August 8, 2017
Dear D33 Staff:
Welcome back to D33 and the 2017-2018 school year. We hope you have taken the time to rest and relax in preparation for students and families and the start of a great year! We have been busy making preparations for our first days back. We look forward to seeing you on August 21st and 22nd for our institute days.
The past year marked the beginning of a shift in the way we function as an administrative team. The building principals worked to implement the SMART process and build professional learning teams which produced results worthy of celebration. Therefore, we will continue to place a heavy emphasis on the SMART process with a focus on grade level teams. The building blocks of professional learning teams (PLTs) are collaborative teams of teachers who work together to reflect on the way they teach in order to address students’ learning needs. This year, with the roll-out of Multi-Tiered Systems of Support in math, it will be crucial for teachers to work together as PLT’s to critically examine student performance as well as their own practice. It starts with teams.
Therefore, the theme for our August 21st kick-off is: Together for Excellence. We are excited to open the day with our Mariachi Los Rayos and Ballet Folklorico de LMS. They have performed throughout the summer at various events and are ready to showcase their talents with you as well. The morning agenda will focus on the district priorities related to our strategic plan while the afternoon will be spent in grade level teams with a focus on K-5 thematic units and LMS curricular priorities.
Student engagement will be a focus in the classroom through Kagan coaching. Additionally, we will emphasize quality programming for ALL learners that addresses the achievement gap of our English Language Learners and learning styles of our High Ability and Special Education students. Therefore, training and support will continue to be provided to teachers in reading and math as we phase in dual language education, expand the gifted program and roll-out the MTSS process for math. The middle school will be focusing on building a positive behavior system and long range planning for revising curriculum and assessments. SMART systems led by your building principal will set the stage for how we approach data, set goals and collaborate with teams to improve instruction.
Attached, you will find the agenda that outlines the activities for our August 21st Kick-Off for all staff. We will maintain the 8:00 a.m. start time for institute days where all staff convene as a balance between the new work day of 8:30 for elementary and 7:25 for middle school. In order to accommodate our limited parking we will be offering a shuttle from Gary School to LMS between 7:30-8:00 a.m. We will also take lunch orders for Panera and Gnarly Knots Pretzels to allow staff to picnic at LMS. You must pre-order from Panera. Gnarly Knots Pretzels will take pre-orders but will also be on site with a food truck. Please review the order form attached to this letter if you would like to pre-order your lunch and avoid parking and lunch lines.
August 22nd has been designated as a principal-led, building-level activity day. Your principal will plan and provide you the agenda for August 22nd. Please take the time to review the schedule for each day and familiarize yourself with the time and locations for the various meetings.
I am looking forward to kicking off the school year together. If you have any questions about the institute days, please contact your building principal.
Charles Johns, Ph.D.