School Improvement Team

  • School Improvement Plan

Members:

  • Faith Cole, Principal
  • Cheryl Sullivan , Student Support Specialist
  • Ann LaHucik, Data & Technology Coach
  • Molly Meierhoff, Language Arts Specialist
  • Stephanie Hoover, Speech Pathologist
  • Aaron Jerkatis, Kindergarten 
  • Karolyn Miller, Kindergarten
  • Kate Whitley, 3rd Grade

Friday, November 13, 2015

SIT Meeting
11/13/15
7 am

At the meeting this morning, we discussed the following topics:
Comfort levels amongst parents talking about diversity in the classrooms
        -In middle school, students tend to segregate, but then diversify again in high school
        - Can we bring some diversity talks into the elementary curriculum?
          Some ideas:
        - Maybe we do whole school Black History month, Chinese New Year, etc. - maybe      incorporate as an assembly, art appreciation, etc.
        - Use literature to emphasize diversity rather than focusing on just one month
        - Use Kathy Rolfes' expertise and book suggestions and spotlight books
        - Use Lynne Allen's expertise and articles for diversity
        - Have a grade level goal to focus on literature that has a multicultural component
        - How do we address transgender, gender non-comformity, gay, lesbian? Also, addressing students with special needs
        - Students need and want to be educated about our differences 
        - We will revisit this topic again 
Mann Parent Resource Blog
        - Create a blog and link to Mann homepage that has various resources parents can find in one spot
        - Share out link to SIT team to ask for suggestion

February 6, 2015

SIT Meeting
2/6/15, 7:00 am

Meeting attendees:  Caroline Miller, Kate Whitley, Cheryl Sullivan, Sara Yount, Faith Cole, Katrina Beck, Jenny Ruland, Mukta Tandon, and Maggie Kelly

The SIT team used today’s meeting time to finish work on a brochure for new families.  Initially, families will be able to find this information on the school website, with a paper brochure being added at a later date.  The team broke out into three work groups:   

Group 1 - Mrs. Beck, Mrs. Whitley, Mukta Tandon, and Mrs. Cole (Topic: School Routine, educational lingo, acronyms, etc.) 

Group 2 - Maggie Kelly, Mrs. Miller, Sara Yount, Wendy Barrett (Topic: Classroom and School Volunteer Opportunities)

Group 3 - MaryAnn Owens, Mrs. Sullivan, Jenny Ruland (Topic: Extracurricular Activities)

By making this information available on the school website, the hope is to have a central location for Mann families, especially those new to the school, to find answers to questions easily.

September 26, 2014

The first School Improvement Team (SIT) Meeting of the 2014-2015 school year was held September 26th.  The group discussed expectations and roles for members of the SIT team.  We also reviewed the five goals established during the previous school year to assess progress.

Goal 1.) “1019- The Leadership Team serves as a conduit of communication to the faculty and staff.”  To achieve this goal, the School Improvement Team will continue to meet monthly and will utilize Rising Star to keep copies of agendas, meeting minutes, etc.  The leadership team will also maintain a channel of communication between community members and staff via a designated email account.  Additionally, the District Climate Survey will also be utilized by SIT to gauge concerns of community members.

Goal 2.) “1042- Professional development for the whole faculty includes assessment of strengths and areas in need of improvement from classroom observations of indicators of effective teaching.”  Teachers will transition from peer scheduled “pop ins” to note 2-3 positive teaching skills observed to informal peer observations that include a pre-conference to discuss what to focus on, note taking observations, and a post-conference to provide feedback and brainstorm ideas centered around the original stated objective.

Goal 3.) “1059- Instructional Teams use student learning data to assess strengths and weaknesses of the curriculum and instructional strategies.”  Teachers and staff will use Wednesday planning time from 2 -3 pm to create instructional teams based on student abilities and have formal RTI planning time.  Teachers will also continue to develop the Target Group work currently underway, reviewing evidence and data weekly to monitor progress.

Goal 4.) “1115- The ongoing conversation between school personnel and parents is candid, supportive, and flows in both directions.”  Webpages and blogs (teacher, grade-level teams, principal, and SIT team) will be regularly maintained with “meaningful” information expressed in layman’s terms.  Additionally, information will be shared weekly via the PTO Newsletter.

Goal 5.)  “2345- School Leadership monitors and evaluates the implementation of Learning Supports' programming through an on-going data collection system.”  Information will be collected from the PBIS team and the Data Coach.


April 25, 2014

At the April 25, 2014 SIT meeting we discussed the following:

 

  • The second annual Mann Back to School Picnic is scheduled for August 21st from 5 – 7 pm.
  • Curriculum nights for the 2014-2015 school year will include a New family/Kindergarten family night where families will have the opportunity to meet all staff, hear information about the PTO, and sign up for volunteer opportunities.  Curriculum nights for other grades will be scheduled on different nights.
  • An open house for kindergarten families is scheduled for May 7th.  A school supply drop off for Kindergartners will be scheduled in August, prior to the start of the school year. 
  • Parent representatives in attendance at the SIT meeting confirmed their willingness to serve as Mann parent representatives on for the 2014-2015 school year. The PTO liaisons for the next school year will be the 2014-2015 PTO co-presidents. In an effort to maintain some level of stability with new school leadership next year, new parent reps will not cycle on next year, as we had originally planned. 
  • Curriculum Map Update:  Teachers will be completing a school-wide curriculum map.  When completed, the curriculum map will be a document that shows the topics each grade is covering and how those topics flow from one grade to the next.  This will help ensure that there is a logical flow from grade to grade and that all topics are covered.

April 4, 2014

The aim of the April 4th SIT meeting was to review comments from the November Parent Forum, to identify what action has been taken, and see what items remain to be completed.  Here is a summary of status.

At the November forum there were many concerns and comments about curriculum development, the GTD program, differentiation within the classroom, and the format of the new report cards. Since the forum, there has been much progress in many of these areas. The resources and assessments for Language Arts have been developed. The math curriculum is in the process of being selected. Members of a district math curriculum development group are considering ‘My Math’ and ‘Go Math’ as possible curriculum choices. Generally, when a math curriculum is selected, it is adopted for a several year period; therefore, the group is weighing the pro and cons of each program. Both include online tutorials and problem sets, which means it is likely that the new program will eliminate the need for Ten Marks. The school’s Ten Marks subscription will expire in September 2014. Following the selection of the new math curriculum, professional development will occur over the summer. 

Additionally, teachers have had pockets of time during the school day to work as teams to develop common-core aligned curriculum. The building leadership planned for specials to be scheduled so that students in a given grade would be in specials at the same time, allowing the grade-level teams time to meet during the day. Grade-level teams have used that time as well as two half-days to finalize curriculum, teaching resources, and scoring rubrics for the remainder of the year.  

Concerns about the criteria used to qualify students for the GTD program, the name of the GTD program, etc. cannot be changed by individual schools. These are determined at the district level and are consistent from school to school within D97. It was noted that a few grades differentiate and group within their individual classrooms. Small group learning like this, in every grade would be a great goal. It allows for differentiation within the classroom and for all children to be challenged at their level.
Make things happen image


March 14, 2014

At the March 14th School Improvement Team meeting, the team discussed the progress on a previous agenda item,  the curriculum map. This template for identifying unit topics, novels, and summative assessments, along with the Common Core Curriculum calendar standards and technology being used is still being created by teachers and they hope to have it completed soon.

There was also discussion that revolved around ISATs and their impact on the routine of the learning environment.

Finally, the team discussed the tasks that need to be accomplished before the end of the school year. The team decided that it is important to follow up on the concerns that the parents expressed at the forum in November. The team will be reviewing the parent questions and concerns and noting what steps have been taken to follow up or address these concerns.

At the next meeting the team will be discussing the Welcome Back Picnic and Curriculum Night.
Keep moving forward Image


February 28, 2014

Due to a unique situation that was unforeseen, our agenda was altered at the last second. In the spirit of school improvement, our team took immediately to planning ways to support the learning and growth of our kids, school, and community with action under our new circumstances.
Keep Calm Image


February 7, 2014

Success image

The School Improvement Team (SIT) continues to work on the IL Rising Star/Wise Ways document by entering data so that each of the 104 indicators will be assessed by month’s end.  At the Wednesday 2/5 all staff meeting, our SIT presented the idea of working as a school wide teaching team to create a scope and sequence document (think of this like a roadmap for the curriculum; how it progresses from one grade to the next).  The idea was well received by staff. Additionally, the grade-level teaching teams were pleased to hear that they would have designated time to work as a group to continue curriculum progress for their grades.

The plan our SIT presented to staff hopes to do the following:  

  1. help staff not double up on lessons by putting systems (like a scope and sequence document) in place, 
  2. ensure that kids have new educational experiences each year (a scope and sequence document will ensure that kids using repetitive resources/supplements, such as novels and topics of study, in different grades), and 
  3. provide teachers time to come together to continue to develop curriculum and gather resources (a half day is proposed for this trimester, another half day is planned during the spring trimester).  

A template for identifying unit topics, novels, summative assessments, Core Curriculum calendar standards, and technology being used in each grade will be completed by Thursday, Feb. 13th.  Each grade level team will add their data and the document will be reviewed for continuity from one grade to the next and to check for any gaps in core subjects. When complete, this document will provide an overview of what units are taught by subject and by grade.  Knowing what is being taught in prior years helps teachers plan better, more meaningful lessons.

Finally, we discussed how hard teachers have been working all year to help our kids reach the high expectations of the Mann School community.  Please feel free to pass along any comments or suggestions to the SIT parent representatives. We can bring any suggestions or concerns back to the SIT group for discussion and action, wherever possible.  
 


January 10, 2014

continuous improvement logo

Thus far, SIT members haven’t received any responses, either positive or negative, regarding the forum wrap-up information sent at the end of the last calendar year.

Thinking about ways to use technology to highlight Mann School, we talked about starting to use Facebook or using Twitter more. Teachers and staff don’t have access to Facebook while at school, so it seems like Twitter is a better alternative for sharing information during the school day. Generally, Twitter is seen as a good tool for making short announcements, highlighting specific activities/lessons, and tends to be a more positive environment. 

We discussed the possibility of having more people use Twitter to highlight events and activities that students are involved in. It would be great if teachers and parents both shared at #MannSchool. The Tech Team plans to meet with PTO to brainstorm possibilities.

We brainstormed ways to tackle the new IL Rising Star continuous school improvement plan/Wise Ways goal: “IIA01 SC-SP - Instructional Teams develop standards-aligned units of instruction for each subject and grade level. (1045).” With the adoption of the Common Core standards, changes to the curriculum are needed. Historically, district-wide, there used to be a scope and sequence plan for grades K-8. In other words, each grade had certain units they taught and they didn’t vary from year to year. For example, Kindergartners had a plant unit in science, fourth graders had a business unit in social studies, certain novels were taught at the middle-school level, etc. Some topics are revisited in future years at greater depth, but having this “curriculum map” allowed learning to be paced in a way that minimized topics being unnecessarily repeated or missed altogether. If it’s known what units are being covered in certain grades, teachers have a better sense of the students’ exposure to a particular topic and can craft more meaningful lessons. Additionally, Specials teachers can plan complimentary units, if they know what topics each grade covers and in which trimester. As this type of over-arching, district-wide “curriculum map” no longer exists, teachers need to develop one. Time for planning, as a grade-level team, is the first thing staff needs to finalize curriculum for their grade. Additionally, we want to be sure that the curriculum progresses well from one grade to another, meaning that each grade provides kids with a proper foundation for what will be taught in the next grade. To ensure that this happens, grade-level teams need to meet 

with the subsequent grade’s team. Finally, there needs to be a standard place where the curriculum information can be accessed by teachers and parents. The Team is working to create this standard place, designing a virtual process for vertical collaboration, and making time for physical grade level collaboration.

Thoughts for the future: 

We have a great opportunity for students to be able to show other students what they’ve learned. Offer more school showcases to highlight what has been learned in a unit, similar to what happens when other grades come to the 4th grade mall and 5th grade science fair.

There is a need for more intervention programs to close learning gaps. Right now there is Math Power; it would be nice to offer a Language Arts equivalent.

Continue finding ways to invest in professional development for teachers, and for teachers to invest in professional development.
 


December 20, 2013

Our SIT has continued to keep busy, meeting every other week and virtually working in-between.  Since our 12/13/13 meeting, we have worked virtually to do the best we can to bring closure to our forum.  Although this was our most recent full scale effort to elicit feedback and collaboratively brainstorm improvement opportunities as staff and parents, all are welcome and encouraged to reach out and/or share any time via any way you are comfortable.

Our SIT has offered responses to as many of the questions and comments proposed by staff and parents as we could.  Thank you to all who participated and contributed during the physical forum, the simultaneous virtual forum, the 2 week virtual window following the forum, and those that reach out at other times when necessary in ways comfortable to you.  We also thank all of you who did not participate but trust these people to act in our best interests.   We are in this together   :)
We are in this together image


December 13, 2013

Success goal settings logo

Each year, per the IL Rising Star continuous school improvement plan, schools are to be working toward five identified Rising Star/Wise Ways goals.  Upon review of Mann School’s current five goals, it was determined that one could be “retired” as substantial progress has been made on its implementation.  The goal moving off of our school’s list is:  “ID08 SS - The Leadership Team serves as a conduit of communication to the faculty and staff. (1019).”  Bear in mind that even when a goal moves off of the formal list, it doesn’t mean that work in that area ceases.  Most of the Rising Star/Wise Ways goals are ongoing examples of best practice and occur here on a daily basis.

Before identifying the new goal (from the remaining 99 Wise Ways), SIT members considered parent and staff feedback from the November Parent Forum.  Based on that information, we each proposed several potential Rising Star/Wise Ways goals for consideration.  There were about 40 suggested goals, many of which related to parent/school communication, homework, curriculum, the Common Core and professional development.  To winnow these suggestions, we decided that the goal should be one that both makes teachers feel supported and addresses comments from the Parent Forum.

After reviewing and discussing all of the goals submitted by SIT members, the newest identified school improvement goal is:  “IIA01 SC-SP - Instructional Teams develop standards-aligned units of instruction for each subject and grade level. (1045).”  This goal provides an opportunity to focus progressive efforts regarding many of the areas raised at the parent forum:  the Common Core, curriculum, and homework.  Additionally, it encourages a level of collaboration for teachers to create units of instruction; each teacher on the team is able to bring their strengths, individuality, and creativity to the discussion, meanwhile learning from each other.

Mann School’s additional four Rising Star/Wise Ways goals are:

  1. IF08 SP - Professional development for the whole faculty includes assessment of strengths and areas in need of improvement from classroom observations of indicators of effective teaching. (1042)
  2. IID08 SC-SP - Instructional Teams review student learning data (academic, physical, social, emotional, behavioral) to assess and make decisions about curriculum and instructional strategies. (1059)
  3. IVD02 SP - The "ongoing conversation" between school personnel and primary caregivers is candid, supportive, and flows in both directions. (1115)
  4. CL3 SD - School Leadership monitors and evaluates the implementation of Learning Supports’ programming through an on-going data collection system. (2345)

A response of some sort to the question/comments shared at the Parent Forum are a continued topic of discussion for our Team.  We will keep you posted as this discussion progresses. 

SIT is comprised of representatives from the school administration, teaching staff, and parents.  The team generally meets two times per month, in person, with additional discussions taking place via email.  

Feel free to contact any members for any reason at any time at [email protected]  This account is completely managed by the parent representatives.  If you would like to talk parent voice to parent voice, this is the place to do it.  If your message is for other team members or the team as a whole, the parent reps will filter and distribute accordingly.  You are also free to contact staff directly.  
 


December 6, 2013

SIT members met to further discuss the recent parent forum.  One observation was that parent attendance seemed low.  The low attendance could be viewed through one of two lenses:  most people are satisfied with the school and didn’t feel it was necessary to attend, or some parents feel uncomfortable voicing complaints/criticisms publicly.  If the latter is the case, Mann parents should always feel free to reach out to parent SIT committee representatives.  We can bring concerns back to the committee for discussion. 

Forums like this are another step forward in improving communication between school and home  (which was a goal identified at a previous parent forum).  In general, the feedback received about the forum has been positive.  We are working on a way to respond to questions raised at this forum, and will keep you informed.  Additionally, these questions and comments from the forum will be used to inform the selection of a new Rising Star/Wise Ways goal for our school.

SIT is comprised of representatives from the school administration, teaching staff, and parents.  The team generally meets two times per month, in person, with additional discussions taking place via email.  

Feel free to contact any members for any reason at any time at EMAIL.  This account is completely managed by the parent representatives.  If you would like to talk parent voice to parent voice, this is the place to do it.  If your message is for other team members or the team as a whole, the parent reps will filter and distribute accordingly. You are also free to contact staff directly.  
 


November 21, 2013

We hosted our first Parent Forum of the school year this morning.  While 26 parents and staff members met in the lounge and engaged in collaborative brainstorming around Mann School improvement, a simultaneous twitter chat engaged another 4 parents and 2 staff members.  If you did not participate physically or virtually this morning, please share your input via the link emailed to you this evening.  If you did not receive the link or are having technical difficulties, please email Ms. Labak ([email protected]).

As those have done before you, please remember to be positive and constructive with your offerings.  You should have access to the feedback already provided when you click the link.  Access to edit the link will be terminated at noon, Wednesday, 12/4.  At that point, our SIT will begin to have discussion around the input to determine areas of direction.  We will be sure to communicate with you the specifics that result.

If at any time you are interested in knowing what's happening, please:

  • visit this webpage
  • email
  • email any SIT member
  • call any SIT member
  • initiate discussion on the blacktop with any SIT member that can lead to arranging an appointment for further discussion
  • do anything else you're comfortable with that can catch you up to speed 

parents and 2 staff members photo Twitter Logo

SIT is comprised of representatives from the school administration, teaching staff, and parents.  The team generally meets two times per month, in person, with additional discussions taking place via email.  

Feel free to contact any members for any reason at any time at [email protected]  This account is completely managed by the parent representatives.  If you would like to talk parent voice to parent voice, this is the place to do it.  If your message is for other team members or the team as a whole, the parent reps will filter and distribute accordingly.  You are also free to contact staff directly.  
 


November 18, 2013

Thursday's forum (11/21 @ 8:15-9:15am in the staff lounge) will be round table discussions about improving Mann School in our continued effort to take us from 211 degrees to 212 degrees.  We will be guided by three overarching state mandated areas of improvement:  Educator Quality, Teaching & Learning, and Learning Environment.  We will provide more guidance upon arrival, but if you'd like to start brainstorming, please do so within these three realms.  Similar to last spring, the set up will be as follows:

  • We will sit in table groups, each table with a laptop (provided for you)
  • All groups will discuss Educator Quality at your table, jotting down all comments, questions, and suggestions (this is a collaborative brainstorming session) in a google spreadsheet (already set up for you)
  • Then we will move on to Teaching & Learning, and ask that people move seats/tables to switch up the brainstorming groups
  • Then the same for Learning Environment

At the conclusion, we will share a link to the google spreadsheet just completed to the community as a whole via email blast for those who could not physically participate.  This will provide the same opportunity to document comments, questions, and suggestions.  You will have access to the work already done, which may help guide you.  After a set amount of time (a week?), we will terminate access to make further edits to the google spreadsheet and aggregate the input and feedback, using this as a major consideration to set new goals.  These new goals will drive our forward movement--for the School Improvement Team, Principal, staff, parents, and kids.  We all have important roles in advancing Mann School from very good (211) to great (212)!

Again, this is a positive and constructive brainstorming session, and the objective is to get stakeholder input to help us identify needs and determine goals to drive us forward.  The objective is not to go through line by line and answer questions, but use the feedback to identify areas with the most questions/concerns so we can declare those as goals.  This is not the only way to be heard or get a response.  If you have a pressing question or are in need of an immediate response, you can always call, email, quickly chat on the playground before or after school, check webpages, check blogs, schedule an appointment with the person who can most directly help you, or email the Mann SIT

Perhaps if there are twitter savvy people in attendance at the forum, those not physically present can virtually follow and engage...

Good things are happening at Mann School, and we look forward to your positive participation in continuing our forward momentum.  All you need to bring/have to participate is a passion for your child's educational experience and a commitment to our Mann Family!

SIT is comprised of representatives from the school administration, teaching staff, and parents.  The team generally meets two times per month, in person, with additional discussions taking place via email.  

Feel free to contact any members for any reason at any time at EMAIL.  This account is completely managed by the parent representatives.  If you would like to talk parent voice to parent voice, this is the place to do it.  If your message is for other team members or the team as a whole, the parent reps will filter and distribute accordingly.  You are also free to contact staff directly.  
 


November 14, 2013

Our Mann School Improvement Team met on both Thursday, November 7th and Friday, November 8th.  The Thursday meeting focused on questions and concerns voiced by the Mann parent community about Common Core standards, how or if the Common Core standards change teaching methods, the new report card structure, and standardized testing.  Many parents have expressed frustration that teaching staff across the district were not provided with a comprehensive Common Core-aligned curriculum and necessary resources (curriculum development time, training, and learning materials) prior to the start of the school year.  This disconnect between what the district expects teachers to accomplish without providing sufficient resources to meet these goals, has left parents and educators frustrated.  This appears to be a common issue for schools throughout the district, therefore, it was suggested that the topic could be raised at an upcoming PTO Council meeting.  All schools in D97 have representatives on the PTO Council and the Superintendent attends its meetings.  

We used the Friday meeting to plan an upcoming community forum, which will be held on Thursday, November 21st, from 8:15 am – 9:15 am.  The forum will include information sharing and roundtable discussions.  The meeting will begin with a summary of the progress made on last year’s school improvement goals and what the SIT is working on this year.  There will be discussion prompts based upon the IL Rising Star/Wise Ways Indicators, which include such categories as:  Educator Quality, Teaching and Learning, and Learning Environment.  School improvement goals for this year will be identified after analyzing the comments generated during the roundtable discussions and reviewing the remaining Rising Star goals.

SIT is comprised of representatives from the school administration, teaching staff, and parents.  The team generally meets two times per month, in person, with additional discussions taking place via email.  

Feel free to contact any members for any reason at any time at this email.  This account is completely managed by the parent representatives.  If you would like to talk parent voice to parent voice, this is the place to do it.  If your message is for other team members or the team as a whole, the parent reps will filter and distribute accordingly.  You are also free to contact staff directly.  
 


October 27, 2013

Our Mann School Improvement Team met again on Friday, October 25th.  We considered both staff and parent feedback from Curriculum Night, and have a tentative plan for next year.  We will kick off the year with an early Curriculum Night which will be open to all, but will target Kindergarten and new Mann School families.  The night will consist of Kindergarten Curriculum Night, PTO introductions and sign-ups, and meeting Specials and Support Staff, similar to this year.  Grades 1-5 will choose separate Curriculum Nights as they've done in the past.  These will be comprised of the grade level specific Curriculum Night and PTO sign-ups.  As in the past, we will try to restrict each night to a maximum of two grade levels.  The SIT determined this design addresses many of the areas for improvement from this year, while maintaining this year's positives.

We also discussed having another forum, like we had last spring.  Following last May's forum in which parents and staff participated, we tentatively scheduled to have another in November.  We plan to follow through on this, and will plan the details at our next meeting on Friday, November 8.  At this point, we have tentatively scheduled the forum for Thursday, November 21, from 8:15-9:15am in the staff lounge, and will again focus discussion around Mann School state mandated goals.  More information will be shared following our planning meeting on 11/8.

SIT is comprised of representatives from the school administration, teaching staff, and parents.  The team will generally meet two times per month, in person, with additional discussions taking place via email. 

Feel free to contact any members for any reason at any time at this email.  This account is completely managed by the parent representatives.  If you would like to talk parent voice to parent voice, this is the place to do it.  If your message is for other team members or the team as a whole, the parent reps will filter and distribute accordingly.  You are also free to contact staff directly.  
 


October 10, 2013

The second Mann School Improvement Team (SIT) meeting of the 2013-14 school year occurred on Friday, October 4th.  The team agreed upon a plan for recording the ways in which Mann School is complying with the requirements included in the Rising Star continuous improvement tool.  Several parent SIT members have offered to begin the process of documenting the systems and strategies that teachers and administrators use to meet these mandates.  With parent representatives helping with this piece, teachers and administrators will be able to devote more time to teaching and curriculum development. 

This year, school staff members have been spending a great deal of time on curriculum development to make sure that all students will be prepared to meet the goals set by new Common Core Standards, to tackle areas of concern from the recent ISAT results (https://v3.boardbook.org/Public/PublicItemDownload.aspx?ik=34364616), and to address some of the issues raised in the CEC reports earlier this year (http://www.op97.org/communications/documents/CECreport.pdf).  With several proposed curriculum models to choose from, there is some inconsistency between grade levels and schools within the district.  Curriculum development teams, both inside the building and out are working to ensure the new curriculum is logical and comprehensive.

SIT is comprised of representatives from the school administration, teaching staff, and parents.  The team will generally meet two times per month, in person, with additional discussions taking place via email. 

Feel free to contact any members for any reason at any time at this email.  This account is completely managed by the parent representatives.  If you would like to talk parent voice to parent voice, this is the place to do it.  If your message is for other team members or the team as a whole, the parent reps will filter and distribute accordingly.  You are also free to contact staff directly.  
 


September 27, 2013

The first Mann School Improvement Team (SIT) meeting of the 2013-14 school year occurred on Friday, September 20th.  A portion of this initial meeting was used to acquaint new team members with the history and mission of school improvement teams.  However, the bulk of the discussion time was focused on the state-mandated Rising Star program for school improvement.  Rising Star is a collection of 104 indicators of school performance.  An assessment of each indicator must be completed by spring of this school year.  Substantial reporting and documentation will be required to complete this task.  The SIT brainstormed ways to accomplish this task. 

SIT is comprised of representatives from the school administration, teaching staff, and parents.  The team will generally meet two times per month, in person, with additional discussions taking place via email.

Feel free to contact any members for any reason at any time at this email.  This account is completely managed by the parent representatives.  If you would like to talk parent voice to parent voice, this is the place to do it.  If your message is for other team members or the team as a whole, the parent reps will filter and distribute accordingly.  You are also free to contact staff directly.  


August 15, 2013

We’d like to extend a warm welcome back, to you and our children.

We are trying out a new structure for Curriculum Night for this academic year. These changes have come out of feedback from the parent and staff community and are a result of multiple discussions amongst the SIT (School Improvement Team) and PTO (Parent Teacher Organization). Key reasons to change the structure are in response to parent feedback highlighting a desire to focus more on the routines and procedures of the classroom and school overall.  Meeting this desire will require much greater staff involvement (specials teachers, GTD, office staff, etc.).   This is well over 20 staff members, in addition to our homeroom teachers.  We hope to have our Social Worker, Library Media Specialist, Lunchroom Manager, Engineer, Language Arts Specialist, Resource teachers, and everyone else who engages with our kids be a part of this night to meet parents, highlight how we support our school and kids, and make ourselves accessible to families. The hope is that by involving everyone, parents will get a better idea of how our school runs and will be able to ask questions of the non-homeroom teachers and also get to meet the entire team that supports our children.

Like all changes, the new Curriculum Night structure might feel a bit strange and different and may need tweaks and modifications, so we look forward to your feedback following your Curriculum Night.  We want to know what is successful and what can be even more successful so we can continue to maximize this rather important night. The Curriculum Night for Kindergarten through Grade 2 will be held on Tuesday, August 27, from 6:00 (5:30 for Kindergarten) to 8:45 pm. The Curriculum Night for Grades 3-5 will be held on Wednesday, August 28, from 6:00 to 8:45 pm.  The tentative agenda is below.  Please do not hesitate to reach out if you have any questions or concerns by emailing.

Tues 8/27 5:30  K parents will arrive.  Teachers will meet and greet parents at the (4S south side of building) doors we pick up our kids.  Teachers will bring parents directly in to the lunchroom, give a quick welcome and introductions, then PTO will do the same.  PTO will then give some explanations to the programs, forms, and fees that parents will be completing at the PTO station (please have your checkbook). 5:50-6:00  1st & 2nd grade teachers meet and greet parents at our kids’ pick up doors (7W & 6W on the blacktop on west side of building), then take them to Team area/classroom presentations.  K parents are led up from the lunchroom to the 5th grade pod for PTO sign-ups. 6:00-6:45  1st & 2nd grade Team and classroom presentations.  K PTO sign-ups (please have your checkbook). 6:45-7:00 Transition-->K, 1st  & 2nd grade parents are led to the Auditorium for... 7:00-7:45  Presentations by specials teachers, support staff, TEAM, custodial staff, lunchroom staff, office staff, etc. 7:45-8:00 Transition-->K parents are led to Team area/classroom presentations.  1st & 2nd grade parents are led to 5th grade pod for PTO sign-ups. 8:00-8:45  K Team/classroom presentations.  1st & 2nd grade PTO sign-ups (please have your checkbook). 8:45  Raffle?  Dismiss Wed 8/28 5:50-6:00  4th & 5th grade teachers meet and greet parents at the front doors, then direct them to the lobby for PTO sign-ups.  3rd grade teachers meet and greet parents at the doors we pick up our kids (6W on blacktop on the west side of building), then teachers take parents to our Team area/classroom presentations. 6:00-6:45  4th & 5th grade PTO sign-ups (please have your checkbook).  3rd grade Team and classroom presentations. 6:45-7:00  Transition-->3rd, 4th, & 5th parents are led to the Auditorium for... 7:00-7:45  Presentations by specials teachers, support staff, TEAM, custodial staff, lunchroom staff, office staff, etc. 7:45-8:00  4th & 5th grade parents are led to Team area/classroom presentations.  3rd grade parents are led to 1st floor hallway outside Auditorium for PTO sign-ups. 8:00-8:45  4th & 5th grade Team and classroom presentations.  3rd grade PTO sign-ups (please have your checkbook).

8:45  Raffle?  Dismiss

Too much info?  Just show up at your arrival time and let us do the rest   :)

Ways you can help us make this evening effective

Due to our new format and anticipated number of guests:

we will not be able to provide child care/supervision.  We apologize for this.  This is an adult only evening, so please plan accordingly.

With extremely limited parking, we ask for your help to please walk, bike, or car pool if possible.

Please be prepared with your checkbook.

We understand this is a late evening, and want to respect everyone’s time.  We will begin promptly and keep to schedule.  We ask for your help keeping our time commitments, especially during arrival and transitions.  

We look forward to welcoming you back to Mann School!


2012-2013

Our Team has been hard at work all year.  Among the many tasks at hand have been transitioning from last year's School Improvement Team's membership to this year's, and a new state mandated format to follow.  Our Team has responded well, and is excited to make use of this communication to share with you!

Our Team is made up of staff members and parents, and represents our Mann School community.  Our objective is to lead our school to continuous improvement, maximizing the learning experience we provide for our kids.  This year, a state mandated process has directed our work through a goal identification process, which resulted in the following 5 goals:

1. Use SIT to facilitate communication among all stakeholders
2. Improve staff development
3. Support instructional teams
4. Improve the quality of parent-school communication
5. Improve the effective use of data about students' educational and behavioral progress

Our Team meets monthly to discuss ways to work toward meeting our goals.  Our Team provides updates to our staff, and encourages staff participation.  As one of our goals, we continue to brainstorm ways to involve you, our parents, which has led to this webpage, the [email protected] email account, the input form below, and our 5/20 & 5/21 forum.  We are excited about the progress we've made and continue to make, and enthusiastically look forward to the improvement opportunities that lie ahead for Mann School!

* Please take a few moments to click on this form and offer your suggestions to improve the learning experience we provide our kids!


May 31, 2013

From what has been shared with us, the overall feeling from our forums has been very positive.  Thank you to all who participated!  We anticipate holding two forums next year.  One will take place during an evening in the fall, tentatively set for the week of November 18; the other tentatively during a morning in mid-April.  We will determine the topics as the forums approach.

Our team has volunteered to meet over the summer to continue analyzing the feedback that resulted from our forums.  A few major takeaways are:

  • Grade level communication consistency
  • Teachers sharing the communication expectation at curriculum night
  • Parent interest in in-services (for parents) on topics such as interpreting MAP reports and creating a twitter account

We are also contemplating ways to improve our current digital school calendar to be more convenient and family friendly.  If you have positive and productive suggestions you’d like to share about this, the bullet points above, or anything else related to strengthening our school for our kids, please email or access our suggestions form.
 


May 19, 2013

Based on the feedback we’ve received, we will conduct the forum as follows:

  • Tables in the staff lounge will be set up with laptops, one per table
  • Laptops will be open to a google doc
  • All tables will discuss each of our 5 goals, one at a time for 10 min each.  The same goal will be discussed by all tables at the same time.  Guests are encouraged to switch tables for each goal, to mix up discussion groups and points of view.
  • Prior to each goal being discussed, a staff member will briefly introduce the goal, what it means, and some current strides being taken to meet the goal
  • Staff will be present, but all discussion points, suggestions, and questions should be documented on the google doc

The objective of the forum is to provide another communication avenue between school and home.  The forum will not focus on providing on-the-spot answers; it will focus on brainstorming, discussion, and documenting questions and suggestions for improvement.  Our School Improvement Team will then use the resulting google doc to drive future improvement planning for Mann School.

This is a first for all of us.  When we take risks and try new things in the best interest of our kids, only positive things will result.  Some of these positives may be immediately evident, while others will be evident in how they drive revisions and future planning and action.

We appreciate your partnership, support, and patience.


May 17, 2013

We are very excited about our SIT Forum on 5/20 @ 8:15-9:15am and 5/21 @ 6:30-7:30 in the staff lounge!  We want to share some background on how we have gotten here.

As a result of a laborious process imposed by new state mandates, our School Improvement Team was tasked with identifying 5 school improvement goals using a state provided resource, “Rising Star”.  One of the goals identified in this process using this resource is school-home communication.  Our SIT parent voice shared there are families that feel limited opportunities to share, be heard, get in touch with staff, find out what’s happening here at school, and/or be a part of the great things happening here.  Our SIT took this to heart, and brainstormed ways to address this.  From that brainstorming came 3 ideas: a email account, the form above, and the forum on 5/20 & 5/21.

We are very excited about our Forum, and want to be sure expectations are clear.  Some of our families communicate with staff via email, phone calls, appointments, conferences, blogs, webpages, the form link above, Twitter, volunteering, and informal chat on the blacktop.  This SIT Forum simply provides one more avenue and format to involve our families that have not found comfort in other communications.

Because this forum idea is new, and hosted by our School Improvement Team, the decision was made to use our newly identified state mandated goals as a starting point and to provide direction.  We want to be sure our families know that this forum is not the only way to be heard, and that these 5 state mandated goals are not the only things you can communicate with Mann School about.  If you want to be heard via other communication, please contact us in a way you are comfortable.  If you would like to share about items outside of the 5 goals that will be the focus of the SIT Forum, please contact the appropriate person or team.  If you are not sure who to contact regarding your topic of discussion, please contact our main office @ 708.524.3085 or email , and our friendly office staff or parent SIT representatives will direct you.

We appreciate and want your partnership in teaching our kids!
 


May 13, 2013

This is a reminder to join us for our School Improvement forum which will be hosted Monday, May 20 from 8:15-9:15, and Tuesday, May 21, from 6:30-7:30.  Your constructive suggestions via the form above are very valuable, and we appreciate those that have taken the time to provide them for us.  These will provide the guidance of discussion for our forum.  Please understand that our forum will be focused on whole school improvement centered around the 5 goals which resulted from the state-mandated identification process which our team diligently worked through.

Please remember that the form and forum are not places to vent or target individuals; if you would like an issue addressed involving an individual or small group of individuals, please contact the individual(s) directly.  Otherwise, please contact Mr. LeDeaux immediately and directly and a conference with parent, principal, and staff member(s) will be set up asap, as that is more of a personnel issue to be addressed by administration than it is a global issue to be addressed by our School Improvement Team.   

On Wednesday, May 15, we will begin designing the direction of our forum based on the global input we have at that time centered around our 5 identified goals.  Please provide input by then if possible.

Thank you


May 2, 2013

We are excited about continuing efforts for two-way communication between our staff and parents!  We have scheduled a parent-teacher forum for the end of this month.  Although the forum will be the same, to accommodate schedules we will host it twice; Monday, May 20, 8:15am-9:15am, & Tuesday, May 21, 6:30pm-7:30pm.  There is no need to attend both, but you certainly are welcome to.

The purpose of the forum is to provide another way for our parents to share input and partner with our staff to continue to strengthen the learning experiences we provide our kids here at Mann School.  We expect this to be positive, constructive, and productive.  The forum will not be a place to vent or target individuals.  To make effective use of our time, we would like to:

organize talking points ahead of time by sorting input into topics for discussion

work together during the forum to brainstorm ways to address the discussion topics

Please take a few moments to offer your suggestions to improve the learning experience we provide our kids on the link above, or by directly emailing our SIT parent reps.  This is a first for all of us, so we will make adjustments on the fly, but our objective is to collaboratively further extend and enrich the learning experiences for our kids here at Mann School.

We look forward to our continued partnership!


April 18, 2013

Please help us improve the learning experience we provide our kids by clicking here or the link above.  This is an opportunity to partner with us and become an integral part of the solution to concerns you may have.  Using this to offer realistic and possible suggestions will provide our staff valuable information and assistance to enhance our kids' learning experience here at Mann School.  In the spirit of collaboration and productivity, please refrain from using this tool for venting or negativity.  

If you would like to directly contact our parent representatives, even if simply for advice on how to best constructively utilize the suggestion link above, please email Ms. O'Connor and Ms. Jones.  They can help you most efficiently address concerns you may have and offer feedback.  This dialogue can be confidentially kept between you and our parent reps upon request, or shared with the rest of our SIT if no request is made and our parent reps deem it appropriate.

Please contact any of our members in any way.  Whether it's the suggestion form linked above, our parent rep email, direct emails to any staff member, phone calls, scheduled appointments, or face to face visits on the playground, we welcome your input.

Thank you for your partnership, and we appreciate your support!
 


March 26, 2013

Your School Improvement Team (SIT) has analyzed the results from the parent survey sent out early last winter. Thanks to all who completed the survey, and especially those who wrote in their comments.  

First, parent comments from that survey were the impetus for grade levels to discontinue the Math Facts program run by parent volunteers for students in grades 1-3.  As a result, grades 1-3 have restructured curriculum support of math facts within the school day during the homeroom teacher’s instruction, and our Math Committee has created our Mann Math Power program.  This program takes place before and after school and is taught by 8 certified Mann teachers for students in grades 1-5.  Grade level teams work to develop alternative strategies to support our current math curriculum.  For more information, please contact your child’s homeroom teacher or our Math Committee chairperson, Ms. Serio.

Second, the Mann faculty has implemented a new program of "Pop-Ins," in which teachers "pop in" to observe one another's classrooms in order to gain new ideas, inspiration, and to share positive professional feedback with one another.  It is hoped that this plan will be the beginning of a more extensive program of staff development in which teachers provide each other with on-going peer support and honest and constructive feedback.  

Finally, the SIT is working on an effective way to cultivate two-way communication between school and home, which the team can use as an important source for on-going goal-development and program initiatives.  We desire constructive comments and suggestions to productively continue our professional growth as educators of our children.  Our SIT is considering several ideas, one of which is an SIT email account.  As brainstorming continues and things begin taking shape, we will share with you.

Additionally, the SIT has fulfilled the state-mandated process of goal identification, which the state will soon make available on-line to the public.  We have five goals, which are a result from an identification process provided by the state.   The goals are summarized as: 1) using the SIT to facilitate communication among all stakeholders, 2) improving staff development, 3) supporting instructional teams, 4) improving the quality of parent-school communication, and 5) improving the effective use of data about students' educational and behavioral progress.

Our SIT looks forward to continuing our work to further improve our school for our kids.  Please feel free to contact any of our members, including our parent representatives, Amanda Jones and Kathleen O'Connor, with any comments you would like to pass on to the committee.