Best Wishes

From all of us at RHS – please accept our very best wishes for a wonderful holiday season and a happy and healthy 2016.   I, for one, am thrilled that we will be able to grill outdoors over the break – maybe even in shorts and T-shirts.  It’s the warmest December on record so I’m told – and I couldn’t be happier.  There are probably some wishing for a chill in the air and maybe even some snowflakes – never fear – I’m sure before all is said and done you will all be wishing for 90 and humid.  🙂

I hope that over this break everyone finds some time to spend quality time with those you hold dear.  I am lucky to not only have very special friends but also be able to have my boys close enough for them to not only be home for dinner but come back for leftovers.  I am also blessed to have my parents (88 years young) and since I haven’t celebrated a holiday with them in over 15 years, I am going to fly down to see them over the break.  Hopefully it won’t be warmer here than it is in Florida.

Every day at RHS is a special one – and today was no different.  When I went to check my mail upon arriving at work – I found two yellow marbles on my keyboard.  I had about 10 seconds to be puzzled before things got rolling.  It wasn’t until I got back to my mail that I found a colleague had placed the two marbles on my keyboard with a note to “use them wisely.”  The following story explains more…

I really enjoy Saturday mornings. Perhaps it’s the quiet solitude that comes with being the first to rise, or maybe it’s the relaxation of not having to be at work. Either way, the first few hours of a Saturday morning are most enjoyable.

A few weeks ago, I was shuffling toward the kitchen, with a cup of coffee in hand ready to sip it as the birds visited my feeder. What began as a typical Saturday morning turned into one of those little lessons that life seems to hand you from time to time. Let me tell you about a Saturday morning talk show where an older gentleman was talking about “a thousand marbles” to someone named “Tom”. I was intrigued and listened to what he had to say.
“Well, Tom, it sure sounds like you’re busy with your job. I’m sure they pay you well but it’s a shame you have to be away from home and your family so much. Hard to believe a young fellow should have to work sixty or seventy hours a week to make ends meet. Too bad you missed your daughter’s dance recital. ” He continued, “Let me tell you something Tom, something that has helped me keep a good perspective on my own priorities.” And that’s when he began to explain his theory of a “thousand marbles.”
“You see, I sat down one day and did a little arithmetic. The average person lives about seventy-five years. I know, some live more and some live less, but on average, folks live about seventy-five years.” “Now then, I multiplied 75 times 52 and I came up with 3900 which is the number of Saturdays that the average person has in their entire lifetime.

“Now stick with me Tom, I’m getting to the important part.”
“It took me until I was fifty-five years old to think about all this and by that time I had lived through over twenty-eight hundred Saturdays. “I got to thinking, I only had about a thousand of them left to enjoy. “So I went to a toy store and bought every single marble they had. I ended up having to visit three toy stores to round-up 1000 marbles. “I took them home and put them inside of a large, clear container right here in my table next to the radio. Every Saturday since then, I have taken one marble out and thrown it away.

“I found that by watching the marbles diminish, I focused more on the really important things in life.”

Spend time over this holiday break with those friends and family you hold most dear and let them know just how special they are!

HAPPY HOLIDAYS ALL – SEE YOU IN 2016!

DI

Benchmark Update/ MP 1 and 2 and 3

RHS School Community;

Our benchmark data is attached to this post.  There are 100 sections reflected.  We have examined all courses (included a sampling here) and made comparisons globally as well as with a focus on like classes (such as all Algebra II A classes).  All benchmark data evidences a reflection on the final grade no more than 3 points in either direction.  Benchmarks remain as 20% of the marking period grade and are given 4 times per year to be a practical reflection of skills and knowledge learned.

Supervisors in all departments continue to work with teachers to develop meaningful benchmark assessments that are more problem/project based in nature and that are created with vertical articulation among teachers of like subjects.  We also continue to stress the need to provide graded assessments to students to reflect on as a learning tool for moving forward.  Data from each marking period will be reflected as it is gathered.

Benchmark Grade Book Data 2015-2016

BenchmarkData MP 1and2

Benchmark Grade Book Data 2015-2016 -new

 

RHS CHAMBER CHOIR

KUDOS TO OUR CHAMBER CHOIR under the direction of Mr. Matt Swiss.  They performed today on Fox and Friends and to say they were awesome is an understatement.  We have been getting phone calls from around the globe complimenting our students on their performance.  What a spectacular way to celebrate the holiday season.  A huge thank you to our choir program, Mr. Swiss, supervisor Mr. Perrone and the Choir Booster Club who made sure each student had hats, scarves, and food for the trip to NYC!!!

I could not be more proud of our students and our program!!!  Click on the link for some wonderful music 🙂

https://www.youtube.com/embed/U3DTFxPCgi4“>RHS Chamber Choir

 

 

 

A Walk in the PARCC

The results from our first administration of the PARCC are in with all individual score reports being mailed prior to winter break.  The results were reviewed in an evening meeting on December 16th with the presentation being attached to this post.

Some of the concerns that I’ve heard include:

  1.  What will PARCC results be used for?
  2. What happens if my student did not take or did not pass the PARCC?
  3. What will this year’s PARCC exam look like?

At this point in time, the results from PARCC are providing some very basic baseline data and may be helpful to us when looking at things like curricular sequencing and pacing.  At this point and due to the varied circumstances surrounding the administration of PARCC, we do not feel the data can be used to draw any type of firm conclusions about teaching and learning.  We are supposed to receive more itemized analysis of actual questions later in 2016 which may provide some additional information that we can use to help us guide instruction.

If your student did not take, or did not pass the PARCC they must still meet the state testing requirement which can be satisfied through meeting the cut score on the  PSAT, SAT, ACT, ASVAB, or Accuplacer.  There is a chart in the attached power point that gives detailed information on that criteria.  All students through 2019 will have the opportunity to meet the state testing requirement by meeting one of those benchmarks.

This year’s PARCC administration will consist of one window – not two as we had last year.  While the number of administrations went from 2 to 1 – the length of each unit in the test did increase somewhat.  A major difference from last year to this year is the design of the PARCC schedule.  We will NOT be pulling students out of class to test.  All students will be testing with their tested subject during the period that the tested subject meets.   A sample of the actual schedule is also on the attached power point.  We will be testing for 12 days as opposed to 22 and no student should test more than 3 blocks for English language arts and 3 blocks for math (Algebra I, Geometry, or Algebra II).  The PARCC administration will begin when we return from spring break.

You will see that RHS scored consistently above the state average as well as above the overall average for all PARCC states.  This is good information to have and as we collect more relevant data we can begin to use it to better inform us as to our areas of strength and areas that we need to enhance.

Please stay tuned for more information regarding PARCC as we get closer to the actual administration in April 2016.

 

PARCC PRESENTATION

Thanksgiving Wishes

It really does seem like only weeks ago that I was sending last year’s Thanksgiving message.  The years fly by so incredibly fast that sometimes it is difficult to remember to cherish each day and be thankful for all of the wonderful people and events that surround us.

Randolph High School continues to be a place where students thrive both academically and in so many varied extra curricular activities.  Our fall season of drama, musical talent, forensics, athletic competition, spirit, inductions, charity work etc. comes to a close but is followed closely by a winter season filled with equally wonderful activities.  Please consider attending one of the many events at RHS – our students are incredibly talented and love to share those talents with our school community.

Please accept my very best wishes for a safe, happy and healthy Thanksgiving weekend.  I have so much to be thankful for in my family and in my very special friends – without whom my days would not be as sunny.  For those summer people – the prediction is 63 on LBI – perfect for a little beach time.  And yes, I will be watching my Cowboys on Thanksgiving afternoon!

Happy Thanksgiving to you and yours!

Warmly,

Mrs. Iosso

Beach_and_Sea_of_Hawaii_JY181_350A
Summer is only 7 months away!

 

 

AMERICAN EDUCATION WEEK

Kudos to the staff and students responsible for organizing a terrific American Education Week program.  Students from the Tomorrow’s Teachers program, Option II, our drama program, community service projects, our forensics program and the organizers of our upcoming TedXyouth event were on hand to share with the guests the exciting things that are happening at RHS.  The evening was done in the basic format of an ED CAMP – the latest in professional development for educators.  Basically, participants are free to move from one session to another getting exactly the information they need from each presentation.

Once again our students did not hesitate to shine.  It  is most exciting to see their passion when they get a chance to present something that is intrinsically motivating to them.

Please don’t hesitate to check out the social media pages regarding Option II (http://rtnjoptionii.wix.com/rhso2) and the facebook and twitter sites for the TED Xyouth event to be held at RHS on April 16, 2016!

I would also like to recognize and thank each and every staff member at RHS for their continued tireless devotion to our student body.

THANK A TEACHER

Benchmark Assessments

While it may seem hard to believe, we are quickly approaching the end of the first marking period for this school year.  Our benchmark assessments will begin on November 12th (C day) and continue through November 18th (B day).  There will be NO assessments on Monday, November 16th as it is an early dismissal day for staff professional development.

Please see the attached schedule for the benchmark assessments.  The middle blocks have been extended to allow the administration of the benchmarks during the longer block without having to create any type of new rotational schedule.

These assessments are designed to gauge the application of skills and knowledge and be an instrument of future instruction for both the teacher and student.  We will continue to post an overall representative summary of benchmark assessment scores.

benchmark schedule

TED LIVE AT NYC

It’s been quite some time since I have chaperoned a field trip.  But when a few of our senior students approached me with such passion and enthusiasm – I couldn’t say no.

Last year, through our Option II program, one of our students assembled a few of her classmates and applied to bring a TED X Youth Event to Randolph High School.  This was not an easy application process and the selection is quite stringent.  But our students managed to make it happen.  The event at RHS will be held on April 16th, 2016 and is governed by some pretty strict TED policies.  In order to get a feel for what a TED event looks like, the students wanted to see one in person.  They found a TED LIVE event at the Town Hall Theater in NYC and figured out a way to get there.

Dr. Buchanan and I chaperoned the event and to say it was a great trip is only half the story.  It was so exhilarating for me to sit back and watch these four seniors get so excited with what they were hearing from these speakers and at the same time begin to plan their own event.  The title of the  NYC TED event was “The Education Revolution” so they heard some pretty cutting edge speakers.  I wish their teachers could have heard them reflecting on these talks with the wisdom only a high school senior can have.

And of course any trip with teenagers can never be all about the educational “stuff!”  I almost forgot how much they eat and how much energy they have 🙂  They consumed more Italian food than most Thanksgiving feasts I’ve attended and took the leftovers home to eat later that night.  And what late night would be complete without a trip to the CAKE BOSS!  Eating chocolate dreams, carrot cake and red velvet cupcakes is a sure sign of youth – especially minutes before they should be sleeping.  I thought for sure they would still be full in the morning but they somehow managed Strawberry Sensation stuffed french toast before the train ride home 🙂

I am so excited for these seniors to organize their own event here at RHS – I have NO doubt it is going to be dynamic.  Stayed tuned for more information!

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