Calais Elementary School

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Principal's Report

Principal's Report March 2013

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Principal and Superintendent’s Report – March 27, 2013

  1. School Climate
  2. Discipline (Student Climate)

PBIS leadership teams from across WCSU will spend March 27th – March 29th planning our Fall 2013 roll out of our universal level of behavior support. In the course of this work, we will look at data we have recently collected using a staff survey and very brief staff and student interviews. We will also specifically consider how we will ensure that all staff members are involved in and knowledgeable about the program.

On a lighter note, this year we will shift from a 4-6 sleepover to a 4-6 game night. We’re still working on most of the logistics, but have selected April 12th as our date.

  1. Wellness

We have purchased an upgrade for FitnessGram. John Fish and Marissa will be working in the coming months to figure out how best to use the program and the information it is able to track and generate.

  1. Curriculum and Instruction
  2. Math

Pi Night on March 14th was very well attended. The new system of sending folks to classrooms to play games first provided everyone an excellent opportunity to dig into math. The backlog at the pie table at 6:30 is something we’ll work on next year!

Almost all classroom teachers and a few others have signed up for the math lab schools we discussed last month. CES will be well-represented at both the K-4 and the 4-8 workshops; three of us will attend the 4-8 iteration at U-32 and five of us will head out to Twinfield for the K-4 version. It is exciting that we will have such great participation in the kick off of our supervisory union-wide mathematics work.

  1. Literacy

We held our second All School Writing Prompt on March 21st. Students responded to a grade level appropriate prompt about a book read aloud during our All School Morning Meeting during the day. In the coming weeks, we will meet in teams to sort and score students’ pieces using a common core aligned rubric we’ve borrowed (with permission) from a school in California. It’s always helpful when the Internet allows us to avoid reinventing the wheel!

  1. Technology

As promised, here is an update on the status of the Digital Wish netbooks from Craig:

I would say that overall the DW machines have performed ok. I have had to rebuild/repair 5 or 6 this year alone. I am not sure what is causing this but they all seem to have the same error when they do die. The other issue is kids breaking the screens on them. They close he laptop when something is inside it or they are dropped. Dell has been really good with their support of these as I have not had any issues getting the screens replaced. The warranty runs out on 4/20/2014.

  1. Other
  2. Upcoming Hiring Processes

A major shift in our hiring practice this year is that parent representatives on committees are now those parents who do NOT have students who will be taught by candidates in the next two years. We have made this shift to help ensure that the process can be as objective and as focused on the needs of all students as possible.

At this point, we have assembled committees for the two classroom teacher positions. The second grade committee comprises two parents, two staff members, and Marissa. The 5/6 committee members are three parents, two staff members, and Marissa. The committees are excited to find an excellent candidate to recommend.


Principal's Report February 2013

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Principal and Superintendent’s Report – February 18, 2013

School Climate

Discipline (Student Climate)

PBIS leadership teams from across WCSU met on Tuesday the 12th and Friday the 15th to complete the “VTPBiS First Steps to Implementation” online module series.

Staff Climate

The first Wellness Pot Luck Lunch was a success and a second is on the docket for the end of February.


Fun Fitness Friday

Oh the irony that FFF should end with a snow day! Due to cancellations, there will be some EPSDT grant money left. In the coming weeks we will revise our grant proposal to use the remaining funds.

Curriculum and Instruction


Washington Central Supervisory Union, Washington Northeast Supervisory Union and Orange North Supervisory Union are thrilled to announce that they will be hosting math lab schools with Professor Mahesh Sharma and Instructor Betsy Allen this summer. K-4 teachers will learn about teaching number concept, additive reasoning, and multiplicative reasoning with Betsy Allen July 8th through July 12th at Twinfield Union School. 4-8 teachers will address teaching multiplicative reasoning through algebra with Mahesh Sharma July 22nd through July 26th at U-32. The lab school model allows immediate application of ideas learned in workshops. Marissa is working with CES classroom teachers to find ways for all to attend.

The staff has also begun planning this year’s Pi Night activities. Among the first items on the list is the creation of a pie-related math problem that all grades can solve.


We will hold our second All School Writing Prompt on March 19th. We will begin with a read aloud of a picture book at our monthly All School Morning Meeting and then head off to write opinion pieces based on a statement about the book we’ve just read. In preparation for that event, we will use a March faculty meeting to share benchmark pieces from the first prompt.


Marissa recently joined the second graders for a virtual field trip to the Cleveland Museum of Natural History during which we learned about the three states of matter. Marissa has also enjoyed snippets of experiments about lunar craters, sound, and electricity in the 5/6, 4th grade, and 3rd grade classes, respectively.


We have now committed to participating in a pilot of the 6th grade language arts SBAC test (the computer-based test that will replace the NECAP in the 2014-2015 school year) at the end of April. We’re excited to have a trial run at this important new assessment system.

In addition to continuing ongoing work with the 4th and 3rd grade classrooms, Eric has recently worked with Damien to set up 5/6 reading blogs and Randilee to begin typing with 2nd graders.

Fresh off of our work with Elizabeth McCarthy, the staff is working to use Google docs to collaborate in an environmentally and schedule friendly format. We are excited to be able to work together over time and space to create our next writing prompt and our Pi Night math problem.


Upcoming Hiring Processes

We are currently working to coordinate with all stakeholders to plan hiring processes that will ensure all voices are heard and that we find the best possible teachers.


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