Principal's Page
Photo for Mark Weerts
Mark Weerts
Email
262-642-6720 x3222

The 2016-2017 monthly principal messages are dedicated to aspects of our East Troy Community School District Policy on (P)ersonalized (L)earning (E)nvironments. In brief, the policy states we are a school system that places the individual learner at the center of the learning process. This policy and its application will re-shape our learning experiences for all students now and into the future.  This month, I would like to focus on the concept of:

Results driven feedback

Feedback is an important component of teaching and learning as it provides both the student and teacher with information regarding progress and growth in relation to learning goals. Feedback should be timely and specific and is provided as a result of the following:

  • Pre-assessment provides a way for teachers to gather information about what students know and are able to do prior to instruction.
  • Post-assessment provides a way for teachers to gather information about the skills and concepts students have mastered after instruction.
  • Formative assessments are delivered as part of the learning process and provide information so that teaching and learning activities can be modified to meet the needs of the students.
  • Summative assessments are delivered to evaluate student learning at the end of an instructional period and focus on student outcomes

At the end of January and leading into February, our students participate in a number of math and reading assessments to determine growth, guide instruction and develop intervention strategies for students not performing on grade level.  These conversations take place in what we call a “data retreat.”  The agenda for this meeting is focused on curriculum trends, strengths and challenges. Additionally, we talk briefly about each child’s observed progress and classroom performance. As a result, no child is falling through the cracks, going unnoticed or proceeding without a plan.

Feedback through multiple forms is how everyone learns and grows.  For example, coaches, like teachers give immediate and relevant feedback.  When my son is shooting a basketball, he is coached or given feedback on his stance, trajectory, target, and form.  Teachers are no different.  In writing, they have students focus on organization, word choice, grammar, punctuation, etc.   Through personalized learning environments we strive to give your child specific and timely feedback, so that they may continue to progress in meeting their learning goals.   

Learning is Different Here!!!

We are pleased to announce the grand opening of our Smart Lab!  As you walk down the 4th grade wing to enter the Smart Lab, you will see a prominent banner that declares “Learning is different here!”   I am certain that your child has or will share the engaging learning launchers occurring in that classroom on a daily basis.  As I reflected more about the banner, I wondered where else in our building could the phrase “learning is different here” be found?

As adults, our learning experiences throughout elementary, middle or high school were most likely traditional.  You walked into a classroom, sat in a hard chair that was placed in a row, listened to the teacher, took some notes and walked out of class 47 minutes later?  Sound familiar?  Does that approach work anymore? Is that the best way for students to learn?  Don’t future employers want students to know how to collaborate, communicate, be creative and think critically?

My 2016-17 monthly Principal messages found on our website and in our newsletter will be dedicated to aspects of our East Troy Community School District Policy on Personalized Learning Environments. In brief, the policy states we are a school system that places the individual learner at the center of the learning process. This policy and its application will re-shape our learning experiences for all students.

The answer to our first question, “where is learning different at PV?” can be found in many different corners around our building.  First, many of our teachers are adapting their learning spaces. Based on student input, some students prefer to stand, some like to work in groups, others like to have headphones on to reduce distractions.  Second, teachers will be goal setting with individual students to support math and reading achievement.  Third, all our teachers know the importance of considering student voice and choice when designing lessons and assessing learning. As such, your child will likely be more engaged in a relevant, authentic learning experience.

I look forward to sharing more about these experiences and other Prairie View celebrations on a monthly basis.   Proud to be a Prairie View Panther!!!