Just 13 school days until Christmas Break! I can’t believe that the first semester of school has gone by so quickly. For the students, school has hopefully flown by as well and has been infused with new, more exciting methods of instruction. In many of my columns I have talked about the curriculum that is new to San Saba and the evidence of its success thus far has been great. As I walk the hallways and visit classrooms, I see students engaged, having discussions, and working on projects. What I don’t see are students with their heads down, disengaged and wanting to sleep.
This new curriculum challenges the teachers to become facilitators of learning. Teachers teach concepts and students demonstrate mastery of these concepts. The fine individual skills are learned through the exploration rather than by rote memorization. These concepts and skills are learned for a lifetime, not just long enough to take a test, and this is due to the experience and activities students produce. The CSCOPE organization just unveiled a very important piece to the CSCOPE puzzle. A parent portal was launched recently that provides parents with more information about what their children are being taught. The parent portal provides parents with what is being taught by grade level, by content area, and by six weeks. As well, the site provides resources, a section on "how can I help my child", video resources, a homework helper, and an opportunity for parents to sign up to receive the CSCOPE newsletter. Much of this information has been available at the original CSCOPE website, but now it is located in one location which enables parents to access as much information as they need. I encourage you whether you have children or grandchildren or even if you are just interested in what is being taught in public education, to go to this website and explore what is taught across the State of Texas. Although not all schools are using CSCOPE at this point, all schools must use the Texas Essential Knowledge and Skills (TEKS) as their curriculum framework, and CSCOPE basically, orders the TEKS for the teachers and provides resources and lessons that teach the TEKS. The parent portal can be found at the following link: http://www.cscope.us/parentportal/ .
Over the next 13 days, the campuses will be administering "benchmark testing." This testing will provide us with several important items. Namely, for the students, this testing will identify what has been learned toward mastery of the upcoming spring TAKS, it will tell us how well the CSCOPE curriculum is addressing the instructional needs of our students, and lastly it will tell us what we need to work on to ensure that students will master their grade level TAKS test. Testing is a fact of life in public education. I know it is frustrating for students, parents and for teachers to constantly have the TAKS looming over them. However, students have to pass the TAKS to graduate from high school and in some grades to promote to the next grade level, thus we can afford to diminish its importance. Please help us by encouraging your kiddos to do well on the upcoming benchmarks as it will play an important roll in regard to second semester tutorials.
Please make preparations for the Christmas Break. The ISD will close for Christmas Break at 12:45p.m. on Friday, December 18th and students will not return until Tuesday, January 5th. Teachers will return to work on January 4th for in-service.
Please visit www.san-saba.net to view events and find information you need to know about SSISD. If you have any question about this article or any other question about school happenings please contact me at 325/372-3144 or email me at firstname.lastname@example.org .
We are San Saba! We are together!