the main office or mail room. This makes Bobbi's job for inventory much easier.

Never used the transfer materials form? Try to funnel transfer requests through one central person, and include all items from your building on the same form. You don't need a separate form for each set of books, and it saves the warehouse time if they can pick up multiple things with one request.

See the screenshots below for more instructions. (still need help? Your office manager is an expert.)

District PD (All)

Thank you all for your dialogue on our first district Wednesday. I appreciate the feedback I have been receiving and will continue to work to improve this district required time. If you have specific suggestions for how to use our future sessions, please let me know.

I recognize the travel time for some of you is a struggle. Our location was chosen last Spring and while I had hoped to have rooms on the first floor, the building was unable to provide us that space. For our next session, I will be located by the elevator to ensure that you have access instead of asking you to use the stairs. Middle school teachers, I recognize that travel time is tight. Please do the best you can. I understand the time crunch. If you have a required after school duty, I encourage you to speak with your building leadership for the 4 remaining meeting days about possible alternatives, but respect your building duties. Your time is precious and I do not fault anyone traveling across town for tardiness.

If you were unable to register for your PLC, your facilitator has recorded your name and I will input registration prior to our November meeting. If you know you did not get registered and have been not been in contact with your facilitator, please respond to me directly and we will get you registered.

The 1.75, a clarification (secondary only)

When updating the SRG handbook for the 2018-2019 school year, a decision was made to raise the bar for what it takes to receive a D in a course. A student must earn a 1.75 or higher in the course overall to be considered passing. The only time the 1.75 is involved is in the final calculation of a semester grade, and Infinite Campus will automatically make that calculation.

Assignments should continue to indicate a student's level as measured by the scale, 1, 1.5, 2, 2,5, 3 etc. Teachers should not change any reporting practices to include the 1.75 on rubrics or input a 1.75 for individual assignments. Infinite Campus will not recognize that formula.

Achieve 3000 (Achieve users only)

Nicole Tennant from Achieve 3000 will return to Des Moines for another 3 day support tour October 30-Nov. 1. In an effort to be sure that all buildings are receiving the support they need, Please refer to the schedule below. If your school is not yet listed, it is because I didn't receive a request from you. Please let me know asap.

Tuesday 10/30


12-3 Orchard Place

Wednesday 10/31


12-3 Hiatt

Thursday 11/1

8-10 McCombs



Study Sync (English III teachers only)

Our summer training of the new textbook adoption was not as individualized and thorough as we would have liked. In an effort to help maximize our use of this new resource, a Study Sync trainer and veteran teacher, will be traveling to your individual building for a 1/2 day of support. They can travel between teacher rooms, observe classes and assist in getting students onto the platform, as well as private coaching during your planning period.

This textbook, like any other resource we have had, is just that, a resource. The paper copies available in your classrooms should be just as usable as any former textbook. You have the discretion to select the works you feel best support our work with standards, honoring the time periods and genres required by our content. This training will hopefully show you new ways to locate and assign materials as they apply to our use in DMPS.

I will not be able to be in every building with our trainer but will connect with each PLC to ensure you are prepared for their visit.

Tuesday 10/16

8-11 Roosevelt

11:30-1:30 Hoover

2:00-3:45 East

Wednesday 10/17

8-11 Lincoln

12-3 DWP/SCAVO/Orchard Place @ Orchard Place

Thursday 10/18


12-3 North

Inaugural DSM Book Festival

In an effort to constantly engage ourselves as well as our students in the culture of reading and the reading of culture, I wanted to share an upcoming opportunity to engage with local, regional, and best-selling authors. There sounds like a wealth of opportunities for our students to participate and may be a way to capture the attention of some reluctant readers.

Sounds like a real-world way to engage students in online book clubs (or mirror this in your classroom), contests, poetry slams and more!

I encourage you to check out the article and link below for more information! I'll be following this for updates as well!