Principal's Update 9.18.15

Dear Raptor Families,

Thank you for a great start to the 2015-2016 school year.  We welcome the class of 2019 and have brought them in to the Commitment to Graduate process.  On their first day they pledged towards their own graduation and signed the giant diploma for the class of 2019.  Why do we do this?  Nationwide the graduation rate hovers somewhere around 70% dependent on the source and most current data.  This is an untenable position for schools and something that we are not going to allow happen within our school.  At Silver Creek we have a dropout rate of less than one percent; still too much!  I urge you to talk to your student about the importance of graduating from high school and be there for them every step of the way.  Whether you are joining us for the first time with the class of 2019 or are a returning parent, continue the conversation with your child about high school graduation and the opportunities beyond.  

Students and teachers alike have been transitioning to the usage of iPads in their curriculum.  A few key points about the 1:1 iPad initiative.

1.  We've pledged several sessions of training throughout the school year to prepare teachers with digital learning tools such as Educreations, Notability, NearPod and Schoology.  Many of our teachers are experts in this field having taught in other schools that are 1:1 or are digital leaders within St. Vrain.

2.  We have a quick and easy process if your iPad is not working to get help, just click on the virtual helpdesk located under the Learning Technology Plan tab on our homepage.

3.  We are exploring all future curricular resources in the e-format.  Thus, kids will never lose their textbook as long as a smartphone, iPad, or computer are around.   Along with the accompanying text e-formats have embedded features such as videos, note-taking, assessments and interactive maps.

4.  We are exploring pedagogical models such as SAMR to determine the effectiveness of technology utilization in classrooms.

5.  We are seeking to use digital tools that increase teacher ability to assess students and provide timely feedback upon their progress.  An example of this is the usage of Plickers or NearPod.

6.  We are trying to migrate content into one learning management system, Schoology.  Schoology acts as a one-stop shop for students' classes, assignments, links to learning.  Infinite Campus will still be used for all grading, attendance and student data.

7.  We are rolling out Naviance/Family Connections to assist with transition from high school to college and careers.  

Awesome opportunities abound for teachers and students as we have closed the device gap and continue to work on closing the achievement gap for our kids.  Keep on the lookout for more information related to Naviance and Schoology.  In early October we will be creating parental accounts for Schoology, so that you may peek in on your students' classes.  A more detailed message will follow with instructions for both Schoology and the launch of Naviance.  

We invite you to the upcoming events:

Parent Camp iPad 9/29/15

Parent Teacher Conference 10/14/15, 10/21/15 (online registration available on 10/1/15)

Homecoming Events Week of 10/12/15-10/17/15

Best Regards,

Erick Finnestead