Creslane School Board Report

June 14, 2006

 

Calendar:  June 12:  Field Day (1.5 hours in a.m. for grades 3-5 & 1.5

hours in p.m. for grades 1-2)

                   June 13:  Last Day for Students (dismissal – 12:00)

                   June 13:  Staff Luncheon 1:00

                   June 14:  Teachers’ Last Day

                   June 15:  Technology Workshop (8-12:00 Creslane)

                   June 16:  PBS Workshop and Planning for 06-07 (Lane ESD

9-12:00)

                   June 23:  Secretaries’ Last Day

                   June 30:  The last day of June

 

Curriculum:  This year the Math Success Team recommended that Creslane adopt a K-5 math curriculum. After listening to the concerns of the staff in regards to curricular needs, a team of teachers from Creslane went to Lane ESD to review math curriculum.  The team was able to quickly eliminate several programs based on the qualities needed by the staff: user friendly and based on a problem solving process with good quality practice.  The search was narrowed down to two commercial programs (Investigations and Math Trailblazers) and one on-line program developed by the state of Georgia meeting the standards of National Council for Teachers of Mathematics (NCTM).  Teachers in grades 3, 4 and 5 went on-line and have been using the Georgia program for the last month.  They are thrilled with the program.  It is a problem-solving model with practice sheets, assessments every couple lessons, and modifications for special needs students (including TAG).  It is written in a teacher-friendly daily lesson format.  Every lesson has an objective that is taught, practiced and reviewed several times throughout the year.  The activities are age appropriate, but challenging.  The progression from kindergarten through fifth grade is sensible and hierarchical.  The staff is talking about supplementing the use of the program with daily fact practice through handhelds, time sheets, and flash cards.

 

Talented and Gifted (TAG) Renewal:  During the 1980s and early 1990s (before the deteriorating budgets) Creswell School District had a great TAG program.  It included a district TAG team and school-by-school teams, a well-detailed identification process, and the funds for TAG classrooms and later for pull-out/after-school program.  Since we lost the funds for this marvelous program we have tried valiantly to meet the needs of gifted children in the regular classrooms with modifications of curriculum and/or teaching methods as suggested through research.  In the last couple years, requests for testing and identification from parents and teachers has increased significantly.  Due to this renewed interest in meeting the needs of TAG students, some counselors and administrators determined that the old identification process needs to be updated.  We will do this before next fall.  During a recent staff meeting, ten staff members volunteered to be on Creslane’s TAG team.  We will also be working hard to find grants to help us meet the needs of these very special students.

 

Response To Intervention (RTI):  Creslane staff is looking forward to changing the way we identify students with learning handicaps.  Currently, we use the discrepancy model:  the distance between ability (IQ) and performance (academic achievement).  RTI still uses a psychiatrist to help determine learning handicaps, but after a referred student has completed a series of 12-15 week interventions meeting the needs of the student.  Because RTI requires a school-wide sceintificially-researched reading program this dovetails nicely with the up and coming Language Arts adoption next year.  We plan on researching, evaluating, and discussing RTI, reading programs and doing “business” differently throughout next fall. 

 

The staff has agreed to reserve August 28th and October 13th next year for the vital work needed on making this transition work smoothly and effectively for our students.  The afternoon of August 28th will be spent with Karen Antikajian and Betty Shoemaker to learn, review and get revitalized on best practices in general education and best practices for reading specifically.  Then on October 13th textbook companies, which have passed the scientificially-researched criterion will be making presentations to the staff during half the day.  The second half of the day will be spent by the 2nd5th  grade teachers to learn about interventions that can occur and make long-range plans on how to implement those interventions as soon and as often as possible.  The kindergarten and first grade teachers will analyze the student data available and prepare the interventions needed for our students for implementation.

 

Other changes we will make in preparation for this exciting evolution:

1)  Change our screening for kindergarten to a more comprehension language test rather than the screening we are currently using.  The Boehme test will give us better information about the strengths and weakness of our incoming kindergartners.  Then we will be able to provide extra support in areas of weakness and build stronger foundations for learning. 

 

2)  We will create some format to compile all the information we have on our first graders so that again we will be able to determine better interventions for these students.  Right now, we have a lot of data on each of our students, but we haven’t been able to utilize it effectively.

 

3)  Submit a request to change Creslane from a Targeted Title Program to a School-wide Title School.  As a Targeted program we identify a targeted group of students to get extra support in a targeted subject, but as a School-wide program we can use Title funds for any student in any subject area (the change will not give us more money, just more flexibility in how we use the present money).  We have all the necessary basics (poverty rate, work toward our school-wide math and language arts curriculum, renewed TAG focus, and our decision to move toward the RTI identification process) for the change but it will take some extra planning and decision-making.

 

Discipline:

Yikes!  I must have made some comment of approval in last month’s report because we really hit a high point this month.  Actually, May has been a high month for office referrals every year for the last five years.  The winter months have the highest peaks, but May is always high.  This year’s average daily office referrals were 1.95 in May.  Last year, it was 2.38, so we’ve made gains over last year.  In fact, the average all year was better than last year’s average with 1.51 average office referrals this year and 1.66 last year.

Interesting Facts:

·        The day of the week with the highest average office referrals was Tuesday.  Last year it was Thursday.

·        There were 264 total referrals this year:    

First Grade received 48

                             Second Grade received 30

                             Third Grade received 56

                             Fourth Grade received 29

                             Fifth Grade received 73

                             Kindergarten received 27

·        Ten students received 61 of the referrals.  That’s 2% of the students causing 23% of the referrals.

·        The behaviors that had an office referral consequence were:

Fighting with 74

Disrespect with 59

Disruption with 44

Harassment with 22

Inappropriate Language with 26

Lying with 3

Other Behaviors with 25

Property Damage with 5

Theft with 8

Vandalism with 1

 

 

Enrollment: 

Creslane’s Total:   562 (as of 5/31/06)                                         

Kindergarten                  76   (15 per session)               

First                             104   (25 per classroom)          

Second                           96   (24 per classroom)          

Third                              90   (22 per classroom)          

Fourth                          109   (27 per classroom)          

Fifth                               87   (22 per classroom)

 

With our staff additions next year, class size should look similar to this:

First                               76      (19 per classroom)

Second                           104   (21 per classroom)                 

Third                              96     (24 per classroom)                 

Fourth                            90     (23 per classroom)                 

Fifth                               109   (27 per classroom)

 

 

Student Handbooks:  The only major change we plan on making in the staff and student handbooks is the additional of the wellness/nutrition page.  There are some minor changes we will be making in the discipline portion of the handbook just to update the language used.

 

Commendations:  Alexa (Lexi) Magnuson, a second grader won second place in the Siuslaw Bank competition for a paper she wrote titled “How Community Banks Work.”  The competition was an effort by the bank to encourage students to learn “What Do Community Banks Do?”  Lexi received a $50 savings bond.  We are very proud of our young writer.  Keep it up, Lexi!

 

Final Note:  Creslane has had a very good year, and we are looking forward to the 2006-07 year with excitement and joy.  The prospects of increasing our teaching staff, having new curriculum that is taught school-wide, and providing students with better ways to meet their needs is truly invigorating.  Thank you to the incredible Creslane staff, the Budget Board, the District Office and the School Board for their support as we all work diligently for the youngest citizens of Creswell.

 

 

Creslane Site Council Minutes:

June 6, 2006

4:00-5:15

SMART Room

 

Members present:  Angie Koch, Ginny Albright, Lynn Robertson, Sean Ferrarese, Sherry Loennig and Jacque Robertson

 

1)  Day Cares at Creslane?:  Two different companies have contacted Creswell School District asking if they could set up a day care program on Creslane’s site.  We know that any progression forward would entail a lot more consideration (i.e. legalities of a private business on public land, etc.) However, the Site council did consider these factors:

·        Due to shrinking space at Creslane, the Site Council agreed that the Day Care program would have to provide its own modular. 

·        The Day Care would only be available for before and after school, because there are too many people trying to share the same space as it is.

·        The Day Care would only be available to school age children.

·        The children attending the Day Care would not have access to the school building while in attendance at the Day Care.

All in all the Site Council was not in favor of allowing a private day care on the school premises.

 

 

2)  St. Jude Fund Raiser?  St. Jude’s is a children’s cancer research hospital.  They have a Math-a-thon fund raising program on-line.  86% of the funds raised through the Math-a-thon go directly to the research program.  There was a consensus by the Council to do the fund-raiser by classroom, so that any class that wanted to could participate.  At this time it will not be considered a school-wide fund-raiser.  Our approach will be to encourage our students help someone else without receiving an extrinsic reward.  This will occur during the month of October 2006.

 

3)  2006-07 Schedule Preview: Most of the teachers were not happy teaching math in the afternoon as was scheduled this year.  It was the general feeling that math is too interactive and difficult to teach when students are tired after a long day of learning.  For the 2006-07 school year, grades 2-5 have math scheduled first thing in the morning.  It will be interesting to see if we see more achievement in math with it scheduled earlier in the day.

 

4)  Writing & Math Success Team Recommendations:  We reviewed the recommendations and the plans that Creslane has for the coming year in Math and Writing (please refer to the June Board Report for clarification on this).

 

5)  Wellness Policy in Handbook:  It was agreed to include the first page of Susan Ogawa’s submitted Wellness Policy and Nutrition Services pages.  We did not think the “Minimal Nutritional Values” sheet was clear enough as is, so we will submit a recommended list of “healthy meals/snacks” for parents to use as emphasized in Creswell’s Wellness Policy.

 

7)  RTI:  Response To Intervention:  We reviewed the information covered in the June School Board Report.

 

8)  TAG:  We reviewed the information covered in the June School Board Report.

 

9)  School-wide Title Program vs. Targeted Title Program:  We discussed very briefly the differences between these two programs, and that Creslane will move toward the School-wide Title Program (see June Board report for details).

 

10)  Budget (update):  The Site Council members received a copy of Creslane’s 2006-07 budget and we walked through it.  The discussion compared historical amounts and the different functions.  Everyone was pleased to see money for library books, curriculum, supplies and materials, and additional staff.  Most of these areas were glaringly needy when for the last three years there were zeros in the “actual expenditures” columns.

 

11)  Other?: 

·        The question came up about the grounds around Creslane.  The concern was: we have a beautiful new building, but the landscape is deplorable.  What can be done?

·        Another question came up about how to get information to and from the Site Council.  The acts of representation were brought up and how difficult that is as a parent and as a staff member of a large school.  The suggestion was made to post a more timely agenda so staff and parents could have the opportunity to respond and/or make suggestions before the meeting.  One of the staff Site Council members volunteered to put a “Questions for Site Council” envelope up in the staff room.

·        Comparisons were made of the Middle School and Creslane cafeteria.  Members expressed the desire to create the kind of ambiance the Middle School has been able to create using round tables at Creslane.  It is not in the budget this year to purchase new furniture, but we can rearrange the tables to make it “cozier” and nicer for the students.  Mrs. Curtis’ third grade class wrote a page of suggestions to make the cafeteria lunchtime more pleasant.  We will try to implement several of those suggestions next year.