Staff Update – Week 8

Quote to Ponder: “No matter how good we are… we always start with the question, ‘how can we get better?‘” (Rick DuFour) It is an exciting time to be an educator at Athena High School. The preceding quote typifies the culture we are developing as a team through our staff meetings, departments, PLCs and individual conversations. I truly am energized by the opportunity to work with such an incredible group of professionals.  Although there are many new initiative that we are tackling together, we continue to move forward together with the PLC Teams as the foundation of our continuous growth and learning.

Tips for Great CFAs: Consider the following tips from Learning by Doing (Rick DuFour) for high quality CFAs:

  • Narrow the Focus – CFAs should target only the Essential Learning Standards
  • CCSS Alignment – CFAs should align with the CCSS shifts and skills we have been learning about
  • Define Proficiency – Your team should define proficiency ahead of time
  • Consistency – Your team should agree upon testing conditions

Need to Know:

  • Tuesday Staff Meeting is PLC Time: This week your PLC Team should finish the first CFA and agree on a time to administer the assessment prior to the following PLC Meeting on October 29th. If you have any questions or concerns please see your administrator. 
  • Athena SIP GoalsClick here to view our SIP goals.
  • Our Building GoalClick here to read about the details of our building goal and how it was developed through shared decision making.
  • Walk Through Focus for this Quarter: This quarter administrators are focusing our walkthroughs on gathering baseline data for our building regarding the six highest impact factors we learned about from John Hattie’s research during our PD day.  We will report out on the building trends in these areas in the next few weeks and use this info to help guide our PD.
  • Staff Meeting Ticket Out the Door QuestionsClick here for a summary of the feedback you gave me following the staff meeting and for a list of question you asked and the answer I could offer. This will help guide our PD moving forward.
  • Collective Commitments: Thank you for continuing to be present in the halls during passing time and for taking the first 3 steps prior to writing a referral.  Together we are reshaping the culture at Athena.
  • Limit Emails to the Essentials: GTA has indicated that many teachers have requested that we limit emails to the essentials. If you have an item for the entire staff please send it to me and I will include it in the weekly update.  Only time sensitive emails should go to all staff.
  • GTA Vote on Tuesday: GTA will hold a vote for its representatives at 2 on Tuesday.  Please ensure that you vote and then get to your PLCs.  PLCs will meet from 2:10-3:00.
  • PBIS Mini Lesson October 28th: The first mini lesson on respect will take place on October 28th during Advisement.  Click herefor the entire schedule. More details to come from the PBIS Committee. Don’t forget to wear your shirt and lanyard!
  • Support Staff ResponsibilitiesClick here to view the updated support staff duties chart.  We are still hiring two more staff members to back fill retirements.  Recommendations have been made and we are waiting for appointments.

Nice to Know:

  • Helping Every Student Take a Stretch CourseCheck out this video of one way to make AP courses more accessible to our students.
  • Shared Decisions Making and Feedback Cycle for PD: I was recently asked to share our PD monitoring and adjustment feedback process with all the administrators in the district.  Here is a link to some of what I shared if you are interested.
  • School Closure Next Summer: Athletic facilities and locker rooms are being renovated this coming summer.  There will be no sporting activities here during the summer.  Camps and practices will need to be held elsewhere during renovations. More details to come.
  • Student Attendance Data: 19% of our students have missed 10% or more of school so far. Personal communication to students who miss your class go a long ways. Administration continues to have meetings, phone calls and home visits.
  • School Board Recognition Week: October 28 through November 1st is an opportunity to express appreciation to the members of our board of education for the time they volunteer on behalf of our students and staff.  Joe Grinnan is our building liaison on the Board.  We also have a few parents on the board; Sean McCabe and Julia VanOrman.  If you see them please express your appreciation. Or think of it, consider writing a thank you card for their service.
  • School Climate Survey from the District: In the next two weeks you will receive an email from the district asking you to take a survey on the culture and climate in our school and district.  You have a limited window to provide feedback.
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