3/08/2019

Spring is Upon Us

And so the Love of Learning Continues to Flourish in the Month of March

A good teacher can inspire hope, ignite the imagination, and instill a love of learning         - Henry Brad




           


The Higher Purpose of Konocti Unified


The Konocti plan envelopes two absolute beliefs and values for the organization, all students can learn, and a collective/collaborative approach.
The plan also incorporates other important principles and actions that uplift these critical beliefs. Principles and actions such as:
** Collaborate regularly and routinely
** Monitoring progress regularly and routinely
** Making informed decisions
** Students as agents of their learning
** Provide regular feedback
** Be clear in one's expectations
**Act in a welcoming and appreciative way

How are we doing so far this school year? 

LLES - students are teaching to the staff a strategy called R.A.C.E. The demonstrated showed how they internalize this valuable strategy while modeling teacher clarity and progress monitoring.
The student ambassadors increase student and staff involvement around the clarity around deep learning of the essential concepts and skills. 

Carle - the students truly embrace the C.A.R..L.E way, Here are some quotes by the students:
“They truly want to see you succeed each and every day at Carle’”
“I think the school works with the students and their struggles.”
“Carle’ is known for helping kids improve their education regardless of other situations.”
“The fondest memory from Carle is simply when I would show up each day and all the staff greeted everyone with smiles.”
As I see it Carle’ is known for helping people graduate and getting us to succeed.”

Burns Valley - most classrooms show students on track to make over one year's growth this school year. Teachers are training fellow teachers around ELD strategies. As a result, the staff are closely monitoring students growth, particularly growth in the EL students.
Furthermore, kids feel welcomes in a civil setting as conveyed through their attendance, their low suspension rate, and student testament statements.
Pomo - staff and principals are currently involved in many venues of training inside of school and outside of school regarding fundamental training particularly in teacher clarity and formative assessment to increase student learning and student engagement. As a result, there is an increase in the frequency of these instructional practices embedded in the classroom, and as a result, more students are able to decide their learning at a deep level.
KEC - 27 students shadow people or intern in the workplace, and 40 students are enrolled in middle college. As a result, the students are living into the professional and literate culture that fosters college and career readiness.
Staff and students provide an alternative measure as well as serve as a consistent presence around campus. As a result, students attendance increased, behavior has improved, and students feel like they belong.
With a heavy focus on teacher clarity and routine formative assessment, more students can articulate a deep understanding of their learning, explain how the knowledge applies to real life situations.

Highlands - each of their 16 students made over 2 year's growth in reading so far this year. Students working closely with staff, principal, and counselor to learn coping skills that lend to a higher degree of social-emotional stability as the students' look to successfully integrate back into their neighborhood school.

East Lake school - over 70% of their students are on track to make over one year's growth in reading this school year. Staff and the principal are diving deep into their instructional practice particularly around teacher clarity at the surface, deep, and transference level. As a result, every room visibly displayed the grade level criteria and 100% of the students interviewed could describe their learning in that particular class/subject.

Lower Lake High School - the principal and staff are working together to closely monitor every student. Every student on the D and F list met with a teacher, counselor, or AIA, As a result, every student with a failing grade is aware and has an action plan to improve.

More students are completing a CTE pathway as another indicator on their belt for being college-career ready.
There were students who placed in the recent state FAA speech contest.
There were four migrant education winners in a recent county speech and debate contest.




The Love of Learning

Having fun learning math, gaining confidence in their math skills, learning strategies about how to support their own learning in math

















Hip hip hooray for the love of reading!












"Stick with the people who pull the magic out of you and not the madness" - unknown


Through our individual and collective hard work, we can ensure every student makes one year's gain or more.  What a magical day!


Here is how we are progressing so far





District-wide Local Reading Results 2018-19 at MidYear
                                                                   using Renaissance




A greater % of students grew over one year and higher % of kids reached grade level or above compared to the 2017-18 school year.




Here is an example when students can answer the three questions at a high caliber level and are on track to make one year's gain or more





A synthesis of the student interviews and teacher interviews.

             Focus group teachers’ synthesis:

1.)    Most excited about or proud of so far this year. “My students are learning. Their understanding is sticking.
“Today, I persevered and even when kids resisted, I said we are going to learn today. There was evidence of this learning at the end of the year”.
“Every one of my students has their own book from scholastic to read”.
“A portion of my students are making significant gains in their reading”.

2.)  Knowing One’s Impact. Teachers could describe their impact. Teachers could describe where their students were academically. Example. Teachers identified strategies where students responses.
3.) The four fundamental strategies: Student-teacher relations, clarity, formative assessment, and effective feedback. Teachers were aware of these fundamental strategies as the focus of the school district. Each teacher evaluated themselves as a component in these areas. And each teacher provided some evidence around this level of componence.
4.)  Other strategies that work with your students? “A clear and consistent daily routine. Celebrating students’ progress. Setting individual goals with students and monitoring progress with students”.
5.)  Describe a good learner. I did not ask this time around. I will ask in the future.
6.) Describe a good instructor. I did not ask this time around. I will like to ask in the future.

Focus group student synthesis:
             
1.)        Most excited about or proud of so far this year? 
"Involvement in extracurricular activities".
 "Passing my college courses".
 "Doing better in school than last year".
       
2.)        What are you most excited about or proud of this school year?
Doing better than last year.
Doing well in my college courses.
Enjoy my internship
  
3.)        Adults, do that support your learning? 
      "Care about me……excited by the subject……….can tell they are there for us –more than a job. Explain the information in a way that I understand. Show me examples. Let us practice. Walk around and answer my questions one on one. Talks to other teachers about how to teach the subject in a way we can understand. The doors are open for extra assistance."
     
     3.) Do to advance your own learning?
Ask……..think, skip the difficult problems and return to them later,
Read and re-read, t
Reflect and then try to figure it out a different way.
Ask three people first
Draw and think
Take notes and then re-write my notes

    4.)    What makes a good learner?  did not ask this time around. I will like to ask in the future.
    5.)    What makes a good instructor?  did not ask this time around. I will like to ask in the future.


These different evidence points allow Konocti to track progress and impact in the areas of learning and well-being as we strive to ensure 1+ for every student.





12/25/2018

Tis The Season



The Holiday Season amidst Sound Instruction and Deep Learning.



In the month of December, I share a two-fold message. One, I want to share my gratitude. 


This is my fourth year living in Lowerlake and working in Konocti. What to say. Lowerlake is very impoverished yet filled with beauty; beauty in the land, in the people, and the wildlife. Who can say when driving down a highway, they saw a bald eagle, deer, and elk? Amongst all the signs of generational poverty, there are more displays of people upholding the importance of education and the value of community. One teacher shared in my interview, "the people of Konocti are really a family." I concur. Even in our corky and roundabout ways, I can say with confidence, we sure do want to make a difference via a strong education that equips students with the knowledge and motivation and the skills to thrive in their future endeavors and in their future world. 

And, the second part of the two-fold message is that I tend to reflect. In doing so here is what runs through my mind.
    





1.) Remember the direction of the district = The Goal = 1+ for all students and staff alike
Konocti lays the groundwork with strong relationships amongst its staff and students.

In an inviting and welcoming environment, staff can, then, embark on several fundamental practices and ignite that deep learning in students, measured as one year's growth or more. (Knowing people use more than just these four practices) 


2.) Recall how we are supposed to meet this goal = Some fundamental action steps to cause this 1+:
a.) Strong relations and welcoming-inviting surroundings
a.) Clarity - clear expectations through the learning intention and success criteria
b.) Always knowing one's impact based on student progress
c.) Other high leverage strategies within these two instructional pillars such as formative assessment and feedback.



3.) Review different data points to asses our progress and my impact 





3A.) Teacher Clarity and Student Clarity can double the rate of learning. 









3B.) State Reading and Achievement Data





3C.) Local Reading Growth and Achievement Data for K -12

Stayed for the results in January

3D.) Possible High School Final Data - growth and achievement data from some courses/classes

Stayed tuned for results in January



 My personal and professional goal, actions, and progress/impact.

My purpose statement is the following:
** Educate students so as to deepen their content knowledge, develop their cognitive skills, and gain their own learner strategies so as to prepare students in a way that lets them thrive in their future endeavors and in the ever-changing world.

My goal is to ensure students make one year’s growth or more for each year of school


My action steps to achieve my goal and contribute the district goals are the following:
1.      Effective execution of some fundamental instructional practices (particularly clarity……formative assessment…….feedback)

2.      Clearly communicate the instructional plan, the actions, and progress

3.      Plan and participate in professional development and collaboration

4.    Regularly monitor my impact with various data points


I will measure/track my progress toward my goal by using the following methods: 

++ Visiting schools where staff display visible attributes of these fundamental instructional practices (use the walkthrough forms which includes the instructional checklist and student response form
++ Interviewing stakeholders about their level of understanding regarding the direction and progress (use the interview questions).....in the progress now
++ Participation by staff and engagement from the staff at the scheduled professional and collaborations (attendance rates, observe and listen to the conversations, gather artifacts, gather feedback, gather minutes). I have all of this - see me for my analysis of this information)(also I track my influence in working with the principles.Again you can ask my about this information and interpretation and next steps)
++ Assessing student local and state results (Star, HS pre and post-tests, CAASPP Interim Block Assessments, teacher evidence of student learning each month)........all of these data points are in the works and so stay tuned as I assess and analyze more formally in January.




"Believe with all your heart that how you live your life makes a difference" - Colin Brown




11/05/2018

The Fall Happenings of Konocti Unified


November in Konocti

 Kids learning even after the school day


The "littles" learning how to read and to read for understanding


The Vision for our Kiddos = Work in partnership with students to develop: 
+ Content knowledge especially literacy
+ Cognitive skills
+ Capacity in the way of gaining learner strategies  and problem-solving skills 
so as to be ready and well-adjusted folks to succeed in their future endeavors and for the what the future holds.

The Goal = 1+ for all students and staff alike
Konocti lays the groundwork with strong relationships among-st its staff and students.

In an inviting and welcoming environment, staff can, then, embark on several  fundamental practices and ignite that deep learning in students of one year's growth or more. (Knowing people use more than just these four practices) 


Some fundamental action steps to cause this 1+:
1.) Clarity - clear expectations through the learning intention and success criteria
2.) Always knowing one's impact based on student progress
3.) Other high leverage strategies within these two instructional pillars such as formative assessment and feedback.




Teacher Clarity and Student Clarity can double the rate of learning. Here is how we are doing.

October 24 All Day Staff Development Day

 The goal of the day was the following:
** Learn some new high-leverage strategies specific to one's content area
** Time to process and plan with their colleagues
** Long-term outcomes:
          * See the new learnings discussed in collaboration
          * See the enhanced instruction through the growth and well-being of the students

Feedback from a representative teachers and presenters as well as my observations in alignment with the purpose of the day.

     1.)    Some of the feedback was less favorable, mainly for these two reasons
a.)     Differentiate more about the content. (Example - one preferred the presenter show us " how" instead of telling us how).

b.)    The training was challenging and new in the way I am use to teaching. (Example - little notice to prep with little clarity around the expectations, and would have enjoyed learning something from others. Another example: when and how can I organize this new pedagogy?) 
   
     2.)    Most of the feedback was favorable for two reasons:

a.)     Viewed the trainers as professional and viewed as expert in their content area.. (Example - felt as though they were able to focus on what was most important for their department)

b.)    Appreciated the time, the time to process- talk about the new learning with their colleagues in the same content area and to talk vertically with colleagues as the workshops were grades 6 -12. (Example - wanted time to collaborate with peers, time to debrief, unpack everything that was introduced to us)

Response or resolution for the next All Day Staff Development Day
**Return of the presenters that came valued– internally and externally so as to continue with content, with new learning, processing and planning time with colleagues.
**Add more presenters for departments and so as to differentiate the content for folks (example – foundational skills and then close reading…………….Others wanted more about close reads and other reading strategies like guided reading when unpacking complex text with students).
** Ensure time in the workshops for collaborating – talking – planning time with peers and colleagues.

  
Evidence of the importance of school and educators as we see one student, of many enjoying the gift of reading and the pure curiosity of children.


As John Locke shared, "Curiosity in Children ia but an appetite for knowledge".






                       


9/29/2018

Konocti in October



KONOCTI with a Focus on Reading and the Future Endeavors of our Students


 
  Mrs Oranje's class reading their new Scholastic Books. And when they finish this book, they


Grade 1 feeling  empowered by their literacy skills, thinking skills, their confidence to soar their confidence to soar into their future and future endeavors










"Believe with all your heart that how you live your life makes a difference" - Colin Brown


CAASPP Results for the 2017-18 School Year


Konocti Unified continues to climb as 27% of the students can now read at or above grade level. A 7% increase in 2 years.
Grade 3 and Grade 7 and Grade 11 made significant gains in their reading levels as well. The 11th grade increased from 29% to 38% now reading at or above grade level.
Over 50% of the students grades 3 -7, grade 8 and grade 11 showed over one year's growth on the CAASPP Exam.
Over 90% of the students K -2 showed over one year's growth in the local reading assessment, which proves to be a reliable predictor for their performance on the CAASPP exam.

Yes we measure student success using an array of measures in addition to the annual state exam. We teach and assess students in the area of cognitive development and, in the procurement of learner disposition. We teach and assess students in their acquisition of social and civil traits.

We capture growth in these other areas of student development through:
** The responses we record to the three fundamental questions asses these other attributes.
** The focus group interview responses
**Video taping classroom instruction and student learning
** Growth data - using effect size - to see students making one year's gain or more in reading, and in other content areas.

Stay tuned as these different points of evidence are shared, assessed, and responded to.

Collaboration

The first district-wide collaboration

Konocti lays the groundwork with strong relationships among-st its staff and students.
In an inviting and welcoming environment, staff can, then, embark on several  fundamental practices and ignite that deep learning in students of one year's growth or more. (Knowing people use more than just these four practices) 




Konocti's Instructional Goal is to ensure 1+ for our students

Some fundamental action steps to cause this 1+:
1.)  Clarity - clear expectations through the learning intention and success criteria
2.) Always knowing one's impact based on student progress
3.) Other high leverage strategies within these two instructional pillars


One critical support that improves our instructional practices as a professional, and then advances students learning and well-being is collaboration.

The purpose of collaboration is just that = to improve our instructional practice and then directly impact student learning and well-being. 

When collaboration is "done well", we can advance our own instructional practice and that of the students!

The type of collaboration that serves this purpose is one where the conversation is deeply focused around evidence of student learning and the"effective" instructional practices (DuFour, 2004) :
(1.) Evidence: Such a conversation is steeped in evidence of student progress and achievement,
(2.) Analysis: The team members identify and share the instructional strategies that contributed to such progress and achievement - success -  sharing - Eureka!
(3.) Analysis: The team taps into their collective wisdom and makes refinements to current strategies and/or adds new instructional strategies to the repertoire
(4.) Action: The team commits to instructional strategies that are causing substantial learning in some students, and that can cause student learning in even more students.

Such a conversation both affirms and enhances our instructional practices to then implement, continuing the success with students already improving and achieving as well as reaching kids never before reached - the light bulb turns on; the caliber of work surpasses their own expectation; there is a new level of involvement and excitement.




Just as staff collaborate regularly on site and as a whole school district, the principals and I also collaborate two times a month. Once a month our collaborations also strategic in nature. The conversation is steeped in evidence of adult growth and student improvement. The principals and I evaluate our impact based on staff instructional success, and then based on students' academic and social emotional success = 1+ for all of us.

You are welcome to ask me anytime - what am I working on? How am I doing? How do I know my progress and impact?