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Education Opinion

Summer! One long vacation right?

By LeaderTalk Contributor — July 21, 2009 2 min read

Administrators have it easy over the summer.
No students, no teachers, break time right? Isn’t that what so many people think? Most administrators know that not to be the case. We have some of our busiest days during the summer: it’s just different. Professional Development, Curriculum writing, board retreats/work sessions, grants to write and planning for the next school year are quite enough to keep the pace moving. So what does summer have in store for Iroquois’ planning? A lot.

We have a new Director of Instructional Technology that will begin and assist our administrators and teachers is drilling down the assessments to the student level so our teachers can have a profile for their class regarding what performance indicators students need help with and how to set up a system to track individual student growth over time. Something we hoped would be coming from the state in a value-added model that hasn’t happened yet and we have waited long enough.

Formative and Summative Assessments have been discussed by our administrative team for months and all are ready. We need to move that initiative forward and give our teachers the tools to do so.

RTI- “Response to Intervention”. While we are focused on all students succeeding, the model will track interventions and begin them early to do as much as possible in providing services to students before classifying them.

Thoughtful Education Training for our teachers will continue so that we continue to tap into student’s learning styles, differentiate instruction and engage them more as active learners.

Determine the most effective use of Stimulus Money to improve programs that will in turn improve student achievement. We need to focus on our middle level and high school students for after-school support in homework. Several ideas are being discussed. We are finding homework issues and difficulty to be the major cause of course failure for our students.

Add changing a student management system that holds the most important data base from contact information to schedules to grades to transcripts and I would say the plate is pretty full.

Oh, and continuing our reform of how our high school students learn? Yes, it is still a major work in progress. We still plan to expand our technology and student’s use of the read/write web, move towards more project-based learning and continue to find ways to challenge even our best students.

So while summer may look different, it is by no means a vacation. It just gives us the opportunity to use our time differently and, to plan for the future.

Results of our initiatives? We must be doing something right. We had over half our graduating class earn an Advanced Regents Diploma, we were recognized as having the highest graduation rate in all of Erie and Niagara Counties, and more and more students with special needs earning a Regents Diploma. We are very proud, we celebrate, but the work continues..............

cross-posted @ http://changinghighschools.blogspot.com

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