The Sunday Night Webinar September 29 2019

The Sunday Night Webinar September 29  2019

again we have some people joining us and
when I’m sure they’re going to be more dry right around 8 o’clock you know we
said I guess tend to get quite a few people joining us good evening everybody
it’s the Sunday night webinar we’re September 29th and I’m Gene Kulbago I’m
Roger Carroll and we want to welcome you and tonight we have as our special guest Mr. Carella who’s going to speak with us and I guess with no further ado I’m
going to now change the presenter I’m hoping I’m going to change the presenter
to mr. karela and mr. karela and before we start I just remind people if they do
have a comment or a question oh yes you can
raise your hand on the dashboard or send us a chat message in the background and
we will then relay what you’re asking or your comment to the presenter right and
again mr. Crowley you may have to minimize I’ve sent the change presenter
thing you’ll have to see that again yeah however you know I hit show my
screen again yes it show your screen and your screen is being shown perfect
perfect it is just interrupt me if it fails or
if I’m not moving the slides long or whatever no everything’s fine
okay perfect thank you both very much thanks for for asking me back again I
want to say good evening everybody out there I hope let’s see I’m not able to
get my slides to advance here let me see oh I see I’m just gonna have to use I I
have a shared screen here I have I have a monitor oh and again and I have my
home laptop here so let’s see if this works yes there we go perfect okay
well folks I thought I would share a couple of things that are pertinent that
are going on right about now so hopefully I’ll have time for each of
them on and have some time to answer your questions
too so the first thing I thought I’d do is introduce some new staff in the
curriculum office we have had some big changes over the summer at venturi who I
worked with for the past two years he started as my intern when he was getting
his administrative degree and then he worked in my office and I did a
fantastic job but I’m so happy for him he’s been promoted to an assistant
principal at Niagara Falls High School and Bryan Rotella
another talented guy who I got to work with this past year is now off as a Dean
of Students in at kalfus magnet school so I have a whole new staff it for a few
days there it was back to just Kathy Sullivan and I which is where we started
five years ago and somehow we have some new staff and I’ll introduce them and
I’ll show you what each of them is working on along with me because after
usually we we tend to associate different folks in central office with
different topics and as those change I want to get that information out ah a
large part of my spring and summer well actually my entire school year has has
to do with making sure that our school improvement efforts are moving forward
that is particularly important because we are our current accountability status
is TSI or targeted support and intervention
you probably remember when we were a focus district and we had seven focused
schools the good news is that our the status of many of our schools improved
so much that they’re now in the good standing so currently what we have is a
three targeted at support and improvement schools that’s the new term
under essa that was formerly known as focus so we have fewer schools but we
still have similar requirements and be because we have at least one school in
improvement status then then we as a district are also in improvement status
so we are a TSI district with three TSI schools so we’re required to have a
district strategic plan and I thought I would share that with you I’ve been
meeting with some groups over the past month or so and and everywhere I go I
try to mention it certainly our administrators and school leadership are
very aware that but I think it’s it’s it’s good to have the district as a
whole know what we’re working on and hopefully folks will see the parallels
between what’s going on in their schools and the initiatives there and how
they’re being driven by the district I wanted to spend a little bit of time
talking about the elementary coaches service model which I changed this year
so it’s quite a big change and so as we’re all getting used to it I want to
describe it a little bit I want all to also talk about our Career
and Technical Education initiative that mr. lorry has talked about quite a bit
and he charged myself and Brian rotella with leading that last fall and we made
quite a bit of progress this year and the changes are the more immediate
changes that are taking place for the coming year is are really happening at
the prep school level grade seven and eight so I want to talk a little bit
about that and then if I have time I’ll talk a little bit about the adoption of
the New York State’s science learning standards which are
being phased in and we’re going into Phase two of that adoption so I’ll talk
to you guys a little bit about that see if I can get my next slide to move okay let’s see well it doesn’t seem to
want to move let me try it again I’m sorry folks but my slide does not
want to move oh I think I got it okay now what you find here we go all right
this is what I wanted to show so you can see right over to the right Kathy
Sullivan continues to work with me in the curriculum office and we have three
new people this year Lea balda sorry John briglio and Tom Fisher all of them
have actually worked with previously Lea was a teacher at LaSalle middle school
when I was the principal there for a few years and John Greg leo was our Dean of
Students he was the Dean of Students there for a very long time
I believe he came to work at LaSalle in 2006 I believe and when I first went to
LaSalle as the principal Tom Fischer was a social studies teacher so I know Tom
very well so it’s a pleasure to have all of them working with me along with Kathy
so taking a look here this is the organizational chart that that we’ve
been using as we’ve been transitioning and I just highlighted in red some of
the areas that might be of interest to folks listening tonight lea Baldessari
is our liaison for art music which we are working on incrementally phasing in
new standards for those areas business English language arts at the secondary
level the enrichment and accelerated programs or cap program and world
languages which is the new term that the state is using for foreign language or
lote on languages other than English that we’ve had yet that we teach in our
district in our district currently we teach just Spanish John is our liaison
for phys ed and health prep level family consumer science and technology and
mathematics science and Tom is taking over where
Stan Walton and Brian Rotella left off with the
healthy behaviors programming we also have some new mental health education
mandates Brian did quite a bit of work on that last year and so tom is going to
be the liaison for that this year the same is true with school counseling
plans district and school plans are required and so we’ll be working on
those those are a work in progress and as I mentioned tom is a social studies
teacher so he’ll be our liaison for social studies and Kathy is continuing
to work on the areas that she her her role is expanded quite a bit with our
recent grants we received two additional pre-kindergarten grants within the last
three years so that has taken up a large portion of her job along with English
language arts kindergarten to grade five we’ve also added Reading Recovery and
the early literacy training programs to Kathy’s oversight and she’s of course is
still the coordinator for pep or the primary enrichment program our RTI state
mandated a is for grades K to 4 and literacy and she works with our special
classes at the elementary level our fifteen to one classes and at twelve one
one classes on English language arts a committee of teachers over the last
couple of years has been meeting to look at different curriculum resources that
they that might be both differentiated and work well with their student
populations so a few years ago they they chose the reach program which has some
similarities to journey’s but there are some significant differences it’s it’s a
program meant to be used for English language arts for either students with
learning disabilities and or elles or students who are new to
English and as I said she’s our UPK coordinator and does everything with the
assessment the curriculum and all the grant writing that goes along with that
so on to our school improvement plan or our district improvement plan we call
this the D sip for short district comprehensive improvement plan and this
is a requirement what we have to have a leadership team in our central office
that reviews district data goes through process that documents looking at our
needs we we for example besides looking at district data we also spent quite a
bit of time looking at the stakeholder surveys that we’ve been administering
for the past three to four years if you’re a teacher in our district you
undoubtedly took the SPS or the school performance scan that’s a survey that is
quite lengthy but it covers all areas of the organization from culture to
curriculum to teacher decision-making and actions it also includes questions
on parent involvement and SEL or student’s social and emotional learning
students take a survey as well as parents so we have quite a bit of data
based on that and for the first time this year we trimmed the questions down
in the overall survey in particularly the SPS was was very lengthy so we
trimmed some of the questions down and we added some questions on student
emotional learning and health that is a large emphasis that stayed ed has been
working with districts on and soon I’m not sure exactly when perhaps in a
year we’re going to be mandated to give every year some type of SEL survey to
our stakeholders the State Department is looking at using a federal federal
education department version of this of a similar assessment one of the reasons
that they like it is because there’s no cost associated with it I don’t know a
lot about it at this point I know it’s quite lengthy but what we decided to do
this year though is we simply took from the creator of the current stakeholder
surveys that we use they had a they came up with an 88 question Bank that
concentrated on SEO and so I I picked 20 questions from that that I thought were
pertinent that we would want to have data on and those 20 questions were
folded into each version of the survey so there were there was a student
version a parent version and a teacher or school staff member version of each
question so that’s that’s what we do and then we have to create a plan and the
plan is a little bit different from the s EPS I’ll bet a lot of you have seen
your school comprehensive education plan or what we call it except for short all
of our plans are based on the dt ste rubric it’s a it’s a very broad
diagnostic rubric that addresses all areas of school and and district
functioning and this year the schools had some nice flexibility they did not
have to right a or have a goal and an action
plan that matched every part of the rubric they were able to make some
choices based on the priorities that they had determined as a school
leadership team which is great flexibility for them unfortunately we
didn’t have the same flexibility for our district plan what what we needed to do
was write a goal and have an action plan for each of the six parts so there are
those parts or components are called tenants tenant one which is on the
screen now is systems and organizations and then tenets two is district and
school leadership tenets three is curriculum for is practice and pedagogy
five is student social-emotional health and 10 at 6:00 is parent involvement so
we have a goal for each of these what we really tried to do this year is make
sure that our goals were interrelated so that each tenants plan wasn’t siloed
when when that happens often it becomes really burdensome and and difficult to
do each plan justice so what you’re going to see as we go through this is a
lot of the a lot of the tenants are paired and they so what what is
happening in one mirrors what’s happening in the other and it’s kind of
I would say two sides of the same coin so what you
see on the screen is our smart goal and I’m not and I’m not going to read that
to you but it follows it for those of you again who have worked on your assets
SMART goals follow a definite formula they have to be they usually begin by
saying when you want to accomplish the goal they have to be actionable they
have to be measurable they have to be timely so here there are several
different pieces of the organizational rubric that we could pick from we we
decided that what we wanted to do was monitor and support the implementation
of each school’s plan probably more carefully than we had in the in the past
so what I’ve got on some of these slides here after each goal is simply some of
the highlights of the action steps it certainly isn’t every action step the
plan is a bit lengthy but I just wanted to give some of the highlights or I
guess you would say the gist of of each tenets action steps so here for for 10
at one it when our goal was to monitor in and support the implementation of
each school’s SF we’re the the first bullet here is we’re having quarterly SF
review meetings so each principal has been scheduled to come to Mark’s weekly
or mr. lorry’s weekly cabinet meeting it’s called the evolution team it
includes folks from curriculum assessment finance maintenance every
department within within the district and we meet every Wednesday morning and
follow an agenda that Jojo Rizzo sets and
brings us through and so our D sip is always on that agenda but usually we’re
in e instead of my just reporting out each principal is going to come a
minimum of three times throughout the year to first share in detail the
actions that are in their SF plan and then talk about what they’ve
accomplished and what some of the challenges they’ve had or encountered
would be and where they think they need to go next
we have Kalfas magnet started us off this year and then we’re going to be
hearing from Gaskill this Wednesday you can see the rest of I’m not going to
read all of those there we also have some some folks who work with us in our
leverage leadership program and who are also facilitating our foundation of five
professional development training which I’ll talk a little bit about later from
that same organization we’ve engaged a couple of consultants that will be
working with our three TSI principals and coming to the to the buildings and
working with them on monitoring their SF’s revising them if necessary
troubleshooting different pieces of them throughout the year we’re also looking
at coming up with a uniform data dashboard so that we can quickly see at
a glance how each of our schools are doing in as far as meeting the goals
that are that are in the visa so we we’ve talked about using different tools
such as office 365 to enable all our schools to put their their data maybe
perhaps in up on a monthly basis into into one repository so we can quickly
check throughout the year rather than you know being surprised by a trend
which we don’t notice until the end of the year we want to get away
from that and we want to you know be working in a much more free-flowing
manner and we’re also going to take a look at weaving our principles have been
using a Google document to give teachers actionable feedback when they’re
visiting classes we are where we’re looking at using some different software
that will be a little bit more functional that will keep data a little
bit better that’ll be a little bit friendlier for both teachers in it
administrators to use so we’re we’re looking at new technology tools our
second tenet is school leadership and our smart goal is a pretty simple one we
we were a little bit troubled by our suspension data so what we’re looking
here at is the number of our district suspensions of five days or greater we
would like to reduce in this school year by twenty percent compared to the 1819
school year so what are we doing in order to make that happen well we have
currently we’ve got all of our pre kindergarten teachers trained in a
three-tiered behavior intervention model known as the pyramid model it is
endorsed by the New York State Education Department and we first heard about it
about two years ago at the kindergarten summit at nagger University the speaker
there has actually become the trainer that has visited never Falls and has
begun training our primary teachers her name is Marilyn Ballard and she’s she’s
a really really gifted early childhood person and so the the program basically
if you’re familiar with RTI is a three tiered system of supports and the first
year is all about classroom environment in interaction with all students and and
how do we structure our environments for our youngest kids in ways that supports
their learning and supports their social development and also teaches and lends
itself well to appropriate school behaviors and a lot of our kids you know
it’s it’s not unusual for three and four-year-olds to have trouble
functioning you know in a in such a different social setting from
their home when they’re away from their parents and siblings so we need to be a
little more you know cognizant of how we overtly teach students correct behaviors
and social strategies and interactions so that’s tier 1 tier 2 is a system of
supports for students who are more just need a little bit more assistance for to
develop their and function well tip you know to develop school appropriate
behaviors and tier 3 just like it is with literacy deals with students who
are really having issues functioning and gets right down to behavior
interventions that are that are very hands-on consistent and monitored so
what we began doing the year before last is training our pre kindergarten
teachers and currently as of right now all of our pre-k 3 and pre-k four
teachers are trained then this summer we began training our kindergarten teachers
so we have I believe about 11 or 12 of our kindergarten teachers trained we are
going to train the rest of the kindergarten teachers on superintendents
conference days throughout this year and then also in order to make it work well
teachers in their administrators and Dean’s and social workers need to be on
the on the same page and they need to share this this knowledge base so over
the next two months we’re going to be training all of the principals Dean’s
and social workers so that the pre-k and K teachers and those folks are all on
the same page we’ve also been looking at developing consistent procedures and
policies for everything from attendance to behavior interventions for our very
young kids at the pre-k level so this this summer and into September our pre-k
folks worked on taking everything that they learned in the pyramid training and
condensing it into guidance for our district and it also includes for
example some some forms and some not record-keeping and behavior
documentation documents that everyone agreed we would use consistently
throughout the district we’re also looking at defining
alternatives to suspension a lot of our schools are very interested in using
pieces of restorative justice practices that really isn’t new some of our
schools have been looking at it for up to two years so what we’re trying to do
as a district is support all of our schools that that want to go in that
direction as far as training and anything else that they that they might
need and tenant’s three and four definitely go go together I mentioned
earlier that’s curriculum and practice so what what we’re doing here is a lot
of you have probably heard of the foundational five training and and maybe
some of the folks that are that are listening tonight have gone through the
first two modules of that of that training that is it’s based around five
key instructional practices that research has shown are likely are
actually proven to affect student results in a positive manner
the first is learning targets the second is student engagement
the third is checking for understanding the fourth is complex questioning and
the fifth is differentiated instruction in practice that’s nothing new to to to
all of us and and and when we began our journey as a
reading and proven in 2016 we began to narrow in or hone in on those strategies
and we offered training in different schools but what was happening was that
I was finding that we didn’t have a common level of understanding among all
of our schools and so I felt obligated to do something about that so I looked
at this particular program that that was being piloted and last school year and
it was made of it was made available to us beginning in August so we made it one
of the centerpieces of our plan and the way that it’s working is we we have
those we have in-depth full-day trainings on those topics and that’s
that’s the first part of it so I posted for interested teachers and I wanted
representatives from each building we had 53 teachers that were selected we
had that we had quite a good response I would say over 70 teachers responded and
originally I had posted for just 45 and that’s what I had budgeted for but
because we had such such interest I wanted to add a few more teachers so I
was able to find some more grant funds and I think we had 53 or 54 teachers who
were trained this summer on the first two modules and the final two modules we
are training during this fall in fact yesterday Saturday the 28th was the
first session for for complex questioning and then our next one is
coming up in October so half half of the folks from the cohort were trained
yesterday the other half will be in October and then the final module
differentiated instruction and practice our folks are splitting into two groups
and we’ll have some trained in late November and the
end the rest in early December so once that’s done then we’re going to ask
those folks that are better trained whether or not they’re interested in
going to the second phase which is becoming turnkey trainers so the goal
here is to build capacity across schools so that every school has what we would
consider expert lead teachers that are fluent with those instructional
strategies and they in turn can coach and mentor teachers in their building
they can provide professional development in on superintendents
conference days for their faculties or in department meetings or for their
faculties so that we’re kind of building our own we’re you know we’re we’re going
to build this cadre of highly skilled folks and they’re not going to be some
of them are going to be instructional coaches but but not all instructional
coaches we want to go beyond that cohort of people and develop lead teachers that
are that are practicing in the in the classroom so that is our main goal
410 and 3 and then what what what they’re going to be doing about 15 to 18
of them hopefully will be interested and then going further and in the in the
spring they’re going to get more training that basically has to do with
how how do you coach your peers how do you become a lead teacher so there’s a
little bit of professional development strategies for adults as what well as
coaching and mentoring strategies and the folks that run the program will
actually work with our turnkey trainers and they will coach them as they are
providing professional development so when they’re going to let’s say
facilitate their first department meeting or do a training on a
professional development day they’ll have their trainers there in the room
with them from the foundational five program helping them as they you know
not only plan but giving them feedback as there is they’re working with their
own peers so it kind of brings teacher-led professional development to
the next level and then related to that is 10:00 at 4:00 so what we want to do
here is be take the folks that are highly trained in the foundational five
and begin a teacher led learning walk protocol and that basically is a format
where teachers volunteer to be host host instructors and others teachers from
their school usually when we start it would be novice teachers would go in and
watch a master teacher teach and they would be looking for certain strategies
for example checking for understanding during during a lesson we would we would
have two to three teachers that that would be visiting the master teacher we
would share their lesson goals so that the visiting teachers knew what to look
for the visiting teachers would then observe and watch the teacher at work
and then afterward with their principal or myself or or the host teacher they
could they would debrief talk about what they saw talk about what they would like
to take away and use in their in their own classroom so again it it’s moving
the ball forward with teacher-led professional development and that’s
that’s another aspect that we want to get into this year so our goal is to
have every school by the end of the year try this protocol once with novice
teachers and the folks that are trained from the foundational five that I’d like
to grow it out in coming years you know because one I think one of the things we
could all agree on is that teachers learn best from each other we’ve had a
lot of great training with very knowledgeable consultants and there’s
certainly a place for that and that’s certainly needed and we’ll continue to
do it but there’s also a lot to be said for the power of one teacher
demonstrating something something a strategy or a particular lesson to
another teacher that that peer to peer credibility is is really important and
then our social emotional learning tenant which is which is ten at five we
are going to create fact I have a meeting coming up this this week we’re
we’re going to create a district-wide taskforce that includes reps from every
school that is going to work on making a district plan for supporting social and
emotional learning across the district as well as addressing student attendance
or chronic absenteeism needs I’m sure most of you have heard that chronic
absenteeism is now a a measure that is included in our schools accountability
formula and that’s part of the SL law and the criteria is pretty stringent a
students considered chronically absent if they miss ten or more days and this
past year I think I think mr. Lawry mentioned it and he was he was her guest
a few weeks ago we had last year but I believe overall we had a little over
thirty percent of our students that fell into that category district-wide
so we need to address these issues and and again one of one of the things that
we have to do as a district is make sure that all of our schools participate and
pay attention to students social-emotional learning and and are
supported in their efforts to combat chronic absenteeism so we have here a
goal that’s quantifiable and it’s related to or it’s going to be measured
in part by our stakeholder survey responses so what it’s going to include
is a panel of people district-wide we’re going to take a look at and
collect data regularly we’ll be looking at specifically two things as I
mentioned one is chronic absenteeism but the other is looking at minimizing
disruptive student behavior we we consistently see that as a concern or
that that issue as a concern that’s reported by not so much parents but
teachers and students in our survey data that they feel that occasionally they
lose teaching and learning time due to disruptive or other off-task behaviors
so we need to address those head-on one of the things that we’re looking at is
piloting universal behavior screening we of course screen all of our students for
their literacy development that’s a–that’s a state mandate as part of the
RTI immunity but many screening tools will also screen students to identify
whether they’re at risk for disruptive behavior or other behaviors that are
that will get in the way of their of their learning and so we’re going to
look at piloting that at one of our schools to see how much time it takes is
it is it doable is it is it helpful does the data that we get help our start
teams make better plans for students these are things that we would like or
questions that we’d like to explore then we don’t want to forget kind of I think
it’s coming that calls it sharpening the saw you know there’s there’s some
literature out there about how do we go about keeping ourselves as adults healthy and you know mentally and
emotionally well when our jobs can be draining and and really taxing so we’re
gonna take a look at some and SEL routines for adults as well and then
finally our last tenant is parent and community engagement so what we’ve got
here is we’re going to be looking at a series of parent outreach activities
that concentrate solely on the message of how important it is for our students
to attend regularly you know our data is really clear on what we need to improve
and that in that area there’s a lot of data that’s that supports and links
student achievement and dropout rates to the number of days students miss of
school per year as well as it even drills down to how many how many days
students miss in the beginning of the year that sets the pattern for the year
and so we’re we want to put some some good effort and focus on that and really
our that that really demands that we step up our outreach to parents so
enough on school improvement planning I want to talk a little bit
about our career and technical ad initiative and I know that you have
heard a lot from mr. lorry about this and he has a very strong vision that he
wants us to enact where we want to be able to acknowledge that not all of our
of our students are going to be heading to college and that many of them have an
interest in an affinity for different trades mr. lorry meets a lot with
different councils around western New York labour councils and others in
industry and manufacturing and and they talk to him all the time about the
shortage of skilled workers and what school systems like ours can do to
promote skilled trades so he’s very committed to doing that and ideally what
what he would like us to have is a program that’s in district that doesn’t
repeat or conflict with what’s done at Orleans and BOCES but something that
complements it that there are certain programs that are currently run out at
BOCES that we would not want to duplicate in our district for a lot of
reasons but there are others that we would like to differentiate and develop
here in in our city that meet the needs of the industries that we have here in
the Falls and we would like to be able to offer that kind of programming so
here so that our students don’t don’t have to leave and and you know go all
the way out to BOCES which causes scheduling and some calendar headaches
so we we’d like to try to minimize that and better develop what we have in-house
and we want to do that in partnership with local businesses that so that they
could tell us what we what they need and the kind of skills that we would like to
develop in our students along with that what the State Education Department
wants to make sure that we do is our programming should also if it’s going to
be a table include a college prep or a both a school to work and a college prep
track so what we’re looking at is combining and building out what we
currently have in our stem and engineering programming so we want to
further develop that and come up with even more courses and opportunities for
kids who would like a stem career over and above the opportunities that that we
already have for them as well as building in trades and making it taking
advantage of some crossover between between the two of them so mr. Lawry is
is looking at things like building extra facilities he and he’s talked about all
that but what I’ll talk about here is one of the tests that he gave the
Advisory Committee that Brian and I set up and facilitated this past school year
was he wanted to make sure that when our students were entering their upper class
grades at 9:12 high school they had room in their schedule to actually access
these courses currently a lot of our kids are scrambling to get their 22
credits to graduate and we could have all of these wonderful extra courses but
if they are still working on mandated requirements they won’t have time to
actually access them so there are a couple of things that we’ve done it at
the prep level to make that happen I should mention that the the CTE
steering committee is an ongoing process and we are starting up our second year I
believe the date we picked is October 29th we’re going to have our kickoff
meeting where where we have our full steering committee that that includes a
variety of different folks from both the prep and the high school level what we
did last year is we started as one cohesive group and then toward the late
spring we split off into two planning groups those four for high school
because the actual boots on the ground for that program is still a few years
off but I worked with a prep school only subcommittee because what we need to do
right now is get ready because our kids that are currently in seventh and eighth
grade are the ones that will be accessing these new courses and pathways
in their junior and senior year so we we needed to make changes immediately so
some of those changes that that are that are taking place now you know working
backward from the superintendent’s vision is we’ve I think you talked about
this a couple of weeks ago we have all of our students in eighth grade
currently taking algebra 1 in lieu of eighth grade math and they’re taking
live living environment in lieu of eighth grade science so that’s a pretty
bold experiment we’re gonna see how it goes we’re we’re going to be collecting
data throughout the year we’ve been meeting with with the
teachers we worked on the curriculum this summer so we know that we have
everything that our teachers have everything that they need as well as
they have a map we’ve differentiated our courses in eighth grade in algebra so
that we’ve got two different I don’t want to say tracks but we’ve got two
different groups of algebra students those that we needed to build in some
some extra objectives because they were not accelerated in seventh grade so we
want to be careful with how we launch students into algebra when they when
they were not accelerated in grade seven and then we also have a slightly
differentiated course map for kids who were accelerated last year and are ready
to blow the doors off of Algebra one we’re doing the same thing this year
with science in that we’ve built up our grade seven curriculum so that next year
we will have our kids prepared for living environment
we’ve been slowly over the past couple of years accelerating more and more
students in science in eighth grade and our pass rates have been quite good when
when our students have sat for the living environment Regents at the end of
eighth grade so we have confidence that that that trend will continue so that’s
that’s what we’re doing to give kids two credits in their pocket when they leave
eighth grade we’re also looking at our family consumer science courses and our
prep level eighth grade technology course so I’ll tell you a little bit
more about what we’ve done there we’ve got you see I think I’m going to go to
the next slide here yeah we wanted to make sure that we have a stronger stem
focus in technology and also that we began to move away from a more
traditional family consumer science or what some of us might have experienced
this home economics and and gone more into some of the fields that will lend
themselves well to business and and careers so these are these are all
related to the to the standards but a few years ago the State Education
Department gave districts more leeway in how we plan our middle
school CTE courses there’s a statewide actually nationwide shortage of
technology teachers and family consumer science teachers and so what they
basically said to us is kids can get their one and three-quarters credits in
CTE a variety of different ways is and you and we now have the leeway of using
different CTE certified Cheers such as business teachers to work
with kids in the middle level and we can emphasize different parts of those of
that same set of standards and minimize other parts of it so what we’re doing
this year is something that we’ve never done before for for family consumer
science we just hired a new family consumer science teacher who is a
business certified teacher and she has a one semester
their curriculum that emphasizes career exploration and financial literacy and
she is going to teach it at both prep schools currently she’s at LaSalle and
she’s going to teach all of the seventh graders over this first semester her
course or her half of the family consumer science course while at Gaskill
the our teacher mrs. Dean who’s been with us for a few years she is teaching
the more traditional family consumer science you know the the home economics
piece we’ve also reworked that curriculum
though so it has more of a stem focus and we’re talking about topics with kids
that are pertinent to health as well as nutrition and the environment and so
I’ll explain that a little bit more perhaps in a future webinar but we’ve
worked on those two curricular areas and we’re doing we know where we’re having
the teachers actually move between buildings which is something we’ve never
done before so each is going to become expert in one semester of that full-year
course and then in technology we made some big changes we made a significant
investment in some new units for from waz you which is the creator of Apple I
believe is what mr. Wozniak he he has a education arm called woz Edie and we
first heard about that and some of the curriculum that they offered earlier in
the in the school year so we invited them to come to our Technology Committee
and we took a look and I knew instantly that some of the curriculum that they
had is just what we were looking for and had been talking about in our CTE
steering so what what we’ve done is in order to
build in training for our teachers relief we reworked our technology course
and we’ve divided into four sections the first section is the teachers are
teaching a an engineering unit and bridge-building unit which is something
that they’ve done before so we’re starting with a familiar piece of
curriculum for them and then in the meantime over these ten weeks we are
training them along with people from huazi to implement three brand new units
that will take them through the rest of the year and those are listed here on
the slide 3d printing and design communication and coding they’re going
to be using some Spiro BOTS which some of our sixth grade students already have
a little bit of experience with so that there’s a we own I want to say about a
dozen Sphero BOTS and Ronnie McGrath our elementary stem coach has worked with
different sixth grade teachers and students with an introduction to coding
using those but this unit brings it a little bit further and then our final
unit is going to be drone building and piloting so what we’re hoping to do here
is you know pique kids interest in in real stem fields that and get them
thinking about things that they might like to explore as they get a bit older
and as they start to form their opinions about future careers so we’re we’re
really looking forward to that and mark has been very supportive as as far as
resources and helping us get these new units and all the materials that are
that are necessary for them see if I can get to the next slide here okay yeah that doesn’t seem to why to
advance again I’m gonna keep trying Garen while I’m gonna luckily I have
some notes here so I’ll just go ahead and talk a little bit about the new
elementary coach model what what we had been looking at last year when we began
to talk about this was that we had each coach we have four elementary math
coaches and four elementary literacy coaches each service two buildings and
you know as we’ve had fewer and fewer substitutes available to us we’ve kind
of lost the ability to have grade level meetings via teacher release which we
really relied on and we had gotten a lot of communication and information to our
teachers that way and and all of a sudden that that just dried up so if he
came very challenging for our coaches to be able to find time to work with
teachers in and for teachers to find time to to tap into their into their
coaches so what we B what we began to think about was how can we make this
model a little more flexible so basically what we have and I can see
that I’m running out of time so I’m going to just fit in and just end it
there and finish up really really quickly leave the coaches are no longer
assigned to a school they work in and among all district elementary schools
they’re assigned to particular grade levels and they are working on
professional development grade level department meetings and also principal
meetings along with me and principle trainings throughout the district
so we’ve concentrated the we are continuing to concentrate the first six
weeks here on our brand new teachers so another trend in our district is that
we have this year over 30 new elementary teachers and we’re going to continue to
have more every year so one thing one on aspect of being tied to a building that
was challenging for our coaches is this some coaches had a lot of new teachers
who needed a who needed support while others had relatively few so we wanted
to level that that playing field so each of the coaches is assigned to one or
more grade levels we created a team in Microsoft Office one for the math
coaches and one for the ela coaches and each of the coaches has a request form
that we create that they created in Microsoft Forms and using that form
teachers throughout the district can contact them ask them for certain things
invite them into their classrooms then the coaches put the teachers on their on
their calendars and so far it’s working really really well I’m very pleased with
how the first month has gone so one quick thing that I wanted to mention
before we sign off is that we emailed links to the teams and the forms out to
teachers but we know that that things like that can be hard to you know
defined in your email after time so we’re we’re over the next week we should
be able to launch a landing page in Lotus Notes Forms documents and
procedures and we’re going to be using that place where a lot of our teachers
are used to going as a landing page for all the links for all the coaches so we
don’t have some background information Dyanne snow cone is is working on
setting it up now and it will direct teachers of certain grade levels right
to the ela math coach that could help them and we’ll provide
the links right to the forms where they can communicate with them so with that I
think it’s a little after nine so I think I am I think I’m done folks
oh we had a couple of questions and comments correct that we will actually
will relay them to you in the follow-up survey some of them are general in
nature and I responded in the background that that’s going to be the case so you
can respond either drift I’m sorry you should have gone yeah you should have
interrupted me and rock’n’roll but say the follow-up survey will be coming via
email to everybody in attendance tonight and once they’ve responded to that we
will compile that and get that to you as well and it looks like we’ve got
obviously more things to cover so and we can certainly do this again any time as
a follow-up as you revisit some of these things as we progressed through the
school year as well sure sure maybe you know maybe in the
second semester we’ll touch base again yeah yeah as a plan comes to fruition Jeanne anything no thank you no I just
want to say thank you mister karela for joining us been really informative and
again as rod said if you have any questions or concerns people who are in
watching please put them into the the survey that you’ll be getting in about
an hour thank you you know has it with that there’s nothing else we’ll say good
night to everybody and hopefully we’ll see you next week yes have a great week
everyone thank you thanks again good night


  1. Post
    Monish Kumar

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