Week of December 19


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Upcoming Important Dates

Dec 20 – 6 – 12 Grading Committee meeting 2:30, Central Office
Dec 21 – Faculty Meeting 2:30
Dec 22 – Digital Citizenship Assemblies (Schedule to follow)
Dec 22 – Student Faculty Basketball Game 12:30
Dec 23 – Jan 2 – Christmas Holiday Break
Jan 3, 2017 – Return to school!
Jan 4 – Faculty Meeting 2:30 Library (Agenda below)

Schedule for Thursday

We will run a very special schedule for the last day of the year, before the Christmas Break.

As mentioned a couple of weeks ago, we will hold the Digital Citizenship Assemblies beginning with the 6th grade at 8:05, followed by the 7th grade and finally 8th grade, Lunch schedule will remain the same as always. We will call the grades down to the Auditorium, so please wait for us to call you down before.

One suggestion for the remaining part of your morning could be to engage your students in some activities of the Hour of Code. Terri Dawson has given me some great resources for you all to try, check out the link. These links allow the student to choose an activity of their liking. I would encourage all to give it a try.

After lunch, we will call each grade down to the Gym fro the Annual Student/Faculty Basketball game. Prior to the game, we will announce the winners of the 4th annual Madison Prize for Writing. This ceremony will precede the basketball game. We will read each of the winning entries and then award to prizes. The game will follow immediately after the ceremony. The game will end at approximately 1:45 with students returning to their advisory for dismissal

Scheduling Committee

I have asked Brian Jandreau, GHS Principal, to set up an opportunity for members of our Scheduling Committee to visit the high school for the prupose of observing their new schedule in action. I have also asked Brian to make some students available, if at all possible, so that the team can receive feedback from the end users of the schedule.

I will ask that the team be prepared to discuss this, and several other options at the February Faculty meeting.

Visitation from South Portland

Way back at the beginning of the year, I mentioned that we would have an opportunity to share and learn from the faculty at Mahoney Middle School in South Portland. I would like to get this started immediately upon our return from Christmas Break. I have proposed to the folks at Mahoney that we host the first visit on Thursday, January 5.

LIS Visit to Westbrook

On Tuesday, January 31, The League of Innovative Schools (of which we are a member!) will be traveling to Westbrook High School to visit and discuss their work toward a Proficiency Based Education. I would like to invite 3 or 4 teachers who may be interested in seeing, and participating in discussions, around what other schools are doing to advance their work. If you are interested, please let me know by Wednesday so that I can get us all registered.

Principal’s Visitation Feedback

I am finally finding my bearings well enough to provide you with feedback from the visit we had on November 15th. I do apologize for not getting this out to you sooner!

Overall, each of the Principals made specific note of the climate of our building. All of them were able to get out into the building during the changing of classes and each noted how calm and comfortable the building felt. The commented on how the students passed in the halls with, what appeared to them, to be a feeling of safety and a disposition toward “getting to where they needed to be” in due time. I believe this is exactly what we have been striving to achieve, where all of our students feel safe and ready to learn everyday.

Within the classrooms, they remarked again about the manner in which students were greeted by the teachers in respective classrooms. Again, they highlighted the sense that students could feel safe within the confines of the classroom.

An area that was noted for attention was in the manner in which our students were challenged to think. The types of questions that were being asked by teacher to students that required more than a single correct answer, or questioning that allowed students time to process the question before providing an answer. Also, questioning strategies that would elicit more questions from the students to their peers about their thinking.

Based upon the results of the Self-Assessments, this information was not shocking. One of the great struggles of many classrooms is to shift from the dispensers of knowledge to the guiding of students skills. We will be addressing these observations beginning in January.

Just to stimulate some thought, I offer you this video from Most Likely to Succeed.

<p><a href=”https://vimeo.com/178681595″>10. A Test of Value</a> from <a href=”https://vimeo.com/mostlikelytosucceed”>Most Likely to Succeed</a> on <a href=”https://vimeo.com”>Vimeo</a&gt;.</p>

Faculty Meeting Agenda

Accolades and Celebrations
Student-Cantered Classrooms
Assessment of Student Learning


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