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Thursday, December 10, 2009
Tuesday, September 29, 2009
Sale International Studies Magnet School is partnering with MUW for the enrichment activities that include touring and creating a "Wax Museum" of book characters with the W's education students. Stokes-Beard Technology and Communication Magnet School is "Digging for Fossils" and exploring the field of archeology.
Thursday, September 10, 2009
What an exciting cultural learning experience between students who are studying Spanish. The students will meet once a month on this project. Mrs. Stanback and Sale Spanish teacher, Mrs. Jane Robertson are anxious to kick this project off this week.
When asked about the project, Mrs. Stanback stated, "I am very anxious for the CHS IB Spanish students to begin collaborating with the Sale IB students because both groups have so much to offer. Not only will they be sharing their language skills with each other, but they will also share cultural discoveries about the Spanish-speaking world."
The Commercial Dispatch: http://www.cdispatch.com/news/article.asp?aid=2906
Monday, August 17, 2009
A new approach to play time - The Dispatch - Columbus, Starkville & The Golden Triangle
Shared via AddThis
Tuesday, August 11, 2009
And -- our Falcons play a jamboree this Friday in Philadephia. GO FALCONS !!
Saturday, August 8, 2009
Friday, August 7, 2009
Wednesday, August 5, 2009
I was thankful for all the wonderful press our new teacher induction received last week. Here are the links if you happened to miss them!
Program Brings District's New Teachers Up To Speed
Teacher Induction Process
Sunday, August 2, 2009
I think the expectations are high everywhere. Let me say THANK YOU to all our teachers, administrators, and staff who have worked over the summer to get ready for the 2009-2010 school year.
Monday, June 8, 2009
Tuesday, May 12, 2009
Dr. Phillips did a great job of introducing the proposal and explaining why it is a positive move. He reported on the surveys that were done among parents and teachers assessing support for the extended-year calendar.
It's too bad more people weren't convinced to take this extraordinary step to improve education in the CMSD. Only Sale and Stokes-Beard will use the 11-month calendar this coming school year. All others schools in the district will stay with the traditional calendar.
Julie Jordan asked a very important question; What ideas do teachers and parents who rejected this idea to raise academic standards have to improve their schools? We must all be accountable for improving education. What are some of the other ideas?
Thursday, May 7, 2009
Watch WCBI news for an upcoming feature of the Stokes-Beard Broadcast 101 team. May 8 Boot Camp Finale' will be held to celebrate all the hardwork our third and fourth graders have put forth preparing for the MCT2 and to cheer them on for their efforts on the tests next week. The MCT2 will be given May 12-14. Field Day for PreK-2nd will be held May 15. Stokes-Beard will have a culminating activity for the recent schoolwide Project-Based Learning unit of living systems. We will have the Bodywalk at our school on May 19th. Volunteers are needed to help set up on May 18th. Awards Day for PreK and Kindergarten will be held May 18th and for 1st through 4th on May 20th. May 21st is the last day of school for students and it is a 60% day. The Summer Excellence Academy for select students starts May 26th at Stokes-Beard and ends on June 16th.
What else is happening?
Friday, May 1, 2009
The expectation is that MAEP funds will remain "flat" for FY10; however, some of the other line items such as transportation and EEF will likely be reduced. All the conversation in Jackson about the overall state budget is very gloomy.
Tuesday, April 28, 2009
Saturday, April 25, 2009
Tuesday, April 21, 2009
Monday, April 20, 2009
Friday, April 17, 2009
1) "Investing in early childhood initiatives" like Head Start;
2) "Encouraging better standards and assessments" by focusing on testing itineraries that better fit our kids and the world they live in;
3) "Recruiting, preparing, and rewarding outstanding teachers" by giving incentives for a new generation of teachers and for new levels of excellence from all of our teachers.
4) "Promoting innovation and excellence in America’s schools" by supporting charter schools, reforming the school calendar and the structure of the school day.
5) "Providing every American with a quality higher education--whether it's college or technical training."
And, the "public" should know that every school board meeting is a public forum. Anyone is welcome to come and request to appear before the board in "open forum" at the beginning of each meeting. If you need longer than 4-5 minutes, just send a written request to the school district office and you can have a longer time to speak. The idea that the "public" doesn't have a chance to make comments, simple isn't a fact. All meetings are open for public comment as long as that comment isn't directed at a specific employee or student.
Wednesday, April 15, 2009
Mrs. Courtney Stanback did an awesome job. As she honored the seniors who were part of the first AP Spanish course it was clear she loves and cares for her students. Everything we know about successful schools tells us we need teachers and administrators who really care for kids. We've got that at CHS. Thanks to all those who participated.
Sunday, April 12, 2009
There has been so much happening lately with the new building projects that the administrators have had their focus on getting the projects started. So, Dr. Phillips is planning some more surveys and meetings with parents about the 11 month calendar. Check with the elementary principals for more information. Many of the parents who attended the recent parent-teacher day had a chance to complete a survey.
Also, if you check at http://www.columbuscityschools.org/ there is a link about the calendar on the home page and an email address for submitting your comments about the proposed calendar. Please ask your questions so you can get answers and understand the new calendar -- what it is and what it isn't -- and understand the advantages for students.
Thursday, April 9, 2009
The Board also approved to advertise for bid the additions for Cook, Sale, and Stokes-Beard. We need additions to these buildings so there is room for the 5th graders in 2010.
Wednesday, April 8, 2009
Tuesday, April 7, 2009
Monday, April 6, 2009
Sunday, April 5, 2009
Saturday, April 4, 2009
Friday, March 27, 2009
Thursday, March 26, 2009
Tuesday, March 24, 2009
CMSD's 4-year cohort rate is 79% for 2008. We are better than any of the surrounding districts. I went through the list and found just 25 districts with rates 80% and above. So, while 79% is not good enough, it is in within the range of the top 25-30 districts in the state. We can be proud of 79% and work toward being one of only a handful better than 85%.
Budget estimates continue to cause concerns in Jackson as the legislature works on the budget for next year -- fiscal year 2010 (FY10). The budget estimating committee reported on Friday to the Governor and revised State revenue estimates DOWN by $400 million for FY10.
The legislature will have to find ways to increase revenues (ie, cigarette tax) and/or reduce funding to programs. It looks like education funding will be OK because of the stimulus package and the requirement that some 80% of the "state stablization funds" help fund education at no less than current levels. Yet, as they say, the "devil is in the details" and we've yet to see the details from the federal government. We've seen how the Governor is willing to turn down federal stimulus money if it comes with too many strings -- future unfunded mandates.
So, the legislature is in a tough spot trying to fund all the State program and balance the budget in the existing economic climate.
Saturday, March 21, 2009
Now, the extra funds from this part of the ARRA are different from the funds schools are likely to receive from the "state stabilization funds." These funds will flow through Jackson and our best guess is they will be used to restore full funding to MAEP in the current FY09 year and to fully fund FY10.
Dr. Phillips presented to the Board a plan for an 11-month school calendar. It seems that anything beyond the typical 180 day calendar is commonly referred to as "year round." However, the plan calls for closing the entire month of July. It adds 22 days to the calendar. We are calling these "yellow days" or "success academy days." Yellow because the calendar is color coded. "Success" because we expect the new calendar will significantly improve the success level of many children.
There is a 2-week block in the fall, 1-week in January, and 2 weeks in the spring. During those days, the students who have tested minimal or basic will received small group, individualized instruction. Those students who are proficient or advanced will participate in a variety of enhanced learning activities.
A few notable questions to answer: YES -- if a child is behind instructionally, he will be required to attend the yellow days. YES -- teachers and everyone else involved will be paid for these extra 22 days. For more information refer to CMSD web site or articles in the newspaper: Dispatch article and Dr. Phillips Editorial.
The new accountability standards proposed by MDE will certainly change the game for all districts. One significant change is that the model rewards districts for those "advanced" students and should serve as an incentive to help more students move from proficient to advanced. In running the numbers, it will be challenging for any school to reach the top 2 levels without having almost 80% of the children scoring proficient or advanced. Although the MCT2 scores from last year won't be used to determine our new rankings, it is easy to calculate the QDI based on the 2008 scores. Find the detail at the MDE site, www.mde.k12.ms.us.
A high school can't reach the top 2 levels without a graduation rate 75% or better. The bar has been moved and it is HIGH and will go up again for the next 2 years. We can expect that almost all our schools will move down a level, maybe 2, from where we were the last time we were rated. This won't be easy to accept, but it is time we raise expectations and compare ourselves to the rest of the world.