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Digital Citizenship Continuum of Study

In collaboration with the North Smithfield Police department, RI State Police, RI Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force and North Smithfield School Department; the North Smithfield Health teachers have built a K-12 Digital Citizenship/Online Safety continuum of study. Meghan Martinez, Cyber Terrorism Program Manager for the Rhode Island State Police Computer Crimes Unit and Detective Lieutenant Stephen Riccitelli of the North Smithfield Police Department and RI ICAC Taskforce Affiliate brought the I-Safe resources and materials to the district supported through grant funding. This opportunity was brought to North Smithfield prior to other communities due to the town of North Smithfield’s partnership with the RI State Police, having Lieutenant Riccitelli serving on the task force. The Task Force is a multi-agency group combatting crimes against children through the internet. I-Safe is a digital platform which includes hundreds of K-12 internet safety lesson plans, interactive learning activities and videos for a comprehensive approach to teaching digital citizenship and online safety. The district K-12 Health teachers led by PE/Health Department Chair, James Fitzgerald, worked to build the continuum of study and embed into the K-12 health curriculum.

This continuum of study includes a progression of lessons based on the main topics:
• Appropriate Online Behavior
• Cyber Bullying
• Social Networking
• Digital Communication and Citizenship
• Online Contacts and Connections
• Digital Security Skills and Practices
• 21st Century Media Literacy
• Online Creativity and Ownership
• Outreach, Empowerment and Review
• Digital Safety

The I-Safe platform is the backbone of the curriculum and has been funded this year through a contribution of the North Smithfield Police Union, Rhode Island ICAC, and North Smithfield School Department as well as a discount from I-Safe. The time and effort of Meghan Martinez to secure funding for the program and materials is much appreciated.

This past month, Lieutenant Stephen Riccitelli of the North Smithfield Police Department and RI ICAC Taskforce Affiliate worked with NS Health teachers: Pam Authier, Ariana Stanton, Nancy Crowell, Kathleen Fagnant, Cristina Lima, Mary Dispirito, Mark Labossiere, Amy Gravel, Matthew Tek, Alisha Crins, Jeff Crins and James Fitzgerald to extend and refine knowledge, information and resources. This collaboration is an effort to teach our students how to be safe online, as well as, teach the knowledge and skills that students need to navigate technology responsibly.

Professional Development Day - November 25th

The November 25th professional development day was a huge success. The Professional Development Advisory Committee worked last year to help to extend and refine professional development sessions and offerings. The day was broken up into three blocks of time. Teachers were able to choose from a menu of sessions. The variety of offerings made it a rich learning experience for all involved. The third block of time was dedicated to Professional Learning Communities. We could not have offered such a dynamic menu without our teacher leaders and administrators:

Google Classroom- Tracey Nangle
ADHD Resources and Strategies- Mary Ellen Tillotson
Math Data Analysis – PARCC- Clare Arnold, John Lahar
Helping Students with Loss and Grief- Bill Pepin, Michelle Halloran
Preschool Initiatives and Standards Based Reporting- Andrea Carey
Chromebooks and Google Apps Basics- Melissa Mathurin
Google Forms/Flubaroo- James Williamson
Remind 101/Twitter PLN- Angela Crossman
Game Based Apps for Instruction- Sarah Glover
Google Drawing/Formatting- Andrea McKay
Google Time- Steve Boss
Extensions, Apps and Add-Ons- Deana Cook
Integrating Technology into Instruction- Diane Jolin
IXL Math Overview- John Lahar
PARCC Writing Samples (Woot…woot!)- Clare Arnold
Big Ideas Math- Thomas Yeaw
Digital Citizenship/Online Safety- Lt. Stephen Riccitelli
Movement in the Elementary Classroom- Jen Daigneault
Google Sketch Up- 3D Modeling- Tim McGee

All teachers fill out an online PD feedback form at the close of the PD day. The feedback couldn’t have been better! The time, energy and efforts of our PDAC, teacher leaders and administrators are truly appreciated.

December Important Dates

I hope you all had a wonderful Thanksgiving weekend. I am sending along some dates and information for the month of December. We have a few book club/discussion groups planned in the coming weeks. All are welcome (even if you haven’t finished the book.) I look forward to our work together.

December 2nd- Science Curriculum Grades 5&6

December 9th- Science Curriculum Grades 5&6

December 10th- Growth Mindset Book Club/Discussion @ KD 3:00pm

December 11th- Community of Practice – Shared Classroom Initiative English 7 & 8 (tentative)

December 14th- Science Curriculum 5&6 (Monday)

December 14th- Professional Development Advisory Committee Meeting (Reflection and Planning) 3:00pm @ KD

December 17th- The Gift of Dyslexia Book Club/Discussion @ KD 2:25

January 6th- Science Curriculum HS Chemistry

PARCC Updates and Information

The PARCC consortium released some of the test items from last spring with supporting materials including: rubrics, item sets and sample student responses. I have been impatiently waiting for the anchor papers and am excited to analyze the constructed responses.
Click the following link to access the MATH/ELA released assessments and supporting materials:
Our district will receive results during the week of November 9th and the target date for a full release will be November 16, 2015.
Teachers will be able to access results  (after full release) through RideMap. You can access RideMap through our district website or via this link:
-You may recall that your RideMap login is firstname.lastname
-Once you log in, go to “Instructional Support System”
-Click on the bar graphs to drill down for more information (teachers will be able access scoring information for students on their rosters this year and last year)

As you know, last spring was the first implementation of a new assessment, with new technology based on new standards. We are incredibly proud of our educational community. The work you have done to study the standards, write and implement new curriculum and develop new assessments has been extraordinary. We will certainly look at the results from the perspective that it was a baseline year. 

Science NECAP Results

The Rhode Island Department of Education has released the 2015 NECAP Science results. North Smithfield Schools saw significant increases in student achievement in science at the high school level. North Smithfield High School increased proficiency levels by 18% in one year. The RI Department of Education reported that the North Smithfield School District (tied with Chariho) has the honor and distinction to have the highest amount of growth (25.9%) since 2008.
District administration and teachers will continue to analyze the results to inform our instruction and programming. Science has been a focus area for North Smithfield Schools; increasing student proficiency was identified as a District Strategic Plan goal in 2011.

Halliwell School
• Increased 13% since 2008
• 25% above the state average

North Smithfield Middle School
• Increased 24% since 2008
• 15% above the state average

North Smithfield High School
• #1 in State compared to 36 districts
• Increased 43% since 2008
• 39% above the state average

Science Curriculum Development Update

As you know, this year North Smithfield Schools will develop Science curricula to align with the Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS.) We will create curriculum guides that 'unpack' each standard, a curriculum map that shows which standards we are teaching by quarter and units of study based on the Understanding by Design (Ubd) format. After the curriculum is written we will be making live binders of the work and embedding into curriculum website. During the curriculum development we will establish a "Task Force" which will meet after school to review research, and ensure the curriculum is articulated and aligned across and between grade levels. We have completed grades 7 & 8, Lynn Hannah, Gale O’Keefe, and Sarah Dionne did a fantastic job. Next week we will begin high school biology curriculum and will be working in collaboration with Burrillville High School science teachers.

Professional Development Updates

A team of North Smithfield educators will be participating in the MassCue technology professional development conference this month. The conference is co-sponsored by the Massachusetts Computer Using Educators (MassCUE) and the Massachusetts Association of School Superintendents (M.A.S.S.). The focus of the conference is to enhance teaching and learning with technology.

A team of North Smithfield guidance counselors, psychologists and social workers attended the Holt Funeral Home is sponsored event, Helping Our Children Develop Resilience as They Face Life’s Stressful Events, on September 24, 2015. Holt Funeral Home had hired a world-renowned children’s grief expert speaker, Maria Trozzi. It was an incredibly informative presentation; we are appreciative of Holt Funeral Home’s sponsorship and for the educators who attended this evening event.

All K-12 ELA and Math teachers will again participate in our Community of Practice – Shared Classroom Initiative. The premise of the initiative is simple; by visiting other classrooms we can gain exposure to varied teaching practices, reflect on our own practices and encourage conversation about the art and craft of teaching. In addition, this initiative will serve as another vehicle to ensure that our curriculum is articulated and aligned K-12. Based on last year’s feedback, we will be expanding this initiative. Teachers will have the opportunity to observe teachers in other districts as well. I will be reaching out to faculties for volunteers to be “host” teachers. All the information and scheduling will be within the shared Google doc.

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