Curriculum Corner

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Mr. Robert Galella
Curriculum Director
Phone: 570-655-2836 x2457

2020 PSSA Testing and Fundations

2020 PSSA TESTING DATES: 

PSSA testing dates for grades 3 - 8
Grades 3 - 8 / ELA- April 21, 22, 23
Grades 3 - 8 / Math- April 28, 29
Grades 4 & 8 / Science - April 30 and May 1

Fundations® is a multisensory and systematic phonics, spelling, and handwriting program that benefits all K-3 students. We currently utilize Fundations in Kindergarten.

Implementation Phases are as follows: 20I8-2019 1st Grade / 2019-2020 2nd Grade.

It also includes a supplementary activity set for Pre-K students. Fundations is designed as a whole-class, general education program used for prevention (Tier 1) purposes. It also can be taught in a small group or 1:1 setting for intervention (Tier 2). 

Informed by an extensive research base and following principles of instruction demonstrating success for a wide variety of learners, key features include:

-Thoroughly teaches the foundational skills, and significantly supports the reading, writing, and language standards, found in  states’ rigorous college- and career-ready standards.
-Presents the following concepts and skills in a cumulative manner from Unit to Unit and year to year:  
 Letter formation
 Phonological and phonemic awareness
 Sound mastery
 Phonics, word study, and advanced word study
 Irregular (trick) word instruction
 Vocabulary
 Fluency 
 Comprehension strategies 
 Written composition (spelling and handwriting)
-Integrates skill instruction so that a daily lesson teaches and then reinforces corresponding skills.
-Scaffolds learning while teaching all skills explicitly, sequentially, and systematically.
-Actively engages students in learning through the use of multisensory techniques, such as when teaching students sounds, their representative letters, and words with spelling options.
-Provides multiple opportunities for skills practice and application to build mastery.
-Monitors student learning through formative assessment tools built into the program.
-Includes comprehensive and teacher-friendly materials to facilitate teachers’ use of the program and promote student motivation. 
-Guides teachers on how to meet individual student needs by differentiating instruction.
-Supports teachers through the online Wilson Learning Community, offering clear demonstrations of each teaching activity type used in the program.
-Helps teachers achieve many of the requirements of state, local, and professional standards. 
-Encourages parental involvement through the use of the Fundations Home Support Packet.

Professional Goals

Professional Development Goals aligned to A-TSI (submitted to PDE prior to June 30, 2019) and overall Comprehensive Plan to be completed and submitted to PDE on or before November 30, 2019:

 
What Effective School Leader and Teachers Do...
The school leader’s job is to work with the faculty to 1) identify the key opportunities for improving instruction, 2) organize teachers in teams to research the best practices in the world, 3) come up with a plan based on that research, 4) implement the plan as a team, 5) evaluate its effectiveness, and then 6) improve on it. This will require teachers to work together to design solutions, observe teachers demonstrating the improved approaches, and critique them to make them better. It will require teachers to be in each other’s classrooms all the time, learning from one another. And it will involve a big investment of time on the part of the best teachers in mentoring new teachers and others. The message has to be: No matter how good you are, you can be even better, and, if you are very good, you have an obligation to share your expertise with your colleagues.


Key Concepts for ALL Educators to live by and demonstrate from an accountability standpoint... NOT only Teachers but Administrators also: 


-The best research shows that students will perform at very high levels if 1) expectations are high for all students; 2) all students are exposed to a demanding, well-conceived curriculum; 3) assessments are designed to measure the full range of higher-order thinking skills and other cognitive and non-cognitive qualities now demanded of adults; and 4) teachers have a deep, conceptually grounded command of their subjects and work in an environment characteristic of the best professional workplaces globally (including the incentives to get better at their work, every day, week, and year).
-The whole school must operate as the antithesis of a sorting system. The entire faculty must share the assumption that all but the most severely disabled students can and must achieve at internationally benchmarked levels, and no stone will be left unturned to make that happen.
-The engine of school improvement is not located outside the school; it is located inside the school. It is the school’s faculty. 
-As a former High School, Middle School, Jr. - Sr. High School and Elementary Principal; My honest belief over the past 13 years of administration is as follow:
-The most effective way to move forward is to identify the most effective teachers and give them the opportunity to lead and empower their colleagues to a more effective school.

+Instructional Best Practices
+Increase Math Scores
+Increase ELA scores
+Increase Science scores
+Increase SAT/ACT scores
+Kindergarten - 3rd MTSS/RtI Early Literacy
+K - 12 MTSS/SWPBIS
+Student Engagement
+Offer ASVAB exam in 2019 to upperclassmen interested in this graduation option

ALL of the Above goals revolve around the structuring of an MTSS shift consisting of undertaking specific work within the Behavior & Academic components as well as being in compliance with new state law - Future Ready PA Index: 



-MTSS will be steering the way for our K-12 School Wide Positive Behavior Intervention System (SWPBIS) training/implementation.
-MTSS will be steering the way for our K-3 Reading Instruction
-MTSS will be steering the way for our 5th grade Writing Instruction
-MTSS will be steering the way for our 7-12 Co-Teaching Initiative 
-Establishing Career Pathways, Career Portfolios - College / Career Readiness opportunities - developing partnerships with LCCC, Lackawanna College, PSU, Wilkes-Barre, Wilkes-Barre Connect, Chamber of Commerce, local businesses
-These goals & initiatives are currently in the planning stages consisting of structuring timelines for on-going professional development & implementation

Coding the Coal Region

This opportunity was halted due to the Pandemic. Hoping to revisit and implement this for our students...

We would like to share an exciting FREE opportunity targeting students in grades 6 through 12

Coding the Coal Region for Students in Grades 6 through 12!

We would like to share an exciting FREE opportunity targeting students in grades 6 through 12. In partnering with Wilkes-Barre Connect which is powered by the Greater Wilkes-Barre Chamber of Business & Industry, we would like to invite you to visit our district website and click on the link under “Coding the Coal Region” which is a project to increase the computer programming skills in Northeast PA by providing Wyoming Area students with access to curriculum, training, and certification modules to meet the immediate workforce needs of the computer programming industry in Northeastern Pa. The deadline to apply is August 7th, 2020. 

Please review the informational links pertaining to this opportunity consisting of the August 7th registration deadline, course descriptions, and Fall semester schedule Fall Semester Details - Coding the Coal Region

To register for this opportunity you can go to https://www.nepaworksproject.com/ctcr-register or click the yellow “REGISTER” box at the top right of the website. Then choose K-12 Students Register. A pop up will appear  and fill in the desired information. 

 

If you have any questions, please contact Robert Galella, Director of Curriculum at 570-655-3733 ext. 2457 or email rgalella@wyomingarea.org.