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Wednesday, December 12, 2018

Boulder Valley Safe Schools Coalition Tip of the Month


Pronouns are an integral part of our everyday language.  It is difficult to imagine speaking without using pronouns, especially when we have been taught and socialized to use them.  While pronouns are an important part of language, their use in understanding gender is often underestimated. We often automatically ascribe a pronoun to the people around us based on the gender we assume them to be. Learning about and respecting the pronouns which someone uses is an important part of treating people with respect and dignity

1. How do I ask someone what their preferred pronoun is? 
This guide offers a brief overview of how to ask about pronouns. While we prefer not tying “preferred” to the question, the article offers options to avoid using that qualifier. 
2. What are your pronouns? 
This resource is an overview with definitions of pronouns, suggested pronouns, and some suggestions of do’s and don’ts when using pronouns. 
3. Preferred Gender Pronouns: For Faculty (Or, How to Take Important Steps in Becoming aTrans Ally!) 
This document is broken down into an FAQ style format. Learn basics about the use of pronouns in general along with insights about why you should use pronouns responsibly and respectfully.
Did you know the district has comprehensive policies protecting trans and gender non-conforming students and staff from discrimination? Read about them here!  

To learn more about BVSSC please contact Mary Campbell.

2 Things to be done by December 21- Salary Credit Transfer and Data Privacy Course

Salary Credit Transfer

Urgent: This must be completed by December 21st in order to not lose your salary credit!
  1. Log into MyPassport
  2. Check to see if you have any salary credit by clicking on Courses, then My Transcript, then BVSD Salary Credit. 
  3. If the answer is no, you don’t need to do anything!

  4. 4. If you do, keep that window open, and sign into AppliTrack on another tab. 
  5. 5. Navigate to the Locate the Teacher Education Credential Worksheet to see what you have already submitted.
    6.If you have credits that are in MyPassport but not in Applitrack, upload them using the Outstanding Earned Credit Upload Form. Make sure to upload official salary credit transcripts from a university or the salary credit transcript from your BVSD account. 

    More questions? Check out the FAQs or email!

Data Privacy Course

Have you started the Student Data Privacy Schoology course? All BVSD employees who have access to student data are required to take this course by December 21st. Log in to Schoology today to get started!

In order to access this course:

  1. Sign into the (BVSD Single Sign On Portal) with your BVSD credentials
  2. Click the Schoology icon
  3. You will be redirected to your Schoology homepage
  4. Click Courses in the top menu bar, and select the Data Privacy for Staff course from the dropdown menu

Contact if you have any trouble logging into Schoology or joining the class

Friday, December 7, 2018

Gifted Student Resources

Here is the link for tools and resources shared in the National Center for Gifted Children’s 9th annual Speed Geeking session. Great tools for learning!

Literacy Updates

Thank you teachers for all the work you do to give these assessments. We realize all the work that goes into administering and grading them, as well as the training to do so.

Assessment Window Opens December 3
  • Dual Language Schools: 12/3 - 12/21 for testing in both Spanish and English
  • All Other Schools: 12/3 - 1/18

All Istation and i-Ready testing must be completed within this window. Confirmation tests to confirm a Significant Reading Deficiency must be completed before the Follow-Up Capture date of 1/25.
Teachers: You will need to assign the i-Ready diagnostic assessment for this window.
For more detailed information, see this handy one-pager: Mid Year i-Ready Assessment Information

*Please note that iReady settings only allow for student access to assessments between 8am and 3pm Monday through Friday.

To see all dates and details for the year see the BVSD Literacy & Language Assessment Matrix

BAS Training - January 9,16 and 23
The Literacy Department is offering another opportunity to be trained to administer the Benchmark Assessment System (BAS). Over three days you will learn how to administer and score the assessment, deepen your understanding of the reading process, and learn how to analyze the results to inform instruction.  .5 BVSD salary credit is available
Check out this flyer for the code to register in My Passport.  The class is filling up quickly, so sign up soon!
Common Writing Assessments

Common Assessments are an important part of the district's strategic work. Read more about the purposes of common assessment here.

This year, 4th-grade teachers will be administering the district Common Writing Assessment (CWA). Second, third, and fifth-grade teachers will continue administering and reporting the CWA scores.
The window to administer, score, and submit samples is February 1 - March 22, 2019.  By March 22, each classroom teacher in grades 2-5 will need to have entered data for each student in eDoctrina and have sent student samples to the district assessment office.
If you are a 4th-grade teacher or new to giving this assessment in grade 2nd, 3rd or 5th, attend a training on administering, scoring, and reporting the results of the CWA.

Face to Face Training Dates (Two hours - curriculum rate paid)

  • Monday, January 14, 2019, 4:00 - 6:00 at the Arapahoe Campus Cafe (4:00-6:30 if staying for the technology training - see note below.)
    Signup in My Passport: 23497

  • Tuesday, January 29, 2019, 4:00 - 6:00 at the Ed Center (4:00-6:30 if staying for the technology training - see note below.)
    Signup in My Passport: 23498

NOTE: Students in 3rd, 4th and 5th grade will be expected to type their writing response in being consistent state standards and with state testing that requires students to digitally respond in writing. Therefore, we are extending the training one-half hour on each of the training days for those who would like additional support and training on setting up Google Classroom or Schoology.  

These are two excellent ways to share the writing prompt with your students.  You will be paid curriculum pay for the additional half hour if you choose to stay. You can also choose to learn about these tools on your own using these links Self Study links for Google Classroom & Schoology

For educators that can’t attend one of the two face to face training dates, a screencast training option will be designed and offered after the January 14th training and will be linked on the Critical Literacy Links Document.

Weekly Tip from Family Partnerships

Positive Phone Calls
Have you ever called students’ families simply to share good news about their child? Positive phone calls can accelerate relationship-building and increase students’ motivation too. Positive phone calls help to create a school culture that celebrates both academic achievement and social and emotional learning.

A recent poll showed that 59 percent of public school parents reported never having received a phone call home from their children’s school during the previous year. However, the research shows that “frequent, personalized phone calls home immediately increased parents’ engagement in school, as measured by homework completion, in-class behavior, and in-class participation” (Kraft & Doughtery, 2013).

As a district-wide initiative, several principals have already begun making positive phone calls a new system in their schools. Check in with your principal to see if they are one of the dozen or so principals that have chosen this as a goal.

It can be efficient for you to do a few calls at the same time to families whose students merit recognition for academic or character-based reasons. If time permits, you can allow the student to briefly say hello to their parents and feel the joy of being recognized by them.

What if I don’t speak the language of the family? Check out this document

Friday, November 30, 2018

Weekly Tip from Family Partnerships

Welcome back from break! We know that BVSD teachers provide more than just academics to students and their families. You are often the first resource for families around meeting additional needs. To that end, we’ve created a resource to guide you in learning more about what organizations are available in our communities:

Community Organizations

This guide shares non-profits, County and City agencies, and other organizations that support children and families in a variety of ways. Check it out!

Have you ever been stuck trying to remotely access VizLab from a Chromebook?

VPN for Chromebooks is your solution! Now you can safely and securely get to the VizLab data you need when you are away from school. See full instructions here.

All Algebra I and Geometry Teachers (including teachers of PIB Geometry

All students enrolled in an Algebra I or Geometry course will be required to complete the EOC Common Assessments.  All teachers who did not attend training last year and are administering either Algebra I or Geometry are required to attend one of the following training sessions.  Any teachers who participated in the Geometry Pathway this fall, are not required to attend as they have already worked through student work samples
Please register in My Passport for one of the sessions.  If you teach both Geometry and Algebra I and have not been trained in either course, you will need to attend both courses.

Just as a reminder Common Assessments are an important part of the district's work.Learn more here about the purpose of common assessments.
Title:  EOC Geometry Assessment Administration and Scoring Training
1) Section #23457:Monday, December 10th-- 4:00-7:00 p.m. Black Diamond (Curriculum Pay)
2) Section #23458: Thursday, December 13th--8:00- 11:00 a.m. Black Diamond (Sub paid for by Assessment)
3) Section #23459: Monday, December 17th--12:00-3:00 p.m. Davidson Mesa (Sub paid for by Assessment)
4) Section # 23460: Monday, January 28th--4:00-7:00 p.m. Flagstaff (Curriculum Pay)
Title:  EOC Algebra I Assessment Administration and Scoring Training
1) Section #23461:  Wednesday, January 9th--4:00 - 7:00 p.m. Glacier (Curriculum Pay)
2) Section 23462:  Tuesday, January 15th--8:00 - 11:00 a.m. Eldora (Sub paid for by Assessment)

Tuesday, November 27, 2018

Boulder Bookstore Giveaway

The Boulder Bookstore has kindly donated new books to the district! Come check it out on December 6,7, and 8 at New Vista High School. See flyer for more details.

Monday, November 26, 2018

Aspen Creek student wins Gifted and Talented Distinguished Student Award

Paxton is an Aspen Creek K-8 5th grade student who was awarded the Colorado Association for the Gifted and Talented Distinguished Student Award at the Annual CAGT Conference on October 21, 2018. Paxton was honored for his work on a school newspaper created by Paxton for a fourth-grade class passion project. Paxton named the newspaper The Coyote Times. Read more to find out how Paxton created his award-winning newspaper!

What gave you the idea for The Coyote Times?
I did it for originally for Genius Hour. I was reading a book called The School Story, and my fourth-grade teacher Ms. Barnett suggested that I publish something like Natalie did in the book. My teacher and I came up with the idea of the newspaper. I noticed there were a lot of publications FOR the kids but not BY the kids. A lot of print is on different devices but not on paper, so I wanted to create a paper for the kids by the kids on paper. I wrote it for elementary kids, first through fifth grade.

What the most interesting thing you learned?
It isn’t a quick gather the stories and put it together. You have to get people interested, gather the stories, copy edit and decide which stories are run. You then have to put the stories into Word and introduce them to the school in multiple ways. I put a few copies of the newspaper in the library, gave every participant and every class an issue, and I had to get everyone excited to read the newspaper. It was a lot harder than I thought it would be!

Are you continuing with the newspaper in 5th grade?
Yes, I am currently working on my first issue of The Coyote Times for this year. It is my third issue overall. It counts for my Coyote Passion Project, Advanced Learning Plan goals and is just great learning. [The Coyote Passion Project is an Aspen Creek PK-8 GT Sponsored activity culminating in the Coyote Learning Fair in April. All K-8 GT students have the opportunity to participate.]

What would you recommend to kids who want to become newspaper reporters?
I would first recommend that you find someone who has published a big magazine or something. When I first started, I met with Debbie Mock, the editor of Colorado Parent, and I met with a few others who worked for Met Media Newspaper including Montana their editor. They put me on the right path to starting the paper, showed me how to get submissions, how to meet with people, and how to make a better overall newspaper. You also need someone at school who can help you and support you to do your newspaper, which I was very lucky to have. Ms. Barnett helped me last year, and this year, Ms. Barnett arranged for Ms. Kibe [the librarian] to help me. I have such a wonderful staff this year as well as last year. They are dedicated and they help me quite a bit, which I am quite grateful for.

Do you want to work in media when you are older?
I don’t know if I want to work in media when I am older. I really enjoy it and I think I have a passion for it, but I also have a passion for math. I could go on two very different paths. I don’t think I can say now, in 5th grade.

Friday, November 16, 2018

Individual Student Growth Reports available to parents, educators

Individual student CMAS growth reports for 4th-9th graders have been posted to Infinite Campus. Parents can access these reports using instructions they received in August. Reports consist of a page showing growth in math and ELA (see sample) and one page of explanation. To access a specific, current student's report in IC, click on the green Documents icon in the Assessment tab.  

Literacy Updates

K-3 Literacy Materials Implementation
The Literacy Materials Implementation has often been described as a marathon, not a sprint. Many teachers and principals have requested a document that lays out “mile markers”, or checkpoints outlining which contexts teachers and teams should have in place as we work towards full implementation. A draft of this Mile Marker document has been shared with principals and Literacy Leads. It can be used as a guide for you and for building leaders as you strive to incorporate the materials and continually refine instructional practices using the materials. Essentially, this is a guide to help you know you are on the right track as we work towards this multi-year implementation. Here is the most updated Mile Marker document for Fountas and Pinnell Classroom.  The ReadyGEN Mile Markers and a Kindergarten specific (FPC & Fundations)Mile Markers are in progress.
Upcoming dates: December 3-January 18: Winter Assessment Window

Friday, November 9, 2018

Literacy Updates

FPC Labels
Calling all K-2 teachers..get your FPC Labels here!  Spring ‘18 Release 1 of Guided Reading, Interactive Read Aloud and Shared Reading did not have the nice labels and stickers that were included in the Release 2 of materials. Labels with books titles and grade levels are now available for:
  • Guided Reading Release 1 in K, 1st and 2nd grades
  • Interactive Read Aloud boxes in K, 1st and 2nd
  • Shared Reading Boxes in K, 1st and 2nd
*Click here to see what the labels look like. Many of you have already created your own system, but if you would like labels, please email and specify what you would like. 

K-3 Literacy Materials Implementation 
The Literacy Materials Implementation has often been described as a marathon, not a sprint. Many teachers and principals have requested a document that lays out “mile markers”, or checkpoints outlining which contexts teachers and teams should have in place as we work towards full implementation. A draft of this Mile Marker document was shared with principals this Tuesday. It can be used as a guide for you and for building leaders as you strive to incorporate the materials and continually refine instructional practices using the materials. Essentially, this is a guide to help you know you are on the right track as we work towards this multi-year implementation. Here is the most updatedMile Marker document for Fountas and Pinnell Classroom.  The ReadyGEN Mile markers are in progress. 

 i-Ready Growth Monitor
The Growth Monitor test is automatically assigned at the beginning of each month except December and January (during the assessment window).  If you would like to assign a Growth Monitor in December or January, you will need to do it manually. See this past post for more information about the Growth Monitor on i-Ready.

Upcoming dates: 
November 13: Literacy Leads (all schools) 4:00-6:30 
December 3-January 18: Winter Assessment Window

Technology Focus Groups

BVSD is developing a common, district-wide instructional framework for how we shape and support individual student learning experiences and working to align all our systems to that instructional framework.

Technology is one of those systems that we must look closely at to see how it best fits into the framework. We have assembled a cross functional team of district administrators to help steer this effort and are contracting with a consultant to help us conduct an external review of policies and procedures.

Most importantly, we need feedback from you. The major areas we are exploring regarding technology are: Curriculum and Instruction, Ongoing Program Evaluation, and Policy and Practice. We will be holding several stakeholder sessions between Thanksgiving and winter break to get feedback from students, staff, parents, and community members.

Here are the dates for the teacher and administrator sessions. We hope you will be able to join us at one of them! Please use this form to RSVP.
Casey MS
Mon. November 26th
4:00 - 5:00 pm
Louisville MS
Wed. November 28th
4:00 - 5:00 pm
Broomfield HS
Mon. December 3rd
4:00 - 5:00 pm
Centaurus HS
Mon. December 10th
4:00 - 5:00 pm
Creekside Elementary
Thurs. December 20th
4:00 - 5:00 pm

Weekly Tip from Family Partnerships

Cultural Responsiveness

Part of being a Culturally Responsive teacher is having the stance of a "Warm demander." Warm demander teachers expect great things from their students, convince them of their own brilliance, and help them reach their potential in a disciplined, structured environment. While this term seems to be gaining more traction, the idea was established in 1975!

A quick read about this teaching stance can be found here: The Warm Demander: An Equity Approach

Learn more about how to become a Warm Demander here: The Teacher as Warm Demander