Staff Update – Week 10

Recent Bright Spots: The last week of quarter 1 is upon us.  This year is flying by and I love the hard work and dedication I am seeing in each and every class. I thought a good way to begin this weekly update would be to highlight a few of the many bright spots i have noticed in the past few days.

  • CCSS Strategies in Science Class – A student was working on a close reading strategy involving highlighting and annotating a text. When asked what she was doing, she responded, “I am not a very good reader, so my teacher has shown me these strategies, and they really help me understand the reading.”
  • Student Directed Learning in Math Class – One entire Math PLC is using a student self assessment process for every singled learning standard in each unit.  Students rate themselves and then are assigned learning activities in groups based on the areas they struggle on the most.
  • After School Academic Support – Over 20 ninth graders who are failing multiple classes showed up to the library today for academic support.  Several administrators, teachers and support staff worked with the students to help ensure they learn the material before the end of the quarter. Students will attend again on 3 days next week.
  • Our First PBIS Mini Lesson was a Success – We all wore our shirts and took a few minutes to unite on a single message around the expectations we have here at Athena around behavior.  Together we are reestablishing the cultural norms for our school.  I am so excited about the unity I am seeing as we continue this journey.
  • Halloween Went Smooth – Our students responded respectfully and appropriately to all requests regarding dress code and costumes.  This was the smoothest Halloween I can remember.
  • Collective Commitment to Be in the Hallway During Passing Time – We continue to average about 20 adults in the halls each passing time. That is nearly 1/5th of the adults in the building.  We would like to see this number reach 50%, but it is great that we have a stronger hallway presence this year.

Together we are making a difference… our ability to unite in the establishment of a common culture and set of expectations is having an impact.  Thanks for all you do to make this school great.

Tuesday is a Department Meeting: Here is the agenda.

  • 2:00 – 2:10 – First we will complete a short (10 minute) review of a lesson using the Tri-State Quality Rubric (click here for the PDF file or pick one up in any unit office).  You can use any lesson you want to do this.
  • 2:10 – 2:25 – Review of course request sheets (Susan will provide this)
  • 2:25 – 2:40 – Discuss which stretch courses you would like to promote within your department and how to market them
  • 2:30 – 3:00 – Other department issues

 Need to Know:

  • 55 is the Lowest Grade You Can Input for Quarters 1 and 2: Don’t forget that the lowest grade you are allowed to give for the first 2 quarters is a 55.  You must manually do this even for students with lower grades.
  • Speak to Every Parent of A Student Who May Fail: No parent should be surprised to find out on the report card that their child failed.  Please makes sure you communicate with every parent if a student is headed towards an F. We can only do this job well if we are collaborating and communicating with parents.
  • Support Staff Update: We would like to welcome Sheryl Hugh as our new Teacher Aide in the College and Career Center.  Stop down and say hello.  We have also sent district office recommended candidates for our Budget Clerk position and a Teaching Assistant to support additional supervision for our study halls.
  • Providing Homework for Students out Sick or on Tutoring: We are legally required to provide all assignments and classwork to students out for medical issues or suspensions in a timely manner.  Please bring work to the unit offices when requested.
  • Pre-Observation Questions – If you didn’t know a list of sample questions to guide our Pre-Observations is posted in MLP.  Click here to view the document.

Nice to Know:

  • Only 21 Teachers Reported Students At Risk of Failing – Last week I asked everyone to email the AP’s lists of students at risk of failing. Only 21 teachers indicated that students are at risk of failing.  Administrators have been busily meeting with these students, assigning run around and supporting you in helping get these kids on track.  If you did not send your list, please do so asap.  We can’t help, if we don’t know which kids are at risk.
  • AIT Meets on Monday – Click here to view the Agenda
  • PD Committee Looking for More Members – See Jason, CJ, Karen or Mel Stevens if you would like to join our team and help shape our PD moving forward this year. We meet 1-2 times a month.
  • PTSA is Looking to Boost Membership – Click here to read a message from PTSA, or just donate the $5 and become a member.  See the main office for more information.
  • Updated PD Calendar – Here is the current draft of the PD Calendar.
  • Veterans Day Concert – November 5th is the annual Veterans Day Concert in the APAC.  This event is great for the whole family.
  • Thanksgiving Social Event – The Admin Team is planning a social event after school on the Tuesday before Thanksgiving.  Mark your calendars… we hope you can join us for some “team building.”
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