Staff Update – Week 24

I hope this email finds you rested from the break and ready to tackle the rest of this quarter.  Over the next few weeks we will continue to focus on the APPR and the Common Core.  We will spend our staff and department meetings looking at how these two initiatives complement and reinforce each other.  We will also continue to support and emphasize our Response to Intervention efforts as we seek to ensure that all students learn at high levels and are held accountable to learn the content and skills we define as essential.  This is critical work and our continued focus on these areas will have a profound impact on our students and our community. Thank you for your ongoing dedication and determination to excellence.

Need to Know:

  • Tuesday Staff Meeting: This week we will meet in the Cafeteria to dig into the APPR and the CCLS.  We will spend the meeting analyzing both the new Shifts in the CCLS and how they are integrated in the APPR.
  • District Strategic Framework Released: The Board of Education adopted a 5 year Strategic Framework. This framework sets out the goals, benchmarks and metrics that we will be using to align our efforts with best practice to accelerate academic achievement for all students. All of our work will align with this plan. Click here if you are interested in reading the report.
  • The Common Core Learning Standards Shifts: In the coming weeks District Office administrators will be visiting each building to get a sense of the baseline for the various CCLS Shifts.  These visits will be focused on understanding “Writing from Sources”, “Text Based Answers” and “Deep Understanding”.  We will continue to focus on these shift in particular in the coming weeks and months.
  • Library Guidelines: If you take your class to the Library, please do not allow students to leave early to return to class unless you are returning as an entire group. If you need to return to class, please do so at least 10 minutes prior to the end of the bell so that they are not wandering the halls prior to the bell.
  • No Passes to the Cafe from Class: We have recently had a rash of students with passes to the Cafe during 3rd block to get a snack.  Please do not allow any student out of the classroom with a pass to the cafeteria. They can wait until lunch.
  • Advisement Mini-Lesson: Please complete the advisement mini lesson that was emailed to you and place in your mailbox.  We are trying to ensure that all students receive the same information and discuss these issues with their advisement teacher. Together we are making a difference.
  • Scheduling Committee to Present to the Board of Education: The District Schedule Committee will be reporting its findings, data and the perception feedback to the Board of Education on February 26th.  I will send out more information, when I get it.

Nice to Know:

  • The Senior to Senior DanceCheck out this video highlight reel from the recent Dance at the Legacy Retirement home that was organized by members of the Class of 2013.  It was an incredible evening of fun across the generations.
  • Bowling Team Update: The bowling team recaptured the Section V title last week and is headed to the State Championship competition to defend its State title.  Click here to view a team photo.
  • Track Team Champions: Brian Smith and Keith Pease both captured 3 Section V titles last weekend and several other athletes earned top place rankings as members of the relay teams and in individual events. Congratulations to all our student athletes.  Click here to view our Facebook page with several pictures.
  • 6 Athena Student Bright Spots: Click here to read a blog posting highlighting 6 incredible bright spots here at Athena.  Each of these were presented at a recent Board of Education meeting by student leaders, Clint, Levi, Vanhnida and Mike.
  • LearnZillion: This is a great website ( for educators containing lots of mini video lessons that can be used to support whole group, small group or individual instruction.  This is sort of like the Khan Academy website, except it is developed and maintained by teachers.  There are more lessons added regularly.
  • 21st Century Learning Skills: They show up all throughout the NYSUT Rubric and the new APPR.  Click here to learn more about them in an interactive and engaging way.
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One Response to Staff Update – Week 24

  1. says:

    Hi Jason, I am currently taking Research in Cognitive Development at the U of R and wanted to know if you have a better copy of the document from NYSED titled “What Highly Effective Instruction Looks Like”. Currently, there is a picture of the document and I have been searching the internet to find the document and am failing miserably. If possible, I would appreciate the link to the document. Thank you, Julie

    Julie LaRosa Special Education Teacher/ 12:1:1 Transition Program Greece Athena High School Phone: 585-966-4098

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