Principal and Superintendent’s Report – September 23, 2013
- School Climate
- 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.
- 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.
- Curriculum and Instruction
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).
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.
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.
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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.