Staff Update – Week 17

I hope this email finds your rested and relaxed from the Christmas and New Years break. By the time you read this is will most likely be 2013 and we are just 3 weeks from the end of the semester.  I want to take a moment to say that while our work challenging, we are making a difference in the lives of our students each and every day.  Although we continue to have areas to improve and refine, we are engaged in the right work.

Continued Focus on Improvement In 2013: We will continue to focus on moving forward together to tackle the challenges before us. The following areas will continue to be the focus of our efforts:

  • PLC: We will continue to prioritize the PLC process as the way we improve as collaborative learning professionals.
  • RtI: We will continue to ensure that all students learn at high levels, refine our instruction and improve our systems of intervention to help every student succeed.
  • PBIS: We will continue to reclaim and define the Athena culture as a positive and powerful community that will not be hijacked by a small group of defiant students.
  • APPR: We will continue to improve our understanding of the new evaluation system.
  • Credit Accrual: We will continue to focus on helping ensure that each student masters the skills & content required to accrue the credits to achieve graduation.

The Need to Know:

  • Next Staff Meeting: Tuesday (Jan 8th) will be a KRA meeting in the cafe.
  • APPR Local 20 Update: Our first quarter credit accrual rate was 95%.  This is the same as last year for the first quarter.  If we finish the year with a 95% credit accrual rate it would mean we will each earn 15 out of 20 points on the local section of the APPR as this is 1% higher than the 94% we had for the entire school year in 2012.  Click here for more details on the APPR scoring.
  • At Risk Student Emails: In a continuing effort to improve our ability to systematically respond to students at risk before they fail, I will be sending out an email next week asking for the names of any students that are at risk of failing the 2nd quarter.  I will also be asking what the student needs to do to be proficient and what interventions have been attempted already.  This will allow us to target our interventions more effectively as they are needed.  Thanks in advance. 
  • AIT Meeting: The next AIT meeting will occur on Monday, January 7th. THe meeting is open to all, only elected members vote. Anne Camp is developing the agenda.
  • Level II Lock Down Drill: We have a Level II lock down drill on Friday at 9 am.
The Nice to Know: 
  • Video – 21st Century Skills VideoClick here to view a really interesting video on how to integrate collaborative learning into your class.  This video covers a couple of 21st Century Learning Skills
  • Bright Spot – Kinsella’s Differentiated Homework: Jim has an interesting method for differentiating the homework student need to complete. Students completed a quiz in class that assessed understanding of the three objectives for the lesson. Students were then assigned one of three homework assignments relative to their specific areas of need. Pretty cool!
  • Bright Spot – Mock & Ruggeri’s Differentiated Groupings: Lori & Eric split class into three groups for targeted instruction.  Independent learners shared laptops and completed online learning using the class blog. The other students were split into ability levels & received targeted instruction.  It was a great use of ICT staffing.
  • Athena YouTube ChannelClick here to view. We recently switched to YouTube for storing our videos.  If you have a few extra minutes at the end of class, why not show them the latest school video as a way to support the PBIS effort.

I know this was a lot of information.  I appreciate all that you do.  The work we are engaged in is important and we are making a difference every day.

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