Saturday, September 27, 2008

Week 6: Sep 29 - Oct 3, 2008

Upcoming Events:
Oct. 1 -- Leadership Team Meeting: Room 103 @ 7:00 a.m.
Oct. 2 -- 2nd Progress Report Window Opens

The weeks are passing so quickly, it's hard to believe we are ready to post the second progress grades. As we begin this third grading period, I want to suggest you spend time in your collaboration and departmental meetings looking at your grades. Make certain you are measuring your essential outcomes. Make sure each common course has the same common assessment(s) recorded. As you look at your grades, you should review what frames the basis of your students' passing and failing? Is it soundly based on what the students have learned or does it find its foundation on accountability? Was the majority of what you graded completed in your presence or away from you? What are the positive or negative connotations to that? Do the grades on your students' practice assignments (homework) parallel their assessment scores? Have you done any reteaching? Have you needed to? How does that learning measure look? What implications will you deal with if you do or do not reach your learning goals with your students?

School Improvement
This next week starts our push toward the analysis of several measures of our School Improvement Plan. We will begin our at risk pilot data collection to see how easy or difficult it is to determine who our at-risk students are. The core department chairs will retreat next Monday to analyze their Explore, PLAN and ACT data. This information is used not only to help meet our school improvement goals, but to evaluate our current action steps. This information will be delivered at the next leadership team meeting and reach you in one week.

Cell Phone Usage & Discipline in General
We started to notice an interesting trend last week in student referrals. Our students claim, and eventually you support the fact, that you all apply the school rules in your classrooms very differently from each other. As it turns out, you often apply your own rules differently without clear lines of demarcation establishing the change. This is really difficult for our kids! They don't understand why one teacher allows a shirt with foul language but another doesn't. They don't understand why they can wear hats in one classroom, but they get detention for that in another.

And those are the small battles. The big battles typically involve cell phones or iPods. One minute it's okay that they use a cell phone in class (to listen to music while they are doing their homework), but then they accidentally text message on it too many times or a teacher begins to explain something and "Bam." Before the student can get that crazy phone put away, the teacher is losing it. Now obviously, we are aware of the misrepresentation of these events, but we are hearing even from you all that phones are being allowed in classrooms with your permission. We walk in or by your rooms, and we see it for ourselves. We really need to land on one place on this. If your department has not submitted someone for the technology rules committee, join now. We are going to have our first meeting after school next Thursday in Jeanette's office. Help us get this code of conduct written to meet all our needs.

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