Tuesday, July 16, 2013

Beginning the Year: 2013-2014

There is much to share at the beginning of the school year.  Please give yourself enough time to be thorough as you read and complete the tasks in this post.  You will need to login to your WGcloud account to access the links in this post.

The Hixson Staff Calendar on the Network has dates, times, and other information regarding our opening three days. Click here for more specific information about the meetings on 8/9.

Teacher Observation and The Art and Science of Teaching
This first year with the new observation instrument will require more time on the front end than in subsequent years.  If your Growth Plan is shared with me before 8:30am on 8/9, you will be excused from an hour of the faculty meeting that morning.  Ultimately, your Growth Plan is due to Dr. Heisserer before school begins on 8/13.  Click here to read more.

Click here to read some FAQs about the WGSD Performance Based Teacher Evaluation process and instrument.

Grading and Retake/Redo Practices
Beginning with the 2013-2014 school year, Hixson Middle School will implement
  • consistent, across-the-school practices for retaking assessments and re-doing homework and other assignments, and
  • consistent grade weighting practices.
I made this decision after several thoughtful conversations initiated by teachers and parents.  I also reflected on feedback collected last year with post-its on my wall and on my own beliefs as a leader and educator.  Click here to read more background and to review this expectations.

Other, Year-Long Development Opportunities
Three ongoing learning opportunities are available for faculty this year.
  1. Fourth Monday Faculty Meetings will run from 3:30-4:30pm.  You will be able to choose how you use that time.  Please plan to stay for the entire time period.  More details will be published prior to each fourth Monday faculty meeting.
  2. A Critical Friends Group designed to provide ongoing collaboration and feedback among faculty members who choose to participate.
  3. A justice and equity cohort designed to provide opportunities for ongoing conversation and learning about a variety of identities from a personal (or stance) perspective.
Click here for more information about all three.

A New Room
The shape of our building as changed, somewhat.  A wall has been built upstairs next to the elevator door creating an addition room.  As of right now, I am not quite sure how I will allocate that space; however, for now, it can serve as a much-need conference room.

Required Staff Training
We must engage in required staff training annually around some very specific topics. I rely on you to review this information on your own. The PowerPoint is lengthy, so Mrs. Teter divided it into six sections so you can review it more easily over time.  We will review aspects of this staff training via the Network and at faculty meetings throughout the year.
Building Hours
The building will be open from 7am to 5pm the week of 8/5-8/9.  On 8/12, the building will close at 3:30pm.

Other Information
Click any of the links below to get more information about that topic:


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