February 8, 2012
Staff: On our full PD staff was trained in CPR. In addition, tutoring teachers received training on ACE Reader; a reading intervention for students with low PAWS/MAP and ACT reading scores. Math teachers are currently researching a Tiered II math intervention called ALEKS. Both of these programs are research based and proven interventions. They are both web-based . ALEKS can be used as a full course curriculum or for remediation purposes. Content area meetings with the middle school to align curriculum/assessments in social studies, math, language arts and science took place on Friday PD days this month. All teachers continue to work on implementing school improvement plan strategies on Fridays, including an emphasis on content area reading adaption from Tim Rushes’ training sessions this fall.
End of the semester:
Currently, we have 27 students enrolled in NWC classes. Two students enrolled in classes at Casper College. Thirty-four students are in the LHS work experience classes. These students are placed by Mrs. Teter and a teacher in the Vocational content area, and their program is written and overseen and graded by a vocational teacher. We have students interested in education doing shadowing at all three buildings. Students are placed directly according to their area of interest. This is there third or fourth series of classes in the students vocational track, or by permission of the instructor. The first two classes are classes taken at LHS.
First semester honor roll statistics include: twenty-four students 4.0, twenty-five 3.66 – 3.99, eighty 3.0 – 3.65. Our average cumulative GPA currently is: 3.034.
Building Leadership Team: The LHS Building Leadership Team’s name is now the LHS Building Stakeholder Team. This is due to some confusion/conflicts with building leadership teams also being the term used for leadership teams within the district that are teacher and admin or director committees. I felt it better to specify this committee as stakeholders since this committee is made up of certified and classified staff, principal, parents, community member and student representatives. The Stakeholder Leadership Team put finishing touches on a process and criteria for honoring former LHS students or staff or deceased students or staff. It also began discussions of the LHS parent/student handbook in regards to our Tardiness policy.
Students and Classrooms: All seniors were given the opportunity to tour Gillette College. Ten made the trip with Mrs. Teter. Mr. R.J. May took one 8th grade student along on the tour also. Mrs. Karen Wardell had two students, one senior and one junior, go with her to Sheridan College to tour their special education programs and services, including disability services.
Juniors met with the University of Wyoming representative who did a college pathways presentation here at the school. She also introduced the new UW admissions requirements, and she spoke about the Hathaway Scholarship. Fourteen juniors and seniors interested in health care careers attended a career fair in Casper, chaperoned by Mrs. Teter and Mr. C. Sanders. This gave students a rare opportunity to meet with professional health care providers such as neonatal nurses and physical therapists and even a coroner.
Agriculture went on a field trip to Pond Five as part of project they are working on to provide a land research lab in Miles City, MT with sagebrush. The agriculture class is growing sagebrush. They are also building fish aquariums in order to raise fish and study them.
Ms. Camp reported that a student wrote a story during her tutoring time and won honorable mention in a Scholastic writing contest.
Here is an in-depth look at what Mrs. Blain has been doing. I think you’ll find it to be an excellent example of relevant learning and application of skills.
LL English: In the resource English class, we are beginning to write 2 pages research papers on a career of each student’s choice. This activity is designed to teach students how to research, follow the writing process, cite sources correctly and learn valuable information about a career of interest. Each student first chose a career: photography, graphic designer, history teacher, welder, preschool teacher’s aide and video game analyzer. Then Mrs. Walker from the elementary library came in to talk about the state library database, GoWyld; she taught us which websites to use and how to begin our research. Now each student is researching to find at least two articles of relevant information to write an outline then a formal research paper. After the papers are written, each student will briefly share with the class about his/her findings in a semi-formal speech.
Study Skills: In the study skills classes, we continue to use each student’s homework to teach them valuable study habits and skills. Many regular classes are wrapping up units, so the opportunity to study for tests has come for most students. They are learning different strategies to remember the information: rewriting notes, drawing pictures to connect ideas, question-answer quizzing, chunking, math problem practice and making note cards with key vocabulary terms are some of the most common strategies we are using. Some students have spent many hours reading novels for their English classes and are improving their skills by analyzing and connecting the text to other ideas, as well as summarizing key passages. Others are writing and revising or editing papers for various classes; this is a challenge for some but a great learning tool for grammar and usage skills to be built.