Patrons/Teachers Summary January 2016
Patrons, Teachers, Employees,
Just a few updates of the progression in our district this past year.
Professional Development: We are facilitating technology training for teachers providing focus and training on the teaching standards to improve student learning. We will continue our efforts on the ten teaching standards as well as staying updated on technology. In addition, we are developing a teacher professional development incentive program to enhance teacher professional growth. The teacher incentive program will be implemented in year 2016-17.
AB Block Schedule: We have been researching the pros and cons of the AB block schedule verses a 7 period day. We have as administrative/school board/teacher teams visit three districts to survey students, teachers, and administrators on the productivity and effectiveness of the AB schedule. We will have further discussions on this matter to see if it is something to benefit our students.
Technology: PCSD continues to stay on the cutting edge of technology. Students 7-12 have one on one device for learning. The elementary students have access to chrome-books, laptops, and iPads for support in learning.
Employee Evaluations: A comprehensive evaluation process for classified, teachers and administrators continues to evolve in the district and has been partially implemented and is functioning. At the conclusion of school May 2016 the process should have full implementation. The goal of the evaluations is to improve administrative effectiveness, teaching and student learning.
Safe Schools: We continue to do lockdown and evacuation drills in the districts so students can acclimate to safety protocols and procedures. The District Safety Team meets regularly to discuss student safety and safe school procedures. We are currently reviewing with our administrators a crisis checklist for schools to mitigate confusion if or when a crisis may occur.
PLC Team Progress: Our district PLC team has made some efforts in aligning curriculum, considering real time assessments, detecting learning gaps, looking at data, and identifying the learning needs for all students. We now have a total of 5 district Professional Learning Communities functioning in the district. They include Art, CTE, Math, Literacy, and Special Education.
Reading Wonders/Literacy: Elementary schools in Piute District are using the comprehensive reading program, McGraw-Hill Reading Wonders, for the second year. Teachers have received and will continue to receive professional development and support as they are implementing the components of Reading Wonders in their classrooms.
Utah Core Standards and the SAGE assessment require students to demonstrate higher levels of thinking and writing than in the past. Instead of students merely having to learn concepts and recall facts, students are now expected to apply strategic and extended thinking skills to the concepts they are learning. Reading Wonders uses an integrated approach that includes building a strong reading foundation, accessing complex text, finding and using evidence, engaging in collaborative conversations, and writing to sources.
Some of the components of Reading Wonders are the Reading/Writing Workshop – short reads that are used to model and teach close reading and practice key skills, the Literature Anthology – engaging literature that builds stamina and connects reading and writing, the Literature Big Books – access to complex text through read-alouds and development of oral vocabulary, the eBooks – iPad compatible books that track print with audio support, and the Leveled Readers – scaffolding for struggling readers and accelerated material for advanced students. Reading Wonders uses games, songs and activities for strengthening phonics, phoneme awareness, and sight-word skills.
We are seeing our students improve and develop reading and writing skills at much deeper levels using Reading Wonders. They are learning to make connections between what they read and how it applies to the real world. Students’ writing has improved as they practice using and evaluating text evidence and use that evidence to support their opinions.
Edivation PD 360: Edivation is progressing and find a foot-hold in our district. As more and more teachers and administrators use Edivation to help themselves and their staff they become the very best that they can be. Edivation PD 360 is a tool that allows teachers to have free access to Professional Development by way of video as well as consortiums with other teachers in learning. They can acquire new training and improve teaching skills through Edivation.
Overdrive: Overdrive is a system that will allow students the opportunity to check out books electronically and have them availably to read on their iPads giving students a greater variety of reading choices. Some teachers are using this at the elementary level in the classroom setting.
Concurrent Enrollment: PCSD has partnered with Snow College in providing distant education classes for our students. We currently offer 13 college classes for high school students. We are currently having conversations with Utah State University to provide additional concurrent options to students. Some of those would include our current high school teachers who may qualify to teach college level classes.
STEM Education: Both Elementary schools are currently taking advantage of the STEM grant that provides ST Math and ALEKS. Oscarson Elementary is currently using ST Math in all grades and Circleville Elementary is using ST Math with its younger students and ALEKS with its older students. Both programs are being used in school 45 minutes a week and most teachers are using the programs to provide extra support to Saxon. I anticipate our teachers will continue to utilize these programs to provide reinforcement and extensions to all students.
Thank you for your countined support to Piute County School District.
Changes To The School Schedule
There have been some changes to the 2015-16 school calendar. School will be closed to the students on January 4th and teacher will attend a professional development training at Sevier School District. April 6th will be a school PD day not the 15th as I had previously had students 1/2 day.
School Grading 2015
Patrons, Teachers, Employees,
This is a summary of projects, policies and learning programs that our district have been working with this school year.
As many of you are aware SAGE testing results are out. The district is working with the schools to take proactive measures to improve student learning via systemic formative assessment protocol, in an effort to improve test results, graduation rates as well as ACT scores. In addition, interventions to improve SAGE testing will include, class placement, class offerings, and ACT prep.
We are facilitating technology training for teachers providing focus and training on the teaching standards to improve student learning. We will continue our efforts on the ten teaching standards as well as stay updated on technology.
Circleville Elementary is having their light system updated; PHS will be updating their heating exchangers. We are looking at roof improvement at Oscarson.
Teacher Evaluation Tool:
The teacher evaluation continues to be a common point of discussion at state levels and in superintendent meetings. This year each teacher’s have or will have received a formative drop in evaluation and summative evaluations. Student growth factors as well as stakeholder survey will be implemented in school years 2015-16 as part of the evaluation process.
PLC Team Progress:
Our district PLC team has made some efforts in aligning curriculum, considering real time assessments, detecting learning gaps, looking at data, and identifying the needs for tier 1, 2, 3 students (meeting the learning needs of all students).
A new literacy program has been implemented into the elementary schools. Teachers have had three phases of training and are running with the program. The district has hired a literacy coach to spearhead and provide infrastructure to the program and its success. Teachers are dedicated to the new program and the furthering students education.
Edivation PD 360:
Edivation PD 360 is a tool that allows teachers to have free access to Professional Development by way of video as well as consortiums with other teachers in learning. They can acquire new training and improved teaching through Edivation on their own free will and timeline.
Pre-School Upstart Program
UPSTART is a very proactive tool for preschool students entering kindergarten, in addition to giving students a head start with reading and other skills; it also augments their ability to use technology at a young age. Parents are more actively involved in their child’s education early because of the vision and criteria the UPSTART program requires of parents to be involved in their child’s education. The UPSTART educators are thrilled with what UPSTART is doing in our district to give our students lead with academic and technology skills for the 21st century. I plead for continued support for this valuable program in our district and state.
We are currently working with CUES to implement overdrive into our district. Overdrive is a system that will allow students the opportunity to check out books electronically and have them availably to read on their iPads giving students a greater variety of reading choices.