February 16, 2023
Keeping “The Work” of the Academic Office Front and Center
The WHY of our work for School Year 22-23:
- To develop and/or deepen the habits of mind and adaptive leadership moves critical to disrupt and dismantle inequities in our systems, practices, policies and procedures so each scholar thrives.
The WHAT of our work for School Year 22-23:
Strengthen the *instructional core, so each scholar has access and targeted supports to achieve Standards and to engage in deeper learning through the ‘Key 3’
Use multiple sources of data (qualitative, quantitative and perceptual) to inform decision-making
- Apply “best we know right now practices” to educate the Whole Child
*teachers’ knowledge and skills; scholars’ engagement in their own learning; academically challenging content
The HOW of our work for School Year 22-23:
For more information, please contact Dr. Marion Smith Jr., Deputy Superintendent of Academics– Marion.SmithJr@slps.org
Network Spotlight: Network 2
Columbia Elementary Students Visit the St. Louis Humane Society
Fifth Graders from Ms. O’Neal and Mrs. Wayant’s class took a field trip to the Humane Society. Students learned about empathy through caring for animals. Then a week later, members from the Humane Society came to Columbia. All students had an opportunity to learn about the Humane Society and how to show empathy through caring for dogs. Fifth graders helped to facilitate the assembly based upon the information they learned during their field trip. All students enjoyed it and were engaged.
Deaf and Hard of Hearing Program at Sigel Elementary
Sigel is home to SLPS’s site based elementary Deaf and Hard of Hearing program. Every Friday we celebrate Friday Funday! Friday Funday is a time when all the Deaf and Hard of Hearing Scholars come together to engage in various language centered activities which give them a chance to practice communicating together while exploring their Deaf identity, as well as other cultures and celebrations. Past Friday Funday activities have included talking with Deaf High Schoolers at Gateway STEM, meeting Deaf adults from the organization DEAF INC. and many language experience activities!
Starbook Cafe at Humboldt Academy of Higher Learning Elementary
Humboldt Academy of Higher Learning presents A Book Tasting event for all students on Tuesday, December 13th at our Starbook Cafe. Teachers were asked to share the list of genres in advance so students come prepared to select three genres to "taste" on this genre menu. Genres included: non-fiction, autobiography, science fiction, mystery fiction, poetry, and horror fiction. Students rotated with their class groups through three courses of genres, selecting books at each table to sample the genre. They left the Tasting with a free book and bookmark. Books were donated by our community partner, Trinity Church. Event created by our Reading Specialist, Ms. Stephanie Baker.
Gateway Elementary Biggest Loser Challenge
Gateway Elementary School is rallying school spirit in hopes of becoming big losers. With the New Year, the staff is getting an added boost twenty-eight teachers and staff at Gateway Elementary school are competing in a six-week weight loss challenge based on the popular reality TV show. It’s Friday morning at Gateway Elementary School as a line of 28 anxious and competitive staff members eagerly await weigh-in. Each year the staff register and compete in this challenge. The competitors vary from people who are interested in losing just a few pounds to those who want to shed more. The group shares recipes as well as motivate one another, by exercising together on Monday and Wednesday after school. We encourage each other and give each other support when needed, to create a fun atmosphere. Everyone has the spirit of having fun and of course, losing weight!
Subject Area Spotlight: Literacy
Teaching Reading to Children Who Experience Trauma
Timothy Shanahan, leading researcher and educator on children’s literacy, reviews the research on the effects of personal grief and trauma on reading comprehension and learning to read. We invite you to review the research and Dr. Shanahan’s perspectives and “best thinking” on what is important when teaching reading to students who are experiencing trauma. Please click on the following link to access this article: Teaching Reading to Students Who Experience Trauma - Tim Shanahan
For more information, please contact Dr. Kay Royster, Literacy Specialist - Kay.Royster@slps.org
DepartmentSpotlight: English Speakers of Other Languages (ESOL)
Seal of Biliteracy & Pathways to Biliteracy Awards 2022-2023
The deadline for the Seal of Biliteracy and Pathways to Biliteracy award applications is March 1, 2023. Completed applications should be sent to the ESOL Office, Attn. Aniko Harrier (email@example.com).
About Pathways to Biliteracy:
To encourage students to become biliterate and attain proficiency in English and any of the world’s languages, the district offers 2 Pathways to Biliteracy awards: Emerging Bilingual (available to students completing PreK-4) and Developing Bilingual (available to students completing 5th and 8th grades).
For more information about the Seal of Biliteracy and Pathways to Biliteracy, CLICK HERE.
Alternate ACCESS for ELLs Field Test
Every ELL student who participated in the 1-12 Alternate ACCESS for ELLs in January-February 2023 must take Alternate ACCESS for ELLs field test. In addition, any KG student who meets alternate assessment criteria will also need to take Alternate ACCESS for ELLs field test.
What is the field test?
The field test is a one-time, paper-based test given in addition to the Alternate ACCESS test administered in January-February 2023.
When is the field test?
The field test window in St. Louis Public Schools opens on March 1, 2023, and closes on March 31, 2023.
What support is available to school test coordinators for this assessment?
All test coordinators who have ELLs participating in the field test will be contacted by the ESOL Office and invited to attend an information meeting in Teams to address test administration logistics. In addition, field test resources are available in the Test Coordinators’ Team in the ACCESS for ELLs folder.
DepartmentSpotlight: College & Career Readiness/ CTE
Learn and Earn Internship Program
Learn and Earn is a paid internship for 2nd semester seniors in all SLPS schools. In its first year, Learn and Earn placed over 400 seniors in paid internships making $12/hour while gaining valuable experience as they prepare for the next chapter in their lives. This year, over 500 interns are expected to be placed. Interns received Financial Empowerment and Job Readiness Training at a professional style conference hosted by STLCC-Forest Park before placement as well as real-time job coaching and virtual tax sessions during the internship.
Class of 2024 seniors can complete an initial interest form here: Initial Interest Form
Additional information can be found in the reference guide located at: https://www.slps.org/Page/69966
JAG (Jobs for America’s Graduates)
Jobs for America’s Graduates is a federal program offered at Roosevelt, Sumner and Vashon high schools in SLPS. JAG helps young people of truly great promise succeed both in school and on-the-job, leading to a productive and rewarding career. The JAG National Network has a footprint in 40 states, across 1,550 communities, impacting more than 76,000 youth annually since 1980. Each SLPS program is directed by a JAG Specialist who provides support during participants’ school career as well as after graduation. You can learn more about the JAG program at https://jag.org/ .
SLPS and the St. Louis Agency on Training and Employment (SLATE) will hold a joint career fair specifically focused on graduating seniors interested in entering the workforce immediately following graduation or are unsure of their next move after graduation. This event is limited to 200 seniors and will be held April 19 at the SLATE office on Market Street. Any interested students should inquire with their school counselor about participation.
Incoming 9th Grade & New Student Orientation
SLPS is always looking for ways to improve and increase equity. An initiative that began last school year is continuing this year and that is a District Evening of Incoming and New Student Orientations at each of our high schools. Tuesday, March 28th at 6pm our incoming 9th and new students will get to visit their new high school. These events should include all the following activities:
- Building Tour
Select Elective Courses
- Find out about Clubs and Athletics
- Learn about what makes the school special
- Uniform information
- Meet your Admin Team, Counselors and some teachers
These events are all held the same evening to increase chatter about the events and to make sure ALL students have an option to get excited about their high school. LET’S GET THIS ON ALL THE SCHOOL CALENDARS AND HYPE IT UP BIG! This is a big step for our students!
High School Decision Days
Did you know that at the end of each school year, all SLPS High Schools hold Decision Day activities celebrating the next steps of their soon to be graduates. Students with college acceptances, set work/career plans and military choices are celebrated as they head off to their next chapter. At these celebrations items students have fun dancing, eating, playing games and items are raffled off for the students allowing them to get a few of the items they will need. If anyone is inclined schools are always open to Decision Day Donations. Here are just a few ideas:
- Power strips
- Small Refrigerators
- Laundry supplies from baskets to soap to hangers
- Bedding such as long dorm sheets, comforters, pillows and pillow slips
If you want to donate but hate shopping contact Elizabeth.firstname.lastname@example.org and she will guide you through the process. This is an exciting time for our Grads and not all schools have the same access to prizes. THANKS!!!
As our students move through high school they are asked by Counselors and College Advisors which of our THREE buckets they see themselves in after high school. Please note that the choice is fluid and will often be adapted as interests and opportunities change. So the three buckets include our THREE E’s.
Enrollment: This is for students planning for a 2 or 4 year school or trade school. Students in this category definitely need to complete FAFSA and our staff helps them find the right fit educationally, socially, and financially.
Employment: With wages up and the price of post-secondary also up, more students are selecting this area as an option. If they can’t afford college, this may be where they start and the Office of CCR directs the students to career opportunities/companies that pay for school. We also work to help the students toward a career and not just a job. SLPS will be hosting a Career Fair on April 19th in collaboration with SLATE.
Enlistment: While the military is not for everyone, it is for some and we make sure our students selecting this path also receive support in selection of branch, career opportunities in the branch, etc. As needed our wonderful JROTC instructors can be called in for guidance and advice.
SLPS also runs a CCR Summer Center for our recent graduates during June and July from Tues-Thursday from 10 to 3 at the Central Office. The Center is staffed with our CCR Team Members and grads can receive help with FAFSA, Award Letters, transcript needs, employment leads and any help that we can provide with last minute issues.
For more information please contact Dr. Beth Bender, Associate Superintendent of College & Career Readiness – Elizabeth.Bender@slps.org
February is Black History Month and Career and Technical Education Month. Carter G. Woodson is credited as the Founder of Black History Month. In 1915, Carter G. Woodson and friends took part in a state-sponsored 15th Anniversary celebration of the Emancipation. This movement traveled across the country with exhibits that noted contributions of blacks and post-slavery progress.
Soon after, Booker T. Washington and W.E.B. DuBois were noted in history for the Great Debate in 1915. The debate leaned into the notion of deciding the best pathway, Traditional education vs Industrial/Vocational Education, for Black Americans to obtain economic independence and social advancement. This debate is still relevant today, as educators across the country grapple with the notion of how best to prepare, not just black students, but ALL students to be Career Ready in a rapidly changing technological workforce.
New Spotlight: MTSS Corner
Shifting the Framework: Data Analysis
As the Academic Office continues to define and explain the purpose of Multi-Tiered Systems of Support, we will begin explaining “how” MTSS will be implemented throughout our district.
Think about this analogy of going to the dentist: “Brushing, cavity checks, and flossing are specific and routine procedures that happen with every patient. In order to get a deeper assessment of your dental care, the dentist has to gather data using techniques such as questioning and observing x- rays. This data allows the dentist to address the need, create a plan of action, and provide the service that will render the best results. In addition, the techniques and care strategies may be more intense based on the need of the patient.”
Although we are not dentist, the process of using data is similar. High quality instruction is the foundation of Tier One. District and school leadership teams align the appropriate assessments to correlate to the high leverage instruction scholars are receiving. From those assessments, the data collected is analyzed and internalized in efforts to make equitable and actionable decisions for each scholar. A continued cycle of assessing, disaggregating the data, and data planning is essential for MTSS to be productive. The data analysis process allows the team to ask and answer questions that addresses each tier in MTSS. These specific questions are essential in planning targeted, tiered supports for each scholar.
Here are examples of a few thought-provoking questions that district and school leadership teams may discuss when disaggregating data.
- What is the academic, behavioral, and/or social emotional health of our students?
- How are we teaching high leverage standards with each content?
What are two equitable practices we can implement with fidelity to improve Tier 1 instruction?
- Which scholars may need additional support?
- Which content areas need additional targeted strategies to support scholars?
What are two equitable practices we can implement with fidelity to address the needs of learners who are not getting their needs met?
- For whom is targeted support necessary?
- Which stakeholders are available for effective service delivery?
What are two equitable practices we can implement with fidelity to address the needs of all learners who continue to show minimal growth on assessments?
In efforts to build upon the equitable practices in our district, a professional development opportunity is available. Part of the development includes but not limited to analysis of Standard Based Grading Data and identifying tiered support for scholars in each content area. If you are interested in this Professional Development Opportunity, please complete the link below.
As we continue the transition to the MTSS framework, it is important to remember the ‘Why, What, and How of MTSS.” Below is the one pager to support our move forward.
For more information regarding MTSS and resources for each tier, please contact Ravetta Jackson, MTSS Specialist - Ravetta.Jackson@slps.org
DepartmentSpotlight: Professional Development
Marzano Resources - Effective Teaching
Whether you are beginning to dive into the New Art and Science of Teaching, developing proficiency scales, or endeavoring into the educational journey of standards-based and competency-based learning, one or more of the following Marzano workshops or learning Institute is a must for your school team.
Instructional Strategies to Improve Student Outcomes (St. Louis, April 11-12, 2023)
- Understand the importance of a common language of instruction and a framework for effective teaching.
Discover instructional strategies that increase your effectiveness during both in-person and online instruction.
- Engage with colleagues from around the country to collaborate and learn together.
- Instruction Coaching for Teacher Effectiveness (St. Louis, April 13-14, 2023)
- Learn and explore using tools designed specifically for instructional coaching
- Develop teacher self-rating scales that enhance the concept of goal-setting in the coaching process.
- Move through a three-phase protocol for providing focused feedback to engage teachers in growing their expertise.
Marzano Mastery Learning Institute (St. Charles, July 18-20, 2023)
- Build a shared vision and collective ownership around mastery- and competency-based concepts and actions.
Discover how to create and use proficiency scales to clearly frame classroom instruction and assessment.
- Integrate concepts such as mastery learning, trauma-responsive schooling, and culturally responsive teaching.
For more information, please contact Dr. Latisha Smith, Director of Professional Development - LaTisha.Smith@slps.org
Camp Engage: Impact - Winter 2023
Join thousands of educators around the world in an extraordinary learning adventure! Whether it's your first Camp Engage or your 10th, you are in for a few days of growth, connection, and inspiration.
At this Camp Engage, we're all about IMPACT - in both the programming you'll experience and in celebrating the impactful work of our entire community.
Before embarking on this adventure, take a moment to reflect. And keep note of your answers...they'll come in handy during camp!
Who has impacted you on your educational journey?
What impact do you hope Camp Engage will have on your teaching?
What makes learning impactful?
How can Nearpod and Flocabulary help you positively impact your students?
- Dr. Esther Palsenberger, Elementary ELA, 314-779-5939
- Judine Keplar, Secondary ELA, 314-532-6427
- Zehra Khan, Secondary 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
Dr. Taresa Wright-Fraser, Elementary Math, 314-943-5266
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