Calais Elementary School

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Principal's Report

Principal's Report September 2013

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Principal and Superintendent’s Report – September 23, 2013

  1. School Climate
  2. Discipline (Student Climate)

PBIS is off to a great start! Each class has earned at least one class celebration and we are about halfway there on our quest for a whole-school celebration.

A few families have shared questions and concerns about the new system, particularly the use of tangible rewards. Teachers and Marissa have been able to problem solve with parents to tweak our expectations for celebrations and share some of the theoretical underpinnings of the program. The leadership will also be working with a parent or two to create a pamphlet about the program, why we chose it, and how CES will make it great in the coming weeks.

  1. Staff Climate

The staff chose to continue having a Staff Climate Committee during our August in-service days. This committee met once to organize and will meet again on September 30th to dig into the work.

  1. Curriculum and Instruction
  2. Math

The staff chose to form a CES Math Committee during our August in-service days. So far this committee has created problem solving steps and NECAP preparation activities, surveyed classroom teachers, and discussed and shared information about the importance of prioritizing number and operations (regarding topics like data, measurement, and geometry).

  1. Literacy

The staff chose to continue having a CES Writing Committee during our August in-service days. This committee has created a schedule for prompts and instruction addressing each of the three Common Core text types – narrative, informational, and opinion. As noted in the Continuous Improvement Plan, this schedule plans for nine prompts. There will be one prompt before and after instruction addressing each text type and three in May.  This will insure we have an accurate gauge of student skill level in each text type at the end of the school year. Included in this schedule are dates for the all school celebration and sharing of writing, after the administration of each post-instruction prompt. At their next meeting, they will create the first pre-test prompt, as well as writing a protocol that will ensure consistent and fair administration of the prompt.

  1. Other

All six WCSU Curriculum Committees met at U-32 on September 17th to hear from the Curriculum Council.  They worked as individual committees to establish norms and purpose statements. With this kickoff complete, committees will begin meeting in earnest next week. We are excited to continue to work with our colleagues from across the SU to create a rigorous, relevant PreK-12 curriculum in literacy, mathematics, science, social studies, and social development.

  1. Technology

Our new technology integrationist, Jill Abair, is hard at work getting the new web-enabled Type to Learn program up and running. This new program stores student progress data online. Any student can pick up where they left off on any machine that has the program installed on its hard drive. We can also install the program on personal laptops that families bring in. The web data also ensures that students in grade 4-6 will be able to practice typing even if their machines are temporarily out of commission.

  1. Other
  2. Teacher Supervision and Evaluation

Nine teachers are in a summative evaluation year. The majority are teachers in their first or second year with WCSU. The first deadline in the Blue Ribbon process is September 30th. Teachers must submit a self-scored rubric to Marissa by this date. Then, Marissa and the teacher must conference to discuss the teacher’s self-evaluation and the year’s goals by October 15th.

Teachers in a goal setting and peer- or self-reflection year must submit their goals to Marissa by September 30th. Marissa and those teachers must conference by October 15th to discuss their goals and how they will be achieved and measured.

Teachers have been informed of these deadlines in “Monday Memos,” for the past three weeks. Additionally, each teacher has been emailed to verify their current Blue Ribbon cycle. In the emails, Marissa provided links to or copies of each of the documents folks will need throughout the year.

  1. Security and Emergency Procedures

Our new door system is working well. Jason checks interior and exterior doors weekly.  Sue and Marissa have been able to work together to be sure someone is able to monitor the front door throughout the day.

We have held our first fire drill and will hold our first “secure the building” drill during the week of September 23rd. We practiced this procedure once last year. Teachers will prepare students for the drill as is developmentally appropriate.

  1. Preschool Update

We are really enjoying hosting the EMES preschool. Several EMES families joined us at Open House. It was great to see the three-year-olds leading their families to library and music. We’ve also enjoyed getting to know a few new colleagues. After three and a half weeks, we’ve worked out most of the kinks that come with having 41 preschoolers in three classes. Beth Downing and Fran Weston should be commended for their endless supply of energy and constant reflection! Without their positive spirit and commitment, this would not be possible.

d.    Follow-up from August Board Meeting

The board requested that Bill gather information regarding the Australian ballot system. Following this report we included Title 17 § 2680 which provides the general information regarding the Australian ballot and a sample of the Middlesex Ballot.  Vermont statutes that govern Australian ballot can be found in Title 17 Chapter 55. 

The board also requested a timeline for the budget process which is enclosed.

 

Principal's Report May 2013

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Principal and Superintendent’s Report – May 29, 2013

  1. School Climate
  2. Discipline (Student Climate)

The PBIS Leadership Team is working on pilot activities for the last few weeks of this school year.  The have a checklist to monitor positive behavior and minor problem behaviors, plus a new office referral form.

  1. Staff Climate

Worthy of mention, PBIS has created a recognition system for students, and will make a similar system for staff members.  We’re still hammering out the details, but this will be a way of formally recognizing (and even rewarding) colleagues that go above and beyond.

  1. Wellness

Our gym mats are in.  The 4th and 5th graders will be at Petra Cliffs on Friday the 24th. We have applied for an EPSDT mini-grant to fund Fun Fitness Fridays next school year, and will keep you posted on whether the requested funding has been awarded.

The newest version of FitnessGram was recently purchased and installed. John, Nurse Mary Ann, and Marissa are still working on a plan for putting the software to use.

  1. Curriculum and Instruction
  2. Math

The Math Steering Committee continues its work identifying “non-negotiables” for mathematics at each grade level for all WCSU students. These key skills and understandings are aligned with the Common Core State Standards.

We are getting closer to the summer math lab schools! As reported earlier, the vast majority of classroom teachers will attend one weeklong lab school this summer. This format offers the unique opportunity to try out instructional strategies as they are learned. Marissa will attend both the K-4 and the 4-8 workshops.

  1. Literacy

Our final All School Writing Prompt was given on Tuesday, May 21st. Students read a short science article and then watched a video on a related topic. We had students try their hand at writing an informational piece this time. In this month’s board meeting, we’ll share what we’ve done with writing this year and where we hope to go in the coming years.

As we close out supply orders for the year and look ahead to next year, we are continuing to work on increasing our classroom libraries. We are particularly focused on making sure we’ve got some quality nonfiction sets for small groups given the Common Core’s emphasis on nonfiction.

We have started receiving our year-end Fountas & Pinnell reading levels.  We are thrilled to see that many of our struggling readers have picked up 1.5 to 2 grade levels of skills this year! In many cases, classroom teachers, the special educator, the reading specialist, and paraeducators have set up complicated rotations to ensure that students receive any needed interventions on a daily basis. Their efforts are clearly commendable.

  1. Technology

We piloted the SBAC, which replaced NECAP, with our sixth graders at the beginning of the month. Once we got everyone’s screen resolution adjusted, the netbooks handled the assessment well. Thanks to two practice sessions, the only technical difficulty we experienced during our official pilot was, as best as we could tell, the fault of the test itself. Additionally, we were very impressed by the students’ commitment to focusing and putting forth their best effort.

Eric’s work on Google Drive with the 5/6 students seems to be paying off. While brainstorming a gift to leave behind, the 6th graders came up with the idea of creating a Google spreadsheet so they could all contribute ideas while also monitoring the total cost of all of their ideas.

  1. Other
  2. Continuous Improvement Plan

In the interest of simplifying matters across the SU and even within schools, all each WCSU school is working on a “Continuous Improvement Plan” this year. For CES, this single plan will combine our Action Plan and Schoolwide Program (Title I) Plan, and the WCSU Technology Plan. We have assembled an excellent committee of parents (Katie Reed and Maggie Weiss), classroom teachers (Kelly MacMartin and Kate Rob), a board member (Drew), and principal. We have held two 3-hour meetings so far. Both have been engaging and enlightening.  We have considered NECAP scores, local assessment strategies, summer programs to prevent regression, and plans for increasing the response rate for next year’s climate survey.

We will meet with the other teams from the SU on Thursday the 30th to compare notes, share ideas, and continue the planning. For our team, this will be a particularly great opportunity to see some relatively finished plans and get a sense of where to focus our remaining time.

  1. Summer Maintenance Plan

We will tackle Blue Room/Preschool related projects first to assure they are ready for licensing. We are anticipating an increased need for extra summer help given the volume of painting and other smaller projects.

Summer 2013 Facilities   Projects

Item/Project

Cost

Vendor

Priority

C

Roof Section 1

 $  11,000.00

Alan Beauregard

1

C

Preschool Walkway

 $    5,000.00

TBD - Still getting estimates

1

C

Learning Center Carpet

 $    5,000.00

CV Flooring

1

C

Septic Pump Rebuild?

 $    4,500.00

New England Water Systems

1

C

Move Server

 $    1,500.00

Tech department/Twin State Electric

1

C

General repairs/upkeep, small projects

 $    1,000.00

In house

1

Boiler Repair (door millboard)

 $    1,000.00

In house

1

C

Clean Carpets

 $    1,000.00

HP Cleaning

1

Toilets/Flush Valves

 $        700.00

F.W. Webb/In house

1

Divide Learning Center Room

 $        500.00

In house

1

C

Music Room Door

 $        250.00

Kamco/In house

1

C

Preschool Playground Fence

 $        250.00

In house

1

Fix Woodchip Doors

 $        200.00

In house

1

Boiler Room Repairs

 $        200.00

In house

1

Interior and Exterior Painting

 $        800.00

Just labor - paint on hand (will use summer sub)

1

Install Staff Room Cabinets

Just labor

1

Blue Room Reorganization

Just labor

1

C

Driveway Gravel

 $    2,000.00

Black Rock?

2

C

Rot Boards (exterior)

 $    1,500.00

TBD - Still getting estimates

2

C

Finish Garage (insulation, electricity, etc.)

 $    1,000.00

In house

2

Hallway Baseboards

 TBD

CV Flooring

3

C

Air Compressor

 $    2,000.00

Reynolds

3

Widen Hallway Door

 $        800.00

Kamco/In house

3

TOTAL

 $  40,200.00

Capital Fund Total

 $ 36,000.00

 


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