I would like to introduce you to Ms. Nicole Tyrpak, our primary diverse learner teacher. I am so excited that Ms. Tyrpak has joined our Waters family! She has years of experience teaching a variety of grade levels K-12 both nationally and internationally. She has been working alongside staff this past week, familiarizing herself with the students and schedule.
You may have heard by now that the SQRP ratings for CPS schools have been released. This is a rating system that our district uses to evaluate and assess each individual school. I have included some documents, one that shows Waters rating and some additional documents that explains the rating in detail and how the final score was assigned. Waters school rating for the school year 2016-2017 is a Level 1 which is "good standing” but is one level below our 1+ that we maintained for the past three years.
We will continue to analyze the reasons why our school rating dropped and will report on them in greater detail at the next LSC meeting on November 14 at 4:00 p.m. For now, I want to focus on what we are doing to regain the Level 1+. Please know that while we recognize that test scores are not the only metric for success, we take this data seriously. We are working hard at both addressing this challenge and continuing to provide the wonderful sense of community that makes Waters so special.
For example, our recent School Improvement Day on Friday, November 3, featured several important professional development opportunities as well as strategic planning about the SQRP. This is the first day we have been all together since August and it was a great opportunity to remind ourselves about what makes Waters great and what we can do to keep improving it! The staff and I engaged in the following activities on Friday:
We began our day learning about Encyclopedia Britannica and the free resources that are available to teachers and students for learning in the classroom. We then participated in an interactive webinar on myOn, a new electronic resource that was purchased for all classrooms. MyOn is an award-winning personalized literacy program that incorporates a state of the art learning platform, enhanced digital reading content, daily news articles written for students, a Lexile Framework for Reading, cutting edge literacy tools, and embedded metrics to monitor activity and growth. In addition, we learned about BrainPOP, a "playful" educator-focused, reflective and global learning tool, and, Flocabulary, a learning program for all grades that uses educational hip-hop music to engage students and increase achievement across the curriculum. These e-programs are available for teachers and all students (two of them include Spanish components) in and out of school.
Kindergarten, 2nd and 5th grade staff also participated in a Math Trailblazers professional development workshop on our current math curriculum. Given our staffing changes this year, we felt it was imperative that these specific grade-level teachers be properly trained on the implementation of the series.
The afternoon was a collaborative journey addressing our recently released SQRP. The staff and I had meaningful conversations on curriculum, data, professional development and growth mindset. We moved into four groups where we discussed the four topics and collected everyone's thoughts and comments. As a culminating activity, we displayed all of the ideas captured during the breakout sessions. The staff and I have set a plan of action.
I invite you to attend our next LSC meeting, November 14, where staff will present this plan.