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Good evening Eckstein Families.  This is your principal Kim Whitworth.

We have had a very interesting week.  On Thursday morning we were experiencing sporadic power outages.  Seattle City Light was called and they sent workers out to investigate.  It appears that a truck or bus hit a light pole in the front of the building and was causing us to lose power.  The problem appeared to be fixed and power and heat were restored to the building.

When we came in this morning the power was again only partially working.  Seattle City Light sent out a repair crew and they were able to restore power and heat after lunches were over.   They believe they have a permanent fix that should hold until they can come back and do some extensive repairs.  This will happen over our break so there will be no more interruptions to school.

Our custodial engineer and I monitored the temperature throughout the building and determined that classrooms and hallways hovered around 65 degrees. Some students and teachers wore coats and the teaching and learning continued.

Here’s a huge thank you to all our wonderful Eckstein supporters.  Tutoring, being a hall parent, participating in PTSA, and supporting our Eckstein Annual Campaign are greatly appreciated.  We couldn’t do it without you.

Next Wednesday is a two hour early dismissal.  School will be out for all students at 12:20.

Have a wonderful weekend.

 

 

 

 

If you can read this, thank a teacher. 
- Anonymous teacher

Dear Community—

We are in our third week of school and the work we did in the beginning of the year is paying off. The kids are in class and learning.  Passing periods in the hallways are smooth.  For the most part, behavior in the lunchroom has been good, and when it is not we are able to quickly respond with everyone’s help.

We want to thank you all for continuing to greet students at your door.  It is an important part of our goal to build a positive and safe environment for learning.

Teaching and Learning

We were able to get into Humanities classrooms this week.  There were some great examples of the high leverage moves we have been working on as a building.

Learning Targets: Teachers had learning targets posted in their classrooms so students could reflect and make connections about what they are learning.

Public Records: Teachers had posters that guided students through the process of choosing a good book, understanding what good readers and writers do, and how to be a positive member of the community.

Learning Spaces:  All humanities teachers had nice libraries and learning spaces.  Part of the Readers and Writers workshop model is to bring students up for mini lessons. What we have found is that brining students together for a quick lesson increases engagement. Not having desks between you and students improves attention.

Calendar

Monday, September 26 – Picture Day

Wednesday, September 28 – 2-hour early dismissal.  This is PLC time.

Thursday, September 29 from 6 PM to 7:30 PM – Eckstein will be offering the first of a series of presentations on adolescent development and parent involvement.  These presentations will help parents help their children to make healthy choices.

Have a great weekend!

KW

 

Education is a progressive discovery of our own ignorance.
                                                                     – Will Durant

Dear Community—

 

Many of you have spent this week working on your reflections and goal setting.  The purpose of this work is twofold: We want to continue to get better at what we do and we want this to impact student learning.  We hope that this Professional Growth and Evaluation process is interesting and beneficial to your growth as an educator.  We also want these to be fun, so come to the meetings with the mindset that we are all working together, doing something we love.

 Teaching and Learning

We had a wonderful walk through session last Wednesday.  We were able to make it into almost every 6th grade classroom. Our purpose for this learning walk was to look at learning targets. (1c Setting Instructional Outcomes: Instructional outcomes are stated as goals that can be assessed, reflecting rigorous learning and curriculum standards.  They represent different types of content, offer opportunities for both coordination and integration, and take account of the needs of individual students.)

 

Our 6th grade students are working on establishing routines for math, science, Readers and Writers, art, PE, and music.  Math students were also working on assessments to ensure they are placed in the correct class for the year.  In science students are learning what it means to be a scientist. One teacher had the academic objective posted as well as the citizenship and effort goal. LA/SS classes were working on absolute and relative location.

 

Below are some of the learning targets we saw posted:

  • ·         I can complete my personal multiplication table.
  • ·         Be responsible (effort) Be respectful (citizenship)
  • ·         Review Note Names, treble and bass clef
  • ·         I can explain how scientists DO their work.
  • ·         We will learn how to use absolute and relative location to find our way to Seattle.
  • ·         I can: practice preparing for instruction by rehearsing the routine in order to understand how workshop environment operates.
  • ·         I will successfully mix primary colors in order to create secondary and tertiary colors.  I will accurately place my colors in the correct order on my color wheel.

 

Nice work 6th grade! 

 

Calendar

  • ·         September 21 – House meetings begin promptly at 2:45
    • o   6th grade:  TBD
    • o   7th grade: Rm. 121
    • o   8th grade:  Rm. 205
  • ·         September 21 – Learning Walks
    • o   Our focus this Wednesday will be to see how the activities you are doing support the learning target (1e Designing Coherent Instruction:  The teacher coordinates knowledge of content, of students, and of resources, to design a series of learning experiences and instructional outcomes, differentiated and culturally relevant where appropriate to make them suitable to all students and likely to engage them in significant learning.  The lesson or unit structure is clear and allows for different pathways according to student needs.  Teacher continually monitors progress toward meeting teacher-determined student academic achievement goals throughout the year and adjusts planning/instructional practice in a manner that is clearly differentiated to address all student needs).
  • ·         October 4 – Magazine Sale Kickoff during study hall
  • ·         October 13 Curriculum Night : PTSA will be providing food for staff (dinnerish)
  • ·         November 5 from 9 AM to 11 AM – Family Resource Fair (Denise will send out more information soon.)

 

FYI/Action Items

Have a fabulous weekend.

KW

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Education is not preparation for life; education is life itself.  ~John Dewey

 

Hi Everyone—

 

What a great start to the school year!  We have had really great feedback from students, families, and staff about the positive start to the year.  Thank you all for presenting the expectations for students.  We are not just preparing students for work, we are preparing them for life. This structure will allow students to focus on learning and having fun at Eckstein.

 

Teaching and Learning

This Wednesdays walk-throughs will focus on learning targets.  During our September 1st professional development day we learned that it is important to be meta cognitive about our practice. Talk with students about why we have learning targets.  Allow students at the beginning of class to reflect on what they think they will be learning and what they already know.

 

Below is the definition and purpose for learning targets from the district’s work on high leverage teaching moves:

Definition

The teacher has carefully planned daily lessons within a unit plan.

The teacher has a daily goal, connected to the standards,  that is written and clearly posted so that students can see it and understand what they are going to learn and why.

 

Purpose

Lessons are more focused when you set a goal for what you want students to learn.

Students need to be able to see the goal of the lesson so that they can more readily own and be empowered by their learning.

 

Please let us know if you would like to join us on our Wednesday morning walk-throughs. I have attached the district’s high leverage teaching moves document.

 

Calendar

 

Monday September 12 – Administrators will be in LA/SS classes to introduce themselves and talk about expectations

Monday September 10 from 7:00 PM to 8:00 PM – PTSA in the library

Wednesday September 14 – Walkthroughs in the morning

Wednesday September 14 – PLC meeting in the afternoon

Wednesday September 14 – Jamba Juice Social for 6th grade families

Thursday September 15 – Study Hall Class Meeting (reflection and survey on how things are going)

Friday September 16 – 7th grade Field Day

 

FYI/Action Items 

 

  • Enclosed is the SPS School Board policy on Homework.  Please read this and make sure our expectations are in alignment with the district.
  • The library is closed during Tuesday and Thursday study hall and lunch times.  We have two homerooms in there during that time.
  • We need two teacher facilitators for the PGE training.  Please let me know if you’d be willing to attend and bring back information.
  • We will be getting MSP and MAP data out to teachers either today or Monday.
  • BLT would like to invite all interested parties to join a Grading Committee.  This group would meet to look at best practices and what work we need to do as a building.
  • Enclosed is a parent letter explaining standards based grading from our new super math teacher Hillary Logan.  Hillary has experience with standards based grading and is sharing a parent letter she may send home with students. 
  • The Tech Committee will be reforming and meeting soon.  Please look out for dates and times.
  • Information on the 8th grade evening will be coming soon.

 

Have a wonderful week!

Best,

KW

 

Welcome Back!

 

ECKSTEIN MIDDLE SCHOOL

 

OUR MISSION

Eckstein is a community of lifelong learners working together to help students reach

their full potential.

 

OUR VISION

Graduates are emotionally healthy, self-confident, resilient, and responsible world

citizens ready for high school and beyond. By the time they leave Eckstein, all

students will read, write and do math at standard or above.

Every student achieving,

everyone accountable.

 

Dear Colleagues—

I hope this welcome back letter finds you all rested and ready to begin a new year. Beginnings are so important and we want to make sure everyone feels prepared and ready to learn. This letter and our one day of professional development should give you a good start to understanding more about Eckstein and the work we will be doing for the 2011-2012 school year.

We have so little time together as a staff so we will be providing you information in this letter and on staff share for you to review.  The information covers our mission and vision, our work in professional learning communities, this year’s focus on assessment and grading, and nuts and bolts for Eckstein.  Please access staff share at:

PLC’s at Eckstein: I feel strongly that the work of PLCs gives teachers the opportunity and power to work together to guide what and how they teach. This is the vehicle in which all our work is done here at Eckstein. We have spent the last three years focusing on professional learning communities using the works of DuFour, DuFour, and Eaker. They define PLCs as “An on-going process in which educators work collaboratively in recurring cycles of collective inquiry and action research to achieve better results for the students they serve.  PLCs operate under the assumption that the key to improved learning for students is continuous, job-embedded learning for educators.

There are four essential questions to this work.  I am listing the questions with the work we have been doing.

  • What do we want students to know and be able to do?
    • Aligned curriculum (Departments continue to update this every year to align with state and common core standards)
    • Determined “power standards” What are the most important twenty or so skills/content that students need to know by the end of the year? (We continue to evaluate what students need to know at each grade level to take them from where they are in elementary and prepare them for high school.  We have the common core standards to consider this year.)
  • How will we know if they have learned it?
    • Common Formative Assessments- These are formative assessments for the power standards.  They are collaboratively developed and assessed.  The results of these guide support and interventions for students. (Year before last our goal was four a semester; last year we worked on eight to ten a semester; this year we are all committed to at least twenty identified power standards for the year).
    • Common Summative Assessments (Math has common unit exams created by PLC’s.  End Of Course Exams are determined at the district level. Each PLC creates their own common summative assessments.)
  • What do we do when they have not learned it?
    • Use our common formative assessments to determine students who need extra help and specifically what the skills and standards are that they are struggling with. This information can be given to Cohort teachers, tutors, etc. to provide targeted teaching.
    • Give them opportunities to relearn and reassess. (These are the kids who “can’t”. Pre-teaching based on common formative assessments; reteaching; test corrections and retakes, guided study hall, mandatory afterschool tutoring and small group instruction)
    • Give them opportunities to do the work. (These are the kids who “won’t . Catch-Up-Café; teacher directed make-up times, mandatory after school homework center).
    • Cohort – Targeted intervention for students who are not SPED or ELL and are not meeting standard. (Study-Hall Cohort is for students who need someone to touch base with twice a week for organization and a little help.  Cohort Class is for students who need more guided instruction and study hall in a five day a week class.)
    • Extended Day- Extra time provided by our Community Learning Center partners.  (Two sections each of reading, writing, and math taught by teachers.)
    • Tutors (We have a number of partnerships with the community and parents to provide 1:1 tutoring for students during the day and after school.)
  • What do we do when they already know it?
    • Use common formative assessments to determine which students are in need of enrichment.
    • Provide in class and after school extensions for students who meet and are exceeding standard.

This work has been rich and complex.  There are so many components to this system of educating students and we still have much to learn. There will be more opportunities in the future to attend workshops on Common Formative Assessments, Response To Intervention, and other parts of the PLC work.  I will continue to invite you to attend these conferences throughout the year.

Assessment and Grading: Our focus for this year continues to be on assessment and specifically on how to report what students know and are able to do. We had three book groups this year focus on learning more about grading.  We were able to share what we had learned from these readings in departments and get feedback. A spreadsheet of where the larger departments are in this work is on staff share. You will each receive Ken O’Connor’s 15 Fixes for Broken Grades.  This will be one of the resources we use this year during our professional development times. Please begin reading so that you can talk with your colleagues about how you will be grading students this year. 

I will use the feedback from book groups and departments to begin educating parents about our work on assessment. This is a paradigm shift for students, staff, and families. It is important that all our stakeholders are educated about the changes we are making. I am committed to supporting this shift and continuing to educate staff, students, and families.

Nuts and Bolts: There are several documents on staff share that you are expected to read.  They include expectations for your syllabus, signing in, returning phone calls, discipline, etc. These are the basics of what we expect from everyone at Eckstein. The link for Eckstein’s staff share is:

September 1st Professional Development: September 1st is our first day back together.  Please sign in to the main office by 7:25 AM. The Learning Target:  Staff will learn strategies to build a positive school climate to implement the first few days of school so that there are common expectations for students. I will provide an agenda by email after BLT meets. Breakfast will be provided by Administration.

 

I want to thank everyone in advance for coming to meetings enthusiastic and prepared to make this a wonderful year. It is important to me that you feel challenged and excited to begin the work we have this year.  I am confident that you will be prepared.

All My Best,

 Kim

 

Week of June 13

 

Hi Everyone—

We have had a good year of looking at common formative assessments in our PLCs.  In many cases this has led to even more in-depth conversations about grading.  While we have come a long way in looking at how we assess students, we still have work to do to ensure that our methods of grading are in line with best practices and consistent across classrooms.

There are several resources we have looked at this past year.  Teachers attended the Solution Tree workshops on Common Formative Assessments.  The presenters spent time talking about the importance of summative and formative assessments and how they impact student motivation and learning. The majority of the work referenced educators whose research we are familiar with such as Stiggins, Marzano, and Reeves.

There were four books our teachers read in book studies that we would like to recommend as resources for the work we will be doing during the 2011-2012 school year:

  • A Repair Kit for Grading: Fifteen Fixes for Broken Grades; Ken O’Connor; Allyn & Bacon (2007)
  • Transforming Classroom Grading; Robert Marzano; ASCD (2000)
  • How to Grade for Learning; Ken O’Connor; Corwin Press; 3rd Ed. (2009)
  • Practical Solutions for Serious Problems in Standards-Based Grading; Thomas R. Guskey; Corwin Press (2008)

We have these books available for staff members to check out.  Please let me know if you are interested.

What we learned from workshops and reading these books is to look at the effects of grading and evaluate what is working and why.  We need to be clear about the purposes of grading and how they impact student learning and motivation. We need to make sure we are not using grades as a means to punish students.

We need to acknowledge that this is a departure from what we have traditionally done as educators.  We don’t expect people to do this work because someone says so; we do expect everyone to be open to learning more from the work of others. This includes teachers in our building who are implementing some of these strategies.  They will be the first to tell you that while it is different from what they have done in the past, it is well worth the effort.   We will be learning about this work in staff and department meetings as well as in our PLCs. This will be a journey that we take together.

My part in next year’s work will be to provide you the resources needed to better understand and implement changes. I will also be the first to talk with families about the work we are doing so that they have a better understanding of the changes we are making. I would also like to take time to speak with you about any of your concerns.  I can meet with you before and after school as well as during your prep.  Please let me know what works best for you and I will make myself available.

Below is the summary of the work we did in one of our book groups.  Beginning in Chapter 2 we identified some changes we felt this building was ready to begin making as well as some things we still needed to study. Please take a moment to read through this and let me know if you have any questions.

Best,

KW

A Repair Kit for Grading: 15 Fixes for Broken Grades

 Ken O’Connor

 

Chapter 1:  Setting the Stage

 

The traditional purposes for grading were communications, fostering student self-assessment, sorting and selecting, motivation and punishment, teaching/program evaluation.

Bailey and McTighe define the purpose of grades is to communicate about achievement. Achievement as defined by O’Connor being defined as performance as measured against accepted standards and outcomes.

Four Criteria:

  • Consistent:  It shouldn’t matter whose class they’re in the grades should be consistent.  An example is that we should be able to trade papers and grade one another’s class papers.   Teachers can be considered “hard” or “easy” graders.  Sometimes hard graders have more hoops or requirements.
  • Accurate:  This should reflect achievement.  Teachers often blend achievement with behaviors.  Grades should reflect the academic standards. Assessments could be of poor quality. Another example of inaccurate grading practices use of the mean to determine grades.  It also can reflect practice instead of where they are as a learner at the end of the teaching period.
  • Meaningful:  Grade books should reflect goals and standards. The books give examples for math.  Categories may include develops and uses number strategies as grade book entries.
  • Support Learning:  It shouldn’t be about accumulating points; it should be about the quality of the work.  Formative assessments are for learning.  Summative assessments should be based on the standards and should be about learning. We want students to understand that school is about learning.  Grades are an artifact of learning.  They should only reflect student achievement.
  • Underpinning Issues:
    • Fairness: “Fair does not mean equal”. We provide adaptations for students with learning disabilities and students that would benefit from it.  For example, giving a test in a different format.  Fairness is about equity of opportunity. 
    • Motivation:  Grades can be discouraging.  Failing grades don’t necessarily motivate students to do better.  We know that sometimes it does matter.  Grades can translate to college acceptance, etc.  How do we balance what effects grades might have with the reality of how grades are used?  Students who get good grades take risks; kids who don’t get high grades may not take challenges.
    • Objectivity and Professional Judgment:  Grades vary across classrooms, schools, etc.  An A in one school isn’t an A in another.  

When students are involved in their assessment, they have positive attitudes and have improved academic achievement.

Chapter 2:  Fixes for Practices That Distort Achievement

 

Fix 1:  Don’t include student behaviors (effort, participation, adherence to class rules, etc.) in grades, include only achievement

  • For next year:  Define effort and citizenship.  Begin educating students and families on what these mean.

 

Fix 2:  Don’t reduce marks on “work” submitted late; provide support for the learner.

  • Proposal:  We accept late work.  Students will have mandatory make up times to get work done within the support systems set up (Catch-Up Café, After school homework center, Saturday School, Quarterly Activity Days).  

 

Fix 3:  Don’t give points for extra credit or use bonus points; seek only evidence that more work has resulted in a higher level of achievement.

  • Proposal:  Extra credit is not given. 

 

Fix 4:  Don’t punish academic dishonesty with reduced grades; apply other consequences and reassess to determine actual level of achievement.

  • Proposal:  This does not affect academic grade.  This will impact citizenship/effort grade.

 

Fix 5:  Don’t consider attendance in grade determination; report absences separately.

  • Proposal:  This does not affect academic grade. This will impact citizenship/effort grade.

 

Fix 6: Don’t include group scores in grades; use only individual achievement evidence.

  • Proposal:  Individual assessments are the only things included in the academic grade.

 

Chapter 3: Fixes for Low-Quality or Poorly Organized Evidence

Fix 7: Don’t organize information in grading records by assessment methods or simply summarize into a single grade; organize and report evidence by standards/learning goals.

  • Proposal:  We can work on this next year.  This comes with alignment of curriculum and CFA’s.

 

Fix # 8:  Provide Clear Descriptions of Achievement Expectations

  • Proposal: We need to work on alignment of grading and what grades (A,B, C, etc. mean)

 

 Fix 9: Don’t assign grades based on a student’s achievement compared to other students; compare each student’s performance to preset standards.  

  • Proposal: Work on next year.  “Can all students get an A?”

 

Fix 10:  Don’t rely on evidence gathered using assessments that fail to meet standards of quality; rely only on quality assessments.

  • Proposal:  We are working on this already.  Continue for next year.

 

Chapter 4:  Fixes for Inappropriate Grade Calculation

 

Fix 11: Don’t rely only on the mean; consider other measures of central tendency and use professional judgment.

  • Proposal:  We need to work on not using the mean and looking at summative assessments.

 

Fix 12: Don’t include zeros in grade determination when evidence is missing or as punishment; use alternatives, such as reassessing to determine real achievement, or use “I” for Incomplete or Insufficient Evidence.

  • Proposal:  We can do this next year.

 

Chapter 5:  Fixes to Support Learning

Fix 13:  Don’t use information from formative assessments and practice to determine grades; use only summative evidence.

  • Proposal:  We need to work on how to communicate progress made in formative that leads up to the summative evaluation.

 

Fix 14: Don’t summarize evidence accumulated over time when learning is developmental and will grow with time and repeated opportunities; in those instances, emphasize more recent achievement.

  • Proposal:  We can do this.  Have conversation about formative vs. summative with Fix: 13.

 

Fix 15: Don’t leave students out of the grading process.  Involve students; they can – and should – play key roles in assessment and grading that promote achievement.

  • Proposal:  This is something we work on next year.  This is tied in to innovative in the Danielson Framework.

 

 

Week of May 31st

 

 

 

Week of May 31st

Hello Everyone—

I am feeling very optimistic about a strong and positive ending to the 2010-2011 school year.  The work this year has been challenging and we have done a great job of meeting those demands and ensuring that students are on track and learning.

We are at a point where we can summarize some of the work that needs to be done between now and Friday, June 25th.  I hope this helps you as you plan your final days with friends and colleagues.

Teaching and Learning

Those of you who opted into the PG&E system have learned how incredibly detailed and demanding the expectations are for teaching and learning.  I have truly enjoyed working with teachers as we reflect on the work done through the lens of the Danielson Framework.  It has opened my eyes to the need to put accountability for learning and assessment, self-advocacy, and control into the hands of our students. 

We have learned some great strategies from you that are worth sharing with the whole staff.  Here are a few of the strategies that Eckstein teachers are using that put them in the innovative category:

  • ·         Class meetings – Set norms and expectations at the beginning of the year. Have students reflect at the end of each week using the responsible scholarship rubric. Hold class meetings once a month where students can share how they are meeting expectations as well as how the class as a whole is meeting expectations. This can be done in ten to fifteen minutes. (Domain 2: Classroom Environment)
  • ·         Greeting students at the door – Some teachers are beginning their class by having students line up and greeting each of them at the door as they enter.  This gives them an opportunity to say hello to students and set the tone for the class.  (Domain 2: Classroom Environment)
  • ·         Be meta-cognitive about what, how, and why we teach and assess skills and content.  (Domain 3: Instruction and Domain 4: Professional Responsibility)
    • o   Learning targets:  Begin the year teaching students why they are posted.  Have them write down the learning target, what they think they will be learning, what activities they think they will be doing. Review this with them.  The thought is that after a while they will automatically look at the learning target and be aware of their understanding of what will be taught. Explain to them what they will be learning and how the activities will accomplish that goal.
    • o   At the end of the unit, students can take the learning targets and prepare a study sheet. For each learning target, write any definitions, drawing, examples, etc. that show what they learned. Students should also write a question about the learning target that they think will be on the test.  Before the test have students evaluate whether they are exceeding the standard (4), meeting the standard (3), approaching the standard (2), far far away from the standard (1).  Students can then take that home, talk with families about what they have learned and share the self-assessment.
  • ·         Complex Instruction: (Domain 2: Classroom Environment and Domain 2: Instruction): Teach students how to work in groups at the beginning of the year.  Being very deliberate and consistent with how we expect students to work in groups allows us to be consistent across all curriculums and grade levels.  I can see this being a very powerful school wide initiative.  If we teach incoming 6th graders a specific strategy for working in groups and then follow through in 7th and 8th grade, we will have some very collaborative students. http://www.uvm.edu/complexinstruction/about_ci.html

Calendar

June 1 – Staff Meeting (Vote on PD and Mandatory PGE reflection)

June 2 – Spring Concert

June 2 – People on the Move

June 8 – House Meeting (End of the year stuff)

June 10- Volunteer Tea (We will have a signup sheet for staff to bring in something for our wonderful volunteers)

June 15 – Department meeting (Assessment and Grading for 2010-2011)

June 17 – W.E.B. rollout.  (Incoming 6th graders will come to Eckstein for a brief orientation and dinner.  It would be wonderful if we had teachers here at the very beginning (5 PM) so we could introduce you.  No questions about math placement I promise).

June 17 – Swing Dance

June 23 – Last Day for students

June 24 – Last Day for teachers (Grades and check out sheet is due)

 

 Thank you for all your work and have a wonderful three day weekend.

Best,

KW

 

A budget should reflect the values and priorities of our nation and its people.  Mary Landreiu

February 7, 2011

Hello Everyone—

It is budget and staffing time again and BLT will begin the process of looking at our school improvement plan (C-SIP) to help guide our decisions in the coming months.  Please remember to read BLT minutes and take advantage of opportunities to learn more about Eckstein’s budget.  We have done an excellent job of identifying our values and priorities over the years.  We will need to work hard to ensure that our budget will continue to support the work we are doing.

Teaching and Learning

We are well into the 21st century and the use of technology is a huge part of our culture.  We have some staff members in the building who are experts at integrating technology into their teaching and learning.  I think it is our responsibility to learn more about opportunities for using technology for teaching and learning so that our students are prepared for the future.

At our last meeting we heard what students and teachers are doing in different departments.  I hope that teachers will use their preparation time to visit colleagues and see first-hand the great work that is happening.  In particular, I believe we have some great things happening with technology on the 6th grade team. 

We will spend some time at this Wednesday’s staff meeting talking more about how we can improve our use of technology in teaching and learning here at Eckstein. Please begin thinking of some ways students can use technology in their learning as well as demonstrating what they know and are able to do.  What professional development do teachers need to use technology in their teaching?

We have a guest speaker coming to this Wednesday’s staff meeting.  Kelly McDonald, from Youth Suicide Prevention Program (YSPP) will be here tomorrow.  She will be speaking about warning signs for suicide and how to help a student that may be thinking about suicide. 

Calendar

  • February 9 – Staff meeting (YSPP and Technology)
  •  February 18 Budget and staffing instructions and WSS allocations online/sent

 

  • February 22 SPOT (School Planning Online Tool) is available for Schools

 

  • February 22 to SPOT budget and staffing training and workshops March 10 for Principals and Secretaries (appointments recommended)

 

  • February 28 Schools submit waiver requests to SEA by noon

 

  • March 9 Last day to submit waiver requests to Executive Directors

 

  • March 10 Notification on waiver request decisions

 

  • March 11-24 School Arena Process – finalize budget and staffing

 

BLT will add additional days to work on the budget.

Have a wonderful week!
Best,

KW

January 31, 2011
Stop worrying about the potholes in the road and celebrate the journey! Barbara Hoffman

Dear Colleagues—

I know that not worrying about the potholes is easier said than done. Our journey involves the lives of hundreds of students and the work we do is never ending. It is important that we take time to recognize the great things we are doing and the progress we are making.

This Wednesday, I would like to take a half-hour and have departments share some of their work with staff. I am incredibly proud of the teaching and learning that happens in this building and want to make sure we are all aware and supportive of our colleagues.

Teaching and Learning

This Wednesday, the administrative team has the half-day blocked out on our calendars for walk-throughs. We would like to encourage anyone who is interested in seeing what is happening in our classrooms join us for their prep period. Email me if you are interested.

Our focus continues to be student engagement. In addition to asking students to articulate what they are doing and why, we will be looking at how student activities are connected to the learning target. Please refer to the High Leverage Teaching Moves for some great strategies on student engagement.

Our first round of book groups will be wrapping up at the end of the semester. Our next steps are to bring the groups together and share what we have learned about assessment and then synthesize that information to present to staff. More will be coming out about this at the end of 3rd quarter.

Calendar

  • Wednesday, February 2 – 2hr Early Dismissal (Start in the library at 12:50)
  • Thursday, February 3 – Grade level assemblies during study hall
  • Monday, February 7 – Friday, February 11 – Spirit Week!
  • Wednesday, February 9 – AWSP Conference visits Eckstein. AP’s from across the state will be at Eckstein for Walk-throughs
  • Tuesday, February 15 – Strengthening Families
  • Tuesday, February 22 – Thursday, February 24 – Academic Skills Camp

FYI/Action Items

Best,

KW

Hallway Culture

Eckstein Middle School A Message from the Principal

 

 
 

Dear Eckstein Families:

There has been concern this year from staff, students and parents that movement in the halls and stairwells can sometimes be unsafe due to students bumping into one another.  In addition, too many students are getting to class late due to the struggle to get through the hallways.  This has been an ongoing concern, and we’ve been searching for a solution short of saying no more than 900 kids can come to Eckstein. (I’m just kidding)

What we’re asking kids to do is to walk like they would drive — they need to stay to the right side of the hallways and stairs. Students stopping at their lockers between each class also add to the flow problems and decrease the amount of space students have to get from one class to another.  If students plan accordingly, they can stop at their lockers in the morning to get the supplies for their first few classes.  They then have the opportunity to visit their lockers again both before and after lunch to get their lunch and the items they need for their afternoon classes.

Another of Seattle’s middle schools has put this plan into action and they’ve found that there are fewer tardies, virtually no incidents in the hallways, and the level of bullying has decreased.

We have 130 more students in the building this year than we did last year, and I’m betting more will be here next year.  We are confident that this plan will provide more routine to the day and support a positive learning community where all individuals are safe and can get to classes on time.

Thank you for your support.

Kim Whitworth

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Eckstein Middle School

3003 NE 75th Street
Seattle, WA 98115
206-252-5010
www.ecksteineagles.org

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