Creslane School Board Report

November 2009

 

Calendar:    Nov 2 – Bus Evacuation training

Nov 9 – Budget Reduction Day

                        Nov 10 – Parent Conference Day

                        Nov 11 – Veteran’s Day

                        Nov 13 – Picture Retakes

                        Nov 17 – Title 1 Dessert including Safe Routes to School discussion

                        Nov 19-20 – Parent Conferences

                        Nov 25-27 – Thanksgiving Vacation

                        Dec 8 – Creslane Site Council

                        Dec 8 – Creslane Choir Winter Concert (7:00 p.m.)

                        Dec 9 – Creslane Choir Concert for school (8:30 a.m.)

 

Every Wednesday Creslane has a staff meeting from 2:30-3:15.  Exceptions to the regular meetings will be included in the list above.  Child Study Team (CST) meetings occur every Tuesday from 2:30-3:45 (or when finished). 

 

Contributions:

Box Tops:  Already this year we have sent in $798.10 worth of Box Tops.  Jackie Odegaard receives a great big thank you for her work and effort to keep this fund raiser going.  All proceeds from the Box Tops go to reading for extra material, periodicals (Weekly Readers, etc.) and incentives.

Book Fair:  This year, we sold $4,188 in books. This entitles us to $2,094 credit in books or from which teachers received a discount on any books they purchased with their own money.  In addition, we received $458.83 in funds to use throughout the year for books and/or reading resources.  Over the last couple years, Scholastic awarded Creslane earned $1000.00 in books which we cashed-in this year.  Three teachers from first, third and fifth grades helped pick out more than thirty different books covering a wide-range of reading levels.  We were able to purchase sets of each book so the books can be used as literature circle books.  Each set has at least 4 copies of each title.  Lauri Williams (Creslane’s library assistant) and Barbara Sly (Creslane’s past library assistant) deserve a huge thank you for the hours and work they put in to make this event happen during hours families could participate (7:30 a.m. to 7:00 p.m.).

Walters’ $1,000 donation:  We have purchased sidewalk chalk, hoola hoops, giant fresbies, rubber balls, foam javelins, an outside net, foam paddles and “trackers” (made for balance and dexterity).  The material arrived.  The students were in awe of the “treasures” as they received training on rules and appropriate care for each new game available.  Thank you so much, Mr. and Mrs. Walters!!!

Mum Sale:  Shady Oakes (Cottage Grove nursery owned by Jamie Cunningham’s family) donated mums for Creslane to sale for $$$ this fall.  We sold enough to clear $150.00.  This money will be used to help Creslane’s Garden Club.

 

Grants:

Two Creslane teachers were each awarded a SELCO Grant:  Jennifer Fogerty-Gibson (with Ginny Albright and Alyson Wortel) wrote a grant for their Reading Garden.  Last year, Jennifer and Alyson started a Garden Club which has turned out to be quite a success.  This year, they want to develop another garden area with benches and a removable tarp for rain/sun protection for pleasurable reading activities.  Lynn Robertson wrote a grant called the “Fraction Mile.”  You will be hearing more about this later directly from Lynn.

 

Attendance:

According to the State Report Card Creslane has had an average of 94-96% attendance rate during a normal year (meaning almost all of our students attend school regularly).  This year in September we were a little higher than average with 97% attendance behavior.  October however, saw a drop, but it is still within the normal range at 94%.  This means that on a daily average 94% of our students are at school.  This does not reflect tardies, but it does include half-day attendance as well as full-day.  Although many students have been ill this fall and some lessons have been postponed as certain classrooms were “hit” harder than others at different times, we don’t believe that the H1N1 has deterred too much learning from occurring.

 

Enrollment:

        October 2009                  November 2009

Total                       =    585                       582                      

Kindergarten   =     94                         94                               

First               =      92                         93                               

Second           =      82                         83                               

Third             =      92                         91                               

Fourth           =    106                       103                               

Fifth               =    119                       118

·        Students who moved out compared to students moving in during October:

                                      Moved out            Moved in

Kindergarten   =                      1                                       1

First                 =                      3                                       4

Second                        =                      1                                       2

Third               =                      2                                       1

Fourth             =                      4                                       1

Fifth                =                      3                                       2

 

 

Discipline:

As the holiday season gets underway Creslane’s PBIS team is developing a “booster activity” to promote positive, productive behavior.  With the sporadic school days of November and the winter holidays following shortly afterwards, the students tend to get over-wrought, tired, emotional and sensitive.  They react with more intensity and often use physical reactions.  The team is creating a fun-filled activity to reinforce positive safe behavior to counter-balance these tendencies.

 

All-State Elementary Choir Ensemble Participants:

This year Mr. Eric Telfer, Creslane’s music teacher nominated three Creslane students for possible selection in Oregon’s All-State Elementary Honor Choir.  All three students were selected!  Allison Bagenski, Lauren Heater, and Shilo Drago will be singing with 155 other Oregon students on January 15th and 16th.  Rehearsals will be at the Phoenix Inn and Eugene Hilton with the performance at the Silva Theater at the Hult at 10:00 a.m. on the 16th.  Rehearsals start at 9:00 in the morning and end at 7:00 p.m. with a lunch and dinner break.  Phew!  That’s a lot of practicing!  (That does not include the rehearsals Mr. Telfer and the students will do before January 15th.)  This year’s title is “Melodic Motion.”  Each student’s registration fee is $130.  Congratulations to our three students and Mr. Telfer.

 

Goal Implementation:

Goal #1:  To align the entire district as one educational unit.

·        Creslane will be initiating the practices of the Comprehensive Guidance and Counseling Framework as the Creswell School District designs and implements individual student learning plans beginning at 7th grade and proceeding through the 12th.  Creslane is beginning this process by educating the staff (certified and classified) with helping them understand the necessity of connecting the students to the learning.  This is done by helping them understand how education helps them reach their dreams, how they are valuable, have a “voice” and something to contribute, and that we sincerely care about each child in our school.  We will be working with the students helping them identify their intelligences, strengths, skills and talents.  Knowing these strengths builds self-esteem which in turn builds resiliency (the ability to “get back up” after being “knocked down”) and self-efficacy (the belief that goals can be met).

 

·        June Colley, Dean Karcher and Ms. Robertson have been meeting with staff from the Middle and High schools to discuss and learn more about “instructional coaches.”  June and Dean have just started administrative course work.  This opportunity is a great experience while helping them and helping our district at the same time.  During the Instructional Coaches meetings we are looking for district-wide ways to help our students experience higher levels of success.

Goal #2:  To increase the percentages of district students meeting and exceeding Oregon State Assessment Standards.

·        We have changed the schedules of two Educational Assistants so they can work with identified students after school for an hour two times a week.  They practice reading skills with the students.  We have identified about 20 students with reading deficits in grades 1-5.  We have grouped them according to their deficits.  While the assistants work with one group, the other group works on reading fluency (speed and flow of oral reading) using a scientifically proven program called Read Naturally.  The students are shown a graph every week showing their reading scores.  Those graphs have been showing steady growth.  This too, builds confidence and the desire to keep trying.  We have great hopes for this program.  This first session will end just before Winter Break. 

Goal #3:  To build visible community pride in Creswell Public Schools, the school district will increase its engagement of the Creswell Community through expanded communications, collaboration, and involvement opportunities.

·        Creslane’s gym usage schedule is totally blocked out for the rest of the year with volleyball and basketball games and practices.  Creslane’s cafeteria is used every afternoon by a YMCA sponsored Tae Kwan Do classes.  We are so pleased our building is used to promote healthy, safe activities for Creswell kids.  Our library is often used by the local scout programs and as a meeting place for other organizations. 

Goal #4:  To close the achievement gap and increase the number of students who graduate from CHS, prepared and motivated for college or technical training opportunities.

·        Through Creslane’s effort in increasing students exceeding the Oregon State Assessment Standards, implementing the appropriate elements of the Comprehensive Guidance and Counseling Framework, moving to the School-wide Title status, and participating in the initiatives that unite the entire district as one educational unit we are working toward Goal #4.  In the building of strong foundation skills, success for all can be achieved.

Goal #5:  To align the district budget to support district goals, keeping student achievement as top priority

·        Ms. Robertson and Sandi Scaife regularly attend and participate at the Finance Committee meetings on Wednesday mornings. Eileen Smith always arrives early to prepare coffee for the group so we can function at the meetings.  J  With representation from all stake holders this is a wonderful opportunity to build understanding of our district as a whole by understanding its parts and each part’s impact on student learning.

 

 

Last of all:  get a load of Creslane on the Register guard Web page--Chris Pietsch, a Creswell resident did a video that features Allison Bagenski and Delaney Pietsch (both Creslane students) on a rainy day. http://is.gd/4OmNY

 

Creslane Site Council Minutes

November 4th, 2009

4:00 – 5:05

 

Attendees:  Jacque Robertson, Ginny Albright, Sean Ferrarese, Sandi Scaife, Lynn Robertson, Amanda Hulderman

 

Reports:  Junior Achievement

·        Amanda Hulderman gave an overview of “Junior Achievement” opportunities available at Creslane for students first through fifth grade. One possibility is a field trip to “Biz Town” in Portland where students reenact business commerce. Ranging from applying for jobs, paying taxes, and working with local government.  Amanda was asked to do a staff mtg. presentation in January.

 

·        Instructional Coaching

Ruby Price and Christine Collins have spent a great deal of time working and supporting the concept of instructional coaching.  Instructional coaching is similar to “Mentor Coaching” (a support program for teachers with only one or two years of teaching experience), but is based on all staff supporting other staff members no matter how many years the staff member has been teaching.  These support programs help alleviate the feeling of isolation, give needed help, and improve the instructional practices of everyone involved.  Staff will be kept informed and involved as the program progresses.

 

·        Mentor Grant

This grant is in its second year.  Research is showing that 80% of new teachers are opting out of education within the first five years.  It pairs experienced teachers with new teachers creating a nurturing environment where feedback can be given quicker, teaching management more accessible and eliminates a more formal evaluation process during the formative experiences. Senior teacher can observe the dynamics of the others classroom, help do observations, and give coaching techniques.  As other research shows:  teaching someone else enhances the knowledge and ability of the person doing the teaching.  It is a win/win situation.

 

·        Data Teams

Ruby Price has begun the implementation of data-driven decision making.  She started by inviting Lane Education Service District (Lane ESD) to deliver a survey for administrators and then one to teaching staff to determine where the district is strong or weak in areas of data usage.  Teams will subsequently be trained on how to use data to identify and find areas of greatest strength and concern within the district.  This information will be used to increase performance in areas of classroom/student success, transportation, budget, and administration. 

 

One factor to keep in mind is using data efficiently.  We must determine what information is essential for effective change and how to get it without spending time and energy collecting useless data.   So far the surveys have shown that Creslane folks are more confident in collecting data, analyzing it, and making recommended changes.   We tend to forget to evaluate the effectiveness of the changes later. It will be goal to change this deficiency. 

 

·        School-wide Title

A move from a Targeted Title Program to a School-wide Program makes more sense for Creslane’s students.  Our current data shows that consistently 70-80% of our students are meeting or exceeding the State Standards, but we can’t seem to move beyond that percentage.  We have to evaluate how to use the allotted amount of money differently so we serve more students more efficiently. It is our goal to be state approved for “School Wide Title School” this coming January.   

 

·        School Improvement

Since CMS did not meet the AYP State Standards in the category of “Special Education” for the last two years, they have gone into a “school improvement” mode.  This can not be considered a “weakness” in our Middle School’s program, but rather as an opportunity to improve instruction at all levels of the Creswell School District. An improvement plan, written with the assistance of a State approved facilitator will include Creslane and the High School in its effort to help students acquire necessary skills. A large portion of the funds gleaned from this effort will be spent toward professional development. 

 

·        Technology Grant

District Staff put a lot of effort into completing a “Technology Grant” for $275,000 in a very short time period.  It incorporates science, technology and ecology.  We hope to hear the results around the first of December.

 

·        Science Curriculum

2009-2010 is the year to revisit the Learner Outcomes in Science.  The State Standards are being revamped also, so some discussion was held on whether teachers should teach to the new standards or the old ones.  The Lane ESD helping the Science Student Success Team suggested the teachers teach to the old ones, since that is what this year’s State Tests will reflect.  The inquiry method of teaching science has shown to be the most effective for long-term attainment. However, it is more time-consuming with its concept based and language arts interfacing.

 

·        PBIS

We know that good curriculum and good teaching are essential for learning to occur, and so is student connectedness.  The student has to understand what they are learning, why they have to learn it, and how it might make a difference in their own life before they will retain the information.  Misbehavior often occurs when the student does not understand how education can help them achieve their dreams.  It certainly will occur if they don’t have a vision for what they want in life.  We watched “Did You Know 2008,” a video depicting the fact that we don’t know what kind of work force we are preparing our students for.

 

·        Student Recycling

Garrett Adkins and his mother Jana spoke to the Site Council last year about setting up recycling stations at Creslane where “Capri Sun” containers would be collected for a $.10 return per bag.  This year Garrett will begin implementing this project.  He and some interested friends will start with presentations to classrooms and then set up a gathering station in the cafeteria.

 

·        Pledge of Allegiance

A question came up about the Pledge of Allegiance and why its practice wasn’t uniformly adhered to at Creslane.  Currently, it is at the discretion of each classroom if and when they would do “Pledge of Allegiance.”  It is noted that a discussion with the staff needs occur to clarify why, when, and how often the “Pledge” should occur.