Director of Learning Report (Follow-up to Board Retreat)

To: Michael Green
From: Asha Riley
Date: January 23, 2014
Regarding: Followup to Board Retreat Conversation on Goal 1
 
I would like to update you on our plans to engage and inform our community on the topic of the common core standards. 
 
General Awareness of the Standards:
Along with the current resources available on our website I have posted the Top 10 ten things parents need to know about the common core state standards. I have also requested that principals include this top ten document in their upcoming parent communications. The messages in the document clarify why the common core is an excellent choice for our children's education and demystifies some of the surrounding issues related to it (like how the standards were formed, that they are not a curriculum, etc.).
 
Link to our Teaching and Learning Page: http://www.woodlandschools.org/node/2896
 
I have also tentatively scheduled a common core community informational meeting for the evening of March 3rd from 7-8 pm. I recognize this is at the same night as a board meeting, but the availability of the commons area is limited and I'd like to be sure we hold this meeting prior to parent conferences. I am hopeful that if we conclude the board meeting prior to 7pm our board can attend should they choose. I realize however that depending on the agenda this may not be possible. If another night is advised I'll see what I can reschedule. As per Matt's recommendation I will arrange for our tech dept. to record the session so it can be accessed online by individuals who can not attend. After I receive confirmation the date will work, I will communicate with the ESD to ensure an invitation to the meeting is included in our February post card to our community. I will also make sure our principals advertise in their newsletters to parents.
 
Parent Support with Grade Level CCSS Content:
I will ask our principals to provide each family with a copy of  the ELA and Math Parent Road Maps, found on our district website, at our spring conferences. The intent of these Road Maps are to give families grade level specific information regarding the content their child will be learning in the common core standards, and how they as parents can support that learning.  
 
Our instructional coaches and myself are also drilling down on an list of solid online resources families could access via our website if they wish to further their understanding of the content. These links would be live on our website by the time spring conferences were held. I will also be reviewing a few parent friendly books/pamphlets that parents could check out if they lack online access to the internet at home.
 
Math Nights:
I am encouraging principals and coaches to host a family math night in each building this spring to provide parents the opportunity to learn math with their child.  These evenings will be designed to help parents understand some key shifts these standards will require, and orient them to the resources they have available to help them feel confident in supporting their child at home.
 
Supporting the Board with Education Weekly Online Subscription:
The board expressed their interest to increase their knowledge on some of the topics regarding teaching and learning. I am happy to provide more presentations at board meetings on any topics they'd like to understand better. To also help them feel better informed of these topics in general I'd like to recommend a resource to them, Education Week Online subscription. Education Week articles are  timely, concise, and cover a broad range of current topics in Education. If any have interest I'd be happy to provide the subscription. I just need to know who would like to have one.
 
Community Members with Questions:
I'd like offer and encourage anyone the board knows of who has questions regarding the common core, or anything related to teaching and learning, to make an appointment with me. I understood there might be friends on FB with questions who may be misinformed. Please feel free to share my contact information and encourage them to talk to me. I'd be more than happy to keep our community well informed of the important work happening in Woodland schools.
 
Teaching and Learning Board Reports: 
I will ensure my teaching and learning updates are no longer trickling in after Tegan posts on Wednesday prior to the board meeting. I now have some regularly scheduled time blocked on weeks prior to board meetings so these will reach you and Tegan in a timely fashion. In all my juggling of responsibilities I tend to let this task slip to the bottom of my to do pile, but I am extremely grateful the board reads them and wants to be well informed of our work with teaching and learning! Therefore I will make sure they make in to Tegan on Wednesdays. :)
 
In summary,spring will be busy but exciting.
Thank you for all your support!
-- 

Asha Riley