Exciting Things are Happening at GCSD

Hi All:

I want to share with you some exciting developments that are happening in our school district.  As you may be aware, we are working on a new Strategic Plan as Mrs. French has indicated in her email.  I am privileged to sit on this committee as we work with three gentlemen from CITECH who work on strategic plans.  Please review the vision and mission statements that Mrs. French has shared with us and give us your thoughts with the choices presented.  I have also linked it here for you to view.

The other exciting project that we are working on is the Capital Project.  The Board of Education along with Mrs. French and March & Associates held an open meeting on August 5 at 6:30pm regarding the project as it will affect renovations in many areas of various schools.  The capital project will be focusing on needs such as safety, security, ADA compliance, instructional supports, traffic flow, and enegery efficiency.  I have presented areas that are in need and have created a list for review.  This is on a google docs and you can access it by clicking on this >  “Capital Project Needs for East Side“.  (You need to be signed into the gcsk12 domain to access this document.) Please follow the directions I have listed.  Just so you know, construction will not happen until the spring of 2015 and it will be in phases.  We are in the planning stages, so be patient with the process.

Exciting things, don’t you think?  We are back up and running on Monday, August 19th.  Please be patient with us as this is the first day we have the main office open.  We are on a deadline to get Kindergarten letters out to parents on Monday and Lisa and Nicky will be manning the office, supplies, phone calls, parents, and Begindergarten.  Do stop in and say hi to us.

Also, if you are planning to come in this week and need to access your room, especially in the 1-3 grade levels, please call first to see if you can get into your room.  Marty and the crew are starting to wax the floors and put final touches on our building.

As always, have a great week.  There’s lots of stuff on this post today, so enjoy!


  • Come explore and journey with us as I host a book chat on Twitter on the book Teach Like a PIRATE.  I will be blasting reminder emails regarding this event.  I am so excited because Dave Burgess, the author, will be joining us.  He’s great!!  You can sign-up here.
  • Read my new post:  Using Twitter as a Professional Development Tool.  I posted this Friday and it has been going viral on our chat’s this weekend.  Great “how to” to get you started and follow some MAVENS!
  • Please remember to mark on your calendar our Meet and Greet for Sept. 3 from 6:00p.m. to 7:00p.m.
  • Read my friend Tony Sinanis’ heartwarming post Ode to Paul.  It reminds you of what is important every day!
  • My friend Peter DeWitt questions, “Is Education Filled with Self-Fulfilling Prophecies?”  Another great post by him!
  • Please check the East Side Announcement page for updated dates, announcements etc.  Lisa is updating this continually!  http://gouverneurcentralschool.org/esannounce/
  • What are the five things you are grateful for?  Make a list daily.  It does wonders!
  • Be the change agent for kids!  

Other Items

Kim Marshall has another column in Education Week about teacher evaluation. He’s staying on message offering pragmatic advice.

Enough Video
This IGNITE video
 says “enough!” to what’s wrong about education and “not enough!” to what is really important. You can use it at the beginning of the year.
This collection of maps from The Washington Post is claimed to explain the world – and they just might fulfill that bold claim. Noglobal studies teacher should be without it!

This collection of grade-by-grade, ELA/Literacy checklists can be a helpful tool as you map out your ELA curricula and scopes and sequences.

Some teachers say they don’t have time for Project-Based Learning. In this blog, Andrew Miller has a couple of questions to ask in return: “How’s the coverage working for you?” and “Do you really cover everything?”


These suggestions for a pre-observation conference will lead to a deeper consideration of the curriculum and instructional priorities.


This report considers consolidation and mergers for small, non-rural school districts. The authors suggest that we should take a look at non-rural schools of less than 1,000 students.
Back to School


Take a peek at how one elementary school begins a new school year. This video is one part of the series that follows Mission Hill School in Boston through a year.


This infographic expresses tips for mentoring teachers. It’s a great tool to use during your mentoring process – both mentors and mentees could add to the infographic with their own ideas.

Trying to set the stage for PBL as a key route to the Common CoreThis post does it succinctly.

Tire Eater Image

If you are someone who wrestles with the proper use of semicolons, you might appreciate this explanation.

Data-driven instruction does NOT mean looking at summative data and panicking about state test scores – assessments that have accountability for their purpose do little to actually impact classroom instruction. Data-driven instruction means groups of teachers regularly employing common formative assessment and then doing something about those data.

There is an online tool that takes complex text and simplifies it, especially more difficult phrases. It can help learners understand complex text and learn new words. While we want all students to wrestle with authentic text, this might be a tool that can help you level some material.

Paenut image

Whether or not you are allergic to peanuts, check out this explanation for whypeanut allergies have gained such attention during the last decade.

Make sure your interventions are aligned vertically, says this short post. Some suggestions for doing this are included.
Sir Ken Robinson

This older interview with Sir Ken Robinson is perhaps more relevant now than it was then. He tells us why creativity is so important.

Achieve the Core has released a series of “courses” about the ELA/Literacy and Math Shifts in iTunesU.
Ashton Kutcher Video


Unfortunately, the audience for this speech doesn’t seem to have been listening. Despite that, this Ashton Kutcher speech has some pretty good messages for teenagers. Maybe you could use it during advisory.

A Touch of Humor

Close to Home

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