Staff Update – Week 29

It is hard to believe that we are nearly at the end of the 3rd quarter.  This year continues to fly by.  We continue to push forward together every day in the ongoing effort to help our students strive toward the goal of college and career readiness.  Although this is challenging, and at times stressful work, we are shaping the future for our students each and every day.  I am proud of the work we are doing and am excited to be a part of such an incredible group of professionals here at Athena.

Life in a Theater: I recently heard a NYSUT trainer share a great analogy in which the new APPR was described as similar to life in the theater.  Standards 1 & 2 (knowledge of students, learning and instructional planning) are the backstage of the theater.  These standards are the preparation that takes place before the students arrive in the classroom.  Standards 3, 4 & 5 (instruction, classroom environment and assessment) are the stage of the theater.  This is when we execute the instruction, interact with students and assess the learning. Standards 6 & 7 (professional responsibilities, goal setting and growth) are the on going professional practice and growth that takes place on an ongoing basis.  I thought this was an interesting way of looking at the standards.

Need to Know:

  • Tuesday Staff Meeting: Tuesday is a PLC/Department meeting.  Information will come from your Administrator or Teacher Leader.
  • Marking Period Ends Thursday: Grades are due the day we come back from break!
  • APPR Update: We finally received clarity on the evidence required for the APPR.  You must have evidence for every standard, not necessarily every element or indicator. This is a shift from our original understanding and should help relieve some of the stress regarding how much is needed.
  • Please Be in the Halls During Passing Times: Please be visible in the halls during passing times to help monitor student behavior.
  • Record Attendance, Report Skips: Notify the the AP if a student skips your class. Taking attendance is required by law.  Make sure you address any student who skips your class.  You can determine who skips by looking at the daily attendance report if you need to.
  • Current Quarter Support: If you assign a student to current quarter support, and they do not attend, it is up to you to determine how to handle it.  We will continue to provide instructional support through the Twilight Center for this option for teachers.  However, the Twilight teachers will not be writing referrals.  Treat students who do not attend this the same way you handle a student who does not stay after school with you when assigned to do so. You can right a referral if you choose, but you do not have to do so.
Nice to Know:
  • Powder Puff Game & Staff Basketball Game: We had a great time on Friday night at this event and video highlights can be seen on the Athena YouTube Channel.
  • Putting it All Together InfographicClick here to view the infographic handed out at last weeks staff meeting that explains the connections between the APPR, the CCLS, the State Assessments and the NYSUT Rubric.
  • Common Core Literacy Lesson TipsClick here for a great video on integrating the CCLS concepts into the classroom.  Although this is a 5th grade class, we can learn from the principles and structure.
  • Common Core Math Lesson TipsClick here to watch the CCLS align math lesson the math department watched together last week.

Well, my March Madness Brackets are a mess… and I am loving watching these upsets.  I hope you all have a great week and that the April Break brings you the rest and relaxation you all deserve.

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