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Underwood District Dispatch

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From the Desk of the Superintendent...

September 22, 2018

OCTOBER 2018 DISTRICT DISPATCH The statewide Teacher Leadership and Compensation (TLC) program is beginning its third year in the Underwood Community School District. This program offers teachers instructional leadership opportunities, provides additional financial compensation, and promotes increased levels of professional collaboration among faculty members. It has also played a role in attracting promising new teachers to our school district. The primary impetus of the TLC program is to improve student learning by augmenting and refining the instructional skills of our teachers. Members of Underwood’s TLC program include the following faculty members: instructional coaches Lois Johnson and Andy Vanfossan; lab classroom teachers Susie Knott, Kris Gunderson, and Lindsey Hjelle; mentors Kirk Hughes, Pat Schreiber, Michelle Kay, Susie Knott, Sherri Robertson, Sonya Schiphoff, Shelley Brown, Tammy Minssen, and Elizabeth Dillinger; and data specialist Greg Bachman. In addition, Loren Lintner, Christine Privia, Denise Mahoney, Jill Teten, Bridget Hackett, and Greg Bachman work together with building principals Matt McDonough, Beau Jacobsen, and Jeff Privia to form the school district’s District Leadership Team (DLT). One of the DLT’s key responsibilities is to develop and guide the school district’s professional development program. This year’s professional development program is focusing on utilizing effective instructional strategies to implement our so-called “power standards.” Power standards are the most essential outcomes that students must master. They are the “key learnings” that prepare students for the next grade level and post-secondary program readiness. Power standards that were developed by faculty members last year will be adjusted, evaluated, and refined as this school year progresses. An example of a power standard in second grade mathematics is as follows: “Represent and solve arithmetic problems involving addition and subtraction within 100.” An example of a high school language arts power standard is as follows: “Cite strong and thorough textual evidence to support analysis of a text.” Faculty members will also be working on designing assessments that will align with their power standards. Through our work with this professional development program, our school district is committing itself to the following goals: (1) Students will leave the Underwood Community School District ready for college, the military, and/or the workforce; (2) Students will approach complex problems using a growth mindset; (3) Students will be able to communicate with research-based writing; (4) Students will build knowledge through reading informational and literary text; (5) Teachers will develop and enact an essential curriculum for every course; (6) Teachers will work collaboratively to reach the school district’s goals; (7) Teachers will incorporate effective instructional strategies; and (8) Underwood Community School District will be a destination school district. Please note that we will be having a 2:30 p.m. dismissal at the end of the first quarter on Friday, October 19, 2018. Parent-teacher conferences will be held on Monday, October 29, 2018, and Thursday, November 1, 2018, from 4:30-8:30 p.m. There will be no school on Friday, November 2, 2018.

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