Welcome to the 2015-16 School Year!
Ok, so it is the end of October so it seems a bit silly for me to post a welcome but this year has been crazy busy so far so I am playing catch up. First of all, I am so very proud to share that SJS 6th and 7th grade are officially 1:1 with iPads! (cue crowds cheering!) All the middle school teachers have been working so hard to develop curriculum so as to use these new tools to enhance student learning. We look forward to building the program in future years!
The second exciting change that has been happening at SJS (and throughout the entire Diocese of Orange) is the implementation of new standardized testing. In the past we have used IOWA testing which was a full week of paper based tests. We have now moved to using Renaissance STAR testing. This test is administered online in the areas of Math and Language Arts. It provides instant feed back to our teachers so that they can adjust their curriculum directly to the students needs, as shown by the testing results. These formative tests were given at the end of September and will be given again in January and May. Assessing students multiple times per year will give us a better idea of where are students are growing, and where they still may need some help.
Third and last, I spent the last two weeks working with the students in all grade levels giving lessons on Digital Citizenship. In our day and age it is SO important to teach students not only how to use computers, but how to be safe while using them. Topics with the students changed depending on grade level, and ranged from "What is the Internet?" (Kindergarten) to "What is the difference between online and in person friends?" (3rd grade) to Digital Citizenship issues (Middle School) We had candid conversations about what students have already experienced online, and discussed the appropriate ways to handle a variety of situations. I encourage all parents to check out the webpage CommonSenseMedia.com for more information on talking to and protecting your children in our digital world.
I feel honored and blessed to be a member of the faculty at St. Joseph Catholic School. Our community means so much to me and my family, and I am so happy to be able to teach your children. I look forward to a wonderful school year ahead!