Monday, October 24, 2016

Grading Reporting/ Academic Advising Time

From the desk of Dan J. Yanda

With the transition at the middle and high school level to standards based grading,  the 6-12 staff will be reporting out academic information differently, starting with the first quarter.    We will be sending out mid-term reports at the nine-week mark to keep parents informed of student academic standing, followed by the final grading period information at the end of the semester.  On the nine week mid-term information, grading will be indicated both with rubric proficiency in any standards based class that students are enrolled in, as well as letter grading in line with the transitional grading method.  At the end of the semester period,  all grades will be indicated by the lettering process, which will enable parents to see grade point averages.  The mid-term grade is a reflection a student's grade standing at that point,  with the semester grade being the grade of record that goes onto the transcript.

I ways want to encourage parents to look at their student's progress at anytime by accessing the parent access that can be found on the school website under " contact us".  Parents should contact the 6-12 office if they need assistance with login information.

Starting with the second quarter,  the 6-12 Friday class schedule will change and have a fifteen minute block build in when the teaching staff will give one on one academic advising to each student they have in their advisor group.  This academic advising will allow staff to have better communication on student progress.

Congratulation to the fall high school sports teams.   The high school volleyball team has advanced to the second round of regional play vs. Ed-Co at Edgewood on Oct 24th.,  the high school football will host AGWSR on Friday, Oct 28th at 7 p.m.  in a 8 man football playoff game.  The Central high school girls cross country team won the district title at Cedar Falls and will compete at the state meet on Saturday, Oct 29th,  at 2 p.m at Fort Dodge.

Congratulations also go out to Brenna Buckman and Aaron Gibney are being selected for the state level Opus Honor Choir.

Sunday, September 25, 2016

Central Class Offerings

From the Desk of Dan J. Yanda 6-12 Principal/AD Central offers a wide variety of class offerings to students in high school. The different categories of offerings include high school credit classes online, PSEO ( Post Secondary Enrollment Option) classes, and both concurrent and contracted classes. These classes differ as listed: High School Credit: For students who have scheduling conflicts or want a class Central does not offer. Credit counts only for high school. No cost for these classes. Advanced Placement Classes: These are classes offered for juniors and seniors and are college level courses taken at the high school level. Central students are able to take these on-line courses through a grant, so there is not cost to the student, except for a final exam in which college credit may be earned by scoring highly on separate AP exams. Some examples of these classes include: AP Biology, AP Calculus, AP Chemistry, AP English Language and Composition, AP Statistics, AP Spanish, AP US History, AP Macroeconomics, AP Microeconomics, AP US Government, AP Psychology. NICC Health Consortium Classes Students must enroll as an NICC student and take either the Accuplacer Entrance Exam or have a ACT score to qualify. These classes are offered for juniors or seniors or underclassmen who have qualified to be in the TAG program. Some examples of these classes are Medical Terminology, Nurse Aide 1 and 2, Nutrition, Dosage Calculations, and Intro. to Health Occupations. Concurrent and Contracted Classes: For students that want to take a college credit face to face or over the ICN. Credit does count for both high school and college credit. Some examples of these types of classes are Child Health,Safety, and Nutrition, Infant/Toddler Care and Education, Curriculum 1 and 2, Psychology of Human Relations, Developmental Psychology, and Pre-Employment Strategies. PSEO ( Post Secondary Enrollment Option) For Dual credit classes, students can earn credit for both high school and college, are offered as PSEO. Central's policy is to pay up to 24 credits during a student's high school career. Students are eligible to take these classes as freshmen and sophomores if they are TAG identified. Some of the local institutions delivering these classes are NICC and Upper Iowa University. The Central and Clayton Ridge School District's have partnered together to expand offering for students. Central students may sign up to take classes such as Cabinetmaking and Construction at the Gutenberg facility, while Clayton Ridge students may take advantage of ZOOM learning to take Child Health, Safety and Nutrition from Central. More of these shared offerings will be visible in the semesters to come.

Thursday, April 7, 2016

The standards based grading committee has been researching and attending numerous conferences on standards based grading recently.   The pilot teaching staff of Trevor Arnold ( Physical Education), Mary Fuhs ( Algebra 1 ), Carolyn Yanda ( English), and Kelly Erickson ( Spanish) will be using the following standards based criteria during the 4th quarter.    If you have any questions dealing with this criteria or other questions on standards based grading,  feel free to contact me or one of the pilot teaching staff members.


The grades are not figured on points or averages, but on levels of understanding.   To distinguish an overall letter grade,  the following criteria was established:

 A     Meets all standards at Level 3 and Meets 70% of the standards at Level 4

 A-     Meets all standards at Level 3 and Meets 50% of the standards at Level 4

 B+    Meets all standards at Level 3 and Meets 25% of the standards at Level 4

 B     Meets all standards at Level 2 and Meets 70% of the standards at Level 3 or above

 B-    Meets all standards at Level 2 and Meets 50% of the standards at Level 3 or above

 C+   Meets all standards at Level 2 and Meets 25% of the standards at Level 3 or above

 C     Meets all standards at Level 2

 F     At least one standard is at or below a Level 1


Monday, December 14, 2015

The week of Dec 14-18 has been designated as the week for students to sign up for second semester class changes.  Class changes will occur during the week of January 4-8.

Some changes have been made to the grading policy, effect starting today.  Students may retest on any assessment, even if they received a grade above 90% or a 3 on the standards based scale, based on the discretion of the teacher.  They must show academic evidence of learning the material before being allowed to improve grade wise on the assessment.  This grading change is retrograde in effect, so students will be allowed to retest on any assessment from the start of the school year that they were denied because of receiving a grade of 90% or higher or a 3 on the standards based scale.

It is allows the responsibility of the student to make arrangements directly with the teacher face to face and do the academic work evidence to be allowed the retesting opportunity.

No retesting of semester test and all forms of assessment retesting must be completed before the last week of the quarter, based on teacher discretion.

We have no penalty for late work turned in,  and it counts as full credit up to the last week of the quarter, based on teacher discretion.

Monday, November 23, 2015

Because of some major safety reasons, all students will be expected to remain in their seats while home high school basketball games are being played.  With rest room and concession stand needs utilized before and after games, during halftimes, and between games. 

Students are not to be in the foyer while contest are taking place.  We have had several possible collisions on the court with fans and players and officials,  as well as students unsupervised in the foyer while games are being played.

The administration ask all students and parents to help with making the games at Central as safe as possible.


Thursday, November 12, 2015

The Central Girls cross country team won the Class 1A state championship title at Fort Dodge on Oct 31st.  They were the first Central team to win a state championship in the past forty-six years.

The high school football team won the District 4 football division in eight person football and advanced through the 1st and 2nd rounds of post season and into the quarterfinals where they were defeated by Don Bosco.  The Warriors ended the season with a record of eleven wins and one loss.

On Nov 3rd,  all of Central's middle and high school students and staff participated in " Community Service Day" in Elkader and also the surrounding district communities.   Listed below are some examples of the service that was performed that day:

Raking leaves and trimming shrubs at the Carter House
Raking leaves for the elderly in Elkader
Helping at Shepard of the Hills in St. Olaf
Picking up corn in a field to provide food for bird houses for the elderly
Clean parks and Main Street in Volga
Clean Pony Hollow Trail
Sealing picnic tables at the Elkader City Park
Cleaning trails at Osborne
Working at Motor Mill and cleaning the Littleport Park

On Nov 9th,  seniors in Ms. Gritzner's Global Science class met with the Clayton County Board of Supervisors on getting a tire recycling system set up at the collection site in Elkader.

The Central Fall Play will be present " The Creature Creeps", which is a three act comedy play by Jack Sharkey, on Nov 13, 14, and 15.

Central high school football player Aaron Hoth was recently awarded as a Wendy's High School Heisman Winner.  This award recognized exceptional high school seniors and their achievements in the classroom, on the field, and in the community.

On Nov 20th, all of the seniors at Central will be attending a etiquette dinner at Upper Iowa University, funded by a NICC Career Link Grant.

Wednesday, September 30, 2015

A big thank you goes out to everyone who attended the homecoming football games and activities last Friday and were able to witness another warrior victory.    On that note,  I want to ask that parents try to be as accountable for their child when you come as family to any extra curricular event at Central during the school year.   As an administrator, I want to see as many students of all ages attend activities,  but also want to make sure that they come to watch the activity and not place themselves into some type of unsupervised environment,  where the risk of an accident increases.

Monday, September 7, 2015

Starting with the 2015-2016 school year, a new grading practice will be piloted in some high school classes, with the possibility of totally changing grading practice from the traditional way to the standards based practice over the next year.  

Some of the major differences between the two grading practices are as follows:

Traditional Grading Practices
  Inflated grading
  Inconsistent grades
  Grading behaviors rather than knowledge
  Grading practice not performance
  Class moves on whether or not standard has been met
  Calendar driven assessments
  Emphasis is on points

The Future of Grading Practices
  Only most current assessments  ( up to three) count towards grade for that standard
  Aligned rubrics
  Lack of effort, missing homework doesn't penalize grade
  Individuals or groups will keep working on standards until met at least at a basic level
  Assessments/ reassessments will take place when student is ready
  Emphasis on learning

Some of the major guidelines in standard based grading will be:
1.  Entries in the grade book that count toward the grade will be limited to course or grade level standards.
a.  These standards will be written in student/parent-friendly language 
b.  These standards will be written on assessments, unit syllabus and lesson plans
c.  Assignments or other activities that do not count towards the final grade may still be recorded in the grade book for the purpose of communicating with students and parents, however, it will be entered as 0%.
d.  Teachers should use learning goals as the basis for determining grades. They provide a profile of a students's knowledge and direct evidence of his or her strengths and weaknesses.

2.  Extra Credit will not be given at anytime.
a.  Extra credit will not be given to individual students that will artificially improve their grade.
b.  Grades should improve when students learn at higher levels rather than when they complete additional work or turn in work before a deadline.
c.  Students who wish to raise their grade should determine which standards they have not yet demonstrated understanding and focus on these standards.

3.  Students will be allowed multiple opportunities to demonstrate their understanding of standards in various ways.  ( Assessments)  Retakes and revisions will be allowed if a score of 2 or below was originally earned.
a.  The goal is that ALL students learn the content not just the ones who learn on a uniform timeline.
b.  Students learn at varying rates, therefor students who do not demonstrate understanding by a certain date should be allowed to demonstrate understanding at a later date.
c. Students will have additional opportunities to demonstrate understanding after the final, regularly- scheduled, whole group assessment for that particular standard. This will take place during Warrior Time at the end of the school day.
d.  Students must first complete additional learning opportunities individually or with the teacher during Warrior Time in order to be reassessed.
e.  Any reassessments must be done with 10 days from the day the work is returned to the student.

4.   Teachers will determine grade book entries by considering multiple data points emphasizing the most recent data and provide evidence to support that determination.
a.  If a student demonstrates a low understanding of a standard on a Monday assessment, but demonstrates a higher understanding two weeks later, the mark in the grade book will show that improvement.
b.  The student's final grade will be based on the three most current assessments per standard.

5.  Students will be provided multiple opportunities to practice standards independently through homework or other class work.  Practice assignments and activities will be consistent with classroom standards for the purpose of providing feedback.  Practice, including homework, will NOT be included as part of the final grade.
a.  Homework or practice assignments should be purposefully utilized to enhance students' understanding of classroom standards.
b. This does not mean that homework or practice assignments are no longer assigned or students are no longer expected to complete homework.
c.  Practice allows teachers to provide feedback to students about their progress toward the standard.
d.  Practice assignments will show up in the grade book as 0% towards the final grade.
e.  Practice becomes a safe place to try out new skills without penalty.

Effective homework is the rehearsal before the final event. ( Christopher, 2008)

               4-Level Performance Scale
4=  Advanced skill, exceeds expectations
3=  Proficient , meets expectations
2= Basic skill,  working toward expectations
1= Minimal understanding or progress with help
0= No evidence

               4 -Point Scale into Percentages
A   92.5-100       3.7-4.0       Exceeds Expectations
A-  90.0-92.4      3.6             Meets Expectations
B+  85.0-89.9      3.4-3.5
B    75.0-84.9      3.0-3.3
B-   67.5-74.9      2.7-2.9      Working towards Expectations
C+  57.5-67.4      2.3-2.6
C    50.0-57.4      2.0-2.2
C-   42.0-49.0      1.7-1.9      Minimal Progress
F     0-41.9           0-1.6         Not Yet