As we pass the mid-point of the year we enter February with Parent Conferences and Progress Reports signaling the beginning of the second half of our second trimester. Now that we have passed the Holiday Season we are able to continue with the serious work in the classrooms and labs and the staff and students rise to the challenge on a daily basis.
This is frequently a time that teachers assess progress to make adjustments to groupings and instruction and reflect on what is being taught and learned. Teachers at all levels make it a practice to administer formative and summative assessments to progress monitor students. They use tools like AIMSweb “a universal screening, progress monitoring, and data management system that supports Response to Intervention (RTI) and tiered instruction. It uses brief, valid, and reliable measures of reading and math performance for grades K-12, which can be generalized to any curriculum.” to check reading and other progress. Students in grades 4-8 have taken the winter NWEA MAP Northwest Evaluation Association Measures of Academic Progress which creates a personalized assessment experience by adapting to each student's learning level. Teachers review results of these and other measures to personalize instruction and provide interventions to close gaps in learning.
On Friday, January 13, we had our 3rd of 5 Early Release Inservice workshops here at school. In our January staff meeting the faculty requested that we spend some time looking into Responsive Classroom (www.responsiveclassroom.org) and whether it is a program to adopt here at Barnard. We reviewed some of the literature and online videos and realized that we have much to learn and full staff participation would be essential for the success of the program. We committing as a whole community, teachers, teaching assistants, and service providers, both part and full-time to share a suggested book: Teaching Children to Care by Ruth Sidney and I have purchased copies for all. I have also included a handout for parents in my report for more information in case the staff moves forward with the initiative.
- During the first week of January there were 3 days that our morning custodian, Dvina Valcour, discovered that the boiler in the main building was not working and the building was at a temp in the low 60’s I reset the boiler and the building was relatively warm when staff and students arrived. Breen and Sullivan, our service provider, came out twice and first discovered a wiring problem and later a nozzle that needed replacement. Both repairs appeared to fix the problem. On Monday, January 30 the boiler also seemed to be off since the building was again in the low 60’s. Breen and Sullivan came again and it was discovered that it was indeed working but a power outage had caused the thermostats to go into night mode.
- In view of these incidents and the intention to make introductions, Nick Metz, Breen and Sullivan Service Director, Matt Ferreira, SAU21 Business Manager and I met on Friday morning January 27. We first toured the facility together to show Matt all the systems Breen and Sullivan maintains in our buildings including 3 separate heating systems served by 4 boilers, 3 hot water systems, 3 air handlers, and 2 air conditioning units. We discussed periodic maintenance and Nick promised to report on maintenance schedules and repairs over the past year to bring Matt up to speed. The remainder of our meeting was to address concerns about recent boiler failures and the impact of a prolonged failure on a vacant building, particularly during extended winter absences like weekends and vacations. There are monitors of all kinds that send information for remote access and Nick agreed to prepare a proposal for Matt and myself. I will have more information for the next Board meeting.
- We continue to have success with snow removal both around the building and in the lots and my frequent inspection of the Gym roof has shown no load thanks to mild temps and little precipitation, although the students would very much like to go sledding out back!
Please continue to visit our school and staff web pages and links to my blog, and the school’s Twitter and Facebook pages. We look forward to our Winter Vacation, February 18-25, and more skiing and snowboarding on Tuesday evenings.