Sutherland for Schools blog
It is amazing what our teachers are teaching about these days. Last night my 3 grandchildren shared stories of their joy at different things they are learning--music, business, science. So much is new since I was in high school (beginning with DNA--the 5th grader talked about the way a virus enters a cell . . .)
I am thankful for all you teachers who take charge of the education of our children. So often we forget how much studying was involved.
It is incredibly important that the board have someone who keeps their eyes on our tax dollars and who is not afraid to speak uncomfortable truths when necessary. This, and issues with our curriculum, is why I will run again.
Readers may recall that the district responded to our request to improve the availability of subs. They increased the salary by a small amount and also established pyramid substitutes, who work every day, get paid better, and can get health benefits. The goal was to reduce the lack of availability to 5% of the teacher requests.
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 email@example.com.