Principal’s Report: February 21, 2012
Action Plan Progress
The CES faculty meetings will be designed with a focus on the 2011-12 Action Plan. Of the five focus areas, we’ve discussed Climate and Wellness. I am pleased with the progress that we have made thus far.
Focus Area: Climate
F. Round Table will continue to provide student leadership and participate as members of the Calais Student Welcoming Committee
Now in the second semester, we have new group of fifth and sixth grade students that are participating on the student leadership committee, called Round Table. Currently these students are responsible for interviewing and capturing a photo of the student “Star of the Day.” Members also rotate the weekly responsibility of announcing end of the day school dismissal. The Round Table committee will be planning the school sleepover event, which is scheduled for Friday, March 16th.
Focus Area: Wellness
A. Healthy exercise and development of lifelong wellness skills will be encouraged and supported through a variety of activities.
Our Fun Fitness Friday venue for the x-country skiers was changed because it is simply too icy for new skiers. So our outdoor skiers have become inside bowlers. Twin City Bowling has accommodated our need for a different venue and provided us with lanes for all of our x-country skiers. Students are getting exercise and learning a new sport. We will return to x-country skiing at Morse Farms when the snow conditions improve. Additionally, to make up for the missed Fridays, Calais P.E/Health teacher, Mr. Fish, is organizing a winter celebration for all students. This activity will be held in the afternoon on the Friday prior to February break.
Focus Area: Literacy
A. Ongoing: Provide professional development and opportunities to review NECAP data for the purpose of identifying student needs.
NECAP (New England Common Assessment Portfolio) results were mailed home to families on Monday, February 13th. Calais Elementary School results can be accessed on the DOE website.
You will find Calais results under the “C” section. Our scores are slightly up in reading and more so in math, which is the direction that we needed to go based on last year’s results. We continue to focus on student writing as reflected in our Action Plan. Classroom teachers and I have looked carefully at overall and individual student scores. Teachers use this information to inform their instruction. We also use these outcomes to help us improve our curriculums.
Per the request of the Calais School Board a committee made up of technology professionals, community representatives, school board and I all met after school on Tuesday, February 7th. The group was asked to generate ideas as to how to reduce Wifi in the school building during the school day. The committee concluded that in order to turn access points on and off, there would need to be routers in each classroom that require wifi access, even limited access, with an on/off switch. It should be noted that access points are not designed to be turned off and on. This may cause increased wear. Additionally when the device is turned back on it may take some time for it to reconfigure. The access points will require a high enough signal to accommodate a large number of computers. Best placement for routers was also discussed. Jeff Arey will look into prices and models of routers and a obtain a quote from the electricians for the on/off switches.
WCSU Literacy Coordinator, Lindy Johnson, will share with the School Board some of the recent activities of the WCSU literacy initiative at the February meeting. In January, lower unit teachers visited Rumney Elementary School and other teachers within the WCSU to hear Marge Lipson on ISA (Interactive Strategies Approach). The Administrative Leadership Team met in January for our annual retreat. We spent part of the day reviewing our goals and looking ahead at the Common Core.
PATH is Planned Action Through Health, a program sponsored by VEHI (VT Education Health Initiative). PATH is a wellness program for school employees. Yearly we can apply for “grants” to benefit our employees. In the past we have purchased items such a picnic tables and yoga mats. Our new PATH coordinator queried staff wants and needs for this year’s $2000 grant award. The PATH coordinator’s handbook offers suggestions as to how to improve school facilities. Listed in this handbook is “private spaces, such as spaces for breastfeeding mothers”. Currently we do not have a designated space for our nursing mothers. There is a wish among some staff to create one this year, along with purchasing a stackable washer/dryer. The staff would also like the staff room updated with new furniture and refreshed with a coat of paint. This project is proposed for next year.