May 21, 2021
May 21, 2021
C.H.E.S.S. Cops
C.H.E.S.S. Cops (Chess Helping Enhance Student Skills) is a partnership created by the Saint Louis Chess Club, the Saint Louis Metropolitan Police Department, the Saint Louis County Police Department and the Police Athletic League. C.H.E.S.S. Cops addresses the need for improved relationships between at-risk kids and police officers in Saint Louis City and County. 
C.H.E.S.S. Cops is holding a FREE event for the public Wednesday, June 2, 2021, from 1 pm to 4 pm. For more information about the event, please click here
  • Click here to learn more about the St. Louis Chess Club and C.H.E.S.S. Cops.
  • Check out the C.H.E.S.S. Cops YouTube page here.
Last Week of School Schedule
  • June 1: Wellness Day, activities planned by the building principal
  • June 2: ELA Literacy Adoption K-8 PD (or other activities assigned by the building principal)
  • June 3: Summer School PD (or other activities assigned by the building principal)
  • June 4: Recordkeeping Day
The workday for teachers the week of June 1-4, 2021, will be 8:15 am to 3:15 pm.
ITEF PD Grant Opportunity
The Innovative Technology Education Fund’s (ITEF) Lean into Learning (LIL) grants support innovative approaches to teaching and learning through professional development. Innovation requires fresh thinking: a new possibility, opportunity, or approach to learning and/or teaching that will inspire excitement and curiosity in your classroom or school. Successful LIL grants could reflect a willingness to go beyond a traditional conference. 
Applications open on Tuesday, June 1. Apply right away as the budget is limited and the funds will be exhausted quickly. For more information on the grant and how to apply, please click here.
On Thursday, May 20, the St. Louis American published the ESSER (Elementary and Secondary School Emergency Relief Fund) survey: LINK.
Readers who complete the survey were directed to mail it back to Central Office or to drop it off at a school. We do not anticipate many readers will take advantage of this option, but we wanted to ensure they had multiple ways to participate in the survey. 
If you receive any completed newspaper surveys at your school site, please include them with any paper copies collected from parents and send them to the Office of Institutional Advancement @ 801 at the end of next week. Thank you!
ICYMI: QUICK Survey for Principals
We've heard from half of the SLPS principals. The Office of Institutional Advancement is updating the District website and school websites in the months to come. If you haven't already completed it, please take this QUICK (promise, only three questions total) survey to identify your school's website liaison: SURVEY LINK
GOOD NEWS: Dr. Casper in the House
Students and staff at Mullanphy ILC Elementary School surprised Principal Kelli Casper with a celebration on Tuesday afternoon, as she successfully defended her dissertation that morning. Congratulations, Dr. Casper!  
Standards-Based Learning Corner
Click here to explore past topics related to Standards-Based Learning and Grading in SLPS.
Curriculum Specialists:
  • Dr. Esther Palsenberger, Elementary ELA, 314-779-5939
  • Judine Keplar, Secondary ELA, 314-532-6427
  • Zehra Khan, K-12 Math, 314-532-3574
  • J. Carrie Launius, Elementary Science, 314-934-5258
  • Dr. Valentina Bumbu, Secondary Science, 573-544-6835
  • Dr. Glenn Barnes, Social Studies, 314-934-5267
  • John Grapperhaus, Visual Arts, 314-934-5320
  • Kaye Harrelson, Performing Arts, 314-934-5445
Curriculum Corner: Performance Arts with Kaye Harrelson
News for Educators and Parents:
Classic 107.3's Musical Ancestries™ series featuring the music and culture of Thailand premieres following Classics 4 Kids on Saturday, May 22 at 10 am! Additional airings include Sunday, May 23 at 7pm and Wednesday, May 26 at 2 pm.
Designed to explore children’s musical and cultural heritage, Musical Ancestries™ provides FREE opportunities for teacher/adult-directed as well as independent student learning through podcast and online educational resources on the Classic 107.3 website with National Standards addressed.  The SLPS teacher-created learning resources supplement Musical Ancestries™: Thailand with audio and video music samples, instruments, history, dance, geography, science, demos, hands-on activities and more can be found online: This episode joins West Africa, the Caribbean, Central America, India, Jewish Music and Culture, and Native America online:

SMART Goal for Performing Arts: LINK
Upcoming Afterschool Booster Dates:
Contact Kaye Harrelson for more specific guidance, 314-934-5445.
Curriculum Corner: Science, Secondary with Dr. Valentina Bumbu
Quarter 4 CSA windows are: MS May 17-28, for HS May 11-28. This data will help us see the student growth from quarter 4 CFA. Ensure your trackers are up to date. 
NGSS 101 Playbook Pilot - Express your interest to pilot a resource that ground the youth & adult learner (teacher and student) in experiences and reflections around implementation of the Next Generation Science Standards, derived from A Framework for K-12 Science Education. This pilot will require the following commitments:
  • Availability to complete the resource pilot on your own time between June 7 and June 28.
  • Submitting your workbook to inform revisions to the resource
  • Completing a pre & post survey
There is a limited number of seats available for the pilot opportunity, and the pool of individuals must meet requirements of the grant (i.e. demographics, size of school district, gender, number of years teaching, etc.).Those who engage in the opportunity will not have any costs associated with participation and will be sent complimentary access to the resource when publicly released.
Booster Sessions:
Assessment SMART Goal for 6-12 ScienceLINK
Curriculum Corner: ELA, Elementary with Dr. Esther Palsenberger
SMART Goals for Elementary ELA: LINK
The 5th writing performance task had some amazing submissions. As part of the feedback, the 1st writing submissions from October were returned to the teachers to show the growth this year in writing. This week, a small selection of schools and submissions will be highlighted to show the growth our students have made during this unique school year setting. Some students started the year by only being able to copy letters from a worksheet and now their submissions have shown them staying on topic and writing multiple sentences independently. The older students are now using their sources to support their responses and incorporate transitional words throughout the passage. I have provided links to some of the writings from October and May so you can see the growth of our students. It is very evident that our teachers and our students have worked hard throughout the school year.
If you need to meet with Esther Palsenberger, click here for the appointment calendar. 
Curriculum Corner: Science, Elementary with Carrie Launius
To continue on with habits of mind, I want to give you lucky #13 all by itself. I often ask, is this me? My hope is that I never set up a situation for not only myself but anyone else to be afraid to take a risk.  
13. Taking Responsible Risks. “There has been a calculated risk in every stage of American development--the pioneers who were not afraid of the wilderness, businessmen who were not afraid of failure, and dreamers who were not afraid of action.” Brooks Atkinson Flexible  
When someone holds back from taking risks, she is confronted constantly with missed opportunities. Some students seem reluctant to take risks. Some students hold back games, new learning, and new friendships because their fear of failure is far greater than their experience of venture or adventure. They are reinforced by the mental voice that says, “If you don’t try it, you won’t be wrong” or “if you try it and you are wrong, you will look stupid.” The other voice that might say, “If you don’t try it, you will never know” is trapped in fear and mistrust. They are more interested in knowing whether their answer is correct or not, rather than being challenged by the process of finding the answer. They are unable to sustain a process of problem-solving and finding the answer over time, and therefore avoid ambiguous situations. They have a need for certainty rather than an inclination for doubt.
SMART Goal for Elementary Science: LINK
Curriculum Corner: Social Studies with Dr. Glenn Barnes
Recently, I was scrolling through Twitter to see what is happening in the world of education and Jennifer Gonzalez posted her latest edition of the Cult of Pedagogy podcast and blog. I didn’t read it at the time, but I saw one of our AICs post it the following day and then it was posted in the Marshall Memo this week, so I knew it had to be really good. Her focus was “No More Easy Button:  A Suggested Approach to Post-Pandemic Teaching.” Her premise is that humans are wired to look for the easy. Whether that easy is our food choices, how we shop for things, or even how we teach. As a teacher with an average class of 30 students spread across 7 classes (do the math), the easy button was a necessity. However, it became the norm in a lot of ways.
When the pandemic hit, we were forced to change the way we do business. For some, it was all about learning technology. For others, it was trying to foster relationships through a computer. No matter the shifts made, hopefully, we see ourselves growing in the process. The one thing we cannot do is go back to the old way of doing things. The Cult of Pedagogy podcast and blog goes through and identifies areas in lesson design, assessment, inclusivity, and relationships that can evolve and change as a result of the forced shifts in education over the last year. Please take the time to read, reflect and plan with some of these shifts in mind. We saw so many thrive in the changed environment, while others withered as a result. How might we reach all of our learners when we return in the fall? What seeds are you planting right now?
  • Today’s Front Pages shows how the news is conveyed around the country. Great for media literacy and checking for bias.
  • If you have not visited Amplifier in a while, check it out with all of the open-source art and posters available. Send a file to Ricoh and have it printed up in color on 12x18” paper for a quick and colorful addition for your classroom.
  • For elementary teachers and other teachers…Be sure to put the words of real people into the hands of students to analyze. Eyewitness to History has a wealth of first-hand accounts from people who lived during historic events. While some trade books may be based on actual events, let students discuss and analyze events from those who were there and recorded their thoughts.
SMART Goals for Social Studies: LINK
Curriculum Corner: Visual Arts with John Grapperhaus
It’s not too early to begin mentally preparing for next school year’s art classes. is an excellent way to create online art portfolios for each student, and a very easy way to engage with parents and raise funds for classroom supplies. Families can purchase a wide range of products with their child’s artwork on them. My son is an SLPS student, and I bought myself an apron that shows off one of his paintings. The proceeds go to your class! As soon as you get your student rosters in August, you can begin plugging in their names and creating their portfolios. In the meantime, you can create an account and begin familiarizing yourself with the online platform.
SMART Goals for Visual Art: LINK
Curriculum Corner: ELA, Secondary with Judine Keplar
Important Links: 
Curriculum Corner: Math with Zehra Kahn
Smart Goal for K-12 Math: LINK
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