Northwest Prep Academic Exhibition - February 6 at 6:00 pm
NWP's first Academic Exhibition for this year will be held Thursday, Feb. 6th at 6pm in the Multi-Purpose Room. Everyone in the Piner-Olivet School District community is invited to this series of presentations demonstrating the process and products of the past semester's integrated Project "Why Do I Matter?"
SCOE Network Update
Internet connectivity will be down on Sunday, February 9th, 8:00-2:00 pm and on Thursday, February 13th between 3:00-5:00 pm. During this time, SCOE will completing the last phase of the network upgrade.
The good news is that after they are finished (February 13), we should see a significant improvement in our bandwidth. Just in time for Valentine's Day. Thank you for your patience throughout the upgrade process.
District Faculty Meeting: Tech Tuesday Edition
At our recent DFM, we offered a variety of sessions on Chromebooks, Google Docs, student blogging and digital citizenship. In case you were not able to attend one of these sessions, you can find many resources from the sessions on the POUSD Tech Tools Blog.
Kathy Schrock's Guide to Everything is aptly named. Kathy is a Technology Integration Specialist (aka Techno-Goddess or, if you prefer, Technology Rockstar -- to find out more click here). On her site, she has a variety of resources on using Chromebooks in the classroom. You can access her guide to Chromebooks here.
The Brokers of Expertise (BOE) is an online platform where where you can connect with other California educators, get FREE resources and access online training modules to meet the needs of all students. You can access these resources anytime, any place with an internet connected device. You can check out the BOE site here. You can also view a short video on how to set up an account by clicking here.
ReadWorks provides research-based passages and question sets for use in your K-8 classrooms to improve your students' reading comprehension. ReadWorks is completely free. To access these resources, register for an account. As always, ReadWorks curriculum is research based and aligns to Common Core State Standards. You can access passages related to Science and Technology for students in K-8 by clicking here.
Doodle 4 Google asks students: If you could invent one thing to make the world a better place? The 2014 Doodle for Google Student Competition invites students to share their ideas.
"Before there was an airplane, there were doodles of cool flying machines. And before there was a submarine, there were doodles of magical underwater sea explorers. Since the beginning of time, ideas big and small, practical and playful, have started out as doodles. And we’re ready for more. One talented young artist will see his or her artwork on the Google homepage and receive a $30,000 college scholarship and a $50,000 Google for Education technology grant for his or her school." More information.
February 5 - 7:00 pm Governing Board Meeting -- Room 24
February 6 - 8:30 - 3:00 pm - Certificated Negotiations -- Room 24
February 6 -- 6:00 pm -- Northwest Prep Academic Exhibition -- Multi-Purpose Room
February 9 -- 8:00-2:00 pm -- SCOE System Upgrades (Internet Down)
February 11 -- 3:00-4:00 pm - LCAP Staff Session -- Olivet
February 12 -- 3:00-4:00 pm - LCAP Staff Session -- Room 24 (Face-to-face + Webinar)
Feb. 13, 8:30-11:00 am - CCSS Math K-2 Grade Level Unit Planning Rm 24
Feb. 13, 12:00-2:30 pm - CCSS Math 3-6 Grade Level Unit Planning Rm 24
February 13 -- 3:00-4:00 pm -- LCAP Staff Session -- JL/POCS
February 13 -- 3:00-5:00 pm - SCOE Network Upgrades (Internet Down)
February 14 -- Happy Valentine's Day -- Bandwidth Flows
February 18 -- 2:50-3:50 pm -- Site Faculty Meetings
February 25 -- 3:00-4:00 pm -- District Faculty Meeting (K-6)
February 28 -- End of 2nd Trimester
December 3 - 3:00 pm Budget Planning Presentation (Olivet, Room TBA)
December 4 - 3:00 pm Budget Planning Presentation (Jack London/POCS Library)
December 5 - 3:15 pm Budget Planning Presentation (Schaefer Room 24)
December 5 - 5:00-7:00 pm Sonoma State Technology Showcase
December 6 - 8:30-11:00 am CCSS Math PD Instructional Shifts w/Josh Deis (Rm 24)
December 6 - 12:00-2:50 pm CCSS Math PD Lesson/Unit Planning w/Josh Deis (Rm 24)
December 10 - 3:00 pm District Faculty Meeting (K-6)/Grade Level Meetings Location TBA
December 10 - 7:00 pm -- Governing Board Meeting
December 17 - 2:50 pm Site Faculty Meeting
December 17 - 3:00 pm -- Special Ed Staff Meeting (Room 24)
December 23-January 3 -- Winter Break
Budget Planning Presentations
I will be presenting information on the new state funding model (also known as the Local Control Funding Formula) and budget planning process at school sites in early December. Attendance is optional.
The sessions are open to all staff. If you would like to attend, but the date for the presentation at your site does not work for your schedule, please feel free to attend one of the other sessions at another site. Please see the schedule for presentations above (or on the Staff Calendar).
SSU Technology Showcase
Sonoma State University, in partnership with the Sonoma County Office of Education, will be sponsoring the third annual Technology Showcase on December 5th from 5:00-7:00 pm in the Cooperage on the Sonoma State campus. Educators will share their use of innovative technologies to support student learning PreK-12. A team of teachers and students from Northwest Prep will be presenting at this event. All are welcome!
The event is free and open to the public. Parking is $5. There will be hands-on opportunities for exploration and learning. Food, prizes, and free teacher resources for all participants! To find out more, please click on the button below.
We have made arrangements with SCOE to increase internet bandwidth throughout the district. The expansion of bandwidth should improve our connectivity significantly. SCOE will be upgrading their infrastructure in December to provide this access. We will keep you posted.
Achieve the Core
Achievethecore.org, a Web site provided by Student Achievement Partners—a nonprofit organization founded by the writers of the CCSS—has been redesigned with exciting new features and updated with more high-quality CCSS resources. Visitors to this site will be able to view resources compiled for their specific position, subject, and grade level. On this site you will find lessons, student writing samples, assessment questions, curricular tools, strategies and materials to support all students, and professional development modules and courses. All materials are free.
The Teaching Channel
There are over 100 free videos related to CCSS instruction available on the Teaching Channel. The videos provide lesson ideas, an overview of the ELA and Math Standards, and demonstrations of teaching practices across K-12. You can search the website by content area and grade level.
Hometown Heroes: Piner-Olivet Union School District
KZST recognizes "Hometown Heroes," people who have "made a positive change in our community, ...who [have] gone the extra mile and made Sonoma County a better place to live." Last spring, Julie Brady, third grade teacher at Jack London, nominated our district as "Hometown Heroes" for the support that everyone provided to her and her family. KZST chose the Piner-Olivet Union School District for this honor. We are thrilled to have Julie back and proud of the outpouring of care and kindness that everyone showed. You all make our distirct a better place. You can listen to the KZST radio announcement below in your honor.
Keyboarding for Grades 3-6
We have set up accounts for students in grades 3-6 to access a web-based keyboarding application, Typing Club. Teachers and students can access the program by going to the District portal at: https://piner-olivet-union.typingclub.com. This application can be accessed using any internet connected device. Students can use the program at home or at school. Student can access the program by using their student Google Apps account or by entering their usernames (the four-digit student id# - found in Schoolwise). Passwords will be sent out separately. Teachers can access using their pousd.org gmail login.
K-12 Digital Literacy & Citizenship Curriculum
Common Sense Media has FREE materials that are designed to empower students to think critically, behave safely, and participate responsibly in our digital world. The website includes an interactive Scope & Sequence that you can use to find the lessons that are just right for your classroom. These cross-curricular units spiral to address digital literacy and citizenship topics in an age-appropriate way. Browse by grade band or click a category to highlight lessons that address that topic.
Writing in the Common Core: Elementary
SCOE will be offering a three part series on Writing in the Common Core for elementary teachers. The Common Core State Standards (CCSS) call for a focus on three genre of writing: narrative, explanatory/informational, and opinion. In this three-session series, participants will look at the three types of writing, concentrating on a different genre each evening. A variety of approaches to teaching writing will also be discussed. Participants should come prepared to spend time planning writing lessons to be used in their classrooms.
Three Tuesdays; meets 4:00-7:00pm at SCOE
November 5, 2013
January 14, 2014
February 18, 2014
Common Core and ELLs - Online PD opportunity
Massive Open Online Course for Educators around Common Core State Standards and ELLs. The team at Understanding Language at Stanford University will be offering a short Massive Open Online Course (MOOC) for educators this fall. Below are some relevant details about the course. We hope that many of you can join so we can learn from your rich experiences in classrooms, schools, districts, and networks. This course is optional for teachers who are interested in participating.
Course Title: Constructive Classroom Conversations: Mastering the Language of the Common Core State Standards
Kenji Hakuta, Lee L. Jacks Professor of Education at Stanford University
Jeff Zwiers, Senior Researcher, Stanford University
Sara Rutherford-Quach, Postdoctoral Fellow, Stanford University and the Understanding Language Initiative
Dates: Oct 21, 2013- Dec 09, 2013
Professional Development Opportunities
The California Reading Association is sponsoring a two day conference on November 1 and 2 at Sonoma State University. The conference will include strands on the Common Core, Content Literacy and strategies for supporting EL students. Keynote speakers will include:
Friday Evening Keynoter: Dr. Nell Duke Noted expert on teaching Informational text as well as author and coauthor of numerous books including Reading & Writing Genre with Purpose in K-8 Classrooms
Saturday Morning Keynoter: Dr. Linda Dorn Expert in Literacy and Intervention and author of Teaching for Deep Comprehension: A Reading Workshop Approach and many others
Saturday Afternoon Keynoter: Regie Routman Author of Writing and Reading Essentials and more.
Meeting the Needs of EL Students within the Common Core (K-5)
In this series of three workshops, participants will gain a deeper understanding of the essential instructional practices needed to effectively teach English Learners in the Common Core and help them attain 21st century skills. The three sessions will be organized as follows:
Meeting the Needs of EL Students within the Common Core (Gr. 6-12)
In these workshops, participants will gain a deeper understanding of the essential instructional practices needed to effectively teach grade 6-12 English learners in the Common Core and help them attain 21st century skills.
There will be three sessions on the following dates. Sessions are scheduled from 8:30-3:00 pm
Choose one, two, or all three days of the series
Cybersafety: Supporting Student Safety in the Digital Age
Cybersafety is the safe and responsible use of the Internet and all information and communication technology devices, including mobile phones, digital cameras, and webcams.
Working in conjunction with Yahoo and Common Sense Media, the California Technology Assistance Project (CTAP) developed a variety of material to support schools and districts in promoting cybersafety. Educators, parents, and interested community members are invited to receive information and resources that they can take back to local communities for awareness development and sharing. Topics will include:
Google Apps for Education -- PD Series at SCOE
SCOE is hosting a series of three workshops to assist local educators in gaining a deeper understanding of how to use Google Apps for Education with their colleagues and students to improve communication and collaboration.
Google Drive Overview -- September 30 4:00-5:30 pm
This session focuses on Google Drive, a file storage and synchronization service that enables users to share and collaboratively edit files. Google Drive is the home of Google Docs, a suite of productivity applications.
Google Blogger, Sites and Slides -- October 3rd 4:00-5:30 pm
This session will specifically focus on the Google tools and applications that allow users to create free blogs, website, wikis, and online presentations. An overview of the features and templates will provided.
Google Sheets and Hangouts -- October 7th 4:00-5:30 pm
This session will provide an overview of Google Sheets, an online spreadsheet app that lets users create and format spreadsheets, then simultaneously work on them with other people. Google Hangouts, a free plugin that supports voice and video conversations from a computer, will also be explored.
Summer is a wonderful time to reconnect with loved ones and to do things that feed our soul -- whether its traveling, reading a good book, sleeping in, hiking or just slowing down to savor each moment. This summer, I had the opportunity to reconnect with my love of cycling. As I pedaled along the scenic country roads in Sonoma County, I was once again reminded that we live in a truly amazing and beautiful place! Getting out in the fresh air, moving more slowly, taking in the sights provided me with time to rest, relax and rejuvenate. I hope that you had a chance to unwind and enjoy your time off.
On my travels, I have started to notice "Pink Ladies" popping up along the sides of the roads. I have always associated their appearance in August with the approaching new year. Here it is! I would like welcome you to the new school year and provide you with some updates as we get underway.
This year we will be in the transition phase of our implementation of the Common Core State Standards within a 21st Century learning framework. Our focus will be on developing a deeper understanding of the instructional shifts within the CCSS as well as applying this understanding to lesson and unit planning. One of our primary goals is to provide teachers and staff with the instructional support to make this transition. With this goal in mind, we will be offering professional development within the District and through the Sonoma County Office of Education in the areas of ELA, ELD, Math and technology. In addition, we will providing on-going instructional support to grade level teams and individual teachers. We will be sending out a brief survey soon to gather your input on your professional development needs.
As we begin the new year, we would like to welcome our new staff members to the Piner-Olivet community:
I would also like to invite you to our Back to School gathering on Monday, August 19th in the Jack London/POCS gym. We’ll get started with refreshments, introductions, and opening remarks, then move into the scheduled activities:
Monday is a required work day for all certificated staff members. It is optional for Classified Staff (those who attend the Welcome event will be paid for one hour). Tuesday, August 20th is a required work day for all certificated staff. For upcoming events within the District, please check the staff calendar.
I am looking forward to working with you in the new year. If you have any questions, I can be reached at 522-3000 or via e-mail at email@example.com. Please feel free to contact me to share any suggestions or ideas you may have.
With Warm Regards,
Olivet Variety Show -- April 12, 2013
The Olivet Variety Show was a great success! The show included signing, dancing and musical performances. It was wonderful to see our talented students perform. Thank you to the parents, teachers, and students who made this event possible. A special thank you to: Jodie Lau (Director), Kaesa Enemark (Emcee), Pamell Gallagher and Geri Brown (Choral group), Bonnie Polkinghorn (program), and the other members of the Variety Show Committee and Volunteers (Jessica Biagini, Leslie McCormick, Amy Harrington, Cambria Adams, and Monique Walker).
Schaefer Beautification Day -- April 28, 2013
Earlier this year, teachers and students developed plans for creating a schoolwide garden as part of project-based learning. Parents, teachers and students worked hard to clear space, weed, and build garden boxes as part of the Schaefer Garden Project. Thanks to the student, teachers and parent volunteers the project is moving forward. Special thanks to Tawnya Martin, Tracy Henry, Karie Seliga, Lynn Garlock, and Joe Hamp for their work this year to bring the garden project to fruition.
Northwest Prep Receives Educational Innovation Award
We are thrilled to announce that Northwest Prep received the Jack London Educational Innovation Award that is given by the Sonoma State School of Education. We congratulate the Northwest Prep staff and students for their commitment to creating an innovative educational program for our students. NWP was recognized at an award ceremony held Wednesday, May 1st from 5:00-7:00 pm at the Cooperage on the Sonoma State University campus. See the press release on the Press Democrat ExtraCredit Blog.
Public Schools Week -- May 3rd - May 8th
Public Schools Week is almost here. Our district will have displays for schools at Coddingtown Mall. We will set up the tables and display boards by Friday at noon. We'll then be able to set up student projects. Scott Gifford will be leading a group of student musical performances on Tuesday, May 7th at 5:45 pm.
POCS - Mural Unveiling and Arts Night -- May 23rd (Save the Date)
ieSonoma -- with Sir Ken Robinson -- June 10th
Our district is proud to be participating in ieSonoma, an emerging partnership between public and private educational institutions and the larger community devoted to exploring the research, theory, and practice of 21st Century teaching and learning for the purpose of transforming the way we prepare our youth for success in a rapidly changing world.
On June 10th from 8:00 am-12:00 pm, ieSonoma will be hosting a half day session at Sonoma Country Day School that will bring Sir Ken Robinson, an internationally recognized leader in the development of education, creativity and innovation as well as representatives from Sonoma State University and the local business community to discuss 21st Century Learning. Event registration is free for current teachers and students.
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Professional Development Day
On April 1st, we held a professional development day for staff, "Common Core Extravangza." The morning session focused on an overview of the Common Core State Standards for ELA and the gradual release of responsibility instructional model. The afternoon breakout sessions provided staff with an opportunity to learn more about 21st Century Learning tools (Edmodo and Google Apps), meeting the needs of EL students within the Common Core and Lexia. You can access the presentation slides, handouts and helpful links by clicking here. You can find more information about how to sign-up for and access Edmodo here.
The Heart of Excellent Award has been given to teachers who have gone above and beyond to make their schools better places for students and their colleagues. This year the following teachers have been recognized for their outstanding commitment and service: Deborah Berry (POCS), Gary Jordan (POCS), Geri Brown (Olivet), Pamell Gallagher (Olivet), Tawnya Martin (Schaefer) and Liana Zavala (Jack London).
The Helping Hand of Excellence Award has been given to classified staff who have demonstrated commitment to serving their school communities. At our March board meeting, the following classified staff members were recognized: Tom Gerbremicael (Jack London/POCS), Shelley Mederios (Jack London/POCS), Azura Leon (Olivet), Crystal Herrell (Olivet), Nancy Wood (Schaefer), and Cathy Manno (District Office).
POCS Mural Project
This year POCS students have been working on another amazing mural project, coordinated by Deborah Berry and with the guidance of local artist, Mary Linnea Vaughn. Here are just a few of samples of the students' work in progress. They hope to complete the project and unveil the murals in May. Stay tuned.
Public Schools Week -- May 3rd - May 8th
Public Schools Week will be happening at Coddingtown Mall on May 3rd through May 8th. Each school site will have a section to display student work. We will make arrangements for set-up of the tables, display board and banners. Scott Gifford will be facilitating student musical performances. You can get updates on PSW at https://www.facebook.com/PublicSchoolsWeek.
ieSonoma -- June 10th
ieSonoma is an emerging partnership between public and private educational institutions and the larger community devoted to exploring the research, theory, and practice of 21st Century teaching and learning for the purpose of transforming the way we prepare our youth for success in a rapidly changing world.
On June 10th, ieSonoma will be hosting a half day session that will bring Sir Ken Robinson, an internationally recognized leader in the development of education, creativity and innovation as well as representatives from Sonoma State University and the local business community to discuss 21st Century Learning. If you would like to attend this event, please fill in the sign-up form here.
Public Schools Week -- 5/3/13 to 5/8/13
PSW will be returning this year to the Coddingtown Mall. Last year, the event provided schools around Sonoma County an opportunity to showcase the wonderful things students are doing and learning. Mark your calendars. More information to follow. You can get updates on PSW at https://www.facebook.com/PublicSchoolsWeek.
Northwest Prep: Second Semester Project - Is Progress Worth the Price?
NWP students spent two months in the Fall researching the concepts underlying democratic government, equal and fair representation, and bias and perspective. Project groups created their own versions of campaign ads for various California propositions and presented them along with the major project milestones they achieved. You can check out the Exhibition Gallery to see photos of the event as well as video clips of the student created campaign ads.
This semester all NWP students will investigate the Driving Question, "Is progress worth the price?," through the lens of several academic disciplines and diverse human experiences. Multi-graded groups have chosen appropriate topics to investigate. They will be conducting deep research on these topics and they'll report their finds, conclusion and new questions in a collaborative online publication that addresses the driving question from multiple perspectives and in multiple formats. You can check out more information about the project by clicking here.
"Our Town" at POCS
"Do any human beings ever realize life as they live it every, every minute?" On March 1st, the POCS Drama Department treated an audience of students, parents, staff, and community members to a fabulous performance of Thornton Wilder's "Our Town." A special thanks to all those who made this performance possible, especially Kathy Pither (Director), Alissa Mann (Student Stage Manager), Will Hart (Costumes with the help of Hot Couture), Dianne Hart (Snacks), and Janet McDonough (Event Program).
Young Imaginations Music
Scott Gifford, Young Imaginations music teacher, is back again this year. He has been working with K-6 students at Olivet and Jack London. He will be moving onto Schaefer later this Spring. He has been guiding younger students through a variety of musical activities involving rhythm and singing. Third graders are learning how to create music using recorders. Fourth graders will be playing songs related to California history on harmonicas. Fifth and sixth graders are learning how to play dulcimers. If you see Scott on campus, please let him know how much we appreciate his work with our students.