To: Michael Green
From: John Shoup
CC: School Board members
Re: February Review
Here is an overview of the key activities we worked on in relation to teaching and learning this month.
Monday’s: We had three Monday’s this month for staff development time. Two of the three Mondays were used to continue our work with the Middle School staff regarding challenging tasks and the common core. We had staff looking at some of their assessments and using the HESS matrix. We asked them to redo their exams to develop more challenging questions. The other Monday was used for department collaboration. Although it was not on a Monday, we did have a staff development day on Friday, February 13th. This was a MS/HS/IS staff work led by Ted Feller who focused our work on student growth goals. The high school ended the day with a field trip to the new high school which was attended by about 10 staff members.
Curriculum Handbook: There was quite a bit of work this month preparing our curriculum handbook for course offerings for the 2015-2016 school year. It seems that literally everyone is involved in this project, but it is critically important as it will culminate in the development of our master schedule for next year. With the move to the new high school we are adding new classes (pottery, spin class, new CTE offerings) as well as getting ready for the change to the graduation requirements being raised to 24 for the incoming freshmen. We are also trying to become a bit more progressive and have our curriculum handbook online in a version other than a PDF file. Stay tuned for more information on this front.
Other information: We are in the process of finalizing our long term substitute position for Liz Talvitie (Deese) who will be taking her maternity leave soon. Mrs. Elizabeth Vallaire is the instructor who we are working with to get on board in the next couple of weeks. Along those lines, we did switch Mr. Findlay and Ms. Talvitie 1st period classes to help make this transition better for kids and teachers. Mr. Findlay is now teaching Physics 1st period with Ms. Talvitie will assume responsibility for another general science class. Also, I would like to mention the wonderful “Taste of Jazz” event which Brent LiaBraaten organized. This event had performance by both our band and choir groups as well as having the food catered by Kim Miller’s students.
In preview, many of our seniors will be making their final culminating project presentations during the last week of March. As we prepare students for student led conferences and registration, we took many of our sophomores to the Skill Center for a preview at the end of the month. Mr. Kochis was in charge of this field trip and the registering of our kids for Skills Center. He, along with Ms. Gray also began the process of working with the middle school to schedule students for next year.