Athena Staff Update – Week 13

Bright Spot 1 – Hallway Behavior Has Been Much Better: This week was a great week in my estimation.  The new approach to monitoring the halls through the introduction of the blue passes, staff in the halls during passing times and more frequent hall sweeps seems to be making a difference.  Thank you for all you are doing.

Bright Spot 2 – The CCSS Instruction is Making a Difference: I have been blown away by the high quality of instruction, student engagement and 21st Century Skills I have seen in the observations and walk throughs I have had the privilege of being a part of in the past week. Time and time again I am seeing groups of students deeply and actively engaged in analytical thinking, reading, writing and speaking.  One teacher shared a frustration that the lesson I saw seemed boring to her.  My response was that although there was not poster making, glitter or interpretive dancing involved, all of the students were engaged in discussion, debate and analysis.  That is the furthest thing from boring.  It seems to me that the rigor of the CCSS is bringing about an emphasis of different type of engagement.  I continue to see incredible teaching and learning as I am in and out of many classrooms.

Bright Spot 3 – The PBIS Discussions in Advisement Helping to Establish the Athena Way: Thank you to for coming together in this small commitment to addressing student behavior as a united front.  With all the challenges we face, this small united front is making a difference.  We are the only ones capable of reestablishing what it means to be a student at Athena.  I know there has been some questions about whether these are mandatory.  Everyone I have spoken with has expressed a similar desire to unite around expressing a common message around what we expect of our students.  I would encourage you to continue to look for ways to teach these behaviors in your classes, in the halls, in advisement and around school.  Student behavior will only change to the extent that we use our time with students to train them in the Athena Way.

Need to Know:

  • Tuesday Staff Meeting is PLC Time – Work on your 2nd CFA with your team this week.  Have the data ready for next week to analyze using the CFA Protocol. Talk to your AP if you have questions.
  • Tuesday Team Building at The Distillery – After PLC time on Tuesday that Admin team would like to host a “Team Building” time at The Distillery.  We will be providing a few plates of appetizers for anyone who would like to join us.
  • Course Selection Process – Click here to read the memo share earlier this week about your role in the course selection process.
  • Day Rotation is Changing in January – Click here to view the new day rotation calendar that begins in January.

Nice to Know:

  • January Regents Week Schedule – Click here
  • Components of the 21st Century Classroom – Click here for a great and thought provoking infographic on the ways technology is changing learning.
  • Great Article on the Adolescent Mind – Click here to read a fascinating article on the way our students minds are formed and work… this is a must read for anyone working with teens.

Hope you all have a great week and a restful Thanksgiving break.


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