Sutherland for Schools blog
In response to at least one request, here are five senior staff who, according to Dr. Linares, do not live in the district. This is required by policy which was adopted by our board. Because it has not been followed in recent years, I believe staff should be given a period of time in which to re-locate.
The Nov 17 Bond Citizens Oversight Committee meeting featured a lively discussion about the need for artificial turf. Parent and COC member Jennifer Frank and I spoke on the need for local option on the turf which I believe the board approved subject to campus wishes. Thanks to chairman Isaac Manning for permitting this conversation.
In today's post, CIAFWISD.Blogspot.org asks where the scores are. Here is one, at the "data" tab. Sorry, I can't get it to be the right way.
The agenda for the COC meeting at Monday at 6 p.m. in the board conference room is posted on the FWISD website on the left-hand side under "board committees".
The proposal on Tuesday's board meeting to eliminate the requirement that senior staff reside in the district was sent back to staff (effectively killed).
The literature on school reform shouts that it can't be done from the central office, but central offices across the country, including ours, manage to ignore the facts.
I am a 3rd grade reading teacher at --------- I attended waiver day at Meecham Middle School yesterday.
My morning presenter seemed unorganized like the information was just given to her. I did hear that a consultant whose last name is
Angeline changed what the presenters were originally going to present. This was done at the end of last week.
The first thing that was given to us was how to read a STAAR passage. Waste of time.
Then after break we were given the new way we are to conduct our reading classes weekly.
Monday we are to present the concepts, genres, vocabulary to the whole group.
Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday we are to conduct small group guided reading.
Friday we are to STAAR practice stories WITH the students to give them the idea how to read these STAAR Like passages. We aren’t to take a
grade on Friday’s passages because we are practicing with them. Which this time taken to do these readings takes away our weekly test to see if
the students are understanding the concepts we have given them for the week. I asked, the people at my table asked how are we supposed to get
grades. The presenter skirted around this question. I asked where these STAAR Like passages are coming from. She said they will be available on
the frameworks. I again asked who is writing the passages and questions and the presenter would only keep telling us they are available on the frameworks.
Then I asked why we didn’t start this M-F class set up at the beginning of the year. I was given a response" wouldn’t you want to fix something if it was broken?? “
The presenter in the morning and afternoon acted as if we were supposed to implement this new way of teaching today.
We asked about testing, we were not given answers.
Then today I received our SCA for this week. We taught biographies for the past 3 weeks. I used STAAR format story and questions from the frameworks on
David Crockett for part of my biography test. The SCA is one story on David Crockett. Different look to the story but basically we front loaded our students without
knowing that there would be a test over the same topic. Really???
I do not understand the direction or lack of direction of FWISD. I love watching my students learn. It has becoming increasingly difficult this year.
Frustration level is very high. I am encouraging my coworkers to email you. I hope they do.
Please share my passage but I would prefer my name and school be withheld.
Thank you for standing up for us.
Last night, I finally "lost my temper" with the last-minute handouts of budget data AND Short Cycle Assessments AND the Truancy court AND the literacy program. EVEN the reconstitution plans for several schools! No more!!! If they can't get the docs out on Thursday night I don't want to receive them.
>> School must be in session for at least 180 days/year. The TX legislature has dictated that students may not begin classes prior to August 24, 2015.
>> For high school one semester courses, like Health or Government, it might be preferable for students to attend the same number of days in each class, (90 days in fall and 90 days in spring) in order for the teacher cover the same amount of subject material.
>> For 2-semester courses like English or Algebra, the teachers and students will be able to cover the material they need to learn in the 180 days that they must attend school. They could take the semester exams at any time, without deleting any important material.
>> Elementary teachers tell me that their students are not affected academically by the final date of the semester. However, this might have an impact for those families planning vacations who have children in both elementary and secondary schools.
>>Please send any comments to the DAC or post them here. >>
The discussion on short cycle assessments will be interesting but there will be no vote.
Chief Monge provided us with a spreadsheet which I am summarizing below. If you want the whole spreadsheet, send me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
We thank Dr. Sorum for these clarifications.
First, he introduces the subject as follows:
The third window ends today, Friday the 24th. Schools have a few days beyond that to finish if for some reason they felt that was necessary. As promised to the board, we have established a review focus group which met after the second SCA window and will meet again the week of November 3rd. Mr. Poole and I have been in regular communication and have also met with Dr. Linares. The report and recommendations will be ready shortly after the follow up meeting the week of November 3rd.
Here is a question from one of our teachers, to which he responds below:
Our staff meeting after school today was nearly two full hours of bubbling in
the Spanish/English versions of the SCA scantrons. Names, student IDs, and test
numbers all had to be hand bubbled by staff because first graders can't be
expected to do that.
District guidelines specifically address this issue and do not recommend that
teachers do this. This is a decision that a campus has made. If we can know
the name of the campus we can easily address this as we did when this was
brought up from another campus.
Third, Dr. Sorum responds to this query re dual language assessment:
Our dual language learners have to endure tests in not one
but TWO languages. Double the wasted instruction time. We could have been
prepping for lessons, meeting with parents, or working as grade levels. Instead
we had to waste this time bubbling. What a shame! I hope our new super is ready
to shake things up!
This is a decision that a campus has made and is a direct contradiction of the District’s recommendation which was that teachers were to use their judgment to decide in which language a child would test for the short SCA and then for the longer SCA the student would test in the language required in the Lau report.
This assessment discussed below is part of a state-wide project in which TEA asked us to participate. I have asked Dr. Rangel to provide clarification as to the expectations as it sounds like there has been some significant miscommunication. I appreciate that this has been brought to our attention and I will follow up as soon as I get the additional information.
Testing Madness is also affecting our Pre-Kinder Students!I have taught PK for over six years in the FWISD. Three times a year we have beenassessing our students in different areas (letter recognition and sounds,phonemic awareness, rhyming,onset rhyming, Math, early writing and observablesthat included emotional and social behavior. The assessment is conducted onlinewith the child next to us and it normally took 45 minutes. This year theassessment has increased drastically. Today I tested one student in twosessions as a 4 year old attention spam is so short and each area to beassessed had a least 7 to 8 questions each. It took over an hour and thirtyminutes. This year teachers are required to assess Science, Social Studies andother areas that was not part of the assessment before. Unfortunately I need tospend 20 days testing my 22 students and that means that my small groupinstruction has to suffer. Immediately after the assessment window ends on Nov15 I need to assess letters and sounds to all the students as this assessmentdoes not assess all the letters of the alphabet, which I am required to assessfor the report card due in 5 weeks!. After 15 minutes my students are rollingtheir eyes and feel overwhelmed. Below you can see the areas that our districtrequired teachers to assess and dates. I am truly concerned that this testingmadness is affecting our youngest ones too.FWISD – CIRCLE Assessment Administration DatesAssessment Dates1 - BOY October 15 – November 152 - MOY January 15 – February 153 - EOY April 15 – May 15Measures District RequiredDirect MeasuresRapid Letter XRapid Vocabulary XPhonological Awareness XMathematics XScience XSocial Studies XStory Retell OptionalLetter Sound Correspondence XObservablesSocial and Emotional XBook and Print XEarly Writing XApproaches to Learning XPhysical Health & Development Optional
The agenda and board book are posted on the "data" tab. This is a short agenda. Included are a proposed raise for Internal Auditor Steve Shepherd plus plus $7.5 million from the bond for renovations at Benbrook, George C. Clarke, Mitchell Boulevard and R.J. Wilson elementary schools.
In February 2014 we had 2,133 children on our wait lists for our GSPOC programs. This fall, at the end of the first six weeks, there were still 1725 waiting.
|Trimble Tech Culinary Arts||107|
|Trimble Tech Health Sciences||159|
|J.P.Elder Academy of Science & Art||158|
|Applied Learning Academy||49|
|Stripling TABS Prep||144|
|Daggett Montessori K-8||158|
|Dagget Montessori Middle||110|
|Total waiting list||1725|