August 11, 2004
Calendar: August 9: Lane ESD Administrative Workshop
August 24-26: Tech Grant Workshops
August 23: Emergency Response Training/Planning
August 30: Teacher’s report to work
August 31: Fifth Grade Parent Mtg.
September 1: Tech Grant Workshop (8:00-12:00)
September 7: Open House/Orientation Day
September 8: First full day of classes for grades 1-5 and
screening/placement tests for kindergartners
1. Technology Grant (Techno-buddy grant):
This is an exciting adventure! In June, Creslane and Middle School administrators and teachers participated in a two-day workshop at Lane ESD on using PDAs (Palm Pilots) (hand-held baby computers). In August, we will attend a three-day workshop on using PDAs in the classroom to teach math problem solving skills to our students. Since math problem solving is a weak area in our instruction, this new motivation should increase student achievement. Creslane will use the PDAs both in the regular classroom and as cross-grade techno-buddy experiences. They will be also be used in the Special Education programs at both schools. The Middle School math program will also use these fine tools in their instruction.
2. Special Education State Improvement In-service Grant – $11,105.77
Toward the end of last school year, I wrote a grant request to the Department of Education to fund training and supplies for our classroom assistants to help in the identification of Special Education students. About ˝ of the students tested for learning handicaps at Creslane are identified. The other ˝ is determined to have other deficiencies (environmental, cultural, economic, etc.) that inhibit learning. Our information shows that we have not provided enough interventions nor is the quality of early interventions equal to what these children need. Last April, Jan, Shirley, Ellen and I attended a COSA workshop in Salem on this very subject. This grant will provide the necessary tools for us to emulate the State approved program in the Tigard-Tualatin School District for identification on Special Education students, and addresses the recommendations made by the Senate Committee of the President’s Commission on Excellence in Special Education. We will target the lowest 20% of the kindergarten and first grade students as determined by a test called DIBELS (Dynamic Indicators of Basic Early Literacy Skills) that will be administered to every child in those grades. That 20% will receive interventions that address the student’s individual weaknesses in small group settings. If the child still does not making adequate progress after two small group interventions they will receive individual interventions. If progress is still not appropriate, the child will be referred for learning disability identification. This method will decrease the amount of time spent on inappropriate referrals and give better guidance to the determination of Individual Education Plans. It is inferred that with this high quality intervention, more students will accomplish the desired results in reading even without special education services. The grand scheme is to eventually increase this procedure to all grades.
(If you are interested in seeing the whole proposal, feel free to contact me and I will send you a copy.)
3. Emergency/Tragic Response Training and Planning Session
On August 23rd Lane ESD will come to train Creswell School District administrators and significant others on Emergency Response planning. These folks will be joined in the afternoon by representatives from the Fire Dept., Sheriff Dept., City, Neighborhood Watch Program, EEP, HeadStart, and others to develop a plan for action in the likelihood of a widespread emergency. Each school has to develop/improve a tragic/emergency response plan specific to that locality also. These will be communicated with staff, parents, and students through practices and reports.
Keiki Walsh has already contributed enough classroom supplies for almost 30 students. Thank you, Mrs. Walsh! You keep “rising to the occasion.”
5. Reading Workbooks
Unfortunately it is that time again, when we are asking for donations to buy our reading workbooks. The Lottery Funds only pay for long-term textbooks. It will not fund workbooks, so we have to generate the money for those. Each workbook costs about $5, and the average first grader goes through five/six of these books a year. Second-fifth graders usually go through two a year. Your help is appreciated.