EWSD Recognized by National School Boards Association with a Magna Award!

On Saturday, 25 March, the National School Boards Association (NSBA) recognized our district with a Magna Award. According to the NSBA, Magna Awards winners:

…have illustrated school board best practices and have implemented innovative programs that advance student learning.

Our district won this wonderful recognition for our “In Recognition of Excellence Dinner,” our annual recognition of ten outstanding students along with the staff members who were most influential during their years at North Side, Willets Road and Wheatley. The event is featured in a special edition of the National School Boards Association’s magazine:

Magna_Award17_Winners5000

Along with Mark Kamberg, the President of the EWSD Board of Education, I was thrilled to accept this wonderful recognition at the 2017 Annual Conference of the National School Boards Association in Denver, Colorado. Joining us at the celebration luncheon was Susan Bergtraum, former President of the BOE and current President of the New York State School Boards Association.

Magna_17_Winners5000

 

Wheatley’s Budget Presentation for 2017-18

Last Wednesday, I had the pleasure of presenting Wheatley’s proposed budget for the 2017-18 school year. We are fortunate to be able to continue to provide a broad offering of courses and programs for our students. This happens because of the ongoing support of our community, our Board of Education and our Superintendent of Schools.

Next year, we are excited about the opportunity to continue to expand our new  AP Capstone program. With the AP Research Course, students will have the opportunity to deeply explore an academic topic, problem, issue or idea of individual interest. Students design, plan and implement a yearlong investigation to address the research questions, preparing an academic paper and presentation along the way. Additionally, our Project Lead the Way program is growing into its fourth year with the addition of the Principles of Engineering course. We will have four grades of students using Chromebooks, and we will continue to support our students in all grades. We will also be expanind our Computer Science offerings through the addition of an AP Computer Science Principles course. Additionally, we will expand our co-teaching offerings for students, and — through an ongoing commitment to field trips and student clubs — we will also expand opportunities for students to learn outside of the classroom.

You can view the budget presentation through the following link: Wheatley Budget Presentation_Mar17

Wheatley Budget Presentation_Mar17

Wheatley and National Rankings

Over the past several years, there has been a proliferation of organizations promoting lists of the top high schools in the country. Readers of this blog may recall some of my posts outlining some of the serious errors in these ranking lists (see http://wp.me/p3RKEP-4io and http://wp.me/p3RKEP-9iI, for example).

At last night’s Board of Education meeting, I presented an overview of the state and national ranking of high schools. As part of the presentation, I described the steps Wheatley could take if it wanted to focus on its national rankings.

You can view the presentation through the link below:

wheatley-and-national-rankings-cover

 

Wheatley and National Rankings Feb17

Wheatley Regents and Advanced Placement Data Overview!

Wheatley has long prided itself on creating an environment in which students are able to succeed in a variety of different ways. Students have demonstrated excellence in a wide range of artistic, scientific, historical, mathematical, linguistic and athletics pursuits…just to name a few!

Wheatley students have also been successful in both state and national examinations. At last night’s Board of Education work session, an overview of the Regents examinations results and the Advanced Placement results was presented to the community. You can view a copy of the presentation below:

Wheatley Data Overview October 2016

wheatley-data-overview-oct16

Wheatley’s Budget Presentation for 2016-17

Last week, I had the pleasure of presenting Wheatley’s proposed budget for the 2016-17 school year. We are fortunate to continue to provide a broad offering of courses and programs for our students.

Next year, we are excited about the opportunity to offer our students the new AP Capstone program. With the AP Seminar course, students will have an opportunity to pursue a topic of interest, preparing a research paper and presentation. Additionally, our Project Lead the Way program is growing into its third year. We will have three grades of students using Chromebooks, and we will continue to support our students in all grades. Through an ongoing commitment to field trips and student clubs, we will also expand opportunities for students to learn outside of the classroom.

You can view the budget presentation through the following link: Wheatley Budget Presentation_Mar16

Wheatley Budget Presentation_Mar16Cover

Board of Education Holds Community Discussion of “Mindset”

Carol Dweck’s book, “Mindset: The New Psychology of Success” has been a busy topic of discussion over the past few weeks. First published in 2006, “Mindset” argued that success derives not just from one’s abilities and talents, but whether one pursues goals with a fixed mindset or a growth mindset.

In general, those with a fixed mindset believe that one’s abilities and talents are fixed and cannot be changed. As a result, every contest, competition, test or performance becomes a measuring stick against which one’s actual intelligence is evaluated. Curiously, this mindset causes one to avoid challenges, give up in the face of obstacles, and ignore feedback.

By contrast, those with a  growth mindset believe that intelligence and talent can be developed and improved through hard work and persistence. Those with a growth mindset relish challenges, are more resilient, see effort as the key to improvement, and learn from the feedback of others.

Back in October, the Wheatley Faculty spent a morning discussing these ideas. Last month, my SWS class on Mindset wrapped up a terrific module. Last week, Mr. Bloomgarden held a Mindset book talk for his parents, and this past Monday, I held a Mindset book talk for Wheatley parents.

Earlier this evening, the Board of Education used its monthly work session to discuss the important ideas in this book. With the assistance of two of my SWS students, Brianna Clarfield and Lindsay Mosca, we shared our understanding of the primary ideas of the book and how we can used these powerful ideas to help better motivate our students, our families and our professionals.

Introduction

Discussion Questions

  1. What did your parents or teachers do or say to promote a fixed or growth mindset for you?
  2. As parents, what do we do or say that might communicate a fixed or growth mindset to our children?
  3. What is the biggest failure or setback you have faced in your life? How did you recover from this? What does that say about your mindset?
  4. What messages do you receive from our district regarding the mindset of our schools?
  5. What can we do as a district to move toward a culture of a growth mindset for students, teachers, administrators, and parents?

Video Wrap-Up

Homework Reading:

Fostering a Growth Mindset at Home: Shifting to a Growth Mindset Feb16

Growth Mindset YouTube Playlist: Mindset YouTube Playlist

Welcome to Wheatley, 2014-15 Edition!

At Monday’s monthly Board of Education meeting, the principals of each school presented an overview of the new school year along with a review of last year’s results on state and national examinations.

We have welcomed a number of new initiatives this year, including:

  • Several new courses
    • Social Science Research
    • AP Economics
    • Mathematical Problem Solving
    • Lego Robotics
    • Introduction to Engineering Design (through Project Lead the Way)
    • Sports in America
  • A New Learning Lab (adjacent to the Guidance Department)
  • Updated Flooring
  • New signs
  • A new student-produced mural
  • Updated bathroom
  • 1-1 technology initiative for our 8th Graders

Last year was an impressive year for the students and teachers at Wheatley, with students performing exceptionally well on the New York State Regents examinations as well as the College Board’s Advanced Placement examinations.

You can see the complete details by reading through the presentation (updated 19 Sept 14): New at Wheatley Sept14