Professional Development

The August and September professional development days were a huge success. The Professional Development Advisory Committee has worked over the last few years to help to extend and refine professional development sessions and offerings. Each 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
WIATT-III- Mary Ellen Tillotson
Technology and Collaboration Tools – James Williamson
IXL- Amy Wright
Preschool Initiatives and Standards Based Reporting- Andrea Carey
Gmail and Google Calendar- Melissa Mathurin
Google Forms/Flubaroo- Lisa Cardin
BreakoutEDU- Steve Boss
CPI Training- Sue McPherson
The Power of Story- Tracy Lafreniere
Infinite Campus 6-12- Melissa Mathurin
Google Time- Steve Boss
Digital Citizenship Continuum of Study- James Fitzgerald
Extensions, Apps and Add-Ons- Deana Cook
Cues, Questions and Advanced Organizers- Dr. Betty Calise
Open Circle- Diane Jolin and Jen Daigneault
Understanding and Managing Behavior Expectations- Dr. Ellen Reinhardt
Analyzing data with Google sheets- Michael St. Jean
Teacher Assistant Roles in the Classroom- Andrea
504 Plans and the classroom-Suzanne Rathbun
Enhancing Classroom Management and Productivity with Technology- James Williamson

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 effort of all involved is appreciated!

PARCC Results

 In the coming weeks parents will receive the results of their children’s Partnership for Assessment of Readiness for College and Careers (PARCC.) These results are for the Spring 2016 English Language Arts and mathematics state assessments in grades 3 to 10. The individualized reports will show how each student performed on the tests, and where those scores fall compared to the average scores for other students in Rhode Island and the district.

The reports will also show whether a student has met the standard in the assessed area, and will identify specific strengths and weaknesses based on the results.Individual students will receive PARCC scores for Mathematics and English-Language Arts. Scores show a student’s readiness for college and careers, using the scale belwo:

o Score of 5: Exceeded expectations
o Score of 4: Met expectations
o Score of 3: Approaching expectations
o Score of 2: Partially met expectations
o Score of 1: Did not meet expectations
North Smithfield Schools exceeded the state average at almost every level and showed significant improvement in participation. North Smithfield High School was recognized in the area of  mathematics in a press release from the RI Department of Education for improvement: "North Smithfield High School, up 29 points in achievement and 32 points in participation."
Administrators and teachers use this data to inform curriculum and instructional decisions. While we will continue to work towards improving student achievement meeting these more rigorous standards, we are pleased that NS Schools are making improvements. We certainly expect further improvements as we deepen implementation of rigorous standards.

Newest Book Club Book - The Literacy Cookbook

All teachers are welcome to participate in our newest book club book. Thus far we have 15 participants. We will be reading The Literacy Cookbook which has been described as a resource filled with classroom-tested techniques for teaching reading comprehension to even the most hard-to-reach students offering a review of approaches that are targeted for teaching reading, writing, speaking and listening skills. If you are interested in joining, please email me at and I will add you to the group.

Breakout Edu

We are excited to have recently purchased a “Breakout Edu” kit for each school for all teachers to access. The team of NS educators that went to the Google Summit in Burlington, MA this spring were introduced to this engaging kit and excited about the many possibilities for lessons. Each kit comes with a collection of locks, hidden contraptions, timers, keys, and other “diversion hardware” that can be used to play the Breakout challenges available from the store. It is a type of scavenger hunt that involves teamwork; clues, hidden messages and problem solving that can be applied to any grade level or content area. At the end of a Breakout, players will be eager for the next! Specialty K-12 Breakouts can be used to teach core academic subjects including math, science, history, language arts and have embedded standards that apply problem solving strategies within a real world or collaborative context. Breakouts can be developed by the teacher or can be accessed through the website housing free already made challenges.

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