Staff Update – Week 7

As I right this post a smile is stretching across my face.  I thoroughly enjoyed our PD day and was completely impressed with the people who presented and with how diligently and collaboratively you worked throughout the day.  The highlight for me was stopping in on nearly all of the PLC teams at the end of the day and hearing where each of you are headed.  It is exciting to me to be a part of a truly professional team of educators who are doing the hard and consistent work of learning, growing and collaborating on what matters most for students. More importantly, I saw groups of professionals truly enjoying the work of focusing on ways to ensure that all students are learning at high levels.  I love our team and am honored to be apart of shaping The Athena Way together with you.

Systematically Ensuring Ever Student Learns at High Levels – The Triage Team spent Thursday looking at every single student by face and name to determine who is at risk of failing in any class. As you know we do this every 5 weeks to determine which students need interventions beyond the classroom. This will begin resulting in students being assigned to the Academic Center of the Twilight Academy for current quarter support.  Students will complete work based on your feedback via the Learning Gap Analysis document if they are assigned to additional support. For current quarter support our interventionists will work with studnets, and return the work to you to adjust the grades accordingly.  If students fail an entire quarter, they will essentially be assigned to the equivalent of “summer school during the school year”.  This will take place in the Twilight Academy and they will work to ensure they learn what they did not learn in the preceding quarter.  Like summer school they will have a different teacher of record during Twilight and will therefore be assigned a grade for the redone quarter by the Twilight Teacher, just like summer school.  The classroom teachers grade will remain until the end of the year, just like when a student goes to summer school. As you have heard me say many times, “The consequence of not learning MUST be learning.”  Twilight is one of the many ways we can make this a reality for our students.

Need to Know

  • Tuesday’s Staff Meeting – At Tuesday’s staff meeting we will look at the final draft of our School Improvement Plan for the year as well as dig into the CFA process in order to help frame the work we will be doing in our PLC Teams throughout the year.
  • Learning Gap Analysis (LGA) – If you receive an LGA for student who was failing at 5 weeks and is assigned to interventions in the Academic Center or the Twilight Academy please complete it as soon as possible so that the teacher providing the interventions can target the instruction to precisely what you indicate the student needs.  If you have any questions see your administrator.
  • Teaching and Learning Visits – Every Tuesday between 10 and 12 you may notice district office administrators walking through the building with myself or the AP’s.  They are not evaluating us, they are visiting every school on a regular basis to ensure they have a district wide perspective on what is happening and on the work we are doing. Don’t deviate from your plans when they arrive, just keep up the great work you do each and every class.
  • Collective Commitments – This week we averaged about 20 adults in the halls each time we conducted the random hall sweep head counts. We would like to encourage everyone to establish our presence in the halls during passing times as often as possible.  You presence makes a difference in the tone of the building. I know it is a sacrifice of your time and I want you to know it is appreciated and it matters.

Nice to Know

  • Senior Night for Volleyball – Tonight (Friday) at 6:30 is the final home game of the year.
  • Rivalry Football Game – The boys take on Olympia on Saturday (10.12.13) at 3 pm.
  • Administrative Walk Through Focus – As a building Admin Team we are following up on the Visible Learning research we explored as a staff pertaining to the research around the highest impact levers in education.  The big six areas we discussed during the session in the Cafeteria on Friday will be areas we focus on as an Admin team to get a sense of where we are as a building.  We will discuss this more in the weeks ahead. As a reminder the six areas were a. explicit learning goals, b. level of challenge, c. assessment, d. deliberate practice (mastery), e. feedback, and f. engagement.

Hope everyone has a great Columbus Day break.  See you on Tuesday!

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