Oct. 16, 2020
Oct. 16, 2020

Academic Office Newsletter

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

Got feedback? We want to hear it!
FAQ: Pre-Kindergarten
Q: Are students supposed to take a nap with the shortened schedule? Due to a 5.5 hour day, rest time will be 30 minutes.
Q: Are carpets allowed in classrooms? It is recommended that carpets and soft materials are not used at this time.
Q: Can students play on the playground? Students may play outside, however there will be no use of the playground equipment until further notice.
Q: What is the process for sign in and out? Using a QR Code through Microsoft Form for contactless interactions.
Q: What is the protocol for shared materials? Minimizing the use of materials between multiple students is best. 
Q: How should center play be conducted? Students should be organized in cohorts and areas are to be sanitized after each use. 
Q: Are there stipulations on the use of personal materials? The students should refrain from bringing items to and from school as much as possible.
Q: Can students participate in small group work? Yes, students can be placed in cohorts. 
Q: In the hybrid model, is 2 hours still the required amount of time for live instruction? The suggested hybrid schedule can be found HERE.
Language Access Support During Parent-Teacher Conferences
Remember to use language access supports to ensure meaningful communication with ELL families during Parent-Teacher Conferences. Telephonic interpretation will be used to support all district languages during Parent-Teacher Conferences. 
Use ELL Alert in SIS and ELL Family Directory to identify ELL parents’ language needs. 
For Parent-Teacher Conferences conducted between 7am and 3:30pm, continue to utilize district language access team to support your communication with ELL parents. Click HERE to access the list of District translators/interpreters and their contact information.  
For Parent-Teacher Conferences conducted outside of the above mentioned time frame and for languages not represented on the district language access team, use site-specific telephonic interpretation code provided to your principal (ESOL center schools) or to your ELL contact person (non-center schools) at the beginning of the school year. 
When telephonic interpretation is used to support a conference conducted via Zoom or Teams, access interpreters using the telephonic interpretation access code and put the interpreter on the speaker phone.  
When telephonic interpretation is used to support a conference conducted over the phone, access interpreters through a 3-way call. 
ESOL Professional Development Opportunity
On Thursday, November 5, 2020, Education Plus is hosting ELevate Virtual Mini-Conference. This half-day conference will focus on the resources, tools and best practices to support the EL community through virtual learning. Attend virtual breakout sessions and workshops presented by local leaders in EL education, as well as educators from around the country. You will learn innovative strategies for improving instruction and engaging ELL students in a virtual setting. Breakout sessions will be available (on demand) for 30 days after the conclusion of the conference for those who register. Click HERE to register.
Emma Bowen Foundation Internships
Please share with your families
The Emma Bowen Foundation promotes a more diverse industry by recruiting promising students of color and placing them in multi-year paid internships at some of the nation's leading media and tech companies.
Their three tracks are:
  • Content (broadcast and online journalism, production, social media, digital media, etc.). 
  • Business (finance, sales, human resources, marketing, public relations etc.)
  • Innovation (computer science, engineering, data science, information technology, software development, etc.)
This opportunity is open to graduating seniors. Click HERE for more information and to apply.
Annie's Hope
Annie's Hope - The Center for Grieving Kids provides support for children, teens and their families grieving a death. During these uncertain times, they have transitioned their in-person services to a virtual format through the end of 2020. Please share this valuable resource with families: LINK. Questions may be directed to Nicole Rhodes, program director, nicoler@annieshope.org
Affordable Master's Program from Miami University + MoBot
The Advanced Inquiry Program (AIP) is an affordable master’s program that combines web instruction from Miami University (Oxford, Ohio) with place-based experiences provided through the Missouri Botanical Garden. The 2021 application is now open at aip.miamioh.edu.
In the AIP from Miami University’s Project Dragonfly, students join a growing network of conservation leaders while gaining unprecedented opportunities not found in more traditional master’s programs. Online, at the Missouri Botanical Garden, and in their own backyards and neighborhoods, each student creates and engages in projects that affect positive social and ecological change to improve their communities, the environment, and the human condition.
Applications are being accepted until February 28. Courses begin in May 2021. To support involvement by a broad range of professionals, Miami University discounts tuition for participants accepted to AIP graduate courses. Enrollment is open to applicants with a bachelor’s degree, regardless of academic major or profession. Applicants may contact the AIP Coordinator at the Missouri Botanical Garden, Susan Baron, at Susan.Baron@mobot.org.
Extended Meal Distribution Hours at Four Schools
Please help us spread the word about our meal distribution sites. Every Monday, the community can pick-up 7-day meal kits at more than a dozen SLPS school sites throughout the city from 9am to 1pm. 
Lexington, Nance, Mallinckrodt and Mullanphy have EXTENDED HOURS from 9am to 5pm. Please make sure your families are aware of these sites. You may always direct families to www.slps.org/meals for locations and any updates. Thanks! 
This institution is an equal opportunity employer.
Parsons Blewett Traditional Scholarship Program: Now Accepting Applications
Parsons Blewett Memorial Fund is pleased to announce that the application process for the Traditional Scholarship Program Spring 2021 Semester is now OPEN. Applications for eligible educators will be considered for full tuition reimbursement at an accredited metropolitan institution for up to 6 academic hours. If you were hired AFTER November 30, 2019, you are NOT eligible to apply during this funding session. A complete list of Parsons Blewett approved institutions can be found HERE. (scroll down and select Approved Institutions tab)
Qualified Educators Criteria: 
  • Be a certified, full-time SLPS employee employed a minimum of 12 continuous months in any capacity (Example: 11/15/2019 through 11/15/2020)
  • Hold a valid DESE teaching certificate in one concentrated area (administration, career/vocational education, professional, or student services)
  • Be in good standing with the District and the Fund
  • NOTE: If you are a certified full-time SLPS employee in any capacity but incurred a break in District service: you must serve another continuous 12 months after your newly assigned appointment date
To ensure a smooth web application process, we encourage our educators to apply early since the scholarship session is open for a limited time. 
  • An educator may be required to upload an academic plan developed jointly by the university academic advisor and the educator. The worksheet will summarize courses, credit hours, and reflect all courses required to earn the degree. The academic advisor will provide a condensed version of the academic plan to the educator, usually in a two-page format.
  • Business administration or higher education course electives or substitutions listed on the academic plan do not qualify for tuition reimbursement.
  • Carefully proofread your scholarship application before submission.
  • New applicants must change their temporary password assigned by the system upon email acknowledgment.
  • This process will allow the educator to view their user account at Parsons Blewett (applications, cancellations, payments, university academic plan, and acknowledgments).
The 2021 spring cycle will remain open until 4pm, Sunday, November 15, 2020.
Dell Discount
In addition to the District's existing benefits and savings, Dell is providing an extra 10% off coupon at www.dell.com/SLPS
This link is being provided as a convenience and for informational purposes only; it does not constitute an endorsement or an approval by the District of any of the products, services or opinions of the corporation or organization or individual.
REMINDER: 1st Letter of Academic Concern
Students who are not making adequate academic progress toward grade level expectations should be identified, and a notification should be shared with parents during Parent Teacher Conferences. In your communication, please include the areas of concern and the support students are receiving. The template for the letter is included HERE.
In addition, document your communication using this form and submit by November 2.
Snapshot of the Week
Check out these pre-kindergarten friends hard at work on their reading.
GOOD NEWS: Literacy at Laclede 
The Little Bit Foundation hosted a socially distanced Book Fair on the school playground at Pierre Laclede Junior Career Academy. Students also were treated to Kona Ice. 
The Power and Purpose of Text Levels: Free On-Demand Webinar 
“We’ve got to get levels under control and in proper perspective.”  - Irene Fountas
In this informative and insightful webinar, you will hear Irene Fountas and Gay Su Pinnell engage in a candid discussion about the purpose of leveled books. They remind us that “leveled texts are tools for teachers, not labels for kids.” 
They also remind us that leveled books are used only for short periods of time in small groups for guided reading or instructional intervention to focus the teacher’s attention on the objective of helping students access challenging texts.
In addition, common misconceptions about leveling classroom libraries, read-alouds and book clubs are discussed.
You may register for this on-demand webinar free-of-charge at this link.
Focus On: Transitioning to Hybrid – Supporting Concurrent Teaching
Just in case you missed it last week....
Many of our students are getting ready to transition back to school for in-person learning, while others will still be learning virtually. This type of hybrid enrollment requires teachers to support in-person and virtual learners simultaneously. As educators, this instructional delivery platform adds a new layer of finesse to our ever-growing repertoire of 2020 teaching strategies! 
Click HERE to access the resources from the PD Session: Transitioning to Hybrid – Supporting Concurrent Teaching.
Curriculum Corner: Science, Elementary with Carrie Launius
If you are looking for something to enhance science don't forget about www.animalplanet.com. Animal Planet has a lot of information and videos available for free. 
Also, a shout-out to Mr. Pablo Ramos from Meramec for starting the YouTube channel "Reading with Mr. Ramos."
On this channel, Mr. Ramos reads aloud many science books. Tune in at www.readingwithmrramos.com
Reminder: Every Tuesday morning (7-8am) come to "Chat with Carrie" to support you with your planning or teaching. This will coincide with the SMART goal of teaching content-driven science daily and accuracy to prepare for that MO MAP test.
Curriculum Corner: ELA, Secondary with Judine Keplar
Assessment Update: Scantron CSAs (Achievement Series) for ELA 6-12 (October 12 – 23). While the assessments are optional, they are highly recommended. If you opt not to give the CFAs and CSAs, you must still have a way to document student mastery on priority standards. Reach out to Judine with any questions. 
General Announcements:
Are you looking for your Proficiency Scales? You can access all SBG Resources for ELA 6-12 by visiting our OneDrive Folder.
Quarter 2 Instructional Planning >>> Middle School and High School ELA teachers should continue using open-source full-length texts and short texts for the remainder of the semester. No novels or printed texts should be distributed to students. Reach out to Judine with any questions. 
PD Booster Sessions: Lesson Planning & Content Support
HS English Dept. Chair Meeting Schedule:
  • All meetings will be held from 3:15-4:15pm on Teams. If you did not receive a calendar invitation, please contact Judine for the meeting link. [Meeting Dates: October 26, November 30, December 14, January 25, February 22, March 29, April 26] 
SMART Goal Reminder: By the conclusion of the 2020-2021 school year, 70% of students in grades 6-12 will meet their performance growth target (established by their ELA teacher) as measured by a comparison of their scores on ELA common formative assessments (CFAs) and common summative assessments (CSAs) that integrate high priority standards (RI.1.A/RL.1.A, RI.1.B/RL.1.B, RI.1.D/RL.1.D, RI.2.A/RL.2.A, RI.2.B/RL.2.B, W.1.A). 
Important Links
This workbook is updated regularly, so be sure to check back frequently for new resources! 
Don’t hesitate to reach out for support: Judine.Keplar@slps.org, 314-345-2314, office, or 618-698-2349, cell.
Curriculum Corner: Science with Dr. Valentina Bumbu
Science Teacher Highlights
Shout-out to Amber Watson and Janell Anderson for being awarded the Teacher of the Month in their respective schools (Yeatman MS and Vashon HS). I am incredibly proud of their emergence as effective virtual teacher leaders.
  • Assessment SMART Goal for 6-12 science: Schools will implement SLPS 6-8 Science Curriculum with fidelity by applying the learnings from professional development and on-going support on planning and pacing, to achieve an average proficiency at the same level or better than the district average or 20% growth as measured by common formative and summative assessment by the end of 2020-21 school year.
  • Assessment Reminder: Common Summative Assessment's closing window for quarter 1 was Oct. 16 in Scantron. Please take the week of Oct. 18 to grade the CSA 1 and input data in the tracker. Common Formative Assessment window for quarter 2 opens the week of Oct 26. Please reach out to your building's testing coordinator for test IDs. 
Science Announcements
Coming up/Recent Booster Sessions: Oct. 20, 3:30pm booster session on Science Check-in: What? So What? Now What? in Teams
Curriculum Corner: Performing Arts with Kaye Harrelson
SMART Goals for Performing Arts in the 2020-2021 school year: 100% of performing arts teachers will integrate instruction with objectives in the Respond, Create and Connect strands of the Missouri Fine Arts Standards. 
Weekly Booster-Open Office Hours for Lesson Planning, Content Support and Q/A: Every Wednesday morning 7-8am: SESSION LINK
  • Performing Arts teachers returning to classrooms are reminded that indoor group singing should be AVOIDED (yes, even with masks), as should any movement that extends beyond the "personal bubble" around each student. Humming is an option. There are no performances planned for SLPS schools this semester. 
  • Teachers and all students should sanitize hands at the beginning and end of every class session.
  • Contact Kaye Harrelson if more specific guidance is needed, 314-934-5445
Curriculum Corner: Visual Arts with John Grapperhaus
Elementary Brick and Mortar Art Classes: 2 Steps to Keep Art Class Safe and Sterile:
  • Students sanitize hands at the beginning AND end of class. (For pull-out art class, sanitize hands before they walk in.)
  • Sanitize (spray or wipe) art supplies, equipment and furniture (including push-in cart) at the end of each day.
SMART Goals for Visual Art in the 2020-2021 school year: LINK
Visual Art teachers (and anyone else!) are invited to an Early Childhood Arts Integration Booster PD with Springboard: October 21, 2020, 3:15-5:15pm: LINK
Weekly Booster: Open Office Hours for Lesson Planning, Content Support and Q/A, Every Wednesday, 3:15-4:15pm: LINK 
Curriculum Corner: ELA, Elementary with Dr. Esther Palsenberger
CFA/CSA Smart Goal: Schools will implement the SLPS English Language Arts (ELA) curriculum with on-going assessment using Common Formative Assessments focusing on high priority standards. By the conclusion of the 2020-2021 school year, 70% of students in grades K-5 will meet their performance growth target (established by the teacher) as measured by a comparison of their quarterly scores on the ELA common formative assessments (CFSs) that integrate high priority standards identified within the current curriculum plan. 
Assessment Reminders: The 2nd Quarter Common Formative Assessment (CFA) will start during the week of October 26, 2020. Also, Esther Palsenberger will be requesting Quarter 1 ELA scores from each building in the next couple of weeks. If you currently have a building data tracker, please share that link with Esther. If your building needs a data tracker, click HERE for a great example.
Assessment Prep Tips:  Explain to your students how assessments help the teachers to drive instruction and that it shouldn't be something students fear. Assessments provide teachers with information about students so everyone can be successful by the end of the year.
Upcoming PD: 
  • Date: Oct. 21, 2020
  • Topic: Open Forum Elementary ELA
  • Time: 7-8am
  • Link: Teams
1) In Teams, if you are showing yourself reading and displaying a document camera artifact, click on "Spotlight" in the participants' area to make yourself larger on the screen.
2) When sharing a video with sound, don't forget to click "Include Computer Sound," so students will be able to hear the video.
Read Aloud: Creepy Pair of Underwear & Creepy Carrots Compare and Contrast Nearpod
Need to meet with Dr. Palsenberger? Click HERE for her appointment calendar.
Curriculum Corner: Social Studies with Dr. Glenn Barnes
SMART Goals For Social Studies: LINK
Assessment Reminders
1) Government teachers, please be sure to score CSA answers in Scantron.

2) CFAs will take place October 26-30. Be sure to utilize the tracker that has been shared with you.

3) Be reminded that CFAs are to see what students know prior to learning. CSAs assess learning over time. You want to see growth between assessments.
Assessment Prep Tips
Be sure to keep the standards as your focus and assess them. Use the exit slips and create questions and opportunities which reflect the requirements of proficiency. Focus on pushing follow up questions with higher DOK levels. Strategies like hexagonal thinking can assist you in building up vocabulary.
PD Reminders
1) Authentic Assessments in K-5 Social Studies, Monday, October, 26, 3:15-4:15pm
2) Planning Effective Online 6-12 Social Studies Lessons, Tuesday, October 27, 3:15-4:15pm
3) “Chow and Chat,” AKA Secondary Lesson Plan Support, every Thursday morning 7-8am
4) “Caffeine and Social Studies,” AKA Elementary Lesson Plan Support, every Friday morning 7-8am (Let’s talk about source analysis on 10/23)
General Announcements
I have been spending quite a bit of time observing elementary classes this past week and working with teachers to improve the quality of social studies teaching. Shout out to Jennifer Enserink (Woodward Elementary) who was doing a lesson on latitude and longitude and made it so interactive. Again, technology should not be teaching the kids, but used as a tool to teach. She was able to make the lesson interactive and engaging using Nearpod, while also checking for understanding and misconceptions about the subject. I also want to thank Beverly Tretter, Lindsey Steuber, Angela Ewing, and Dr. Carla Cunigan (Woodward Elementary) for a great conversation of how we can continue to push social studies even further. Thank you for all of the hard work you are doing to make social studies important in your school. Also, a shout out to Josie Johnston (Collegiate) for doing a very interactive and engaging error analysis for her AP Human Geography class. So many participants and a great way to hear students thought process.
Kids Voting has started up, and the voting window is now open. Hopefully, school based liaisons have shared resources and materials with you. Please make sure all students vote, but vote only once!
Information on the Missouri Bicentennial can be found HERE. There is a poster design contest which students are being asked to submit entries.
Finally, I mentioned a few weeks ago that a Fordham Institute longitudinal study says that a robust social studies curriculum, when implemented appropriately helps increase students literacy rates, especially in girls, minorities, and those who come from low income households. Access to social studies is an equity and social justice issue for me. Social studies connects with all subject areas through the use of analysis, contextualization, development of inferences, and interpreting data just to name a few skills. These skills require time to develop and cannot be learned in isolation or via video alone. I am here to support you and assist our students in developing a greater understanding of our world. For so many students, this subject is all about the real world and how to make sense of the world that surrounds them. We have moved past learning dates and random facts, to now assessing the why and how of events. Students do not need to know when a war happened, but they do need to know what caused that war to happen and what were the long term impacts of decisions made. They do not need to memorize Lincoln’s Gettysburg Address, but they do need to know the impact of his words. As I look around our community, we need problem solvers and advocates for justice. Those skills are rooted in the social sciences and being able to look at systems and propose solutions. Our students are those problem solvers and can be change agents, when we guide them to understand social studies.
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
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Past issues are uploaded on a regular basis.
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