May 1, 2020
May 1, 2020

Academic Office Newsletter

From the Office of Dr. Paula Knight, Deputy Superintendent of Academics

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Free Math and ELA Instruction on the Nine Network
Please share this info with your families! The Nine Network is providing standards-based math and ELA instruction by local teachers from 12:30-2:30pm daily Monday through Thursday. Lessons are repeated Fridays after Mr. Rogers' Neighborhood.
Classes have been developed for students in PK-1 and 2-4 grades. Tune in, and you may catch two of our own: Dr. Albert Sanders Jr. of Adams Elementary (Math, PK-1) and Angela Griffin of Mullanphy ILC (Reading, PK-1)! 
Click HERE to see the schedule and full teaching team! 
Nominate a Teacher!
The St. Louis Aquarium Foundation is giving away a gift basket ($350 value) to a teacher during Teacher Appreciation Week (May 4-8).
Students, parents, and coworkers can nominate teachers by filling out this short Google form. The winner will be drawn randomly from all teachers who are nominated, and the gift basket will be mailed to the winner. Nominate a colleague today! The window to nominate closes May 5 at 5pm.
2020-2021 School Year Calendar
At its April 28, 2020, work session, the Board of Education of the City of St. Louis voted to approve a calendar for the 2020-2021 school year:
Thanks to staff, parents/guardians and community members who took the time to review the proposed calendars and take the survey. Nearly 1,700 responses were received!
Here are some highlights: 
♦ Virtual Summer School for HS Students: Credit Recovery, Missouri & US Constitution, CPR: July 6-31, 2020
♦ Summer School for ES and MS Students: Literacy and Academic Gear-Up (format TBD based on input from the City of St. Louis Department of Health): August 3-14, 2020
♦ First day of 2020-2021 school year: August 24, 2020
♦ Winter Break: December 21-31, 2020
♦ Spring Break: March 22-26, 2021
♦ Last school day for students: June 3, 2021
♦ Recordkeeping Day, last school day for staff: June 4, 2021
ECE Accelerated Certification Program
Harris-Stowe State University is offering an Accelerated Certification Track Program to obtain a teaching certification in Early Childhood Education within one year. The coursework for this program is all online, has been created with the working adult in mind, and will align with current work positions. To obtain additional information about the program and registration, information can be found on this flyer.
School Leaders of the Year FINALISTS
Congratulations to the finalists for the School Leaders of the Year competition. Help us celebrate the finalists!
  • Dr. Sarah Briscoe. Bryan Hill
  • Dr. Kelli Casper. Mullanphy
  • Ms. DeShonda Payton. Columbia
  • Mr. Robert Lescher. Busch
  • Dr. Jana Haywood. Clyde C. Miller 
Supporting School Leader:
  • Dr. Tyler Archer. Stix
  • Dr. Angelia Rougeau. Collegiate
  • Ms. Veronica Rovira. Central
EdPlus Packages for 2020-2021 SY
EdPlus is offering a $500 package to all SLPS schools this year that includes individualized onsite support: staff professional development, data analysis, classroom observations, cultural responsiveness and more. School Leaders, it is your choice to decide if you would like to partner with EdPlus, but you need to act now. Please take this opportunity to review what they can offer and feel free to reach out to Casetta Brown for further details. Click this link to learn more.
Hamilton at Home
The Gilder Lehrman Institute of American History and HAMILTON are thrilled to announce EduHam at Home, a free digital program for students and their families. 
Families can explore the world of HAMILTON and America’s founding era together, and students are invited to create and perform their own narrative in the form of a song, rap, spoken word or scene.
Students are invited to submit their creation and selected student performances will be shared globally through the HAMILTON app, social media (#HamAtHome), and the Gilder Lehrman Institute’s website.
This free program is open to K-12 students and their families (and will be of particular interest to students in grades 6-12). Learn more and register HERE.
Breaking Down the Silos in Science and Social Studies Learning
Special integrated Booster Session: 
LENGTH: 2-hour PD
DATES: May 7 and May 12 from 11am to noon
LED BY: Dr. Glenn Barnes and Carrie Launius
OBJECTIVES: We will begin by unwrapping the standards. Then, we will look at ways that science and social studies intersect and build upon one another in the elementary classroom. From there, we will introduce hexagonal thinking to teachers as a means of showing them and their students to make connections between topics. This strategy builds up higher-order thinking and helps students “show what they know” as an authentic form of assessment.
OUTCOMES: Teachers will learn how to best engage students in an interdisciplinary approach to science and social studies. In addition, they will learn to how to implement a new authentic assessment technique as a check for understanding and a way to interpret conceptual misunderstandings.
REGISTER: Contact Dr. Barnes to sign up and register in My Learning Plan. This is one you don't want to miss!
Renaissance myON Webinar for Teachers
Teachers of all grade levels are invited to a Renaissance myON webinar to support engaging at-home continued learning. Presenters will differentiate based on needs of attendees.
  • When: Tuesday, May 5, 2020, 11am central
  • Topic: SLPS myON Booster and Q&A
Please register in advance: REGISTER
After registering, you will receive a confirmation email containing information about joining the webinar. 
Curriculum Specialists:
  • Dr. Esther Palsenberger, Elementary ELA, 314-779-5939
  • Judine Keplar, Secondary ELA, 314-532-6427
  • LaRon Haymore, Elementary Math, 314-930-6077
  • 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 
SLPS Foundation All Stars
School staff have continued to shine during this tough time. Click HERE to nominate a staff member for the St. Louis Public Schools Foundation's All Stars Program
GOOD NEWS: Tools for Teachers 
Congratulations to Ms. Nina Harris, fifth grade teacher at Lexington Elementary, who has been recognized by KPLR 11's Tools for Teachers Program.
Ms. Harris was nominated by a friend who said, "Her kids come first! It is not unusual to call her at 6, 7 or 8 o’clock at night and find her still in the classroom working on a project to help motivate her kids the next day."
Ms. Harris is a retired veteran and began teaching in 2006. In addition to teaching at Lexington, she tutors several students on the weekends and works with parents, as well, empowering them to become more involved in their child's education.
Click HERE to watch the news segment. As a thank you to Ms. Harris, Weber Chevrolet awarded her $500.
GOOD NEWS: Donors Choose
NCNAA @ Roosevelt's Shari Telaar (English/Music) has received $1,000 from Donors Choose! The funds are being used, in part, to purchase hygiene products for students.
Curriculum Corner: Elementary Science
Looking for great sites for elementary science? Try these:
  • Despite a few broken links, the site's easy and well-organized access to thousands of quality science activities is a valuable teacher resource.
  • An easy-to-use resource for expanding teachers' science and science-adjacent curriculum options for all ages
  • This large collection of multimedia resources teaches younger students about animals, habitats, countries, and cultures. Stunning photos of people and wildlife also helps students visualize what they are learning
  • Amazing collection of valuable learning resources covers an impressive array of topics
  • Real research powered by volunteers makes classroom content relevant – engage your students in citizen science projects
  • Kids build, share, receive pro feedback with awesome engineering site
  • This site gives you the ability to have your students participate in science simulations.
  • Vast collection of science resources emphasizes written reflection paired with a teacher dashboard to track progress.
Curriculum Corner: Visual Arts
PD Booster Offering: Wednesday, May 6, 3-4pm
Virtual learning is a challenge for everyone, but especially for our students in PK-2. They need additional adult support to navigate lesson plans, the internet, and technology.
In this Art PD booster session, we will engage in
  • Collaboration around lesson plans for Early Childhood virtual and home learning
  • Making learning user-friendly for young children
This session will be listed in Professional Growth as "Visual Art PD Booster: Virtual Early Childhood Art Instruction." At the scheduled time, click here to join in: Microsoft Teams Meeting
Curriculum Corner: Performing Arts
Reclaiming Musical Instruments: Music teachers should begin plans to retrieve any SLPS instrument currently on loan to students. Communicate with school administrators about how this might look for your students and begin organizing a plan to coordinate the drop off instruments at specific times as approved by administration and Buildings & Grounds.
Curriculum Corner: Elementary ELA
Here are some interactive websites that will show you reports for your students:
What It Is: They offer a K-2 literacy program, with a strong focus on phonics and comprehension.
What They Offer: They have unlocked all parts of their premium program to be entirely free for all educators across the country.
What It Is: These online learning resources for younger students are easily differentiated for students of different ability levels. 
What They Offer: Adaptive math and ELA courses are always available for free for teachers and students.
What It Is: A digital resource that provides a library of differentiated books students can use to practice reading wherever they are (Internet connection required)
What They Offer: A free subscription through the end of the school year. (90 days of learning.)
Be sure to check in the Elementary Teachers K-5 Teams Page for up-to-date booster sessions for all content areas
If you have any questions, concerns or feedback, contact Esther Palsenberger.
Curriculum Corner: Secondary ELA
6-12 ELA teachers have been deeply engaged in PD sessions over the past few weeks. Please join us for any upcoming sessions that may be of interest. All sessions are listed in MyLearningPlan and will be recorded. You can view PD sessions after they have occurred in the SLPS 6-8 Microsoft Team or the SLPS 9-12 English Microsoft Team.
Lessons Learned in the Trenches: What We Need to Know to Set Up Our Classrooms for Blended Virtual / In-Person Learning in 2020-2021
Personalized Professional Development Session (EdCamp Style)
What Writing Instruction Needs to Look Like at the Middle School Level (Part 1)
What Writing Instruction Needs to Look Like at the High School Level (Part 1)
Please reach out to Judine Keplar with any questions. 
Curriculum Corner: Elementary Math
Please be on the look out for Elementary Math Booster sessions on My Learning Plan. Below are some great resources for continued virtual learning!
Curriculum Corner: Social Studies
One of the best resources available to assist your students learn more about social studies is the Teaching American History site. With more than 2,500 primary sources available, this site features an interactive timeline, edited collections with notes and study questions, and a document search tool filter. I love the document collection sets, as they have questions developed for analysis. Considering that students need to have social studies thinking skills developed, this is an excellent opportunity for them to engage in historical thinking practices. This site, along with the Stanford History Education Group provide great resources and focus on social studies skills. Both of these resources are appropriate for middle and high school students.
For my elementary teachers, I have assembled two notebooks of resources which were shared in recent PD sessions. For PK-2, THIS notebook focuses in on spatial thinking skills by utilizing maps in the classroom. Please feel free to download the shared resources. I also included key research on how doing maps can actually help students with math later on. In addition, for my 3-5 teachers, THIS notebook looks at how we can teach the Declaration of Independence and Constitution in a way which our kids can understand. Lots of resources, but the best thing available is the Historical Thinking Chart. These are questions which focus the students attention in a more direct way. While some of these skills are similar to what happens in ELA, historical thinking is more nuanced. This resource helps with channeling that focus.
Shout out to the teachers who participated in the Teams PD over the last two weeks, as well as the Oak Hill PLCs! I enjoyed connecting with you and hope these resources have helped you out.
Two PD Opportunities: On May 5 at 3pm, I am doing a PD with middle school teachers, which will break down standards and look at a fun strategy to build up our students conceptual understanding of material. On May 12 at 3pm, I am doing a PD for high school social studies teachers with a similar focus. Please let me know if you are interested in attending. 
Upcoming Dates
♦ May 4-8: National Teacher Appreciation Week
♦ Tuesday, May 12: Board of Education Meeting: STREAM 
♦ Thursday, May 21: Last day of 2019-2020 school year for students
♦ Friday, May 22: Record-keeping Day, Last Day for 10-Month Staff
♦ Tuesday, May 26, Board of Education Work Session: STREAM
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