In public schools across the state including here in Coxsackie-Athens, there is concern that the Class of 2012 may have received the best education that districts will be able to offer for the foreseeable future. With a lack of leadership in Albany to provide equitable and adequate funding for schools and meaningful mandate relief, districts are running out of time and options. I need your help in delivering this message to state leaders!
As you may know, we have already begun to develop the school district budget for 2013-14. After three consecutive years of cuts to staff and programs, eroding state aid and increasing mandate
s threaten even deeper budget cuts in the coming year. An entire generation of children is likely to have compromised educational opportunities unless there is swift and significant change in the way New York State supports public education.
I am very excited about the Coxsackie-Athens Foundation for Education’s gala. The foundation raised $20,000 to be used for teacher grants. This is a great group of people who have invested so much time to enrich education in our schools. http://www.c-afoundation.org/
This month the 1st quarter marking period ends for grades 5-12 on 11/9. The first tri-semester for grades K-4 ends 11/30. All 5-12 parents should have received a letter explaining how to access student grades, attendance, and discipline reports via e School Data (eSD). If you have any questions how to access this information online contact the help desk at email@example.com
We appreciate your understanding as we have changed our instructional calendar to accommodate additional training for teachers as we implement our new evaluation system. I understand the difficulty of arranging child care when school is open for a ½ day session. We are committed to making sure each c
lassroom has a highly effective teacher. In order for that assurance to occur, we must have a comprehensive, fair evaluation system. Teachers must understand how they will be evaluated. We have invested in an evaluation system that provides teachers and principals with over 40 hours of video showing exemplary instruction. This will assist us in making sure every C-A teacher is evaluated based on a common set of expectations.
This may have been one of the busiest starts of a school year for most of our teachers. New state evaluation requirements have caused teachers to:
· Create or re-design assessments to use as a baseline data point.
· Design student learning objectives (SLO’s) or performance targets they will be evaluated on.
· Learn how to use a new student management system that will collect the necessary data that is reported to the state.
The “what” of the new state regulations, often referred to as APPR makes sense. Effective instruction is based on assessing students early and then monitor progress towards mastery of an agreed upon curriculum. The monitoring through assessments informs the teacher’s instruction and provides the school with necessary data to provide precision interventions for students who need more support.
“How” the state has asked schools to implement the APPR has caused much consternation across the state. Each school must negotiate the details of the evaluation plan, instead of relying on one state-wide template. We continue to negotiate our plan with our teacher association and have made steady progress. With little time to implement, our first go at baseline assessments did not provide the useful data teachers need. We are committed to improving the next time, and improve again the next time after that; the process for assessing student learning and tracking their results throughout the year.
August 27, 2012
The summer has been very busy in our schools. Classrooms and hallways are cleaned and polished. Supplies have been arriving daily. New teachers and staff are being hired. I encourage you to use this website as your information headquarters for all things C-A. You can also access updates via our Facebook page. Let us know what you want on our website by contacting your child’s school office.
Mark your calendars and plan to attend the inaugural Wall of Honor inductions on October 20th at 6pm at Dionysos in Athens. The Coxsackie-Athens Foundation for Education (C.A.F.E.) is sponsoring the dinner event. A live auction will also occur. The C.A.F.E. is raising funds to support innovative educational programs. You can find out about this event by going to the C.A.F.E. website.
We took time to put together a compilation of our celebrations from the previous year. You can see those here in our summer online newsletter.
This is a good time to start building the routines necessary for a successful school year. Starting your bedtime and waking up routines as well as meal times now will go a long way in making for a smooth transition as classes begin on September 6th.