Dear Families, Happy 2018! I hope this finds you well rested and rejuvenated! We had a wonderful time away and now we are very much looking forward to being back at Walker!
Our teachers have been hard at work creating Learning Targets aligned to grade-level standards for every lesson in every grade. Learning Targets communicate what we want students to know and be able to do. The statements are written in student-friendly language, are actionable by the student, and measurable by the teacher. When teachers are explicit and specific in communicating what we want students to know and be able to do, we take the guess work out of learning. This helps students make stronger connections to what they are learning. It also ensures that we hold both high standards and high expectations for our students.
We know that when we have high standards and high expectations, student achievement improves! Next time you are in the classroom, look around the room to find the posted Learning Targets. Please also ask your child to talk to you about the Learning Targets of their lessons. When they answer, please ask them why they are learning this. This helps students make meaning of what they are learning. It also allows you an opportunity to help support this learning at home!
Please see below for events and activities here at Walker.
Take care, Tiffany Burns Principal
January Events & Information
PTO meets on Thursday, January 4th from 6:30 – 8:00 in the library. Child care and pizza are provided! We will be discussing our “Day of the Child” event. In order to continue this event, we will need significant parental support. Please spread the word and join us for this meeting to begin the planning!
MLK Day January 15th: No School
Our Annual MLK march and assembly is January 16th beginning at 9:00 am. We will meet at Walker and 9:00 am and students, staff, and families will march and sing to SOU’s Rogue River Room where we will gather for speeches and songs honoring the legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. We march in rain or shine so please make sure that your child dresses appropriately.
In-Service January 26th: No School
Site Council meets Monday, January 29th from 3:00-4:15 in the library. Site Council is a great way to get involved in our school’s instructional program to ensure success for all students. This year our Site Council focus is Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion. While Site Council is open to all Walker families, we are still hoping to increase the diversity of voices in the meetings. If you have a background in equity, diversity, or inclusion, or if you have experience working in the fields of social justice, environmental justice, social work, special education, therapy, or foreign languages please join us! Please click here for minutes from our last meeting.
Game Night: January 31st5:30 – 7:00. Join us for Bingo and prizes in the cafeteria!
Lunch Bunch Volunteers: We are looking for volunteers to support students making good choices in the cafeteria and at recess. If this is something you are interested in helping with, please email our Child Development Specialist, Mary Giancarlo. We will schedule a short orientation and training for all volunteers later this month. Please make sure to complete the volunteer form in the main office with Cheryl prior to attending the orientation.
Student Body Funds: $20 Student Body Funds: Due to online enrollment, many families did not have the chance to give the recommended $20 to the student body fund. This money goes to buy art room supplies, assist in paying for assemblies and student year books. If you did not pay in August and would like to today, your donation would be greatly appreciated. Please see Cheryl in the office.
SMARTER BALANCED ASSESSMENTS UPDATE:
In 2010, Oregon adopted higher K-12 standards in English Language Arts and Math to ensure all students move from grade to grade with the academic knowledge and skills necessary for success beyond high school. Because we raised the bar for what we expect students to know and be able to do, we have also changed the way we measure student progress through our state tests, known as Smarter Balanced.
Smarter Balanced is a set of summative assessments in English Language Arts and Math. The assessments are in a format that asks students to explain their reasoning and write out their answers. The assessments are not timed so each student can take as long as he or she needs to fully demonstrate what he or she knows and can do. The measures include complex, real-world skills such as critical-thinking, writing, and problem solving so that your child can successfully transition from grade to grade and be prepared for his or her next steps after high school.
We know that an end-of-the-year assessment cannot possibly tell us everything about a child’s academic progress. However, the results do act as a snapshot of each child’s strengths and areas for improvement and can be used as a way to ensure he or she is getting the supports he or she needs. Additionally, the assessments help Ashland School District’s efforts to equitably distribute resources and support student learning. When fewer students take the assessment, we are left with an incomplete and inaccurate picture of how our students are performing, and this limits our ability to address issues, better serve students, and continue to improve our educational system.House Bill 2655 permits parents and adult students to annually opt-out of Oregon’s statewide assessments by submitting an annual form to the school the student attends. If you are considering opting out, please print the form located on the District website: http://www.ashland.k12.or.us/Page.asp?NavID=2683 and bring it to your school’s principal. Discuss opting out with your child’s building principal so you can make an
Completed forms should be initialed by a building administrator and returned to Student Services at 885 Siskiyou Blvd. More information about parent rights can be found on the website and here: Http://tinyurl.com/OR-HB2655. Our school’s assessment windows will be: April 3rd – June 9th
In Ashland School District, we are deeply committed to ensuring each and every student in our schools has the supports he or she needs to achieve at high levels and graduate prepared for his or her next steps. Our ultimate goal is to make sure that all students are set up to be successful from grade to grade and that will remain the focus of our district throughout the rest of the school year.