Summer Thoughts

topperMiddleI hope that all of you are knee deep into you vacation mode, recovering from the rigors of this past year. I also hope that all of you are viewing the past year as a great success for our students and for yourselves. There is much of which we all can be “popping our buttons” that we accomplished this year. Our student achievement levels, as measured by NECAP results are at all time highs for our school and for our district. This did not happen by accident!

I am currently reviewing our results on the Spring administration of the NWEA’s and as soon as I get these numbers “crunched”, I will pass along those results. Initially, our math results seem to show a marked improvement.

School Year 2013-2014

I know that we all want to stay as deep into vacation mode as we can, but we are working toward making improvements and adjustments for next year.

Before you all left for the summer, we distributed the new schedule for next year. Our feedback from many of you, many of our 7th grade students and from many parents indicated that starting lunch at 10:38 was a bit early. We listened! We will now start lunch close to 11:00 am and our students should be more “fueled up” for the afternoon work.

This means that we will have our SSR period and advisory periods before lunch. It also means that at dismissal, the last class should end at 2:04 and students will return to their Advisory for dismissal.

We are reviewing the Student Handbook to make some updates with items such as Dress Code and Personal Electronic Devices. We are also looking to include more Restorative Practice Schools work into our daily discipline. We will have more on this in the early days of the school year, but, if you want to explore what this all means for us and our students, you can check out this link. Restorative Practices

More From Sir Ken Robinson

You are all (probably painfully!) aware of my interest in Twitter and the way that I use it as a resource. Late last week I received a tweet from someone I follow (I would thank that person, if remembered who sent the tweet out!) that Pearson, the publishing giant, was airing an “interview” with Sir Ken on their website. I got to watch most of it, luckily.

Sir Ken, as you may remember from our previous videos that we have shown, is considered to be a Guru on Creativity. His TED talks have been legendary in the number of viewers and, it may really have put TED on the common person’s map.

During this interview, Ken talks about a teacher he had at Intermediate School in Liverpool who, evidently saw something in Ken that Ken did not see in himself and, by contrast, a music teacher from a school, across town in the same Liverpool. He tells this story in the context of people who really struggle to find their “Element” at their jobs and what the ramifications can be when people in education struggle finding their “Element”. Coincidentally, (or not!) Element” is the name of his new book.

So, we have these two teachers in a school in Liverpool, (perhaps you can guess where this is going!), who take a different course in dealing with their students, but I think that Sir Ken can tell this story far better than I, and with more entertainment value. Enjoy!

We’ll discuss this clip in our next report. For now, enjoy your vacation!

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