MHS 2/17/18 Update [sorry for the delay]

The Global Education Achievement Certificate students and staff put on a wonderful show Sunday at their first ever world tour.  Our GEAC staff recognized at the Monday board meeting for their exemplary service to the district very much push the students to be the best they can be with all of the projects and experiences involved in earning the GEAC state certificate.  The Forensics Team continued their quick improvement by taking 2nd at the Baldwin Invitational over the weekend with many place finishers.  The Forensics Team hosts their home tournament this weekend at MHS.  The Boys Basketball upset Hudson on Friday Night and the Girls Basketball Team earned a 3rd seed in the playoffs and a home playoff game later this month.  The Addams Family opened Friday with many students, staff, and community members involved in what was an outstanding production led by Mr. Audric Buhr.  Please get out to the Addams Family if have have an opportunity they have shows through this weekend and next weekend.  Audric has again produced something amazing and I even saw Jimmy Anderson [Orchestra Teacher] working himself tirelessly with the Musical pieces.  Thank you to all students and staff who make this performance and this school once of the best in the State of Wisconsin!  On a related not Tyler Miller and I heard this week that our proposal to the Quality Educator Convention was approved.  Tyler and I will be presenting on aspects of how we are striving to use Educlimber more and more as a tool to improve and enhance what we provide for students.  Rest assured that Tyler and I will be giving a lions share of the credit to the great staff we work with for that which we have achieved and for those things we are regularly striving to improve.

 

Good Luck Wrestlers at Sectionals! 

 

******Below from Mr.Seguin***********

Feb 22nd PD Schedule

Hello SDMA Staff,
Thursday, February 22, 2018 will be our next PD day for teachers, paraeducators and administrators. Below you will find our schedule for the day, as well a link to our EdCamp SDMA Session Board.  Please take some time to review both documents.
If when you are reviewing the avalible sessions, you do not see someting that meets your needs, please take a moment to fill out the EdCampSDMA Session Idea Submission Form linked below. (Remember, a successful EdCamp is dependent on our participants)
As a reminder, we will be at the High School for the EdCamp and will have coffee and refreshments in the commons starting at 7:30 AM. Our program will start at 8 AM in the Auditorium.
Thank you to everyone who is facilitating sessions, the day would not be possible without you!
 

 
As always, please let me know if you have any questions, or suggestions.
Thanks, and Go Mustangs!
Brian G. Seguin
Assistant Superintendent of Instruction
School District of the Menomonie Area
Menomonie, WI 54751

*Mr. Hasapopoulos – ACT*****************

Staff, the ACT is finally upon us.  We have our proctors set and staff willing to help with accommodations all ready to go.  The rest of us will be there to support our proctors (also knowns as Room Supervisors) on our two test days.
We will have two days for the ACT and WorkKeys.
Tuesday, Feb. 27th (ACT)
Wednesday, Feb. 28th (WorkKeys)
For next week:
On Monday, Feb. 19th, we will be running a half-hour assembly schedule so we can complete the Non-Test portion of the answer booklet.  Juniors only will report to the commons during the half-hour assembly time AND ELT time (10:10 am to 11:15 am).  At that time, we will walk them through the Non-test portion of their answer booklets.  All other students will be directed to go to an ELT for that time period.  We will have staff in the halls to help direct Juniors to the commons and other students to ELT locations starting at 10:10.  Thank you for accommodating the longer ELT time.
On Thursday, Feb. 22nd during our PD day, we will do our required ACT training session for all staff from 1:00 pm to 2 pm.  The powerpoint presentation we will be going through will be shared with you then.  Most of this addresses testing day procedures for our Room Supervisors/Proctors; however, all staff need to have awareness of the procedures in case we need substitutes and when we provide breaks to proctors.  The presentation should take no more than an hour.  A detailed schedule of the two testing days will be provided.
We will meet in the Tiered Lecture Hall at 1 pm.

Thank you for all your patience and help.
Michael


Michael Hasapopoulos

Assistant Principal
Menomonie High School
***************************************************************************

ALICE Reminder Slides from Staff Meeting — Start of 3rd Hour — Lockdown portion of ALICE only as in previous years as discussed at last staff meeting — practice barricade drill that we trained on at start of year and for every year since moving to ALICE — very timely considering events in Florida after staff meeting but before our planned drill

MHS 2/9/18 Staff Update

The Forensics Team kicked off their season with a respectable 5th place finish at the very competitive competition at UW-Eau Claire on Saturday.  The National Ocean Sciences Bowl Team took an impressive 3rd place last weekend at UW-Milwaukee which is unprecedented for a team only in its second year.  Brooke Brantner-FFA and Gabi Sobota-FCCLA represented Menomonie and the State of Wisconsin via their respective State Officer roles at the capital this week for a career and technical education visit.  The Class of 2022 – current 8th grade – visited the high school for the first time as a group with their parents on Monday Night for Curriculum Night.  Mr. Jeff Olson led a presentation Wednesday on the important topic of suicide prevention and awareness. We recognized both Mr. Sterry and Mrs. Huppert for their work with Academic and Career Plans at MHS.  Thank you to the counselors for working so hard this week and all weeks for National School Counseling Week.   Several Football Players signed their national letters of intent Wednesday and our GEAC students and staff will be presenting Sunday the first GEAC World Tour.

From GEAC – 
Happy Friday everyone!  Do you have plans for Sunday afternoon?  We would love to see you at the first ever GEAC World Tour from 1-4 pm in the HS Commons.  There will be 50+ high school students volunteering their time and talents to help bring the World to Menomonie.  It should be a fun, family friendly event for a cold winter afternoon 🙂

MHS 2/2/18 Staff Update

MHS Choral students toured the school district on Thursday displaying their musical talents.  The Dance Team performed at half time of the basketball game won by the girls team on Tuesday night.  The Boys Hockey Team played 3 games this week winning a big game on Thursday at the Fanetti Ice Arena.  The Science Olympiad Team continued their dominant run at a 4th State Championship in 5 years placing two of our teams in Michigan last weekend.  The MHS Forensics Team opens up competition this weekend in Eau Claire with the home Forensics Meet a few weeks away on February 17th.  Registration for the 18/19 School Year is in full swing with current MHS students and middle school students.  On Wednesday February 7th we will host a suicide awareness speaker from Upper Michigan.  We’ve altered our schedule and provided an opportunity for presentations to our staff and upperclassmen while the underclassmen work on an online youth risk behavior survey and academic career plans.

WEDNESDAY FEBRUARY 7TH REMINDER – BLT NOTES INFORMATION VERY IMPORTANT TO READ WITH MORE DETAILS TO COME AT THE START OF THE WEEK – ALL FAMILIES HAVE BEEN NOTIFIED

MHS 1/26/18 Staff Update

MHS students and staff conducted another Academic and Career Planning session on Thursday.  The ACP’s provide a good opportunity for students to continue to explore and interact with ideas about their future endeavors.  The snow highlighted the start of the week pushing events and activities to other times.  The Gymnastics team went head to head with Hudson on Tuesday winning several events including the all around by Grace Braatz taking 1st in the all around and Chloe Oehler taking 3rd in the all around.  It was also teacher appreciation night at Gymnastics.  The MHS GEAC students spent the day Wednesday in Minneapolis at the Art Institute and Global Market.  Our global scholars spent the day experiencing global art, food, and cultures while achieving several of the certificate targets.  Mackenzie Brooks was awarded the optimist student of the month for all of her work in school and in the community.  The Swim Team lost by only a few points to Rice Lake on Thursday Night for parents night.  The Wrestling Team hosts the Whitetail Invitation on Friday Night at the High School with Boys Hockey also Home at the Ice Arena if you’d like to stop out and support our students.

 Teacher Highlight on the big stage

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Stories of learning and leading

In the 01/26/2018 edition:

The Work Behind the Work

By George on Jan 25, 2018 04:33 pm
Currently, I am training for a half-marathon race.  I don’t have a particular race in mind, but I am training for one.  As someone who has run marathons before, a half-marathon is daunting, but I also know that it is doable for my current health goals.

When I was asked what race I was going to do on Instagram, I simply said that my goal was to do the training.  The ability to finish a marathon is an accomplishment, and when I used to do it, people would say, “That is so impressive that you finished a marathon!”  My response was that the marathon was easy, it was the training that was hard.  If you properly train, the dedication and consistency to work hard when you don’t want to can be mind-numbing. Excellence is created from a formula; consistency plus high-quality effort over time.

That thing you see someone else doing is just a glimpse into that day, not the hours behind it to get to that point.

I have always loved this quote:

I don’t know if “20 years” is accurate, but that person you see in the gym that is incredibly fit didn’t just show up that way. An effort was not only given to doing things that were hard but also in not doing things that were hard.  This goes for many other things in our life as well.

If you see someone and you admire what they are doing, ask them what it took to get there.  Then ask yourself if you are willing to do the work to get where you want to be when no one is watching.

The work behind the work is often the hardest part of success.

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Recent Articles:

“Passive Learner” to “Active Creator”
The One Answer to All Questions in Education
Traditional Practice Versus Bad Practice
Relationships Are the Foundation of Great Schools (But They Aren’t Enough)
Closing the Feedback Loop

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Professional Reading Below from George Couros

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Updates from

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Stories of learning and leading

In the 01/24/2018 edition:

“Passive Learner” to “Active Creator”

By George on Jan 23, 2018 03:55 pm
It was a blessing to be able to connect with Jam Gamble on her podcast (coming out soon) talking about speaking this morning. Jam is one of those people that just has a way of making you feel better about yourself only by being in her presence, which is a fantastic (and rare) gift to have.

One of the things that we talked about is the connection between being a good teacher and a good speaker.  I have thought about this a lot before the podcast, and as I look back at the early parts of my teaching career, I would say that I was an excellent speaker but not necessarily a good teacher.  I could talk all day, tell stories, make humorous connections to content, and my students would be engaged in the material.  When they would leave my classroom the following year, I would hear things from them like, “Mr. Couros, you were so much fun to listen to, and now it is hard to be with our new teacher because they make us do work.”  Early on in my career, I wore that statement like a badge of honor, but now I cringe at the fact that I set my students up to count on me to “engage” or even “entertain” them than to empower them to learn on their own.  If the students needed me to be interested in learning by the end of the year, I did more harm than good.

If you have read this blog for any amount of time, you have seen that I have often focused on moving from “engagement” to “empowerment”. This is something that I thought of while writing this post:

This is important to state…engagement and empowerment are not mutually exclusive from one another, but you can be engaged without being empowered, but if you are empowered, you are definitely engaged.

It is also important to understand that “lecture” is not a bad thing. I think that being a great storyteller and making content interesting is an essential trait of a modern day educator.

My point is that if the learning in the classroom is all about what the teacher does, and less about what the students create, then what is the long-term impact that this will have on our students? Do our kids learn that someone else will make it happen for them, or that they can make it happen for themselves? Yes, we need others on that journey to support us, but what is our contribution to solutions moving forward for ourselves and others?

If you want to see the effectiveness of a teacher, don’t look at what they do, but what their students do because of them.

From “The Innovator’s Mindset“:

“…we must keep in mind that a culture of compliance will not foster the environments we want for students or educators. Demanding compliance will not effectively prepare learners for being productive citizens today, nor in their futures.”

Not only is shifting the mindset from “engagement” to “empowerment” beneficial to our students (and in my belief, society as a whole), it is also advantageous to the teacher. In a time where teacher burnout and stress is becoming more of a factor in education, ramping up your passion for doing the majority of the work for your students will only accelerate this truth.  One of the best teachers I know told me that as she focused on becoming more innovative in the classroom and focused on empowering her students, she not only saw their learning go up but her workload going down.  How many of you reading this would take that trade-off?

Think about this standard practice for many educators…

Teachers come in weeks early to decorate their classroom (and let’s be honest, often because they feel the pressure of other teachers doing the same thing), doing all of that work themselves.  They will make it picture perfect for their students, and show a bit of themselves on the walls. I used to do this early in my career and put every child’s name on a basketball to welcome to the classroom.  Imagine if you walked into that room and hated sports.  A student would be thinking, “Seriously? A year with this guy?”  So then we put in ALL of that work, and then we keep saying things like “our classroom.”  If it were “our classroom,” we would use that time to help kids have ownership over the room.  You can share a little piece of yourself in your space, but do the students see themselves through their creations, represented on the walls where they spend their days?  Take that approach and you get less work for the teacher, and more ownership and empowerment for the student.

If we continuously focus on “engaging” our students, will there be a point where creating high quality, high production videos, could replace the engaging content of a teacher, for less money?  I hope not, but we have to realize that content is everywhere, and if “meaningful creation” is not a factor in the work students do daily, what impact will that have on the profession?

Take a look at this picture created by my brother (Alec Couros)  years ago called “The Networked Teacher”:

Image by Alec Couros

Here is what we need to understand about the above picture; the technologies will change but the arrows won’t. We will never live in a time again where people won’t be able to create and share content with relative ease to the entire world.  That picture would not have been created when I went to school, but it exists now.  What does that reality change for our schools?

Shauna Cornwell recently wrote the post, “The Art of Science and Innovation,” where she gives distinct examples of students moving from “passive learner” to “active learner” or “creator.” Some of her ideas are listed below:

She sums up these ideas beautifully at the end of her post:

“There will always be a time and place for teachers to use a more lecture-style format, offer mini-lessons, and use direct teaching, but in today’s changing world we know that our students also need more than that.  Innovative teaching and learning is about finding a balance that offers our students more regular opportunity to play an active role in their own learning.”

As you read any new book or attend a new workshop, continuously ask the question, “Is this more about what the teacher can do for the student, or about empowering and finding ways so that the student can eventually do things for themselves?”  This subtle shift will be needed for our students to create their futures, instead of hoping someone else will do it for them.

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Recent Articles:

The One Answer to All Questions in Education
Traditional Practice Versus Bad Practice
Relationships Are the Foundation of Great Schools (But They Aren’t Enough)
Closing the Feedback Loop
Does Spellcheck Make “Learners” More Intelligent?

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EdmontonAB T6W 2W2

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MHS 1/19/18 Staff Update

The MHS Science Olympiad Team Won the Medford Invitational continuing their strong efforts this season.  The weekend was so successful for our Science Olympiad Competitors that we not only won the event but our JV team took 6th place too. Congratulations to Jake Karkula and Jimmy Anderson for securing AnnMarie Foundation grants for a combined almost $3,000!  The Boys Basketball Team won a big game this past week in what has been a bit of a trying season. We welcomed the Chamber of Commerce Leadership Menomonie Group on Thursday for their annual education day tour.  It’s always great to collaborate with the business community in town.  We also will welcome a small group of area Principals Friday for a collaboration and sharing session.  The students started the second semester smoothly enjoying some fun with the cabin fever week dress up days and assembly.  Special Thanks to ALL students and staff involved with student council for setting up and running the assembly.

David LaRose Notes

Mr. LaRose has been very accommodating with emails and follow up questions concerning Social Emotional Learning which is something we will likely be piloting with some subgroups during ELT in the future.

MHS 1/12/18 Staff Update

The Academic Decathlon Team competed this week with area schools.  Thank you Math Dept Teacher Mr. Anderson for all your work with this group especially during finals.  This group consists of our best students taking common assessments and activities that are independently graded after which we could move on to further competitions.  The inclement weather day caused a minor adjustment to final exams but many that I’ve heard from were happy for the extra day of studying which worked out great.  This was also a nice way to continue to ease our way into the new year.  MHS Final Exams were pushed back one day meaning that the end of semester will actually be Tuesday 1/16/18 after the Monday scheduled non-student day.  We will still be starting Cabin Fever Week next week which is a student council led fun week with dress up days, assemblies and activities to kick-off the new semester.  Aside from Swim Tuesday, there have been very few nighttime activities this week due to final exams with the exception of Friday Night when Boys Basketball plays with the pep band and dance also performing.  Girls Hockey is also home at the Fanetti Ice Arena if you’d like to stop out.

1/10/18 MHS Staff Meeting notes — fully updated with pictures and additional comments from the meeting

Happy New Year 2018 MHS 1/5/18 Staff Update

Link Crew adult and student leaders provided a study session for all freshmen called Cocoa and Cram on Friday.  This is a continuation of the Link Crew transition program that kicked the year off and is intended to continue the transition for 9th grade students to the high school environment including end of semester final exams.  We were able to secure a Suicide Prevention speaker for early February working with another area high school to share costs.  I will have more information out as the program develops but mental health is a student concern that comes up daily in many schools including MHS.  I have worked with the presenter so that he actually presents to staff only first before the students arrive on 2/7/18.  He agreed to abbreviate the presentation to insure time for Q and A with staff about this important topic.  Our presenter Mr. Olson is a teacher and coach in Michigan who lost his son to suicide.  During the Building Leadership Team it was strongly desired to have a staff aspect of this presentation which we have done.  The 2018 New Year kicked off with multiple sporting events including two home swim meets on Tuesday and Thursday along with Girls Basketball and our first home Gymnastics Meet where Grace Braatz won the all-around vs. Eau Claire on Thursday.  The Mike Fischer Family generously donated $6,000 to Menomonie youth hockey Thursday Night.  The Boys and Girls Hockey Teams were in action on Thursday Night with the pep band and both teams will be home over the weekend again if you’d like to stop out the the ice arena.

Building Leadership Team Notes from 1/3/18 Meeting