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November 18, 2011

KUDOS - To Stacey Angell, who spearheaded the effort, and to everyone else who assisted in any way for this week’s presentations by Mike Donahue. Mike’s message to all of us is very clear; let’s hope that everyone takes it to heart and really does stop to think, but stands up for him/herself and others! Thanks, Stacey, for the contact with Mike Donahue’s r5 Productions and for the great day it provided for all of our students and our school! - To Tracy Henry, who continued our efforts in the anti-bullying/antiharassment arena by creating posters of all of the adults serving as “Safe Havens” for students in our school. The posters are all hung in the main office window on display for all students to see. This is another great initiative and hopefully it will pay off for our students! - To Kaytie Sheridan, for her efforts in planning the successful Russian field trip to NYC this past Monday, as was done by the Spanish field trip the week before. Thanks, Kaytie, for providing this excellent cultural opportunity for a number of our students! - To our Student Council advisors, Melissa Brandt and Kristina Gabriele, for the Student Council trip to the Albany Rock Climbing Center. The after school activity provided a great diversion for our Student Council members and also served as a small “thank you” for their efforts on behalf of their colleagues and for all that the Student Council does for our students and our school. Great job, Melissa and Kristina! - To Desiree Burke, Dan Chouiniere, Erin Kaplan and Omar Williams for their efforts with the Faculty Recital held on Thursday evening, November 10. As written by Deb Keogh, District Music Supervisor in a letter of thanks: “A good teacher always provides a good model of performance for students. Our faculty of talented professionals demonstrated excellence in performance, dedication and collaboration. I have heard many compliments from those who attended.” Thanks for show casing your talents and providing good role modeling for our students! Great job!

be coming to watch. We are really excited about this event, and think it will be a great time for everyone!! Start thinking about your team, and once your team is formed, please let Kristina or Melissa know your team name, captain, and members! We want to start promoting this event early! Thanks, and have fun!!!

CALENDAR OF EVENTS Mon. Nov. 21 7:30 pm BOE Meeting Tues. Nov. 22 Open School Day 1:00 pm Administrators/Supervisors Mtg Wed. Nov. 23 No Special Events Scheduled Thurs. Nov. 24 Thanksgiving – No School Fri. Nov. 25 Black Friday – No School

NWEA TESTING: ROUND 2 An initiative undertaken by our district to help us assess our students with disabilities regarding math and ELA skills is the implementation of NWEA testing. On Monday and Tuesday, November 28 and 29, we will be administering the second round of tests, an online test on mathematic skills, to all of our special education students as well as regular education students who are involved in our G program. We will have a quick turn around on the assessment; data will be available to us in the very near future to analyze and help focus our instruction. This Data Driven Instruction (DDI) is a new and important way to analyze our instructional practices. There is no clearer way to see whether or not instruction is effective then to assess students and analyze the results. The analysis, however, has to be followed up by indicated changes to instructional practice. One of the requirements of the NWEA testing is to have a classroom teacher present during the testing periods in the computer lab. We will have substitutes available and we have set up a schedule so that a classroom teacher will be in the computer lab for each of the testing periods. We will be conducting 4 testing periods, each 1 hour in length, during each of the two days of testing. The names of the students who will be tested each of those periods will be posted on Infinite Campus. Teachers should check the list as you will be missing students from various classes throughout the remaining two days of testing. CHARACTER TRAIT ASSIGNMENT Nov. 28 – Dec. 2 Math Dec. 5 – 9 Art/Tech/H&C Dec. 12 – 16 Foreign Language Jan. 3 – 6 PE/Health/Music Jan. 9 – 13 English Jan. 23 – 27 Social Studies Feb. 6 – 10 Science Feb. 13 – 17 Math Feb. 27 – Mar. 2 Art/Tech/H&C Gracious Ambitious Courageous Resourceful Joyful Kind Patient Tolerant Honest


PM BUS SUPERVISION ZONE #1 ZONE #2 ZONE #3 ZONE #4 CAFÉ K. Peterson T. Galvin K. Ring K. Rizzo J. Pelletier People are reminded to be on duty on a daily basis to make sure that supervision is provided. ALL STAFF MEMBERS ARE REMINDED THAT THE BUS SUPERVISION IS AN ASSIGNED DUTY AND IT IS IMPERATIVE FOR ALL STAFF MEMBERS TO BE WHERE ASSIGNED DUTY; IT IS YOUR RESPONSIBILITY TO ARRANGE FOR REPLACEMENT PERHAPS BY SWAPPING WITH A COLLEAGUE. LONG-TERM CALENDAR OF EVENTS Fri. Nov. 18 No Special Activities Scheduled Mon. Nov. 21 7:30 PM BOE Meeting – Forts Ferry Tues. Nov 22 Open School Day Nov. 24 – Nov. 25 No School – Thanksgiving Holiday Thurs. Dec. 1 7:30 PM Concert #1 Fri. Dec. 2 Bus Drills Mon. Dec. 5 Bus Drills Wed. Dec. 7 7:00 PM PTA/PAC Meeting - Library Thurs. Dec. 8 7:30 PM Concert #2@ SHS Fri. Dec. 9 Newsletter Posted Tues. Dec. 13 7:30 PM Concert #3 Thurs. Dec. 15 7:00 PM Studio Art Show 7:30 PM Concert #4 Fri. Dec. 16 5-Week Interim Point Student Council Activity Night Mon. Dec. 19 7:30 PM BOE Meeting @ SJSH Library Tues. Dec. 20 Hall Geography Bees Mon. Dec. 26 – Mon. Jan. 2 No School – Holiday Break DODGE BALL TOURNAMENT!!! On Friday, December 16, the Student Council will be holding a Dodge Ball Tournament for both faculty and students!! How the tournament will work is as follows: Faculty and students will form a team of eight people, four males and four females (it doesn't matter how many teams we have!) The faculty teams will play each other while the students watch. Students will then play one another, and once a winner is determined, that student team will play the winner of the faculty team! We encourage creativity with this event, by coming up with a team name, a captain, and making team t-shirts. We will also have a dj and will be selling concessions. There will be a $5.00 fee for students playing on teams, and for those who will

CHOREAGRAPHER NEEDED We have an opening still in our musical personnel list for a choreographer. If you are interested in either or both of these position please contact Mr. V. and/or Dianne Hobden for information and let R. Moore know. TECHNOLOGY LITERACY ASSESSMENT As part of the planning for instructional technology this year, we are implementing an online survey of students’ technology “literacy”- their ability to use software tools, make good decisions about Internet resources, and make creative decisions about resources for projects. We piloted the online assessment tool last June in many classes. The students enjoyed taking the “test” online in the computer lab, and were able to complete the questions in about 2 periods, depending on their reading speed and fluency. The online test asks them to actually use the computer to demonstrate how to select web sites, save files, and other similar tasks, and also asks multiple choice questions about the ethical uses of technology. The assessment is designed to be given to students in the eighth grade, once in the Fall as a pre-test, or baseline measure, and once in the late Spring as a post-test, or indicator of additional knowledge and skills. If you didn’t have an opportunity to preview the test last Spring, you can see a demo at We are using the 21st century test version, and will be administering it to both fifth and eighth graders this Fall.

ASSISTANT SUPERINTENDENT TO VISIT As part of the SINI improvement process Kathy Skeals, our Assistant Superintendent for Curriculum and Instruction, will be spending a significant amount of time in our building. Kathy is visiting to refamiliarize herself with our school structure, practices, programs, instructional approaches, etc. She will be visiting a variety of classes during each one of her visits to our school. Yesterday Kathy spent 2 ½ hours plus in our school dropping in on various classrooms. Her future visits are: Date Tuesday, November 22 Tuesday, November 29 Tuesday, December 6 Tuesday, December 13 Tuesday, December 20 Time 11:00 am – 2:30 pm 8:00 am – 11:30 am 11:00 am – 2:30 pm 8:00 am – 11:30 am 8:00 am – 11:30 am

The entry fee will be $10.00 at the door. All Shaker High School alums , as well as any and all “friends of Shaker”, are invited to meet and mix with old friends. All proceeds will go directly to the Foundation to help support activities. EDUCATION IN THE NEWS The following items were taken from November 16, 2011 edition of Education Week. Assessment Group Issues Frameworks For Common Core The Partnership for Assessment of Readiness for College and Careers, or PARCC, last week released its final content frameworks for the common standards. The frameworks are an attempt to capture the big ideas in the standards in order to provide guidance for teachers, curriculum developers, and test designers. The consortium, one of two using federal money to design assessments for the new standards that have been adopted by all but four states, released versions of the frameworks in mathematics and English/language arts for public comment in August. In response to a key strand of feedback, PARCC said it will create content frameworks for grades K-2 to dovetail with the set that covered grades 3 and above.

BUILDING COUNCIL MEETING MINUTES Monday, Nov. 14, 2011 Present: Holly Blau, Omar Williams, Colleen Corcoran, Colleen Gassett, Mary Beth Nichols, Dawn Savery, Russ Moore, Bob Bedell Minutes: Holly Blau Snacks: Colleen Gassett Facilitator: Russ Moore Agenda items: 1. Dress Code: Thoughts? Nothing new. 2. Bullying: Next Steps. a. Name change from Stop H8 to Stand Up committee b. Thurs. Nov. 10th – students wore blue – “Be a true blue friend.” Counted participating students in HR; part of Inter-hall competition. (Shirts only)! Will continue similar activities through the year… c. Have shown clips on a.m. announcements with antibullying d. On Nov. 15th, Mike Donahue will give a straight up, anti-bullying message in assemblies- 7 p.m. – Parent program on Nov. 15th. All students will hear the presentation. Two follow-up “focus groups” in the afternoon with Mike Donahue. e. “Zip It” pledge – commercial/video created in conjunction with Fly 92 and Adirondack Extreme. Adults/Students also pledging “online” to antibullying through “Adirondack Extreme”. School competition to win $500.00 if the most students sign-up. f. Safe-Haven staff: hearts on doors so students know who they are; pictures taken and played on the a.m. announcements. 7th grade Final Exam and GPA: Options: a. Count final in 4th quarter the same as the midterm? b. Count as double test grade in the 4th quarter? c. 2nd semester average only? Stand alone. Determine 2nd semester average. New Business: a. SINI: Subgroup (need at least 30 to form a subgroup) at SJHS of “students with disabilities”. AYP score didn’t make it 2 years in a row for this subgroup, so we are now on the SINI list for ELA… b. Testing approx. 145 students on 11/16 & 17 – online testing to set data to show ELA weakness. Data will be used to analyze needs.

The other assessment consortium, SMARTER Balanced, issued "content specifications" in August and is still working on final versions. Responding to feedback on the math frameworks, PARCC shortened the document by nearly a third and tried to simplify "technical terminology" that reviewers said made it hard to understand. The group sought to clarify confusion about what concepts and skills were being emphasized and whether the frameworks were tacitly giving teachers permission to ignore some standards. It also offers more specifics to guide creation of math courses at the high school level. In the literacy frameworks, PARCC attempted to clarify that it's important for students to be able to engage in "close reading" of text and also be able to incorporate the study of multiple texts as well as texts across disciplines. ‘Major Shift’ Proposed for Wis. Evaluations For the first time, Wisconsin would have a standardized system for determining the best- and worst-performing educators, under a proposal outlined last week by state schools Superintendent Tony Evers. The system would base half of a teacher's evaluation on classroom practices and the other half on student results, such as improvement on state and local tests; achievement of student, school, and district goals; and school reading scores and graduation rates. Such a system "marks a major shift for Wisconsin," according to a preliminary report from a state task force. The state education department is studying the cost and legislation needed. An evaluation system must be in place by 2014-15 for Wisconsin to qualify for a waiver of federal No Child Left Behind Act provisions. Chicago Reaches Deal On School Day Length Chicago's public school district and its teachers' union reached a truce in their fight over Mayor Rahm Emanuel's campaign to lengthen the school day, which the union contended violated its contract. Under the agreement, the Chicago school system won't ask additional district-run schools to lengthen their day this year beyond the 13 elementary schools that already voted to do so. In exchange, the union will drop its request for an injunction that aimed to block the district from pushing for additional votes on a longer day at other schools. As for the schools that already have authorized a longer day, Chicago Teachers Union President Karen Lewis said that "we're not reverting anything back." Mr. Emanuel persuaded the schools to lengthen their day by 90 minutes by offering financial incentives, although the Illinois Educational Labor Relations Board recently voted to block negotiations with more schools. Chicago schools chief Jean-Claude Brizard called the deal with the union a "step forward."



Next meeting: Monday, December 19th Snacks: M.K. Lowe Minutes: M. Moffre

THOUGHT FOR THE WEEK “Everyone has a gift for something, even if it is the gift of being a good friend.” Marian Anderson

FOUNDATION If the Friday after Thanksgiving is known as “Black Friday”, consider the Saturday after as “Shaker Blue Saturday”. The North Colonie/Shaker Community School Foundation will be holding a mixer on Saturday, November 26 at 7:30 p.m. at Scarborough's Restaurant, located at 497 Old Niskayuna Road, Latham. The evening is intended to highlight the North Colonie/Shaker Community School Foundation and the charitable work it does to support opportunities for the district and scholarships for students.