Howard County Public School System launched a 5-year strategic plan a year ago: Vision 2018: Fulfilling the promise of preparation. This plan projects a vision for an educational program where students are inspired to learn, challenged to grow and empowered to reach for their goals. The promise of preparation means that every child develops the skills and knowledge they need to succeed in college, without the need for remedial courses, or in a high-wage career by the time they graduate high school. Our school system vision: Every student is inspired to learn and empowered to excel. Our mission: We cultivate a vibrant learning community that prepares students to thrive in a dynamic world.
School Communications – OVERVIEW Engaging parents and families as partners in education is a key priority of the HCPSS Strategic Plan, and is one of my/our school’s highest priorities. We use several communications tools to keep parents informed of what’s happening in the school and provide the information you need to make informed decisions regarding your child’s education. I’ll describe each of these in a moment [covered on following slides]. Often – personal communications are best. Most important though, is that you feel comfortable reaching out to teachers and administrators whenever you have a concern or question. We’re happy to meet with parents, have you visit the classroom – call the school office with questions or to set up a convenient time. We also value parent involvement in school activities. Feel free to contact any teacher or administrator via Email, or make an appointment to meet to discuss your concerns.
I strongly urge every parent to sign up for school news at www.hcpssnews.com You will receive via email: School weekly newsletters & other communications System-level announcements Emergency notifications (school closings/delays). Option: Text messages for emergency notices only. [more on next slide] When you sign up, be sure to choose each of your children’s schools.
HCPSS announces weather-related school delays and closings via; Email and text: HCPSS News System website: www.hcpss.org Facebook: www.facebook.com/HoCoSchools Twitter: @hcpss Announced as early as possible; no later than 5:30 am Note: HCPSS does NOT use eschoolnews.com to share closing/delay info.
[ES & MS only – insert screen grab of school’s site] Take a look at our new and improved school website. Advantages: Streamlined Navigation Modern look Enhanced mobile access Fast updating Contents: School calendar Announcements and news Staff directory Services information: School meals Health room Before/after care How parents can get involved: PTA etc. Links to resources: Student electronic tools Supply lists More Links to System information And more!
Remind parents of the envelope that it comes in. Remind parents to sign, remove the report card or progress report and return ASAP. Remind parents that it is appropriate to see Ws and 2s at this point in their child’s development.
A new student information system, including high-quality, easy-to-use parent and student portals, will be piloted at selected schools in the spring, and fully implemented throughout all schools by the beginning of next school year (Fall 2015). The new system will be based on an off-the-shelf product; HCPSS is currently in the contract negotiation phase. The new system was selected with input from many parents and students. We will continue to use our current system (Aspen) throughout the 2014-15 school year, while the new system is being put in place. The new system will have many complex features, and must be thoroughly tested and refined before it is rolled out for parent use. Once fully in place, the new Student Info System and its Parent and Student Portals will provide many benefits: User-friendly; intuitive. No video will be needed to learn how to use Mobile-ready Existing info will be imported; no need for parents to re-register. Customizable to meet our needs. Available data will include: Online student grades (interim & final) online Attendance Enrollment Assignments Schedule Communications (email/text) among parents, teachers, students.
[insert school Twitter handle on slide if using; remove 1st line if not] Link to our social media sites: Get up-to-the-minute updates, news, student and school happenings, and announcements Interact with the school and system
Standardized testing – OVERVIEW Standardized tests provide consistent information about student achievement from grade to grade, school to school, and system to system. They offer the only comparable means of evaluating academic achievement for students across the geographical and demographic spectrum. But many parents and others are concerned about the time that standardized tests channel away from instruction, and worry that over-emphasis on test scores skews what teachers teach. HCPSS is working to shift away from high-stakes testing, and instead toward high-value testing. High-value testing actually informs and improves the instructional process. High value testing gives teachers immediate feedback on what lessons some students haven’t grasped, and what students are ready to move on, so they can adjust their instruction accordingly. Measures of Academic Progress (MAP) is an example of high-value testing, which I&apos;ll describe in a moment. The following slides describe the standardized tests that we use at Elkridge Elementary school.
MAP (or Measures of Academic Progress) is an online test used in Grades 1-8 MAP allows us to assess where a student is, and how they’ve grown in achievement, several times each year. This year all Elementary and Middle schools will participate in MAP. MAP gives teachers timely feedback on student progress throughout the school year that they can use to adjust instruction effectively. MAP provides many advantages: It assesses proficiency in Math and Language usage in addition to Reading. It is computer-adaptive – i.e. the questions adapt in real-time to the student’s proficiency level. This appeals to students, because it isn’t a typical “mastery” test. It is implemented several times during the year and provides quick, actionable feedback to teachers It is closely aligned to Common Core standards. It provides rich data that can be year to year and used to predict proficiency MAP is a completely new means of testing. As with any new system, some schools have experienced a few glitches in terms of the technology and reporting processes. But as we work through these growing pains and incorporate MAP into our culture, MAP provides value that far outweighs that of any of our previous assessment tools. INSERT TEST DATES
PARCC is the name for the new reading, writing and mathematics assessments developed by the multi-state Partnership for Assessment of Readiness for College and Careers. PARCC assessments are closely aligned to the Common Core standards. PARCC replaces the Maryland School Assessment (MSA) for math and reading/English language arts. PARCC was piloted in selected schools last year. This year PARCC will be implemented in every school in Grades 3-11. PARCC offers important benefits: Indicates how closely students, beginning in Grade 3, are on track to graduate college- and career-ready. Gives teachers regular results to guide learning and instruction. Provides data comparable across districts and states. PARCC tests are scored using the same scale as an AP exam: rating 1-5. This system is especially useful because it aligns with AP performance as our benchmark for college readiness. A rating of 4 indicates strong command, and 5 indicates distinguished command of the subject matter: In grades 3-8, ratings of 4-5 indicate students are academically well-prepared to engage successfully in further study. In grades 9-10, 4-5 indicates students are are on track to graduate prepared for colleges and careers In grade 11, this rating indicates they are well-prepared and exempt from placement tests at 2- and 4- year public institutions in MD and any other states that sign on. As Maryland transitions from using MSA/HSAs to the PARCC, graduation testing requirements will vary depending on when year students enter Grade 9. Full details are available on the handout “What you need to know about Changes to HS Graduation Requirements.”
Homework should not frustrate your child. If a specific question is difficult or you can’t figure it out, please write your child’s teacher a note. Please look for any notes on your child’s returned homework. Your child’s teacher may make suggestions for differing strategies. (Michelle Kirby)
We’re looking communicating clearly, applied spelling, capitalization and punctuation and personal best effort. (Lisa)
We use the Fountas & Pinnell system to identify students’ reading levels in Grades K-2. Reading levels range from A-Z that are loosely associated with Grade levels. Students grade may be at any level within a range. In Grade 1, for example, they may be reading at any level ranging from C through I. Levels are defined using parameters including word count and frequency, sentence length, sentence complexity, illustration support, etc The levels help teachers see exactly where each student is in reading ability. We use this data as a benchmark to track progress as students move up through the grades. Knowing a student’s level also helps teachers, parents, and librarians to provide reading material that is appropriate to the student’s skill level, and move them into new challenges as soon as they are ready. [***Is this identified on the Report Card? Where can parents find more info about the reading levels?]
Research based. Promotes independence. Meaningful encounters with literature. Requires a great deal of meticulous discussion of what it looks like, sounds like and means to do each one of these activities. Practice building stamina. We will not be in full implementation until the end of this month. After full implementation we are expecting to make TONS of progress because of the level of independence. (Christine)
Howard County is very excited to announce a system-wide initiative in which all students in grades 1-5 will focus on Greek and Latin roots as they are outlined in our new Maryland College and Careeer Ready Standards. A program called Buildiing Vocabulary has been purchased for every classroom teacher. The purpose of this part of our program is to acquaint you with the rationale and implementation of this new approach to word study.
Root study gives students the ability to learn many new words independently. Students learn to make connections between words that are phonetically related Students should be immersed in words with frequent opportunities to use new words in many settings It is well proven that a strong vocabulary is one of the greatest predictors of success in reading.
Think back to your spelling/word study instruction There is powerful evidence that rote memorization simply does not work (Allington, 2012; Stahl & Fairbanks, 1986). This age-old method of vocabulary instruction does not invite active engagement. It is drudgery that often can dampen students’ interest in and fascination with words. Did you have to “learn” words you had rarely encountered? Did you get a list of unrelated words on Monday, were tested on them on Friday and forgot them by the following Wednesday?
NOW Help students see the meaningful patterns that exist in many words and organize words for study by their roots or patterns. This roots approach to word study is efficient and effective. . As they explore the topic of the unit, students have multiple opportunities to see new words in meaningful contexts and to use them in meaningful ways.
Principals of word learning 1. Explicit teaching of selected words 2. Instruction should be integrative 3. Include repetition for retention 4. Word learning is a procedural activity 5. Foster word consciousness
This is a structure that you can expect to see in the classrooms
Authentic Assessments Students will demonstrate their understanding of targeted phonics, roots, and word meaning through dictation assessments given bi-weekly. Grammar, spelling, and punctuation will also be measured. This is an example of a sample assessment page
This is how you can help reinforce learning at home Take every opportunity to notice words in the natural environment, pointing out patterns and roots in signs, newspapers, books, grocery stores, etc.
Please note: we will not be putting Ns on your child’s work. Instead it will say, “Please Review.” (Kelly)
Positive Behaviors Interventions and Supports Blue Tickets Personal Track, Class Track, Team Track, School Track Celebrations (Christine)
You will be stopped if you do not have a sticker. Please be courteous to the staff if this happens. We are only trying to keep your children safe. (Val) At this time teachers are headed back to the classroom
Deb---this slide is important to note to all parents so that they realize that employees are required by law to make reports, that their jobs are at stake if they do not.
Insert a movie of the kids saying, Thank you for coming to our BTSN!
Back to School Night
September 16, 2014
Our Vision & Mission
Every student is
inspired to learn
We cultivate a vibrant
learning community that
prepares students to thrive
in a dynamic world
School News and Information
Web Social media
Elkridge Elementary News: email
System-wide Weekly News for Parents:
Emergency notices (school
closings/delays): text and/or email
Sign up at www.hcpssnews.com
School Closing/Delay Notifications
Email and text: HCPSS News
9:10 Arrival & Opening Activities
12:00 Language Arts
2:00 Content (Science, Social Studies or Health)
2:30 Specials (PE, Music, Art, Media, or Technology)
3:45 Stack and Pack
First Grade Common
Concepts are taught in a
mixture of whole group,
small group and
Your child’s teacher may
Homework is a review
of concepts or basic fact
Rocks & Fossils
Plants & Animals
Forces: Toys in Action
Communities At Work
Social & Emotional
Nutrition & Fitness
In First Grade we write
• Voice and defend an
• Tell a story.
Writing in Response to Reading
Reading: The Daily 5
1. Read to Self
2.Read to Someone
3. Listen to Reading
4.Work on Writing
A Powerful New Approach
Greek & Latin
Did you know??
The English language has approximately 2,000,000
Technology contributes 20,000 new words per
School texts and reading materials include more than
180,000 different words
Over 60% of the words students encounter in
their reading have recognizable word parts
Assigned word lists
Little or no connection to
curricular areas or each other
The weekly assignment:
“Find and write a definition
for each word,” or “Use each
word in a sentence”
A test came at the end of the
week (rote memorization)
Word lists are organized
through meaningful roots or
Expand and deepen word
knowledge during content-area
The weekly assignment:
“Meet the Root, Combine and
Create, Read and Reason,
Extend and Explore”
Applied spelling and language
This New Approach?
Systematic approach to word awareness and
90% of English words of two or more syllables are
of Greek or Latin origin
Most academic vocabulary is derived from Latin and
WORD STUDY IN SCHOOL
Grades 1 & 2
Let’s Read: students enjoy shared reading activities
through poems that introduce new word families
Let’s Play with Words: students participate in Making
Words, Word Sorts, Word Scrambles, Riddle Time,
Divide & Conquer and Wordo
Let’s Grow: students re-read poems and participate in
teacher led games to review the concepts for the
•Approximately Every 2 Weeks
•Scored with a Rubric
Weekly Language Arts Homework
Grades 1 through 5
Daily Reading: Students will read for a specified time
(according to grade level) with a parent signature.
Quick Write: Twice a week students will select a “quick
write” topic based on Science, Social Studies, and
Word Study Pattern menu: Twice a week students will
choose an activity from the “Word Study” menu provided.
These word study activities follow the new word pattern
introduced in school.
Please note: Words that are included on the “Week’s Word Study
Pattern” are only suggested words for practice. Students will not be
tested on these words, they will be tested on their knowledge of the
actual “word study pattern”.
“WORD STUDY” AT HOME
Grades 1, 2, 3, 4, 5
Word Sorts: students sort for the pattern
Word Hunts: students search for the pattern in a
variety of text
Word Associations: write additional words that
connect to the target word or pattern
Vocabulary: students find new and interesting words
to put in their notebooks
I = Demonstrating skill independently
W = demonstrating understanding of
skill and performing with some assistance
N = Not demonstrating skill at this time/
•You will need to
be “buzzed” in by
bring your photo
•Check in at the
office and get a
EES Parent Volunteer Training
Who are Parent Volunteers?
o All parents who volunteer in the classroom
o All parents who volunteer to chaperone a field trip
The purpose of the training
To comply with MD State Law & HCPSS Policy 1030
To review how to report suspected child abuse
To review the importance of protecting all students’
To review general expectations of parent volunteers
MD State Law & HCPSS Policy 1030
Requires employee or parent volunteers of the
Howard County Public School System to report
any suspicion of child abuse or neglect to
Howard County Department of Social Services.
Provides immunity from civil liability or
criminal penalty for a report made in good
Failure to report may result in suspension or
termination of services.
Role of Child Abuse Liaison
Coordinates support for students suspected of
being abused or neglected
Acts as resource for information relating to
child abuse and neglect reporting procedures
Assists with completion of child abuse
reporting forms as needed
You may contact Kristen Tacka, Child Abuse
Liaison if you would like support during the
Reporting Child Abuse or Neglect
Make oral report immediately to Department
of Social Services
Follow up with written report within 48 hours
(forms are in the front office).
Tell Mrs. Anoff, Principal, and Mrs. Tacka,
Liaison, that a report was filed.
A copy of the report WILL NOT be kept in
student educational record.
Parent Volunteer Code of
Confidentiality: Any information you have
access to in the school or classroom is
As a volunteer, you are required to protect
the confidentiality of all student
information that you see or hear while
Parent Volunteer Expectations
Thank you for volunteering!
Please make arrangements for siblings to stay home
so that you can focus on enjoying your volunteering
Please do not take photographs of students. Other
students’ parents are depending on us to protect their
Please keep your cell phones on mute and out of sight
Certificate of Completion
Elkridge Elementary School
This is to certify that I have viewed the HCPSS Child
Abuse Reporting Procedures and Parent Volunteer Code
of Ethics and understand my responsibilities with
regard to these policies.
Please print, sign, and return this certificate to the EES front office.
Thank you for coming!
At this time you may head down
to your child’s classroom for a brief tour.