Archive for September, 2009


Panther Creek High teacher traveling to Bangladesh

Panther Creek High School teacher Steven West was selected from approximately 400 teachers from 45 US states to take part in a US State Department visit to Bangladesh in 2010.

West was awarded a grant for the Teaching Excellence and Achievement (TEA) teacher exchange program of the Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs of the U.S. Department of State, and implemented by the International Research and Exchanges Board.

The goal of the TEA program is to provide teachers with professional development opportunities that will promote mutual understanding between US and international teachers, students, and schools. During the two-week grant, teachers are hosted by a TEA international teacher and his/her school where the US teacher has the opportunity to observe classes, co-teach and share best teaching practices. There will also be meetings with various educational organizations and participation in cultural activities. Ample opportunity will be provided US teachers to share culture and experiences with host country colleagues to gain new insights to take back home to their school and community.

West will prepare for the trip by meeting this fall with a cohort of international teachers in a workshop at Purdue University.

Grimes Droessler Honored

Elizabeth Grimes Droessler, WCPSS Arts Education Senior Administrator, has been honored as a North Carolina Art Education Association Friend of the Arts. Grimes Droessler will receive her award at the NCAEA Conference in Winston-Salem on October 23. She has been recognized as an exemplary arts educator and advocate of the arts.

WCPSS 20-day count: 139,599

Wake County Public School System student enrollment increased to 139,599 on the 20th day of the 2009-10 school year, 1,893 students more than last year.

The 20th day enrollment is a snapshot of one day’s school enrollment that is annually reported to the state.

The 20th day of traditional calendar school was on September 22nd. On that day, WCPSS schools were serving 140,234 students, an increase of 2,528 more than the 2008-09 official 20th day count. Most of the increase occurred in year-round schools which reach their 20th day earlier than traditional calendar schools.

Professional Learning Teams at Baileywick Elementary School

baileywick-carolchalk_200.jpgThis article is written by Carol Chalk, the Instructional Resource Teacher at Baileywick Elementary

Having a common, designated time for all Professional Learning Teams at Baileywick to meet has proven to be an amazing addition for our teachers this year! Every member of our certified staff collaborates with classroom teachers in six grade-level PLTs during the first 15 minutes of meeting time on Wednesdays.

This time, devoted solely to Kid Talk, centers around providing additional support and intervention ideas to classroom teachers for students who have unique instructional and/or behavioral needs. The conversations and collaboration occurring during this time are establishing greater depth and ownership in our schoolwide professional learning community as we “put our heads together” to meet the needs of each and every student at Baileywick.

After the initial 15 minutes of Kid Talk, collaboration moves to shared analysis of student data collected from common formative assessments. Teachers discuss student progress toward the essential learning objectives based on the results of the common assessments. These discussions have greatly increased the team commitments to supporting all students across each grade level.

Teachers seek to determine commonalities among classes as well as unique needs and challenges each individual teacher may be experiencing in her classroom. Dialogue around classroom instructional practices often occurs as teachers continue to learn from each other. Many teachers decide to make adjustments to their current classroom instruction. Then, PLTs collectively examine the need for further remediation, practice, and enrichment of essential skills and objectives.

Collaboration shifts to creating a plan for implementation, determining action items and next steps, and assigning someone the responsibility of completing each item. During this time, Baileywick teachers agree on who will be responsible for working with each specified small group of students in order to remediate, re-teach, or enrich the essential learning objective(s) determined by the most critical area(s) of need. Each grade level team has been assigned three to four additional staff members to serve groups for this purpose during a common schoolwide Team Time.

At Baileywick, the addition of “WAKE Wednesdays” has provided a structured time for collectively committing to nurture and inspire all learners.

Student Drum Ensemble to open International Festival

Students from East Millbrook Magnet Middle School will open the North Carolina International Festival at the Raleigh Convention Center Oct. 2-4.

The students are members of the school’s Taiko Japanese Drum Student Ensemble. They are the opening performance for the entire festival at 5 p.m. on Friday, and perform a second time at 1:45 p.m. on Saturday October 3rd. This is a huge honor for our students and a opportunity for them to perform in front of 30,000+ people!

East Millbrook Magnet Middle is an International Baccalaureate Middle Years Programme (MYP) and an A+ Creative Arts school that encourages students to explore their individuality through a global, realistic and inquiry-based education.

You can find more about the North Carolina International Festival here.

Apex Middle School Celebrates Constitution Week

During Constitution Week Sept 14-18, Apex Middle School had VIP guests all week reciting the Pledge of Allegiance and teaching the students about the Constitution through announcements. The visiting guests included Apex Town Councilman Mike Jones Wake County Board of Education chair Kevin Hill, Apex Mayor Keith Weatherly, and Wake County Board of Education member Ron Margiotta.

The school had performances of musical numbers related to our national heritage by the Apex Middle School Chorus led by director Christian Rothwell and the Apex Middle School Band, led by director Bob Jackson.

On Friday the school ended the week with a red, white and blue contest for students. The winners were: 6th grader Lexi Strollo, 7th grader Kala Bartucci and 8th graders Julia Ritcey and Madi Maikley.

Apex Middle School Social Studies Chair Jill Bryant planned the Constitution Week activities. Thanks to Principal Camille Hedrick for sharing this information with GotNews.

Strengthen Elementary Reading Skills

Our elementary school teachers are using a new screening process to better identify student reading skills.

Dr. Sherri Merritt who directs literacy instruction in the Wake County Public School System says teachers will be screening students several times during the school year to meet each student’s reading needs.

Click here to listen to Strengthen Elementary Reading Skills

This is a 10 minute mp3 file.

Parents can find more information on reading here.

ParentVision: “College Is Possible” Event for Latino Students and Families

The ESL Department, LEP Family Outreach Program, and LEP Coalition in collobaration with the Hispanic Scholarship Fund Inc. will host a Town Hall Meeting, “College is Possible,” for middle and high school Latino students. The event is open to all students and the sessions will be in English and Spanish. Find out more about the event on today’s ParentVision podcast.

The event happens at Millbrook High School on October 7, 2009, from 6 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. We also have a flyer and further information available.

Upcoming Business Event

Tammie Hall, coordinator for WCPSS Facilities Minority Business Enterprise (MBE) Program is encouraging businesses to celebrate “The Greater Raleigh Minority Enterprise Development Week” from September 28-October 2 and would like to share the information about the event.

With Minority and women-owned business participation exceeding the State’s goal, the WCPSS Minority Business Enterprise Program is dedicated to providing equal access to information and opportunities for minority and woman owned construction contractors, designers, and businesses.

Over the last three years, WCPSS’s Minority Business Enterprise program has reached participation in excess of 21 percent for construction projects over $100,000. The State’s goal is 10 percent participation.

Click here to find out more about next week’s events and the WCPSS MBE Program.

Continue Reading . . .

Beginning the College Search

Thousands turned out for the Wake County College and Post Secondary Opportunities Fair held at the McKimmon Center at NC State University last Sunday.

Eric Sparks of WCPSS Counseling and Students Services says representatives from 115 college, universities, organizations and military branches set up tables in two large rooms and handed out literature and answered questions from thousands of students and parents.

Sharon Wilkes and her son were part of the crowd seeking answers as they began the college search process.

Click here to listen to Beginning the College Search

This is a 6 minute mp3 file.