Friday, April 25, 2014

April 25, 2014

Crestwood Secondary Schools (7-12)
Twitter: @Crestwood_HS 

Special Events for the Week of April 28 - May 5, 2014 
Monday:      Competency Based Education Planning Meeting - Cresco
Thursday:   Keystone AEA Principal's Meeting - 9:00 a.m.
Friday:       Go the Distance Day - 5th Period - 30 minutes of physical activity
                    JH/HS Student Services Meetings - 1:00 p.m. and 1:30 p.m.

Youth Frontiers Character Challenge of the Week


Student Climate/Culture
Amy Holst, Keystone AEA Equity Coordinator, met with Junior High and High School students last week. This week, Amy met with JH and HS Guidance Counselors and Success Program staff.

Many interesting thoughts were shared with Amy from students. Items ranged from students' making healthy lifestyle choices to student-teacher relationships. A deep reflection of staff behavior will be held over the next two months.

- May 7: Staff survey of student-staff relationships

- June 4: Amy Holst, Success Program staff, and students will present to 7-12 staff

PowerSchool has been selected to replace JMC by the Data Management System Committee. This has been a complete review of the services offered by PowerSchool, Infinite Campus, and JMC. PowerSchool has many benefits such as linkage to Schoology, professional appearance, and ease of data entry.
Next steps:
- Recommendation to the School Board in May- Development of a transition plan with the assistance of Grant Wood AEA
- Training for office personnel, administrators, and teachers
- Linkages to third party vendors for lunch needs, payments, and communication

PLTW Certification Visit Report
A representative from Project Lead the Way's K-12 Community Outreach visited Howard-Winneshiek two weeks ago. The purpose of the visit was to conduct the initial certification visit. Howard-Winneshiek is now considered to be provisionally certified. Findings of the visit are below:

Outstanding Practices:
Students enjoy the courses and like the instructors. They wish more students knew about the courses, as they believe they are a great addition to their school. Teachers are engaged and interested in PLTW wanting to grow the program and ensure its sustainability. District has strong relationship with area community college allowing students access to college credits and other STEM coursework. Budget established shows administration and BOE support. Partnership team is eager and actively engaged.

Next Steps:
Teacher and course determinations for year 2 and beyond; develop recruitment plans; encouraged offering IED to grades 9-12; school encouraged to lead partnership team efforts in collaboration and partnership with community college; promote program to parents and community families that may not currently be connecting through social media or e-news from the school.

Proposal for Full Certification:
Female Student Enrollment Plan/Recruitment:
- Send students to "Pink Thinks"
- Female teacher in High School PLTW staff
- Invite Lisa Digman, PLTW to speak to all 7/8 grade students
- Invite female Crestwood grads to speak to 7/8 grade students about engineering
- Have female High School PLTW students present to all 8th grade students during Recruitment Day

Year 2 Instructor for Principles of Engineering:
Karen Steffen, HS Science Instructor

Year 3 Instructor for Computer Integrated Manufacturing:
Chris Lentz, HS Industrial Tech Instructor (SUGGESTED BY HOWARD-WINN) 

Intro to Engineering and Design (IED) will be offered to all 9-12 students

Student Counseling Support
Crestwood High School will now be hosting a counselor from Northeast Iowa Behavioral Health - Decorah available to see see students during a study hall. Below is the process to arrange an appointment for your son/daughter to receive counseling.

- Call Northeast Iowa Behavioral Health at 563-382-3649 or 1-800-400-8923.
- When calling to set up your first appointment, please tell the receptionist that you would like your son/daughter to be seen at Crestwood High School.
- The receptionist will then schedule your first appointment in Decorah with the correct counselor.
- Following the initial meeting, you son or daughter can be seen at the High School during a study hall.

April 22 Professional Development
Agenda from the 3 Hour Professional Development event:

  • 7-12 Teacher Meeting 
  • Success Program Meeting 
  • 7-12 Departmental Work
    • Curriculum Manager Gap Analysis
    • 7-12 Course Offerings
    • End of the Year Planning   
  • PLTW meeting 

Seven Reasons for Standards-Based Grading     
The following information is the seventh of a seven-part series

Reason 7: It's a Launchpad to Other Reforms
When I began using standards-based grading, I quickly discovered that I needed to reexamine my curriculum. Each class needed a clear and concise set of standards with precise levels of mastery. This prompted a number of discussions with other teachers in my department, and each year we continue to adapt our objectives. No one can use standards-based grading without clear standards.

In addition to improving curriculum, I have found new ways to use formative assessments and intervention strategies. My work with special education students and English language learners in particular goes much more smoothly because all the modification needed is already built into what I do. I have also been able to work much more effectively with parents by giving them better information.

How do students respond to this style of grading? Of course, their reactions vary. It takes time, discussion, and reflection for students to understand their rights and responsibilities in such a system, and teachers must be patient as students and parents adjust. Many students have expressed increased satisfaction with having a larger degree of control over their grades, although some students do not like the revisions they are required to do. Some struggle to overcome test anxiety and need access to alternate assessments.

As for parents, many of them simply want opportunities for their children to succeed, so they are grateful for the revision and retesting. Each year, parents ask thoughtful questions, with some noting that this method of grading is more similar to evaluation in the workplace.

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