April Newsletter
New York State Education Department I State Office of Religious and Independent Schools I Catapult Learning

Shout out to Long Island Educators!

Thank you for your dedication and commitment to the education of all children. You are an inspiration to our future generation, and we appreciate you!

Meet Regina Millman, an educator making a difference like you!

Impacting student learning as the Special Education Coordinator at St. Joseph’s School, Regina’s passion for education shows in her dedication for each and every student in her classroom.

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Teaching is a second career for me and has been the best decision I ever made. As the AIS teacher and Special Education Coordinator at St Joseph’s School, I participate with a Curriculum Lead Team within the Diocese of Rockville Centre and have the opportunity to collaborate on a bi-monthly basis with peers from partner schools across Long Island. I enjoy participating in professional learning opportunities and using the knowledge, not only to grow my skills and instructional practices but to share  what I have learned with my colleagues.

Spring Leadership Circle

A Model for Peer Collaboration, Professional Growth and School Improvement

Join this 4-part leadership PLC to end the year strong and set priorities for SY22-23. Meeting virtually every other Monday at 1pm, topics will address: where are we now and where are we going, how can we leverage resource to accelerate learning for all, what are your professional development plans and what is their impact for learning, and finally, how can you prepare now to set your school-wide priorities for SY22-22.

Impacting Student Achievement with
Math Running Records K-5

What is a Math Running Records and how do I use it to benefit my instruction and student learning? Join this dynamic 2-part series to learn from r. Nicki, the author of Math Running Records in Action, to learn about the framework for assessing your students’ basic math fluency and discuss strategies to target their fluency needs.

Meeting every Thursday in May at 4pm: Come join for one 2-part series or both!

May 5 and May 12: sessions will focus on using math running records to target addition and subtraction fluency. Open to all especially teachers of Grades K-2

May 19 and 26: sessions will focus on using math running records to target multiplication and division fluency. Open to all especially teachers of Grades 3-5

Leadership Corner

By Mitch Center

So Much Happens This Time of Year!

As we emerge from winter and welcome spring, so much begins to occur at once. There’s testing. There’s looking culminating activities and trips. There’s end-of-year celebrations. It’s a time to enjoy the fruits of our labor as we begin to move through the final quarter of the school year.

This is also a time to begin planning for the summer, and to look ahead to September, and the new school year. As we begin to make plans and strategize for what’s ahead, we need to make sure we are fully aware of the challenges we are facing and are trying to develop solutions for. To do that, we need to get into the field and gather data, beginning with listening.

In the book Street Data, the authors, Shane Safir and Jamila Dugan, propose a four-step process for change that begins first with hearing from those who will be most impacted by the changes:

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1) Listening: In this step, we seek out the marginalized voices in our communities and those who are most impacted by equity issues, proposed changes, or incidents we are investigating. We use deep listening (to students, families, educators) to gather data. We might use surveys, interviews or focus groups to gather this data, and we might ask questions like:

– What is your biggest challenge right now?

– What changes would you like to see?

Imagine if you conducted focus groups with students and asked them questions like the ones above? What might emerge?

2) Review: In this step, we review and probe the street data we gathered to uncover the root causes of our challenges. We might:

– Work as a team and study the data collaboratively to “see” from as many perspectives as possible

– Consider a variety of street data sources such as interviews, student work, and observation notes

3) Reimagine: In this step, we get creative and plan next steps by working with the group of individuals who will be most impacted by the changes. Using the example above, after hearing from students, imagine what might emerge in terms of programs and priorities.

4) Move: The final step in this process is to move on or action on your emerging ideas with courage and love. You will have to act without complete information or a perfect design, but you can be brave, and you can act on what is best for your students and communities. You can step away from your role as a consumer of programs and curricula designed by someone who never met your students or their families, and step into a new role as a change agent.

So, I encourage you to consider all of this as you wrap up your school year. In the rush to move, make plans, and set things in motion, first slow down, listen, ask good questions, and stay open to the idea that plans and solutions are often best when co-created with the people who will be most impacted by them.

Best as you lead your school to a strong end to the year and plan with purpose for next year.

~Mitch Center provides leadership professional development and coaching for Catapult Learning and is a monthly contributor to our Leadership Corner Conversation.

Community Spotlight

Bringing History to Life

Living Legends on Long Island, featuring Amelia Earhart

Have you heard about Living Museums? Teachers from across the Island are engaging students by teaching history in an experiential way. Watch Amelia Earhart come to life through the eyes of a student in a 6th grade classroom in the Diocese of Rockville Centre

Are you interested in spotlighting your school or sharing school news?

Would you like to submit a calendar item or an article for inclusion?

Getting Ready for NYS State Assessments:

NYSED Resources and More

WE WANT TO HEAR FROM YOU

Would you like to submit an article for inclusion or highlights from your school community? Do you have a comment or suggestion?