Friday, April 25, 2014

April 25, 2014 Shirley Sovereign

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

Administrative Professionals Day
This special day was observed on April 23rd.  Thank you to the building secretaries and all school office personnel.  These individuals are often the first contact students, parents and the public have with the school, and they do a great job representing our district!

What's Happening in Preschool?
The district preschool classrooms are busiest at this time of the year.  A family "fun night" has been held in each building.  The parent advisory meetings are done for the school year.  The big events, at this time, are the transition-to-kindergarten activities, district preschool field trip and end-of-year celebrations. 

April 25          Kindergarten teachers visit the preschool classrooms
                      Preschool and kindergarten teachers collaboration time
April 29          Preschoolers and their parents visit the kindergarten rooms at 
                      Crestwood Elementary
May 22          Lime Springs/Chester Preschool End-of-Year Celebration
May 28          Cresco Preschool End-of-Year Celebration
May 29          Preschool field trip to the Nature Center        
                      Elma Preschool End-of-Year Celebration
May 30          Last day of preschool
Mrs. Marr's class during Family Fun Night at Lime Springs/Chester.
PK students lining up for the music program at Lime Springs/Chester
Professional Development

Several important topics were covered during the teacher inservice time this week.  First grade teachers presented to the staff about how they are utilizing the NWEA MAPS DesCartes to plan for instruction in their intervention groups.  Thanks to Mrs. Voves, Mrs. Rausch, Mrs. Kuhn and Mrs. Mahr for sharing their work.  Second grade teachers showed the staff how they have re-designed the Skills Trace reporting document so it is more useful in grouping students for intervention time and for planning lessons to target specific reading skills.  Thanks to Mrs. Tuchek, Mrs, Ihde and Mrs. Berg for sharing their work on the use of formative assessments.

Other agenda items included: 
  • The Daily 5 Second Edition-framework for literacy and math
  • K-6 Math materials for next year
  • Peer observations
  • CBE trip to New Hampshire
  • "I Can" Statements
  • Implementing strategies learned from Kristin Ziemke
  • Grade level team meetings for this year
  • Grade level team meetings for 2014-2015       
Using DesCartes to plan for intervention time.

Organizing the Skills Trace for better decision-making.

District Plan for English Language Learners (ELL)
All school districts in Iowa were notified last fall that a new document called the Lau Plan will need to be written for the 2014-2015 school year.  The Lau (ELL) Plan, so named from the U.S. Supreme Court's 1974 decision in Lau v. Nichols, will be added to the district C-Plan (Comprehensive School Improvement Plan), due from all school districts in Iowa on Sept. 15th.

A work session was held at the AEA this week.  Mrs. Sue Mahoney, ELL teacher, and I attended.  Regardless of whether a district has identified English Language Learners enrolled, the law requires the development of a plan to address the specific language instruction education needs and to provide such services.  Howard-Winn. has students who qualify for services which are provided in the ELL program.  Our district ELL Plan was last revised in 2011.  The new Lau Plan will be ready for the fall.       

Opening of the PBIS Cadet Pride Store
The K-8 store had its grand opening this week.  The students have been receiving Cadet Pride Bucks for acts of positive behavior for the past month or more.  The long-anticipated Cadet Pride store is now open for business on posted dates and times.  Thank you to the K-8 PBIS Team for their hard work on this project.  A special thank you to Mrs. Tiffany McCabe and Mr. Scott Wiley for your work writing grants, seeking donations, ordering, purchasing and pricing items and setting up the blog site where the items are posted.  The PBIS Team ROCKS!


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