Sunday, January 3, 2016

December Crocker Chronicles & Letter from Mr. Shea & Ms. Conklin

The full Chronicles can be downloaded HERE.

Dear Families:
We hope this finds you and your family well as we head into the Winter Vacation.

December and January are filled with special events in our school. In December, our music teacher, Agnes Zsigmondi, organized our 3rd and 4th graders and our 5th and 6th graders to present chorus concerts to our school community. The time and energy it takes to bring a group of students to the level of a performance is extraordinary. We hope you have had a chance to hear some of the beautiful music they shared this month, and a big “Thank you!” to Ms. Z. for leading this work.

News and Information:
· As you may recall, in the spring of last school year, we completed our Crocker Farm Family Survey. (See attached results) We were incredibly fortunate to be able to enlist the help and expertise of Crocker Farm parent, Dan McMurrer, with this project. Dan develops, organizes and analyzes surveys in his professional life, and we owe a great deal of gratitude to Dan for volunteering to help with our survey. Many thanks to Dan.

· On December 14th, our School Governance Council, which includes parents and staff, met to review the spring 2015 Family Survey results. As you will see in our survey results, we are proud of the countless areas of strength you reported. At the same time, we are also mindful that we have areas to improve. To that end, our SGC group decided to focus on two particular areas for potential growth/improvement for the coming year:
o improve how we collect data from families (We had a 66% response rate last year, but in the upcoming year we aim to hear from every family)
o build on strong teacher/family communication practices in regards to teaching and learning

Our SGC group is off to a strong start, but we continue to seek membership for the current school year. Please contact the school if you are interested in joining our January meeting.

· Our School Instructional Leadership Team (SILT), which is comprised of building administrators and teaching staff, recently met with Ron Berger, co-author of Leaders of their Own Learning: Transforming Schools Through Student-Engaged Assessment. Ron will be helping to guide our school based professional learning. Our teachers explored the following quote from the book at our last staff meeting: “Student engaged assessment changes the primary role of assessment from evaluating and ranking students to motivating them to learn. It builds the independence, critical thinking skills, perseverance and self-reflective understanding students need to college and career.” We plan to share more of this work with you in the coming month.

Parent/Guardian Pick up: Please be reminded that if your child has a change of pick up plans, you must send a note to the office or your child’s teacher in the morning. This lets staff know who your child can be released to at the end of the day.

Enjoy your vacation time together.
We look forward to seeing you in the New Year,
Derek Shea and Sharri Conklin