Staff Update – Week 32

Quote to Ponder: In the book Focus, Mike Schmoker states “If we choose to take just a few well-known, straightforward actions, in every subject area, we can make swift, dramatic improvements in schools.” We have seen proof of this over the past year as we have come together and aligned how we teach writing. Schmoker’s synthesis of the research proves that regardless of what is taught, 4 simple steps are required to ensure that our pedagogy has the maximum impact; clear learning objectives, teaching, guided practice and check for understanding (click here for infographic summary).  Continue to emphasize these simple, yet foundational steps as we move towards the end of the year.

Upcoming Tuesday Meetings:

  • April 16 – PLC/Department Meeting (Details will come from your STLE Teacher leader or Admin)
  • April 23 – PLC/Department Meeting
  • April 30 – Final KRA Committee Day in the Cafe
  • May 7th – Staff Appreciation Day in the Cafe (Courtesy of the PTSA)

Need to Know:

  • AIT Culture Survey – In your mailboxes you will find the Athena Culture Survey. Please have students complete this in the first half of Advisement on Tuesday. 12th graders will complete it in ELA on Tuesday & Wednesday.  It should take no more than 4-5 minutes. This is required by AIT. Return to Melanie by Wednesday after school.
  • The Data Dashboard is Live – If you visit the GCSD website and click on Data Dashboard you will find that school and district data is now being made publicly available.  Although individual teacher data is not posted, grade level and content area data is posted.
  • The DWI Assembly – On May 1st during 4th block (Advisement) all Juniors and Seniors will be in the APAC for an assembly and then outside for a crash demonstration.
  • Library Closed for Middle School Testing – The library is off line on April 16-18 and 24-26.  Do not send students as the middle school will be using it for testing.

Nice to Know:

  • Customer Service Survey Results – Next time you see one of our secretaries, congratulate them on the fact that Athena High received the 2nd highest rating in the district on the quality of customer service we provide.  Our support staff are a critical part of the work we do and we are proud of them for this service.
  • Track Team Highlights – Click here to view the results from the first meet of the season… take time in class to celebrate those students who are mentioned.
  • District Website Changes – The district and school websites will receive a face lift on April 26th.  The content will stay the same, but the interface will be more user friendly.
  • 2013-2014 District Calendar Released – Click here to view it. 
  • Regents Roster Pin Verification Correction – Last week I said this was to have already been finished.  Please note, that you have until the end of May or early June for this.  Reference the information emailed to you from district office on this.

AIT’s School Improvement Plan Goals: You may have noticed the new posters around the school that highlight the AIT School Improvement Plan goals for this year (click here to view it).  As you know we continue to work towards the following goals:

  • Goal 1 – Increase graduation rate to 95% (increase of 3%)
  • Goal 2 – 100% of students on track to college and career readiness (several metrics)
  • Goal 3 – 10% increase in the number of students responding to the culture survey with a score of 8 or better

Never forget, that what you do is among the most challenging and essential work in all of civilization. Training up the next generation to engage in our world, become productive contributing members of society is not for the faint of heart.  What we do matters.  We are shaping the future. I am so thrilled to be on this journey with each of you.


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