Calais Elementary School

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Principal's Report

Principal's Report November 2014

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Principal and Superintendent’s Report – November 17, 2014

Link to the current Continuous Improvement Plan: https://docs.google.com/document/d/1h9mfTofFfdiiUqc6OkdIMZ-GArTWzqpSkTXc3Xinl3o/edit?usp=sharing

  1. Literacy

The week of November 3rd was post-instruction writing prompt week. Teachers at each grade level gave post-instruction prompts for the text type they chose to teach first. The CES Writing Committee is looking forward to seeing those scores, from the start of the year, so analysis of growth can begin. The committee is also excited to hear from teachers about how the increased flexibility is working – last year all teachers taught the three text types in the same order and at the same time.

There are no new CIP indicators since those shared last month; targets for October 14th were shared last month and the next set of benchmarks is due November 25th. Action steps for literacy have been updated and can be found on pages 10-14 of the CIP.

A couple of highlights from those updated action steps include:

Action Step

Notes

Create and use writing conventions   formative assessment protocol and data tracker

At a meeting on November 5th,   the CES Writing Committee found that this project was important, but the   original purpose and larger perspective was getting a little lost in the   shuffle. Accordingly, deadlines have been pushed back and the new plan is   coming into focus. Here’s what we have so far:

  •   Assessment   tool will be student-friendly checklist.
  •   Checklist   will be created and rolled out once staff members have come together to   determine what conventions they agree to expect when (for example, should “I”   always be capitalized, even if you are writing about how you solved a math   problem - and if it is not, what is the teacher’s response?).
  •   Staff   meeting on 11/12/14 will be used to at least begin this conversation.

Create an “Intervention Schedule   Investigation Team” to research scheduling options that would allow for at   least one 30 minute true “double dip” period for all kids each day; have this   committee generate a list of possible models

Original Plan:

  •   By   9/30/14 establish ISIT roster, objectives for the year, meeting schedule, and   year-long agenda map
  •   By   1/30/15 report progress to staff via written memo (or possibly staff meeting   if we’ve got some exciting findings)
  •   By   4/1/15 summarize findings and make recommendations for next year’s CIP

Current Status:

11/10/14: Roster not yet   established. Need to start this step!!

  1. Mathematics

CES will host clinical rounds with Mahesh Sharma on Wednesday, November 19th. This is a great opportunity for fifth and sixth grade teachers across WCSU to learn together. We are excited to host again this year – last year Professor Sharma worked with our kindergarteners and first graders.

The CIP indicators for October 31, 2014 are listed below. Action steps for mathematics have been updated and those notes can be found on pages 20-23 of the full Continuous Improvement Plan.

Blue text/italics = indicator that was not met

Red text/underlined   = indicator that was carried forward from previous benchmark date (Text in “Did We Make It?” column will be black if indicator has   been met)

Indicator

Did We Make It?

By October 31, 2014

  1.   First quarterly assessment administered;   results analyzed for class- and school-wide trends, income/special ed   status/gender trends, and individual student needs (goal is for 80%   proficiency)
  2.   Evidence of whole (or nearly whole) class   re-teaching in areas indicated by quarterly assessment
  3.   Intervention   documentation (showing the instruction provided and progress monitoring data)   in place for students who began year with known gaps in math
  4. Fact fluency/number sense trackers in use
  5.   This work is being led by the WCSU Mathematics   Steering Committee. The first assessment administration will occur in early   December.
  6.   Again, the first assessment administration will   occur in early December.
  7.   Yes   and no. There are some assessments and intervention lesson notes for some   students. Practice is not yet standardized.
  8.   In   most grade levels, yes.
  1. School Climate

Fun Fitness Friday sign-ups were distributed on November 7th. Please do your snow dances and whatever else you can think of to help us have a snowy January and February. In our conversations with venues and explorations of other options, we discovered that a potentially great solution – bumping back the dates to the snowier months of February and March – is unfortunately not possible. It seems the rink gets rid of the ice at the end of February and pond skating may not be the best plan in March.

Marissa, Jill, and Cat are in the early stages of planning a parent night.  They will partner with parents in ensuring responsible use of the internet and social media and prevention of all forms of bullying and harassment, including cyber-bullying and cyber-harassment. This info night is partially a response to questions about parental controls on Chromebooks, and a staff-identified need for more proactive communication and partnership with parents to help prevent bullying, harassment, and other forms of unkind behavior.

The CIP indicators for October 31, 2014 are listed below. Action steps for school climate have been updated and those notes can be found on pages 31-35 of the full Continuous Improvement Plan.

Blue text/italics = indicator that was not met

Red text/underlined   = indicator that was carried forward from previous benchmark date (Text in “Did We Make It?” column will be black if indicator has   been met)

Indicator

Did We Make It?

By October 31, 2014

  1.   Updated crisis plan complete and distributed
  2.   Behavior   and any other relevant PBIS data shared with staff at the end of each month   via memo
  3.   First   All School Celebration complete and successful
  4. Evidence of analysis of SWIS data and changes   to Tier 1 and/or 2 supports informed by data
  5.   Evidence of successful Tier 1 “Booster”   challenge
  6.   PBIS information fully uploaded to MTSS site
  7. Evidence of reflection on 1-2 co-planning and   parent communication system
  8.   Updates   are shared periodically - most recently notes about successful improvements   and next steps for tightening up fire drills and clear the halls drills were   distributed on 11/11. Improvements   to the plan and/or facilities that are still needed are:
  9.   A PA system to get important messages to students and adults   in places like restrooms and the playground;
  10.   A detailed off-site evacuation plan that includes a schedule   for practicing the procedure.
  11.   Not   shared each month yet, in part because sample size is sometimes too small   after just one month (this is a GREAT thing!). Data was shared and discussed   at 10/26 staff meeting.
  12.   Yes!
  13. Somewhat. Booster week is mostly planned and   responds to second most frequent problem behavior - minor disruptions. This   is a Tier 1 support.
  14.   No. Many parts of this are planned; hope to   implement week of 11/17.

 

  1.   No. There is no MTSS site at this time. MTSS   site is a project that is on hold until we have the assessment-linked   intervention procedures discussed in math and literacy sections established.   Do not expect to pick up the project of MTSS site until February at very   earliest.
  2.   Somewhat.   Joint parent-teacher conferences were held 11/10 and 11/11 (all 1/2 parents   had a 20-minute conference at which both teachers were present). Teachers and   Marissa check in occasionally about co-planning time, questions of curriculum   and instruction, and the classroom management quirks that arise when two   teachers share students.
  1. Other
  2. PTNO Update

The first PTNO meeting of the year was held on November 10th at 6:00 pm. There were many new faces around the table to discuss a full agenda – and a few more folks were able to join in after the meeting thanks to the prompt distribution of notes via email. Conversation began with a collection of ideas for possible purposes or goals of the PTNO. Then they shifted to fundraising and community building events and the causes those efforts might support. The crew also made some great progress toward planning a Spaghetti Dinner for Friday, December 5th. Emails about donations, sponsors, and logistics are already zipping back and forth! Here are some highlights from the meeting notes (text in bold indicates that conversation occurred; regular text indicates that the item was suggested before the meeting occurred and was not discussed by the group):

  • Generate ideas behind the purpose of PTNO
  1. Do something for teachers and neighbors that also helps to benefit the school
  2. Liaison between community and school
  3. Connecting our school to the wider Calais community and supporting all the great work that teachers and students do here at the school
  • Generate a list of ideas for fundraising and community involvement activities
  1. Spaghetti Dinner and raffle
  2. Movie Night
  3. Silent Auction in the spring with the music concert night
  4. Community Cookbook
  5. BINGO Night
  6. Family Picnic toward the end of the year (potluck?)
  7. Bake Sale (@ bball game or Maple Corner Craft Fair)
  8. Craft Sale
  9. Clothing Swap, Calais Kids Snow Gear Swap
  10. Community Talent Show, Cat? Kid’s Talent Show
  11. Calais Gear (Tami has friend at print shop)
  12. Bottle Drop or Drive (possibly at dump?)
  13. Flooding the basketball court for the winter (Fish, cost?)
  • Add to the list of needs for the school, generated by the staff, that the PTNO could assist with
  1. Addition to the playground for younger kids
  2. Safe fun rope course or nature trail additions
  3. New popcorn popper
  4. Money assistance to help with level 2 background checks
  5. New sleds (possibility for this winter)
  6. New snow shoes for Fun Fitness Fridays (solicit donations from community through FPF, Sue? Megan will check into costs)
  7. Basketball Hoops on the playground (Callie cost? Current fundraising for the Spring)
  8. Money toward the yearbook (popcorn money only covers about 2/3 of cost, with the need being about $200)
 

Principal's Report October 2014

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Principal and Superintendent’s Report – October 27, 2014

Link to the current Continuous Improvement Plan: https://docs.google.com/document/d/1h9mfTofFfdiiUqc6OkdIMZ-GArTWzqpSkTXc3Xinl3o/edit?usp=sharing

  1. Literacy

On Friday, October 10th, grade- and subject-alike teams from across WCSU met. All elementary classroom teachers received training in entering Fountas & Pinnell reading data into our student information system, InfiniteCampus. Teachers were also shown how to use InfiniteCampus for progress reports. Most teams were charged with setting objectives and an agenda for the other parts of their day. Among the exceptions were the elementary literacy specialists, who began work on the student achievement non-negotiables for reading.  Plus, the 5/6 teachers spent the morning working with WCSU math coach, Ellen Dorsey.

The Writing Committee has been moving forward with their CIP work. Their current focus is the development of a scope and sequence for writing conventions, and the creation of a corresponding assessment protocol and data tracker. Happily, the student achievement non-negotiables for writing are quite clear and have provided much of the foundation for the scope and sequence document.

The CIP indicators for September 1, 2014 are listed below. Action steps will be updated by the November board meeting.

Blue/italic text =   indicator that was not met.

Red/underlined text   = indicator that was carried forward from previous benchmark date.

“Did We Make It?”   column: Text will be black/bold if indicator has been met.

Indicator

Did We Make It?

By October 14, 2014

A.      Finalized first   version of K-6 writing conventions scope and sequence in place

B.       Rubrics, nine writing   prompts, writing prompt and instruction schedule finalized

C.       Fall F&P   administered; results analyzed for class- and school-wide trends,   income/special ed status/gender trends, and individual student needs

D.      Intervention   documentation in place for students in booster groups (reading)

E.    Documented scope and sequence for basic computer skills and   typing in grades 2-6 for the 2014-2015 school year (to ensure we have a plan   for minimum SBAC readiness)

F.     Plan for creation of the following documented:

a.        All nine K-6 writing   prompts and finalized rubrics

b.     Coherent, comprehensive K-6 computer skills and typing scope   and sequence

c.      Coherent, comprehensive K-6 writing conventions scope and   sequence

A.      Somewhat; we will use   the conventions in the writing non-negotiables. Assessment plan is developing   - checklists will be used periodically on small writing assignments as well   as on formal pieces like writing prompts and final projects. Plan for when to teach   each skill is still under construction. Will be created and presented to   staff by end of November.

B.       Yes.

C.       Somewhat;   administration was completed on time. Students performed well! Many   demonstrated key growth over the summer and are at grade level at the start   of the school year for the first time. Data tools do not yet allow for   analysis of trends referenced in indicator. Marissa will work with tech folks   and other colleagues to develop these tools. Additionally, tools to analyze   F&P data via Infinite Campus software are under construction. Local tools (those not   tied to InfiniteCampus) will be created and in use by end of December.

D.      Somewhat; reading   specialist continues to collect data every 2-3 lessons on students in   interventions. A new, standardized form has not yet been created. As we play   catch up on curriculum documents and data analysis tools, this indicator will   be of lower priority and may not be completed in the next couple of months.

E.    Jill has begun; she and Marissa will finish up by the end of   October.

F.       Plans may not be   documented, but work has begun. Documentation of that current and future work   is below:

a.        Already completed

b.       The grades 2-6 version   Marissa and Jill finish by October 31st will be expanded both within grades   and to cover younger students by the end of December.

c.      See “A” in this section.

  1. Mathematics

As noted in the literacy section, the 5/6 teachers spent half a day working with Ellen Dorsey on October 10th. A major focus was using Cuisenaire rods and other strategies to help struggling students understand the standard algorithm for multi-digit multiplication.

The CES Math Committee had time to “show and tell” their products so far this year at the October 1st staff meeting. The fact fluency assessments and trackers are in use and are being used to plan individual interventions and whole class instruction. The intervention binder for place value was a big hit and the committee is chipping away at creating a similar resource for number concept.

The CIP indicators for September 30, 2014 are listed below. Action steps will be updated by the November board meeting.

Blue/italic text =   indicator that was not met.

Red/underlined text   = indicator that was carried forward from previous benchmark date.

“Did We Make It?”   column: Text will be black/bold if indicator has been met.

Indicator

Did We Make It?

By September 30, 2014

A.      Finish K-6 fact   fluency/number sense trackers

B.       Fact fluency/number   sense trackers in use

C.       First version of   intervention forms and procedure created

D.     Math practice assessment tool and schedule created

A.      Yes. Math Committee   finished these at 9/10 mtg. Kate has set aside time to show these tools and   establish administration schedule with math teachers not on Math Committee.

B.       Yes.

C.       Yes on forms, no on procedure. The   procedure desired is one that outlines the conditions, including assessment results   that indicate a need for intervention. This step will be put on hold until   the new SU-wide math assessment tool is administered for the first time early   this winter.

D.   Mostly no. Last year’s   assessment still exists, but a schedule for its administration and use has   not yet been made. Further, the existing assessment emphasizes student   awareness of the practices rather than their consistent use of them.

The next checkpoint for math is rapidly approaching, so a preview of those indicators appears below.

By October 31, 2014

A.      First quarterly   assessment administered; results analyzed for class- and school-wide trends,   income/special ed status/gender trends, and individual student needs (goal is   for 80% proficiency)

B.       Evidence of whole (or   nearly whole) class re-teaching in areas indicated by quarterly assessment

C.       Intervention   documentation (showing the instruction provided and progress monitoring data)   in place for students who began year with known gaps in math

D.    Fact fluency/number sense trackers in use

  1. School Climate

Wednesday, October 15th marked our first All School Celebration of the year! Students were treated to lunch at the Cougar Café, featuring a wait staff that is highly trained… to educate students. Following lunch, we had an outdoor disco party. The moves of Mr. Fish and Mr. Middelton made this event one to remember! This celebration was a great new idea that still met our goal of having rewards be fulfilling, affordable experiences, affectionately known as “no money fun.”

Last month we reported that a Fun Fitness Friday survey had been recently sent out to parents. We received 46 responses and have about 90 families who participate in the program. We were hoping for a higher return rate and even tried sending paper copies home a couple of times. The results do, however, appear to reflect a range of viewpoints. FFF Coordinator, Liz Knapp is in the process of creating a summary of the results that will be shared with parents in an upcoming newsletter. Overall, the results indicate general satisfaction and a desire to keep the program largely the same (no one had any ideas for weather controlling devices, unfortunately). We will include an update regarding the final programming decisions in November.

Parent-Teacher conferences are around the corner. This year, the entire SU is shifting to a two half-day model for conferences. Data from all schools indicated that around half of all conferences were happening outside of the in-service day set aside from conferences. The half day model allows teachers to schedule more before school and evening conferences and also provides an extra in-service day during which teachers can collaborate and grow as professionals without missing time with students. An additional new feature of conferences is that the 1/2 teachers will be having joint conferences. Parents will have twenty minutes with BOTH teachers in the room the whole time. This was a request we heard loud and clear at our info session in June, and also a structure that just makes sense. In these early grades especially, parents need to connect with both the math and reading teacher.

The CIP indicators for September 1, 2014 are pasted below. These same notes were shared last month. The next checkpoint is October 31st, so those indicators are provided as a preview.

Indicator

Did We Make It?

By September 1, 2014

A.    Updated crisis plan complete and distributed

B.     Climate survey administered and results analyzed

C.     PBIS refresher/updates meeting held during August in-service

D.    Tier 2 supports up and running for students determined to be in   need in June 2014

E.     Revised discipline section of family and staff handbooks that   clearly explains both tiers of PBIS

F.     1-2 teachers have schedule and system for co-planning and other   collaboration in place

A.    Somewhat. Staff trained in updates to all existing plans during   Aug. in-service. New procedures including off-site evacuation and response to   threat when students are outside still needed. New procedures to be written   and distributed by 9/30.

B.     Yes. Initial analysis is complete. There is certainly room for   more thorough analysis and action planning, but there are no glaring trends   requiring big changes to this document or other plans.

C.     Yes. ODRs (behavior report forms) are being completed frequently   and appropriately. Coins are being distributed; school is on track for first   celebration. Coins have been brought onto buses with the help of student   leaders this year!

D.    Yes and no. Most students were exited; those who were not are   not showing same patterns of behavior thus far. Tier 2 supports are being   established for some students who had not previously received this level of   programming.

E.     Yes.

F.     Yes. Most other “grade neighbor teams” do as well.

By October 31, 2014

A.      Behavior and any other   relevant PBIS data shared with staff at the end of each month via memo

B.       First All School   Celebration complete and successful

C.       Evidence of analysis   of SWIS data and changes to Tier 1 and/or 2 supports informed by data

D.      Evidence of successful   Tier 1 “Booster” challenge

E.       PBIS information fully   uploaded to MTSS site

F.     Evidence of reflection on 1-2 co-planning and parent   communication systems

  1. Other Curricular Areas
  2. Spanish

We are excited to move forward with the plan shared last month. Morning meeting lessons will begin next week and Jen Miller-Arsenault is pursuing leads on an artist residency. We will keep you posted on the progress and results of this work.

  1. Other
  2. Community Service

Marissa spoke with a couple of teachers about their recollections of the context in which community service came up at last year’s staff meeting. All, including Marissa, had the same sense that the conversation focused on ways to bring the community into the school with a quick tangent about how to connect families with community resources for support with things like clothing, food, how to help with homework, etc. Given this consensus, it makes the most sense to have this conversation during the Continuous Improvement Planning process this spring. At that time, we can do things like determine the current state, interest level, and need, and then set goals accordingly. This is a natural opportunity to explore additional work that will help us realize our vision faster.

 


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