Staff Update – Week 34

Quote to Consider: “Think of literacy as a spine; it holds everything together.  The branches of learning connect to it, meaning that all… content teachers have a responsibility to teach literacy.” (pg 33 from Focus, by Schmoker).  Schmoker goes on to suggest that there are essentially three ways to most effectively leverage literacy for content instruction; close reading and annotating of a text, discussion of a text and writing about the text based on a close read and discussion.  Sound familiar? This is precisely what the common core is demanding of us as a profession.  It is reassuring to know that the work we are engaged it is the right work.  As we leverage the power of authentic literacy instruction, our students will become strong readers, writers and thinkers.  This is the very core of what we do and why we do it. As we head toward the end of the year, remember that this is our purpose… the development of analytical thinkers, educated minds and productive and contributing citizens are all accomplished by teaching students how to read well, discuss content intelligently and express their knowledge effectively.

Upcoming Tuesday Meetings:

  • Tomorrow: April 30th we will be in the Cafe for our final KRA Committee Meeting of the year.
  • Next Week: May 7th is Teacher Appreciation day.  We will have a Focus Meeting in the Cafe and will celebrate with pizza donated by Mark’s Pizzeria and beverages from the PTSA.
  • Two Weeks: May 14th will be  a Department/PTSA meeting to begin wrapping up our PLC work for the year and start prepping from exam review and exam week.

Need to Know:

  • DUI Assembly: This Thursday, May 2nd, all Juniors and Seniors will attend an assembly regarding the dangers of driving while under the influence. Students will report tot he APAC at the beginning of Advisement.  We will be having a crash reenactment in the front lot following the assembly.
  • Ignition Mentor Advisors Needed: After several years of excellence, Mike and Lisa are stepping down as advisors of this great club.  We are looking for anyone interested in taking over this incredible group of students.
  • APPR Evidence Examples: Click here to view the list of examples of APPR evidence gathered at the last staff meeting.
  • Culture Survey Shows Steady Improvement: The Culture Survey completed last week showed significant improvement in how students and staff perceive our culture in the areas of enjoyment and connectedness.  Perceptions on safety remained the highest rated of the three topics covered, but saw an even year to year impact on students rating safety 8 or higher.  Click here for full results. This survey measures our progress for SIP goal #3.
  • APPR Data Update: Last week (if you are a classroom teacher) you received you current credit accrual data for the 3rd quarter.  As you know 20% of our new APPR scores will be derived from how much we improve in our ability to help students pass.  Last year we had a 94% credit accrual rate.  At the end of the 3rd quarter we had the same rating.  If we end the year with a 94% rate, we would earn 11 out of the 20 points on this area of the APPR.  By comparison, if we all saw a 1% increase to 95% we would earn 15 out of 20 points.  This is not to suggest that we should pass students who do not earn it.  However, we should consider leveraging whatever supports we can to help all students learn at high levels.  The consequence of not learning must be learning!
  • Students at Risk of Failing the Year: No failures should be a surprise to the student or parent.  Please make sure you are updating your grade book regularly and that you are calling home to share student progress if you are concerned that a student might fail the year.
  • AIT Meeting Next Week: We meet the first Monday of every month in 272.

Nice to Know:

  • Julia Mullane Honored as Teacher of the Year: Click here to view pictures of Julia being honored.
  • Young Entrepreneurs at Athena: Abhinav Garg and Nick Arieno advanced through 3 rounds of the Young Entrepreneurs Academy Investor Panel competition.  They received high praise at every level of the competition and had their business fully funded.
  • Chalk the Walk: Click here to view some of the chalk poems from Friday.
  • Track and Field Update: Click here to view photos from a recent meet and read the latest update from Coach Scott.

I hope you all have a great week and find time to enjoy the weather.

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