Friday, November 8, 2013

November 8, 2013 Shirley Sovereign

PK-1 Principal/Director of Teaching & Learning
Shirley Sovereign
Twitter:  ssovprincipal
SKYPE:  shirley.sovereign

Looking Ahead
There are so many exciting events going on at Howard-Winn! I feel very fortunate to be part of the important work that is going on in this district. Unfortunately, I will be missing out on the fun for 3-4 weeks. I am writing this blog post on Nov. 4th and will have reconstructive surgery tomorrow on my foot. The surgeon assures me that I will be walking without a problem, but it will take a considerable amount of time. I am surrounded by very supportive staff and fellow administrators, and they will keep me informed about what is going on while I am away. I anticipate that with a "new" foot, I will be able to do classroom walk-throughs in record time!

Building Leadership Teams
The BLTs are meeting on a regular basis to discuss items relevant to each building. There are several teams that function to support both academic and culture/climate aspects of the buildings and programs. During the first quarter, elementary teams worked on the Year 3 School in Need of Assistance Plan (SINA), Response-to-Intervention (RtI) and Positive Behavior Interventions and Supports (PBIS). Recently, the teams that work to support culture and climate at the HS and the JH held meetings. These are some of the items teachers and administrators discussed:
  • HS-Bullying/harassment programs, displays of student recognition, creating a positive physical environment, continuing with the Respect Retreat, considering a Wisdom Retreat and the K-12 student mentoring program.
  • JH-Student survey data on bullying/harassment, displays of student recognition within the school, promoting an inviting environment in the building and future changes in the way Parent-Teacher Conferences are scheduled. 
  • The RtI process continues to be implemented step-by-step. Classroom schedules have been revised to accomodate 90 minutes of uninterrupted literacy and 60 minutes of math instruction. This was not an easy task, but teachers are working together to make the system flexible and responsive to meet students' needs.
  • The basic philosophy of RtI is that students get the learning support they need, when they need it. We believe that all students can learn at their highest level. Collaboration is the key to getting this done. RtI is a system change. It means moving students fluidly and providing supports when they are needed. If students are not learning, we must ask ourselves what are we going to do differently? If they have already learned the skills, we must ask what does the student need next? RtI is for all students and becomes "the way we do business."
  • RtI is one of the action plans under the Crestwood Elementary SINA Plan and is in its first year of full implementation.  
Teacher Librarian
Mrs. Denise Shekleton is changing things up this year as the new K-12 Teacher/Librarian. The curriculum strongly supports literacy and technology. Here are two photos from her classes last week in the Discovery Center.


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