Principal and Superintendent’s Report – December 16, 2013
Classroom teachers and special educators met in grade-alike teams on Friday, December 6th to score pre-instruction informational text writing prompts and set goals for their informational text units. It was a great opportunity to see trends across a wide range of ages and establish some consistent language and expectations. Grades 3-6 are working on designing some sort of information fair as one of the culminating tasks of the unit. Grades 1 and 2 have created a student-friendly rubric for measuring progress during a “mechanics boot camp” to be completed in December.
The WCSU elementary and middle school reading specialists have met a few times in the past month. Their primary focus has been working out bugs in district-authored assessments and considering the best assessment strategy for advanced readers.
Mahesh Sharma visited WCSU during the week of December 9th for “clinical rounds” across all grade levels. CES had the opportunity to host the clinical rounds for PreK and K teachers as well as first and second grade teachers on Monday, December 9th. Both Callie Weller and Kelly MacMartin offered their students for demo lessons taught by Mahesh. After each demo lesson, grade-alike groups gathered to debrief the experience and learn some new strategies for teaching key skills like number concept and fact fluency. It was an excellent learning experience for all and has spurred conversation and questions, particularly about our math intervention systems (or lack thereof) in the days that have followed.
In January, we will use some in-service time to bring these WCSU grade-alike groups back together. They will discuss and plan the implementation of the student achievement non-negotiables developed by the Math Steering Committee. The clinical rounds visits have served as an excellent foundational experience for this work.
- School Climate
- Discipline (Student Climate)
We are planning our next school-wide celebration as the whole school treasure chest is once again reaching capacity!
Students have been working hard on our new and improved voice level system. This system was introduced in a November All School Morning Meeting using a video featuring several fifth and sixth grade pirates. Cat Fair and John Fish did a fabulous job of putting together a great, short film in just a few days.
- Other Curricular Areas
Mary Carpenter and Marissa will take a course on the NGSS (Next Generation Science Standards) this spring. This course is being offered through LAPDA and we are excited to join several colleagues from the Science Steering Committee in this undertaking.
- Fun Fitness Friday
We are finalizing lists and organizing chaperones. Let’s hope for a very snowy year, as a new downhill destination proved financially impossible!
Some of the crew who attended the June BEST institute to revise and bring consistency to the WCSU EST (educational support team) process met recently to take stock of the system. Our pre-EST process in which we document interventions for students before referring them to the EST is going well. A few glitches still remain in the technology we are using to keep forms electronically, but we continue to get good help from tech staff to work through these. It is exciting to see this work happening fairly consistently across the SU and knowing we have structures in place to respond to feedback and continuously improve our work.