Talk of the District blog

Talk of the District is a place to share thoughts, comments, and observations with the Superintendent and our community.

Welcome Guest
Recent Posts Recent Comments Categories Archives

 subscribe subscribe
 
Page 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18

Cohasset School uses PLC to implement innovations

date 06/15/2016 author ISD #318 category In Our Schools comment Leave a comment

Cohasset staff recognize everyone can contribute to student success. This year the teaching staff have come together to share their impact on student performance in a new program called Learning Lab.

 

Cohasset teachers began the year meeting during their PLC times on Wednesdays to design an intervention and enrichment program for their students. This innovative method provides additional instructional time for kids to develop and enhance reading, writing, and math skills in small groups.

 

Within their grade level teams, teachers alternate roles as Learning Lab instructors and are continuously monitoring student progress to determine the focus and make-up of a group.  Throughout the building, kids are taking advantage of this small group instruction for 25 minutes a day, four days a week.  

 

This is just one of the great ways that Early Release Wednesdays have given teachers a collaborative space to improve and increase student learning throughout the District. Together, we are teaching and learning for life to achieve excellence.


 

 

 

*****

 

Questions, comments, and observations can be shared by posting a comment below. Please note that there may be a short delay before your comment is public. Comments on this blog are subject to our Internet Acceptable Use and Safety Policy. Please see the Social Media Comment Policy for complete details.

 

Stay up to date on the Talk of the District by subscribing to the blog. New posts appear twice a month.

 

Like the District on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/ISD318

Follow the District on Twitter: https://twitter.com/ISD_318

Watch us on YouTube: ISD 318 Schools

twitt

Forest Lake receives Reward School recognition

date 06/15/2016 author ISD #318 category In Our Schools comment Leave a comment

The Minnesota Department of Education has again recognized Forest Lake School as a Reward School. It’s one of the few schools to receive the honor for the third year in a row. That means for the third year in a row, Forest Lake is one of the highest performing Title 1 Schools.

 

Reward Schools are chosen because they are schools that have demonstrated exceptional student outcomes and success in closing achievement gaps. “The dedication from all staff to create a learning environment where all students feel safe to learn and grow is amazing,” explained Forest Lake Principal Sherry Colter.

 

Success is measured using the Multiple Measurements Rating (MMR) and Focus Rating (FR). The MMR is a 0 to 100% rating for all schools in the state and includes data on proficiency, growth, achievement gap reduction, and graduation rates. Forest Lake’s MMR score was 90.99%. The school is one of only ten in the state to achieve an MMR score of 90% or above. The Focus Rating is equally impressive at 92.76%.

 

So what’s the key to their success? A team approach. “The hard work and commitment from teachers, students, and staff is evident throughout the building,” said Colter. Of course, they recognize that team extends outside the building walls too. “The support from families, volunteers, and outer agencies is greatly appreciated and is impactful on student success,” finished Colter.

 

In a statement on the Minnesota Department of Education’s website, Stephanie Graff, the MMR ESEA Flex Coordinator, says that Reward Schools are recognized through public recognition, and that “MDE plans to share practices from these schools with Priority and Focus schools in an effort to replicate best practices across the state.”

 

 

 

*****

 

Questions, comments, and observations can be shared by posting a comment below. Please note that there may be a short delay before your comment is public. Comments on this blog are subject to our Internet Acceptable Use and Safety Policy. Please see the Social Media Comment Policy for complete details.

 

Stay up to date on the Talk of the District by subscribing to the blog. New posts appear twice a month.

 

Like the District on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/ISD318

Follow the District on Twitter: https://twitter.com/ISD_318

Watch us on YouTube: ISD 318 Schools

Native American Heritage Month

date 06/15/2016 author ISD #318 category In Our Schools comment Leave a comment

 

November is Native American Heritage Month, and in honor of it, we want to take a few moments to tell you more about our American Indian Services Program. The Indian education programs of ISD 318 are in existence to ensure the highest quality education for all children of Indian descent.

 

You may remember us sharing the achievements of GRHS earlier this year. MinnCAN, the Minnesota Campaign for Achievement Now, released a list of top schools across the state, and in the category of highest Native American student achievement, number #4 was our very own Grand Rapids High School. This accomplishment could not have been made without the support of our Indian Ed Department.

 

The department provides attendance services district-wide; academic support services; a Cultural Resource specialist who provides cultural assistance and curriculum to teachers; and they provide a lending library with books and videos available to parents, students, and the community. Tutoring services are also being offered to all American Indian students across the district.

 

This department does far more than ensuring that Native American students receive a positive educational experience. It also serves to educate students not of Native American descent. Ojibwe language classes are available at GRHS and through Community Ed, and all ISD 318 students are exposed to American Indian history and culture.

 

Through the support of a Minnesota Success for the Future Grant, the department is also creating sample lessons on Native American history for classrooms across the District. They’re creating resources that are easy to access for teachers. Indian Ed staff members also work each year at the 5th grade water legacy, sharing Native American views on water and land preservation. And, the department is excited to be a part of the Why Treaties Matter exhibit. This important display will be traveling through ISD 318 schools later this year. The exhibit is an educational tool that exposes students to the history of Minnesotans and the Tribal Nations of our state.

 

If you have questions about the American Indian Services Department, please contact Kay Kirt, Program Coordinator at 218-327-5711.

 

 

 

*****

 

Questions, comments, and observations can be shared by posting a comment below. Please note that there may be a short delay before your comment is public. Comments on this blog are subject to our Internet Acceptable Use and Safety Policy. Please see the Social Media Comment Policy for complete details.

 

Stay up to date on the Talk of the District by subscribing to the blog. New posts appear twice a month.

 

Like the District on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/ISD318

Follow the District on Twitter: https://twitter.com/ISD_318

Watch us on YouTube: ISD 318 Schools

 

Share your thoughts on our parents and families survey

date 06/15/2016 author ISD #318 category Communication comment Leave a comment

 

It’s that time of year again. We want your input. The Schools, Families, Community Partnerships Committee (S/F/C Committee) is inviting you to take our annual parent survey: Our Schools’ Report Card.

 

Each year we ask parents and families to share their viewpoints in the survey. Your perspective is important to us. Still, some of you may be wondering exactly what we do with this data.

 

The survey responses are analyzed and first presented to the S/F/C Committee. The committee takes that data and makes recommendations to individual schools. Data and comments from the survey are shared throughout the district to aid in informed decision making. The Schools, Families, Community Partnership Committee; the Site Improvement Team of each school; and the World’s Best Workforce Committee each use the survey results to improve instruction, support services, and family partnerships in our schools.The results are also presented to the School Board each year.

 

This past year, parent survey responses helped guide our communication efforts, including the introduction of the new email newsletter - The Parent Connection. Other changes based on parent feedback include: the incorporation of additional bus safety training for transportation staff, additional after school supports in place to help kids with homework, additional building security and surveillance cameras to help students feel safer, increased awareness of bullying and the ISD 318 bullying policy, the incorporation of additional social skills curriculum in the classroom, and parental input and guidance on the District’s technology plan.

 

Parent and family involvement and perspective helps us to reach our goal of highest student achievement. In fact, the Harvard Family Research Project found that schools would have to spend $1,000 more per pupil to reap the same gains in student achievement that an involved parent brings. That’s why it’s so important for you to share your input.

 

You can take the survey between now and December 31st. The survey is anonymous and can be accessed through Parent Portal or visit your child’s school to request a paper copy. If you do not have a Parent Portal log-in, please contact your school secretary.

 

Thank you for your help in supporting our aim of highest student achievement.

 

 

 

 

*****

 

Questions, comments, and observations can be shared by posting a comment below. Please note that there may be a short delay before your comment is public. Comments on this blog are subject to our Internet Acceptable Use and Safety Policy. Please see the Social Media Comment Policy for complete details.

 

Stay up to date on the Talk of the District by subscribing to the blog. New posts appear twice a month.

 

Like the District on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/ISD318

Follow the District on Twitter: https://twitter.com/ISD_318

Watch us on YouTube: ISD 318 Schools

Digital Citizenship

date 06/15/2016 author ISD #318 category Technology comment Leave a comment

Many parents have heard us talk about teaching Digital Citizenship as a part of the iPad roll-out, but you may have been wondering just what that is. Digital citizenship is the norms of appropriate, responsible technology use.

 

All students in 5th grade will now take a class on digital citizenship, but with the increase in technology use in schools and at home, many classes touch on digital citizenship on a regular basis. Kids are reminded to pause before they post and to recognize that information or pictures posted online are impossible to delete. Parents can reinforce the idea of responsible technology use too. Common Sense Media has developed a blog for parents that covers ways to encourage appropriate online behavior in your kids. Edutopia has a digital citizenship resource roundup for parents that covers everything from online safety to media and digital literacy.

 

Of course, technology use in our schools is subject to rigorous filtering which limits the sites that kids can access while at school. But parents may wonder about online safety at home. The United States Office of Justice Programs has created a resource for parents called OnGuardOnline.gov. The site is filled with tip sheets for communicating to kids about computer safety practices and protecting privacy online.

 

No matter the online activity, kids should remember that they are creating a permanent record. Online Reputation Management has created a great article for high school students about managing their online reputation.

 

These are just a few of the resources available, but together with our digital citizenship classes, we can help keep kids safe in school and at home.

 


 

 

 

*****

 

Questions, comments, and observations can be shared by posting a comment below. Please note that there may be a short delay before your comment is public. Comments on this blog are subject to our Internet Acceptable Use and Safety Policy. Please see the Social Media Comment Policy for complete details.

 

Stay up to date on the Talk of the District by subscribing to the blog. New posts appear twice a month.

 

Like the District on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/ISD318

Follow the District on Twitter: https://twitter.com/ISD_318

Watch us on YouTube: ISD 318 Schools