Thursday, November 22, 2007

Mid November Curricular Related Activities

The following activities took place concerning curriculum in the district:

Had a curriculum meeting in the morning concerning issues around number of participants on the curriculum committee and how this will be set up. I think we really need to look at vertical alignment in addition to the horizontal components of curriculum development.

Susan Imorz also came to the district today and she met with Paula Ohouse at the HHS in addition to the librarian. The hope is that there might be a way to get Susan involved with the District and share some of her expertise. Susan is a graduate of the Media lab at MIT and has done extensive work with book and web site development. Most notably, she is a key member of the Ralph Waldo Emerson development team that works on the national web site.

- Meeting with the principals in the AM. Productive meeting overall and one in which I think we made some establishment of what is to come with the curriculum writing process.

-Attended Connor’s Vetern Day’s celebration. This was a really fascinating event in which the most valuable aspect for me was attending the pre-assembly juice and donuts meeting in the library. To sit alongside these many old time Hoboken veterans was really an honor and a privilage and fascinating in many ways. The stories are all amazing. For me, it’s a way of kind of seeing my uncles, all dead now, who served in many of these wars. The celebration/assembly itself was public school education at it’s best. Ms Erbe does assembly’s very well and this was really wonderful. Many city politicians were there including the mayor. It was a memorable event in a full packed day.

Attended Wallace Open House in the AM. Very well done and you get a real sense of how popular Wallace is for pre-school education in Hoboken. The room was completely full (standing room) and this was the second day (the first day was much of the same). Mr. Tortorella and his parent group did a great job of welcoming everyone and telling the parents what they want/need to hear to make an informed decision about where to send their children.

Also, had a Title I meeting follow-up which went well. I think this will be fine. Probably not too much attention that the Superintendent actually saved the district over 2million dollars with our trip to Trenton last week. This stuff goes un-noticed.

Meeting with Jennifer Lopez on Reading first and NCLB- some interesting data to look at at some point.

- Meeting about QSAC and the corrective action plan.

Sunday, November 4, 2007

High School English Department Meeting

Meeting with the Hoboken High School English Department at their semi weekly department meeting. In part to see what types of discussions they are having around the curriculum. The meeting was well organized and on topic. The English department seems to be made up of a number of young and dynamic faculty members who seem very engaged in their content area. It is clear the faculty are excited by the books, stories, and poems students are asked to read and discuss. There is concern however over the students abilities to write. This seems to be a very key issue and one that clearly needs to be revisited. I'm hoping we can tap some of this expertise for the curriculum committee. One thing that really needs to be addressed is the expectations of what an incoming 9th grader needs to know and how k-8 and secondary can be comfortable with the outcome of that discussion.

Saturday, November 3, 2007

Curricular Activities October 29-Nov 3, 2007


• Tuesday Meeting with David Baily concerning technology in the district. Topics centered on file servers, servicing teachers, tech staff, and supporting Dr. Cella’s efforts at the high school.

• Tuesday Early Childhood Meeting at the high school. Spoke about curriculum as part of the meeting.

• Tuesday QSAC Meeting- Meeting to go over each of the sections’s. Today we only got through 2 of them as it took longer than expected in terms of the details.

• Wednesday October 31- There was a Demarest picnic on Halloween that was really very nicely done. The parking lot was full and students were really well behaved. It’s very obvious that there is a strong sense of community that is being developed there and it’s noteworthy.

• Wednesday October 31- Meeting with Kate Dominique about the IB program which was very productive.

• Thursday November 1- QSAC report was presented in which we got together with the entire DPR group.

• Friday November 2- Meeting with Jennifer Lopez and some Reading First/literacy consultants about the district and what needs to be done. They will be here for a few weeks and provide the district with some meaningful feedback. This is a mandated part of the NCLB (No Child Left Behind) funding.

• Friday November 2- Meeting with a researcher at NYU about the IB program