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  • November 2019

    Posted by STEPHEN RUSHING on 11/1/2019

    November 18, 2019

    Schedules

    Just a note that I made a few changes to the master and specialist schedules in the last couple weeks.  In case you didn't get a chance to look or print one I thought I would remind folks to at least take a look to make sure your schedule is current.  The changes are because your team asked for some fine tuning on the master schedule recently and I added PM recess to the specialiast/recess/lunch schedule.

    DIBELS Info

    A request was made to make a tab specifically for DIBELS to make it easier to find.  I have added a DIBELS tab inside the main Assessment tab.  Click on Assessment above and then on the left you will see DIBELS.

    Included on the new DIBELS page is cut scores for our benchmarking periods.  Note that I am still getting clarity for Kindergarten so I have put the parts that I am not sure about in red.  When they turn from red to black text again, the questions will have been resolved.

    SIP Plan has been submitted

    The 2019-20 North Star School Improvement Plan (SIP) has been submitted for review.  Take a look at the Google Doc SIP worksheet that I shared with you last week and see the planned tasks for the year.  Any questions or concerns should be shared with your team leader or with an administrator so that we can take a look and make revisions.  This document is not set in stone, meaning we can make adjustments as we go.

    SIP 19-20


    November 13, 2019


    DIBELS Mid-Benchmark Testing

    K - 5 will do one fluency passage probes with ALL students by the end of next week (Week of November 18).  LAP will take care of all stuents they serve.  Classroom teachers will do the rest of their classes or walk-to-read groups.  

    This will provide an opportunity to "take the pulse" of how well all students are resopnding to both Tier I Core Instruction and Tier 2 & 3 Interventions for those that are below expected targets.  As mentioned today, we will modify the target for passing so that it matches where students should be at this point in the year.  Stephen will share the target cut score for each grade level.  He will show each team leader how the cut score was determined and you can talk to him or the team leader for further clarification about how the cut score was created.



     

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  • October 2019

    Posted by STEPHEN RUSHING on 10/1/2019

    Wednesday, October 31, 2019

    Volunteer Applications for Staff Children
    I recently learned that we are supposed to have volunteer applications for staff children if they are in classrooms when we are in session and they are not students at North Star.   Students that are 6th grade or higher should submit a volunteer application if they visit between 8:30 and 3:00.  The volunteer application can be found on the district website.  

    Wednesday, October 23, 2019

    Fundraiser Assembly next week
    Our students will be treated to an assembly to celebrate and thank them for their efforts on the recent candy fundraiser.  The assembly is scheduled as a whole school assembly on Wednesday, October 30 at 9:00.

    DIBELS is now Acadience / How to see reports on Acadience and Star
    Saralise is putting together some information for you on how to access reports that show progress monitoring results. In the meantime, please try to log into both sites.  If you can't get in, first try reseting your password.  If that doesn't work then let Saralise know.  She is compiling a list of staff to send to the Assessment department to get you set up for logging in.

    Thursday, October 17, 2019

    Reminder re: Friday's Due Date for Gen Ed Classroom Teachers
    Our Hedgehog focus as outlined last Friday is as follows:

    Hedgehog Focus 19-20
    The first steps to building the core curriculum as the first intervention is to make sure we are all using the same master schedule AND have lesson plans that prepare for daily implementation of the 6 blocks of ELA.  Please share your lesson plan template with both administrators by the end of the day on Friday.  

    Beginning next Monday we should be able to walk into every classroom and "easily" read, from the back of the room, what time each of the 6 blocks occur in your day.  We are moving away from solely having "ELA Core" listed on the schedule and instead, having schedules indicated the fine detail of when each block occurs.

    Go to the Curriculum Tab above and I have put a Q & A regarding some questions that were sent my way about these new expectations.

    SEBB
    Please remember to be looking at and making decisions about your benefits through the new state benefits program.  You have to have signed up by November 15 or you could be stuck with no insurance or not get to make a choice that best fits you.  Watch this video from Bethel School District that explains where you can find the information you need.

    SEBB Video Link


    Tuesday, October 15, 2019

    New EBD Teacher
    Please welcome Cameron Brophy who will be taking over the position in our primary EBD classroom.  Cameron worked at GKHS in their EBD program for two years and is now excited to join the staff at North Star.  

    Tuesday, October 9, 2019


    Agendas for this Thursday and Friday
    Agendas for both days of PD are available on the Agenda's tab.  Specialists may go to their job alike sessions as the items we will be working will not be directly related to specialist's content.

    Yellow Conference Slips Go Home On...

    Please send your yellow conference slips home next Wednesday.  Do not send them home before or after that so that students are bringing them home at the same time.  Thank you.

    Activity Stipend Info and Robotics Club
    Stipend info was sent out and three proposals were submitted.  Xylophone Club, Musical, and 5th Grade Leadership Club.  There was enough money to accommodate all three proposals.  We have about $2,000 remaining for additional submissions. 

    This year we have no Robotics advisor/captain so that means we do not have a team.  I have been asked to check on interest to pick up where Bryan and Chris left off with our school's team.  This is optional and can be funded through our annual staff activity stipends.  The timing for getting a club together to compete has been impacted by a late start so attending competitions might not be possible at this point.  However, the learning that takes place with the Robotics Club can still be done.

    Clarification regarding conference schedule form
    Today we had conference scheduling and I learned of some confusion regarding the form that is used to schedule conferences.  I am refering to the form that has the days/dates across the top and times down the side.  The reason this was not made available to you was Hartley has gotten different messages from different staff members about what should be on the form.  She had created one with half hour segments and then there were differing opinions about whether the form should show 20 minute blocks or 30 minute blocks.  Last year the form she had created was modified and shared with staff independent of the office so she thought everyone was using their own form. 

    I want to clarify that you can use whatever form you want, that's not a problem.  At the same time I also want to clarify that the conference blocks are 30 minutes.  If you want to write down 20 minutes for the actual parent conference time that's fine as long as the next block does not begin sooner than 30 minutes later.  Why does it matter?  It matters because when we run two different total time blocks, it creates pressure for other staff members and parents to hurry up, makes them feel like they are late, or they do become late.  Again, the total time for a block is 30 minutes.  Ex.  11:30 -12:00 is the real block.  

    Having said that, make sure you are ending your conference in 30 minutes so that we don't have a domino effect of parents arriving late to their next conference.  


    Tuesday, October 8, 2019

    Training Days
    We are going to be having training days on Thursday and Friday.  Here are a few things related to those days.

    1.  The Waiver Day will be at Nelson Elementary from 8:00 - 3:30.  The whole day will be the last session for the Core Sourcebook.  Bring your sourcebook from the Summer Institute training this summer.  If you didn't attend the summer training then you can check in with Saralise to see if there is a book available to borrow or share with a partner.    

    2.  Register for clock hours for the Waiver Day session.  Our course number is 931.   At the session we will provide a sign in sheet.  Remember that in order to receive the clock hours you must sign in AND fill out an evaluation.  

    3.  Please consider signing up for a breakfast treat.  Nelson will provide the drinks and snacks for the day.  There will be approximately 80 people at this event so take that into consideration when signing up.  Thank you.


    Friday PD Day - More Info to come

     


    Tuesday, October 1, 2019


    Classroom Observations Beginning
    Heads up that Saralise and I will be visiting classrooms starting tomorrow.  We will be attending together at first so that we can learn with and from each other on look fors, calibrating what we see, and how to document or notate what we see.  Initially we are doing these as drop ins.  I did share out the formal evaluation assignments this weekend so you are welcome to sign up for formal observations as well.  You can check with Saralise for scheduling with her and with Hartley to schedule with me.


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  • September 2019

    Posted by STEPHEN RUSHING on 8/26/2019

    Thursday, September 25, 2019
    Final SBA Results - UPDATED 3:15
    Here is the final report for SBA achievement.  The composite reflects ELA, Math, & Science combined.  There was a slight error on the science scores for the state and Bethel so I removed the graphic I had here originally. Click on the link to go to the actual spreadsheet with additional information included.

    SBA Results - 2018-19


    Monday, September 16, 2019
    Discipline Committee
    The school board will have members at North Star on Friday as a form of communication and getting a pulse of the district.  You are invited to stop by and see them between 3:15 and 3:45.  At 3:45 they will be available for parents to meet them.  

    Required observances

    The purpose of observing Disability History Month is to encourage students to respect individuals with disabilities rather than pity them, to focus on their strengths and to promote understanding rather than stereotypes.  Students will be encouraged to recognize the whole person rather than just an individual’s disability. 


    Friday, September 13, 2019

    Discipline Committee
    It was a bit ambitious to have placed a committee meeting on the calendar for this week already.  It's hard to have a meeting when the members aren't determined.  :-p

    If you are interested in being on this committee, please let Stephen know.  I would like for these meetings to take place before school during our 7:40 - 8:10 time slot.  

    Equity Team
    Our first meeting is this coming Monday.  In preparation for the meeting, please read the email I sent today.  
     


    Friday, August 30, 2019

    Building Open on Saturday
    Jana will open the building tomorrow, Saturday, August 31 at 10:00.  She doesn't know the exact amount of time she will be here so please stop by close to that time if you are wanting to come in.  

    Schedules

    Here are the master schedule and specialist schedule.  It's all in one document now!! :-).
    In addition you will find our meeting calendar and Professional Development Agendas

    Master Schedule/Specialist Schedule

    Meeting Calendar

    PD Day Agendas



    Tuesday, August 27, 2019
    Attendance on training days
    This year there are 8 training days.  There is fun available for everyone but teachers and paras will attend a different number and combination of those sessions.  Here is how the sessions break down for each group.  

    *Note that Instructional Paras will be required to attend two days of training as required by a new state law.  Dates for these classes is TBD.

    September 3:  Waiver Day #1 - Teachers and Instructional Paras
    September 4:  Teacher/Principal Day - Teachers Only

    October 10: Waiver Day #2 - Teachers Only (Paras will take a Saturday Class in place of this day*)
    October 11:  PD Day #1 - Teachers Only

    December 6:  PD Day #1 - Teachers Only

    January 29:  Staff PD (LIT) #1 - Teachers Only

    February 18: Waiver Day #3 - Teachers Only (Paras will take a Saturday Class in place of this day*)

    March 11:  Staff PD (LIT) #1 - Teachers Only


    Monday, August 26, 2019

    Welcome Back Indeed

    It's time to get ourselves reoriented to our life's work of educating the kids in our North Star Community.  Attending Summer Institute classes, shopping for school supplies and prize box treasures, and setting up classrooms have been building up with our great staff.  Here is hoping you have a restful and fun summer break.  Welcome back to the 2019-20 School Year

    New Staff
    Please welcome our new staff:

    Kristin Pratt - 3rd Grade Teacher
    Courtney Banks - Preschool Teacher
    Lynn VanCour - Preschool Teacher
    Esperanza Felice - Preschool Para
    Tricia Hodge - Preschool Para
    Cynthia Hoffer - Preschool Para
    Angela Kotas - Preschool Para
    Katherine Monteuallo - Preschool Para
    Rashelle Seinkewich - Preschool Para
    Rebecca Wills - Preschool Family Support Specialist

    Updates on staffing
    Kerry Davis and Resa Suydam submitted their retirement letters this summer so we are working on getting staff to replace them.  We thank them for many years of dedicated service at North Star and wish them the best in retirement.  

    Upcoming training days
    I am working on the agendas for next week's meetings.  I should have them outlined fully by tomorrow.

    Robotics Club
    For many years we have had a team represented in robotics competitions.  We are without a club coach/advisor this coming year.  If you are interested in taking on this work with students, let Stephen know and he will forward your name to the district person in the CTE department that coordinates for the district.  

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