January 5 Happy New Year!

Happy New Year to Everyone!  Welcome back to learning!  Over the break I finished reading Mindsets in the Classroom:  Building A Culture of Success and Student Achievement in Schools by Mary Cay Ricci (2013). I am going to be featuring some of the thinking from this resource in the Conditions for Learning blog – this week you will read about how Ricci connects growth mindset to responsive instruction.  I have also ordered a copy of this resource for each of you (and they have arrived) as it contains excellent ideas and suggestions for creating a growth mindset culture in your schools.

1.  Early Years 

Fair Start Training:  This will take place on Tuesday, January 20, 2015 from 1:30-3:00 via Adobe Connect and Teleconference.  Please see the email that I sent out on Saturday, January 3.

Self-Regulation and Purposeful Play:  This principal session will be taking place on Monday, January 19, 2015 from 10:00-2:30.  This day will focus on clarifying our definitions of self-regulation (as it applies to all grades) and exploring the look fors for purposeful play K through grade 2. Please see the email that I sent out on Saturday, January 3 (meeting invitation contains the PD Notification).

Early Development Instrument (all SK students)Training and Completion: This will take place on Friday, February 13. We will have a short training session followed by time to complete the EDI.  There is funding to release teachers to complete the EDI; funding which is based upon the number of SK students in the classroom. Please note that ECEs will NOT be involved in this process this year as the researchers are ensuring additional validity by only having teachers administer this tool. The Ministry of Education is now heavily involved in the EDI as it is being implemented throughout the province this year.  More information will be shared with you when we are together on January 19.

2. Report Cards

As per the email sent out prior to Christmas, the following dates have been determined for the February Report Card set up:

Tuesday, January 6, 2015 –Principals to send the final completed template (with their approval) to Raj with a cc to Nicki   (Congrats to Chris for getting this done prior to the holidays!!)

Monday, January 12-Friday, January 16 – Report Cards will be available for teachers.  All teachers to log into the report card program to verify their classes. This must be done by each teacher. If there are errors, please contact Raj immediately.

Note:  January 30 is the Reporting PD Day for teachers.  Report Cards are due to you by February 6, and they are to be sent home by February 13.  As per our discussion in September, we are trying to ensure that you are in your schools for that week.

Don’t forget to use our SGDSB Guide to Writing Report Cards with your staff – especially new staff.  As a district we are working hard at crafting report card comments that are in parent friendly language – this document gives you some examples to begin speaking with staff about. It is essential that we are clear with our expectations prior to staff beginning the long process of completing report cards.  It is an excellent staff meeting learning topic. Please let me know if you do not have a copy of this document.

3.  District Support Visits

All District Support Visits will be completed by the end of March:

The following schools are scheduled for a Feedback Conversation:  BPS, MMPS, MTPS, RRPS, TBPS/SPS

The following schools are scheduled for a Full District Support Visit:  BAPS, DPS, GOPs, MNPS, NAPS.  Please remember that we will need to also book a Pre-Visit Teleconference (1 hour) to plan the District Support.  Critical Friends will serve as part of the board level team for this visit.  It would be great to book BAPS and NAPS back to back if possible.

I am hoping to book these visits this week so will be contacting you (or give me a call if you want to get a jump on the date!). If anyone would like to get their Feedback Visit done this week, I do have time on Thursday and Friday.   Please see the School Improvement page of this site for the document containing information and guiding questions for the Feedback Conversation and the full District Support Visit.

Monday Morning Monitoring Conversations:  We will continue to have these conversations even though we are in the District Support process.  We will book these visits when we book your District Support Visit – so that they are not back to back.

4.  Homework Practices

As a district, the conversation around what constitutes effective homework practice has occurred at a number of tables.  We are going to begin to collect information around what practices are currently having a positive impact on student achievement in our schools; this information along with research based information will be used to create  a framework for us to use with parents, staff and students (elementary) around what practices we are using in our district.  It is our hope to have this framework ready for September.

5. SGDSB Parental Engagement in Math D2L 

Engaging parents and families in the language of schooling is a critical piece of our ongoing work. As our district focus is mathematics, how is your school engaging parents and families in mathematical learning?  To support you in this expectation, the SEF Team has been populating resources for your use.  Please have a look at the Numeracy PD Day D2L site for these resources.


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