Sunday, October 26, 2008

Week 10: October 27 - 31, 2008

Upcoming Events:
Oct. 27 -- Grades due NLT 10:00
Collect BAR data; due to team member today
Book Fair continues all week in Library
Oct. 28 -- Benton At Risk (BAR) Team Retreat @ 7:45 @ TMC
Oct. 29 -- Leadership Team Meeting 7:00 a.m. in Room 103
Parent/Teacher Conferences in Classrooms 3-6 p.m.
Oct. 30 -- ASVAB Test 8:00 - 12:00
Personal Finance Field Trip (see student attend list)
Academic Pep Assembly 5th Hour (MAP, Attendance & FB/Soccer)
Oct. 31 -- EARLY OUT (11:30 a.m.) (candy day!)

It was the best of times. It always is when powerful learning is accomplished! I must say that this was one totally powerful week. This is one week I have to call it day by day...

Monday -- Building Bridges to ACT on our Future!
The six leadership team members attended this incredibly informative ACT conference at the Empower Plant. The speaker was a nationally renowned researcher on ACT. He shared how we must continue to encourage all our students to approach rigor in education vigorously. He shared astounding statistics -- my favorite being that over 90% of 8th graders surveyed stated they intended on going to college. Shazaam! We need to prepare them for that possibility. It comes from integrated curriculum of college readiness standards. I think we are moving toward that very scenario at Benton. It takes time and commitment from our staff, but I know we will get there. One thing I truly believe is that we all want our students to succeed at the highest level possible.

Tuesday -- Setting the BAR Lower!
The Benton At-Risk Team met at TMC to find out who our at-risk students were and what we are going to do for them. It was an amazing day! I was proud of the work the team accomplished -- it wasn't easy setting the criteria for at risk. Tough conversations and determination framed the day. By 3:30 p.m. with our brains totally fried, we succeeded in creating the system interventions in three critical areas (discipline, attendance and academics) for our students. We also were able to drill down to the lists of students who met the criteria for most at risk. The team's homework assignment was to narrow the lists even further in order for us to create individual plans for our most critical students. Check with your team member for more details! A huge thanks to LaVell for heading up this powerful team!

Wednesday -- Leaders and Teachers and Parents, Oh My!
The morning started with a Leadership Team meeting. As we perused the PD calendar for the 1st semester, I think we were all surprised to see the rigorous and continual professional development that we participate in. Really, if you look at the calendar -- you will be amazed with how often we come together as professionals to learn. It's impressive! From our learning on LT and BAR, to continual focused common course collaboration, to job-embedded department/building learning, to our tech cohort, the teachers at Benton are dedicated learners. It was fun to share that learning with our parents during the Parent/Teacher conferences. We heard great reports from our parents! We received overwhelming praise for our use of technology -- from AlertNow connections to emails to our new web interactive classrooms! Our parents had great things to say about all of you! Good work staff!

Thursday -- Celebrate Good Times, Come On!
What a day! We had an exciting ACADEMIC PEP ASSEMBLY that was out of this world ! High fives to Mrs. Rucker and Mrs. Zillner for their work on the Character Points, and a double high five to Mr. McCoy for all the awards and incentives he found for our students. The greatest hurrah goes to our students -- for their work and dedication to their learning, testing and attendance! And when the good times inside were not enough -- we headed to Sparks Field and Lafayette's Alumni Stadium to mix it up with the Irish in futbol and football. Outcomes aside -- our kids worked hard and delivered the goods. We celebrate our kids for all their efforts! Come On!

Friday -- The Seasons They Are A-Changin'
The weather could not have been more beautiful. The cool autumn morning yawned into a warming midday sun kept perfect by the cool breezes flowing over the school yard. The students were on best behavior. An early release from school is like the best chocolate dessert you've ever eaten -- sweet beyond imagination and ever so tasty! It was the Boo! day, costumes and candies awaited the young at heart, but a gentle nap in the warm sun was the true treat of the day! (photo thanks to Flickr An Autumn hedgerow.EXPLORE #407 - 3rd October 2008)

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