Wednesday, January 14, 2009

8th graders make the cut with High school students- PLEASE VOTE


Okay this is shameless self promotion, but I am a very proud principal! Our 8th grade students entered the Character Counts Video Contest and they have made the finals! Not only did two of the videos make the final cut but because of their age they made the cut in the High School category!

Now we need your help....click the link and please vote

Our videos that made the cut are "The Caring Project" and "Fairness" from St. Elisabeth School

The assignment was to do a short video , no longer than 2 minutes, promoting one or more of the Six Pillars of Character. This was only the second video story our students have made so I want to acknowledge David Jakes skyped into our class earlier this year to teach them how to do Photo Stories! Thanks David, we could not have done it without you!

Wednesday, January 07, 2009

Which way? Planning for the future....


As I have been writing on twitter we are in the the final stage of preparing for our accreditation visit which will take place in early February. Our self-study book goes to print tomorrow and as I am doing a final edit it occurred to me that it would be interesting to share the four critical areas we have identified as five year goals. In this post I will list the goals and give details for the first one and then over the next week I will post the details for the others.


I would love to hear your thoughts or have you share your own five year plan? What do you hope you school will embrace over the next several years?

Critical Areas of Growth

1. Ubiquitous access to technology ( 1:1 computer initiative for K to 8)

  • to ensure digital equity
  • to provide a vehicle for developing information fluency, digital citizenship, global connections and support creativity and innovation encouraging critical thinking, knowledge application, and effective communication and content creation
  • to build student capacity for creativity and innovation- To support critical thinking, the ability to apply academic knowledge to real life situations, creative problem solving, and the ability to create content and unique applications

2. Developing an awareness, understanding and connection with the natural world and our stewardship of God's creation

3. Formalize academic support for challenge and intensive students with Implementation of archdiocesan STEP and MAP program and on site academic counseling.

4. On going support for enrollment, financial planning and marketing:

  • Restructure the Consultative School Council
  • Implementation and development of strategies from Deanery Pastor/Principal meetings
For critical area # 1 , Ubiquitous access to technology I think it is interesting to note that even thought the idea is near and dear to my heart the request to move in this direction for K to 8 originated directly from the faculty and they choose this as the first priority. The following is directly from our Action plan explaining our rationale and timeline.

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Rationale:
Digital equity*: Based on our school community profile ( with 63% of our students on free or reduced price lunch) we have wish to ensure all of our students will have access to the information, knowledge, skills and tools that will secure a level playing field for them in the future and afford them access to economic opportunities. We are seeking equal opportunities for all of our students regardless of socio-economic status.

Current educational research and the identified skills and knowledge essential for the 21st century, includes the reality that these students will need to be well equipped to be independent learners who can access and evaluate new information and can use this information in creative and innovative ways to make new meaning and solve problems. Analysis of school community profile, student work, test scores and discussions revealed the importance of providing, access, and guided practice to ensure all students can effectively find, validate and apply information in a digitally connected world.

· What Is Digital Equity?
"In simple terms, digital equity means all students have adequate access to information and communications technologies for learning and for preparing for the future-regardless of socioeconomic status, physical disability, language, race, gender, or any other characteristics that have been linked with unequal treatment. Knowing how to use computers, software, and the Internet is simply not enough anymore. To be prepared for today's digital society, all students must have the skills to find, understand, and use information, and, perhaps more importantly, to evaluate that information. In short, they must become people who are able to continually discern, adapt, and learn."
http://www.techlearning.com/db_area/archives/TL/2002/04/equity.php

Alignment with SLE's and Mission/Philosophy
Ubiquitous access to technology flows directly from the Philosophy and Mission and is connected to all SLE's and will also further enable global connectedness, global awareness and practical application of moral and ethical use of technology


Timeline and Actions

Persons

Responsible

Resources

Accountability/Reporting

Spring 2009

Form 1:1 Committee to:
-Provide Parent /Community education
-Provide input and suggestions on equipment options
-Research insurance options

( Work of the committee will carry on through both stages of implementation)

Administrative team ,

Technology Coordinator

1:1 Committee

Time

Identifying potential committee memebrs

Status reports posted on the web site/

Spring 2009

Research infrastructure needs and equipment choices

Technology Coordinator Principal

Vice Principal

May require upgrade of DSL line

Report to 1:1 committee and to faculty and staff

On going-

Hands on professional development for staff

Principal Tech coordinator, Tech Club student trainers and teachers

Webinars, online conference, Professional learning Network, onsite training, Professional conferences

Faculty minutes, observation Professional development list

2009-2010

Initial implementation at Junior High level
- Includes training and support for teachers with monitoring software, classroom management and pedagogy

Principal, Tech coordinator, Tech Club student trainers

Secure monitoring software

Provide finance options for parents

Insurance for student laptops

Reporting to the community

Open house

Calendar of training

2009-2010

Intermediate Academy /Primary Academy
Support for basic literacy and
productivity skills for staff and students

Principal, Tech coordinator, Tech Club student trainers

Webinars, online conference, Professional learning Network, onsite training, Professional conferences

Faculty minutes, observation Professional development list

2010-2011

Monitor and observe
Provides time for Junior High to gain proficiency, for us to measure effectiveness and for the other teachers and parents to observe 1:1 in action.

School community

None

Observation

Reports on web site

2011- 2013

Phase two implementation Grades 5 and below

Follows outline above



Photo by ken mccown