On December 18, through the generosity of MCPE, Sarah Ward came to talk to both staff and the community about supporting students with executive functioning. The opportunity to have all staff attend the afternoon session was incredible. I sent out a survey to elicit feedback afterwards and 160 staff members completed it. Of the 160 members, 93.5% rated it a 4 or a 5 (out of 5). I received comments such as "I appreciate the PD ~ got the clock up today & will take some pics of what "done" looks like, had my son point out his plan for soccer prep last night & new whiteboard structure on kitchen fridge"; "Great presentation- thanks- heard many teachers talking about it today and how informative and practical it was!"; "She was fantastic. A lot of people took a lot away from it. The visual "readiness" photos are game changers. I'm done with checklists. #NonVerbal"; "I thought ti was a tremendous achievement to have an entire district PD presentation that connected to each level, educator and discipline. She was thoughtful in presenting information to teachers and also connection it to home life/parenting".
Staff were able to put many of the strategies that Sarah recommended into action the very next day. We are looking forward to continuing to implement her ideas and working as a district to think about executive functioning success for all students.
English Learner Professional Development
On January 17, our EL Program Coordinator, Gigi Lozano, presented to elementary staff on the federal laws of working with our EL students, the ins and outs of the WIDA (Word Class Instructional-Design and Assessment), SIOP (Sheltered Instruction Observation Protocol) model and best practices. She then allowed time for teams to work together to improve their own assessments to support all students. Gigi quoted Frank Smith, a psycholinguist, stating "Language is not a genetic gift, it is a social gift. Learning a new language is becoming a member of the club-the community of speakers of that language". It was a productive, informative and collaborative experience for all.
Civil Right Self-Evaluation Committee
The Civil Rights Self-Evaluation Committee has begun work assessing the district in a variety of manners including the review of readily available data, equity walk-throughs at each building and analysis of the survey results that went out to all. The group will meet again after the February break to determine an action plan to help the district continue to move forward in this area. If you have any questions or would like to be a part of the process next year, please contact Mary Bruhl at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Please join us for the next SEPAC meeting on March 24 from 7-9pm at the Blake Middle School LMC. It will be a presentation titled No Sibling Left Behind: Supporting Siblings of Children with Disabilities.
Director of Student Services