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: The Monday's this month found us working on power standards and department goals all month. It was great to have consecutive Monday's to work on this project. This work is all connected to the "Big Idea" and our job to ensure that students learn, graduate and are challenged. It is imperative that we understand the key learning outcomes we expect of students in each class every semester. Teachers will be working on developing commons assessments targeted at these power standards next. I am pleased with the progress of our staff in this area.
Other information: We launched Opportunity Time on February 10th and have gone through our first "Friday Rewards" activities. There have been the anticipated bumps and minor set back with the implementation of any major change, but overall, I am quite impressed with the resolve of our staff and students to make this change work. I also met with parents on February11th to discuss this new change to our schedule. We only had 6 parents attend, but those that did attend were quite enthusiastic about our effort to address the number of failing students at WHS. Mr. Uhlenkott and I moved over 90 students in the 2nd week of opportunity time to smaller, more focused groups. These moves were contingent on students having 2 or more F's at that time. I am pleased to announced we have moved over 15 of these students back to opportunity one, which means those students have eliminated one or more of their failing grades.
We have also begun our senior exit interviews and the overwehelming response of interviewed seniors is positive in support of opportunity time, which is a little surprising, but very encouraging.
This is the final big push to prepare our students for the reading and writing WASL which will begin in March. I also wanted to note that one of the seniors who did not graduate due to failing the reading WASL last year has signed up to take the assessment in March. We also spent considerable time preparing for student led conferences and next years schedule. All certificated staff worked on the curriculum handbook and finalizing course descriptions and offerings. I am sure you are aware, but we plan to continue our two online courses next year (Pre-Calc and College Prep English) and again hope to add one AP course (Statistics). In addition, we took many of our sophomores to the Skill Center for a preview. Ms. Lindberg and I also met with 8th grade parents at the end of the month discussing the upcoming high school experience. Ms. Lindberg has also been working with the middle school to schedule students for next year. On a final note, we once again survived Valentine's Day and found ways to make it not too much of a disruption for our students and staff. It did help that the actual day was on a Saturday this year.