Principal and Superintendent’s Report – February 12, 2014
The post-instruction informational text prompt will happen on February 18th. We used a recent FFF afternoon to plan the prompt. There was a great conversation about the purpose of the prompt. The group debated questions like whether students should be able to choose any topic or respond to a specific piece of text and whether students should have the notes they took with support, not have notes, or only notes they took completely independently. We are looking forward to seeing the results of this prompt, especially since the final text type, opinion/argument pieces, has so many of the same features as informational text.
Midyear F&P scores are in. We have not had a chance to do an in-depth analysis, but currently 87% of students tested are at or above grade level. We are looking forward to analyzing trends in comprehension scores, fluency scores, student growth, impact of interventions, and many other areas.
Marissa will update the Continuous Improvement Plan site soon. We are mindful of the goals around summer regression prevention. We are looking forward to crunching the NECAP numbers and getting those results up there.
Our January in-service time provided two big chunks of time during which teachers were able to connect to talk about, exchange and create resources for teaching mathematics. On Monday the 20th, teachers met in SU-wide grade-alike groups. This time was fabulous! Each group was led by teachers who serve on the Math Steering Committee. The 5th through 8th grade teachers met together in a nice continuation of work that began with summer lab schools and our clinical rounds with Mahesh Sharma.
Our time as a building-based crew on Tuesday the 21st yielded some great products including student-friendly versions of the Common Core Standards for Mathematical Practice and two ways of assessing math practices (Do students know the practices? And, do students engage in the practices?). The math committee has just collated the results of the pre-instruction version of our “Do students know the practices?” assessment. We look forward to working together to introduce the practices to students and vertically align our expectations and priorities.
You will find a whole packet about math in the board packet. Marissa, Kate, Mary, and Kelly look forward to discussing this packet and more at the meeting!
- School Climate
At our January All School Morning Meeting on the 25th, we introduced two new ways in which we will recognize positive behavior through our PBIS program. The first of these involves deputizing three or four students per day to be “First Mates.” These first mates will be given a bandana arm band and several “I caught you being good” coupons. Throughout the day they will pass out those coupons, which their schoolmates will then trade in to teachers for coins. All students in grades K-6 will have a turn as we cycle through the roster in the coming weeks. Students are showing an extra level of pride as they trade in their tickets for coins.
The second new recognition method is a “booster” system to help address a target area. We are targeting the hallways by distributing gold bars – that take up the same amount of space as about six of the regular coins – when we see students following the Keys to Success in the halls. Kids are particularly excited about these bars as a deal was struck: if they earn at least 100 of these before Beach Day (February 21st), one of the stations at the event will be pie throwing… into teachers’ faces (only of those who volunteer, of course!). We are planning to enhance the traditional Beach Day offerings to make it an All School Celebration-caliber event.
We’ve certainly had some crummy luck on the plumbing front lately! The burst pipe issue that resulted in school being closed on Monday, January 27th has been resolved for the remainder of the school year. A longer term fix will be necessary over the summer. Financially, we have been fortunate in that Jason and Rich have been able to provide the extra set of hands for the plumber, so the cost of labor is low. Michelle Ksepka has filed a claim and is working with our insurance company. At this time, we do not expect that the expense will be greater than our $5,000 deductible.
The issue on Thursday, February 6th was unrelated, but similar in its impact on the water supply. In this case, a fitting on a pipe leading off of our well holding tank broke, preventing water from being piped into the building. We were able to hold school as students had already begun arriving when the issue was discovered. Thanks to a truckload of water coolers from U-32, we were able to flush toilets with buckets and had plenty of safe drinking water on hand.
Before the end of the year, we will install new parking lot lights. These will be highly efficient LED lights that use less energy while casting a much wider and brighter glow.
- NECAP Scores
We are planning to have the annual NECAP presentation assembled by the end of the first week of March. We will get this out to board members as soon as it is completed. This will allow us to spend our meeting time discussing and analyzing the data as requested after last year’s presentation.