Extended Library Hours for Second Semester
Have you ever wanted more time to work on homework? Have you ever needed more time to get your reading pages done for English? Do you need more time to work on a computer?
If you answered “YES” to any of these questions you should take advantage of the extended library hours starting in January when we return for second semester. The Middle/High School Library will be open for 2 hours after school, from 3:05 – 5:05, everyday after school starting January 6, 2015.
If you have questions please see Mr. Mills, Mrs. Jones or your homeroom teachers.
Posted by D. Mills on Dec 16, 140 comments View
AlWood Middle School is a finalist in the Scotties Trees Rock video contest. Our video
submission is in the top ten in the country! However, we need people to vote for
our video to help our school wins the grand prize of $10,000 and a tree planting
Anyone who is over 18 and has an email address can vote each day. For more details visitscottiestreesrock.com or contact Mrs. Settanni. AlWood has made an alliance with the Dunlap Grade School, from Dunlap, Illinois. This school is in the Elementary Category of the voting and does not interfere with our results. When you are voting for AlWood at the middle school level, please vote for Dunlap, IL at the elementary level. They are doing the same for us.
The voting periods ends on February 6th, and each time you vote, your email address is also entered into a drawing to win one of 25 prize packs. It would mean so much to me and to the students who participated if you would commit to voting for this each day, and to share this with friends, family, any students who are over 18, etc.
The prize breakdown is below:
- Grand Prize: Winning schools will receive $10,000 cash and a tree planting event.
- First Prize: Each winning school will receive $7,000 cash.
- Second Prize: Each winning school will receive $4,000 cash.
- Third Prize: Each winning school will receive $2,000 cash.
- Fourth Prize: Each winning school will receive $2,000 cash.
- Fifth Prize: Each winning school will receive $1,000 cash.
- Sixth Prize: Each winning school will receive $1,000 cash.
- Seventh Prize: Each winning school will receive $1,000 cash.
- Eight Prize: Each winning school will receive $500 cash.
- Ninth Prize: Each winning school will receive $500 cash.
- Tenth Prize: Each winning school will receive $500 cash
Posted by D. Mills on Today0 comments View
State education chiefs and governors in 48 states came together to develop the Common Core, a set of clear college- and career-ready standards for kindergarten through 12th grade in English language arts/literacy and mathematics. Today, 43 states have voluntarily adopted and are working to implement the standards, which are designed to ensure that students graduating from high school are prepared to take credit bearing introductory courses in two- or four-year college programs or enter the workforce.
Across the English language arts and mathematics standards, skills critical to each content area are emphasized. In particular, problem-solving, collaboration, communication, and critical-thinking skills are interwoven into the standards.
In English language arts, the standards require certain critical content for all students, including:
- Classic myths and stories from around the world
- America's founding documents
- Foundational American literature
The remaining crucial decisions about what content should be taught are made at the state and local levels. In addition to content coverage, the Common Core State Standards require that students systematically acquire knowledge in literature and other disciplines through reading, writing, speaking, and listening.
In mathematics, the standards lay a solid foundation in:
- Whole numbers
Taken together, these elements support a student's ability to learn and apply more demanding math concepts and procedures. The middle school and high school standards call on students to practice applying mathematical ways of thinking to real-world issues and challenges.
For additional information: http://www.corestandards.org/
Posted by D. Mills on Sep 29, 140 comments View
Common Core Informational Meeting
Thursday October 23, 2014
AlWood Middle/High School Cafeteria 7 – 8 PM
The purpose of the information night will be to provide you with information about the new Common Core Learning Standards that are being implemented in your child’s classroom. The new Learning Standards are going to change the way your child is taught, the way your child learns, and increase the rigor and expectations of the material that is covered in each grade level. This is an excellent opportunity for you to learn what Common Core Standards are all about!
Posted by D. Mills on Oct 20, 140 comments View
AlWood Community Unit School District #225 has been awarded two (2) new federal 21st Century Community Learning Center (21st CCLC) grants to provide extended day and extended year programming for over 400 AlWood students. AlWood Elementary and AlWood Middle/High schools will benefit from these new grants.
The 21st CCLC grant program supports extended learning and academic improvement opportunities that bridge achievement gaps and are aimed to help students in high-poverty, low-performing schools meet state and local performance standards in core subjects, such as reading and math. The programs offer a variety of services to students and their parents/caregivers to promote social-emotional development and cultural enrichment, including counseling, art, Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM) programs, recreation classes, technology education and vocational education. Programs will also offer family events and provide literacy and related educational service for parents and caregivers to better engage families in school activities. All activities will allow students to spend more time in a learning environment and will occur during non-school hours (before or after school) or periods when school is not in session.
These two most recent grant awards provide a total of $214,141.60 in the first year of the five-year grant. Grant funds will allow for the creation of a full-time site coordinator position, as well as teaching, paraprofessional and other support positions that will be created as the programs at the Elementary and Middle/High Schools are established.
Angie Zarvell, Regional Superintendent of Schools, stated, “The Regional Office of Education has a long history of providing successful, high-quality academic, artistic, and cultural enrichment opportunities to students and their families. We look forward to continuing this tradition in partnership with these schools and their community partners.”
Illinois State Board of Education (ISBE) received 142 proposals, requesting more than $53 million. Eighty-seven 21st CCLC grants on behalf of 300 schools and entities were awarded based on criteria including the need for the project, adequacy of resources, plan for sustainability and cost effectiveness. Each application was read and scored by three peer reviewers and three ISBE staff members then reviewed those scores.
The 2015 grantees can be renewed for four years, but subsequent fiscal years depend upon a sufficient appropriation for the program and satisfactory progress in the previous grant period. The award amount per site ranges from $50,000 to $150,000.
ISBE has outlined seven performance objectives for grant programs to use to gauge whether schools are meeting the state’s minimum requirements for encouraging student success.
Seven Performance Objectives
- Student involvement in school activities
- Student achievement
- Positive behavioral changes in students
- Community benefits
- Expanded learning opportunities
- Professional development opportunities for program personnel
- Efficient and effective use of funds
Posted by D. Mills on Jan 140 comments View
Dear Parents and Guardians,
I hope that you enjoyed summer with your families and that you and your children are excited to begin the new school year. I invite you to join me and the Illinois PTA for a Back-to-School Webinar at 7 p.m. on Tuesday, Sept. 9. I look forward to updating you on some important statewide education initiatives as research continues to show that when families are involved in the learning process at home and school, their child is more likely to succeed. You will find the webinar registration information at the end of this letter.
Across this large and diverse state, teachers are implementing lesson plans and instructional approaches to meet new, higher learning standards that encourage a greater depth of knowledge in English language arts and mathematics and emphasize critical thinking, problem solving and sharp verbal and written skills. These new Illinois Learning Standards set uniform benchmarks for schools across the state and in collaboration with other states so that U.S. students are better prepared to compete and collaborate with their peers across the world in the 21st century.
In spring 2015, a new state testing system will debut for third- through eighth-graders and high school students in certain courses to gauge how well students have mastered these learning standards at each grade level and whether they’re on track for college and careers. And now, with the recent federal approval of a waiver to the No Child Left Behind Act of 2001, Illinois is moving ahead to track and report more meaningful student and school academic data, implement the best intervention practices for the neediest schools, and support effective teaching and leadership.
What does all this mean for your child and school? It essentially means that students need support to master English language arts and mathematics and to learn how to apply real-world skills. It should mean students are highly engaged in learning through a variety of high-quality classroom lessons, collaborative tasks and projects. It means they will take state assessments that reflect their classroom experiences, which will generate information to drive improvement.
It’s important to note that Illinois has been working to raise the bar for teacher and leader effectiveness. We’ve set more rigorous requirements for educators, calling for teaching candidates to meet some higher performance criteria before they enter their education preparation programs. Principals must also be experienced instructional leaders, not simply building managers. These efforts have received local and national acclaim and complement the flexibility waiver, which calls for a gradual rollout of comprehensive teacher evaluations.
Under state law, districts can choose the best assessments from a pool of national, state, districtwide or classroom-specific tests to evaluate teachers. Standardized test results are not determining whether a teacher keeps or loses their job. We believe that a strong, comprehensive and reasonable evaluation system best supports principals and teachers as they do their important work with our more than 2 million public school students in classrooms each day.
This year, Illinois will again offer our award-winning, consumer-friendly 2014 school, district and state Report Card (http://www.illinoisreportcard.com/), which offers facts about school progress, advanced courses and extracurricular offerings to showcase the unique qualities of our schools. The Education Commission of the States recently identified Illinois as having the best report card out of all 50 states and the District of Columbia and we’re proud that the commission found it informative for both parents and researchers.
The Report Card also features results of our statewide survey of school climate and learning conditions, called the Illinois 5Essentials. The survey responses from students and teachers can be used as another tool for school improvement.
We are entering a new day in education, but we believe that we are truly putting policy in place for a better future. If you have questions about any of these initiatives, we encourage you to talk with your local teachers and school leaders. Thank you for all you do to support your child on their educational journey. We wish you and your families a safe, engaging and productive school year, and I look forward to connecting with you on Sept. 9 at our Back-to-School Webinar.
Reserve your seat at https://www1.gotomeeting.com/register/185876249.
We suggest listeners log in a few minutes early to establish connections, especially if this is your first time attending a live “Go to Webinar” from your computer or mobile device. We will begin transmitting a title screen at least 15-20 minutes prior to the scheduled 7 p.m. start so that participants can determine that they are properly connected.
Posted by D. Mills on Sep 2, 140 comments View
Join Family Matters Parent Training and Information Center and Illinois RtI Network for this FREE informational session for parents of children...