Sunday, August 11, 2013

School Begins!

Learning is our work, and our attention to the learners in the building will make us better learners ourselves. Last week I saw this in action when some of you were able to participate in two "pop up professional development" opportunities in the building. I believe strongly in the value of these opportunities and hope more of them become available as we consider what might be possible for Hixson Middle School.  

I hope you have an excellent first day and successful first week; how you begin affects how you end. As I said on Wednesday, our students and our community believe in us. You and what you do to ensure that all of the young people at Hixson learn matters. You and what you are doing to continue your own learning and to support the learning of your colleagues is important, selfless, and noble work. Each of us contributes. You matter to our students, to their families, to one another and to me.

I have great expectations,

Growth Plans in iObservation
The Growth Plans I have approved so far (and I think I am caught up as of this post) are really very excellent.  Thank you for being so thoughtful and student-centered.  I am looking forward to reading the others, due on 8/13.

(Unless we have already had a conversation about a circumstance that might prevent you from completing this by 8/13, I expect that Growth Plans will be ready for my review on the first day of school.)

RtI and Discovery Presentations
If it's helpful, the two presentations Ms. Vogt and Mr. Fick gave on Friday are linked below:

Beginning of the Year "To Do" List
There are several things mentioned in the Beginning-of-the-Year Post that you may still need to attend to (e.g., required staff training), so please do not forget to follow through with those obligations. 

What's New on the Hixson Network Blog
The Hixson Network Blog is a dynamic communication and information system, and there are some small revisions to it this year.  Teachers on the Discovery and RtI leadership teams advocated for these changes:
  • "Discovery Resources" and "Hixson RtI" are now tabs on the navigation bar above the doc.
  • "Differentiated Instruction" is a new button the doc (all the way to the right).
  • The "Digital Briefcase" now links to an improved (and improving) Faculty Handbook.
  • And the "Labels" section to the far right (below the "Updates by E-mail" box) is more up-to-date and relevant to our current work.

And please be thoughtful
 about participating in the two ongoing afternoon development opportunities I mentioned in an earlier post and on our Opening Day.  I will be able to offer salary credits and/or a stipend for these experiences.  I know they might be scheduled at a difficult time, and I am confident that you will find either or both of them valuable.  Your interest and commitment will determine whether or not I open these up to other teachers in the district.  Click here for more information.

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