From the Principal's Desk
From the Principal's Desk - January 2014
I hope all of you are finding ways to keep warm and make it through this trying winter. We have just begun the third quarter. Some parents may have received letters from me about your child's academic performance. I encourage all parents to contact teachers directly and get involved. I am always willing to assist in the communication process if needed. My focus this month is “Common Core” I still receive questions as to why we teach certain topics within a content area. Some parents even ask “Whatever happened to teaching ______________ in English or Math?” Part of my job is to educate you on the answer to that question. The information below is a synopsis of the Common Core.
Why is the Common Core important?
Today, we have different standards in every state and we need a common core of state standards to ensure all students, no matter where they live, are prepared for success in college and work. Beginning in 2014–15, state assessment systems will be aligned to measure student achievement on the CCSS. Therefore it important for teachers to become knowledgeable now, so that they can better prepare students to achieve.
Today’s kindergarten students will be the first students to take the new Common Core Assessments. Today’s middle school students will have to pass Common Core assessments in order to graduate from high school.
What is different about the Common Core?
The ELA and Mathematic CCSS stress not only procedural skill but also conceptual understanding, to make sure students are learning and absorbing the critical information they need to succeed at higher levels. Both ELA and Mathematics standards focus students on developing the skills and perseverance to engage in sustained problem solving and research. The characteristics of the CCSS are changed from Ohio’s current standards design, however the most significant changes are in focus and learning expectations.
Key Advances in English Language Arts CCSS
A greater emphasis on informational text
Development of an “academic” vocabulary
Close reading of increasingly complex text
Developing an ability to learn from text through text dependent questioning
Emphasis on argument & informative writing and speaking
Addition of standards for reading and writing in history, science and technical subjects
Key Advance in Mathematics CCSS
Application of mathematical ways of thinking to real world issues
Major emphasis in early grades on development of number concepts
An expectation of fluency with operations
A progression of learning beginning in Kindergarten of algebraic thinking, number operations and systems, geometry, and statistics
An emphasis at higher grades on mathematical modeling
How and when will students be assessed on the Common Core standards?
Ohio has joined the Partnership for Assessment of Readiness for College and Career (PARCC) consortium, one of two national consortia currently developing the assessments that states will use to assess students on the Common Core. The first administration of PARCC assessments is scheduled for the spring of 2015 for students in grades 3-11.
While there is not a lot of information available on these assessments, we do know that the format will be very different from the traditional multiple choice items found in the OAA and OGT. The PARCC assessment system will administer both formative and summative assessments and all assessments will be administered on line. Assessments will be designed to measure the full range of the standards and the full continuum of student performance. The overall assessment system design will include a mix of constructed response items, performance-based tasks, and computer-enhanced, computer-scored items.
How can I learn more?
Visit the Common Core Standards website
Talk with colleagues. A listing of Common Core Transition Team members and Academic Achievement Team teachers can be found on the district InfoNet.
Attend district, building and regional scheduled professional development sessions
See entire newsletter and subscribe.
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WHS Building Calendar
WHS Building Calendar
Student of the Month
January Students of the Month:
Science Department - Hannah Pridemore
Hannah Pridemore consistently works hard in Physical Science class. This year, she has been one of the highest-achieving students in the college-prep classes. Keep up the good work, Hannah!
Business Department - Wyatt DeWeese
Wyatt DeWeese has been in Business classes for a couple years now and always brings a pleasant demeanor to class. He is a good worker and never hesitates to help other students. We have enjoyed having Wyatt in the Business classes. Congratulations Wyatt!
Social Studies Department - Shania Williams
The Social Studies department would like to nominate Shania Williams for Student of the Month. Her interest in the subject area, and the quality of her work makes her a pleasure to teach! She is a great leader and contributor in the classroom!
English Department - Ryan Oates
The English department would like to nominate Ryan Oates for his insightful reflection, careful work, and indomitable positive attitude. His kind spirit and intellectual capacity makes Ryan a compelling person and a formidable scholar.
Math Department - Kylie Miracle
Kylie Miracle is always prepared for class. She is an excellent example to others in the class and willing to help those who ask. She pays close attention and often asks insightful questions. Congratulations Kylie.
Art Department - Rachel Haines
Rachel Haines is enrolled in Art 3 this year. She is enjoying great success from the many hours she spends developing her artistic skills. She has a strong work ethic which will help her in any endeavor. We look forward to seeing where Rachel's talents will take her.
Band Department - Natasha Baylor
The Band program would like to recognize Natasha Baylor as student of the month. Natasha has consistently demonstrated superior leadership with her peers and ownership of the program. She is active in the Marching Band, Pep Band, and Wind Ensemble and will soon be performing a Class A solo at the OMEA Solo & Ensemble contest.
Theatre Department - Conner Massie
The theatre department would like to recognize Connor Massie for his successful work in Acting 2 and Stagecraft. Connor has stepped outside his comfort zone and really given it his all. Most recently he did a great scene in Acting class. He is a pleasure to be around, always participates, and is there with something funny to lighten everyone's mood. We wish Connor well in all his future endeavors and hope his time spent in Theatre at WHS will be remembered fondly.