Superintendent's Bulletin 9-17-10


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Superintendent's Bulletin 9-17-10

  1. 1. Wellesley Public Schools Superintendent’s 40 Kingsbury Street Bulletin Wellesley, Massachusetts 02481 Bella T. Wong Bulletin # 3 Superintendent of Schools September 17, 2010 The Superintendent’s Bulletin is posted weekly on Fridays on our website. It provides timely, relevant information about meetings, professional development opportunities, curriculum and program development, grant awards, and School Committee news. The bulletin is also the official vehicle for job postings. Please read the bulletin regularly and use it to inform colleagues of meetings and other school news.   Dear Colleagues, Tuesday evening I presented the draft Action Plan for Equity and Excellence: Addressing Achievement Gaps to School Committee that summarizes the comments I made to you on Opening Day. I am attaching it to this Bulletin and welcome your comments and input. It would be most helpful to receive your comments by the end of this month so that I can incorporate your thoughts into the final document. I am proud of the work we do toward this endeavor and am excited by the possibilities for improvement on those efforts. It has been a very busy week. I wish you a peaceful weekend. Bella                                Calendar Monday 9/20 Kindergarten begins 2 stay days Tuesday 9/21 School Committee Meeting Thursday 9/23 Back to School at Sprague, Upham Friday 9/24 Night High School Football Game Saturday 9/25 Fiske Wild West Roundup Monday 10/18 WEF Fall Grant Application Deadline      
  2. 2. 2010‐2011 Professional Development Opportunities    Professional Development opportunities for 2010- 2011 are posted at Course descriptions and registration instructions are included. This link can also be found on the WPS website under 2010-2011 Professional Development Offerings.       Primary Source Opportunities  Enclosed are offerings for 2010-2011 from Primary Source. While courses are available to all teachers, social studies teachers will be given priority status for attending. If you are interested in attending, please email the following information to Janice Gross no later than September 24, 2010: Name, School, Position, Course Title.        Are You Working Toward a Higher Salary Lane?    All teachers who expect to receive a Master’s degree, M+30, or M+60/Doctorate during the 12 month period July 1, 2011 - June 30, 2012, must send formal notification of intent to change salary lanes to Addie Doherty, c/o the Superintendent’s Office, no later than November 1, 2010. This early notification deadline is required so that provisions for anticipated salary lane changes may be made within the new fiscal year budget. Please note: The list does not carry forward. Teachers must provide written notice each year until they have received their new degree.     Wellesley Education Foundation Grants Applications for the first round of grant funding are due Monday, October 18, 2010. Grant brochures will be distributed to all schools during the week ending September 17th. Use only application forms from the WEF website, The WEF website can also be found on the Wellesley Public Schools website under District Information – Wellesley Education Foundation. Send applications to Janice Gross, Curriculum & Instruction Administrative Assistant, in the Central Office of the Superintendent. We welcome grant proposals from all teachers, administrators and specialists at all Wellesley public schools. For elementary school grants: up to 20% of the grant budget may be allocated to individual elementary school grants providing they have potential for replication. Application instructions, criteria for funding, and some examples of well written grants are all posted on the WEF website. Choose the Grants to Educators link. Be sure to include shipping and handling expenses in your cost analysis. Any technology requests must be reviewed by Rob Ford, Director, Technology. Questions about potential grant ideas or the application are welcome. Feel free to email WEF Grant Chair, Beverly Donovan, at with any questions. 2
  3. 3. PERFORMING ARTS:  Help Wanted  The Performing Arts Department is looking for accompanists, set builders, and production managers for the Middle School shows this year. If you are interested please contact: Elizabeth Perry, Director of Performing Arts, Wellesley Public Schools, 40 Kingsbury Street, Wellesley, MA 02481, x4120         WHS FITNESS CENTER  Thank you for your interest in the Wellesley High School Fitness Center. As a school year resident member, you may use the Fitness Center during the scheduled hours, which are currently 6:00 am-7:15 am, Monday, Wednesday and Friday; 2:45 pm - 5:30 pm, Monday through Thursday; and 2:45 pm - 4:30 pm on Friday . Please note: Due to construction, morning parking will be limited to visitor spaces in the front of the high school and MUST leave by 7 a.m. The afternoon parking will be in the various parking lots around the school after 4 p.m. Questions? Contact Stephanie Boggs, 781-446-6250, extension 4694.        SUBSTITUTE COORDINATOR/PROCEDURE FOR REPORTING ABSENCES    Nancy Finn is our Substitute Coordinator.      The phone number for calling in your absences is:   781.446.6210, Ext. 4550    Please remember:   Report ALL absences, even absences that do not require a substitute.   Please utilize email to Nancy for your substitute requests whenever possible to cut  down on the number of calls to the sub line.   If you find a substitute on your own, please notify Nancy by email ( or  on the sub line so that the substitute can be paid.     If you have questions or concerns, please call Valerie Spruill, Central Office, (Centrex 6210, ext. 4503)  3
  4. 4. Schedule of 403B Individual Appointment Opportunities (See end of bulletin for schedule) 403B Enrollment Information Employees are eligible to participate in the Wellesley Public School's voluntary 403b plan with Lincoln Financial Group. All employees are eligible to participate and the deadline to enroll for the 2010-11 school year is December 1, 2010. You will not be allowed to enroll after the December 1, 2010 deadline. Enrollment meetings and opportunities for an individual consultation with a Lincoln Financial group advisor will be available at each school location during the month of September and October. Employees should see their school Principal if interested in signing up for an individual appointment with a financial consultant. The Fall 2010 schedule of meetings at each location is also posted below. Enrollment can be done online at or over the phone by contacting the 24 hour Lincoln Financial Group hot line at 800-234-3500. Employees will need their pin number in order to enroll which is mailed directly to employees' addresses from Lincoln Financial Group. Employees can contact Liam Hurley at the business office at 781-446-6210 ext. 4515 if they would like a hard copy of the enrollment kit sent to them.         POSITIONS AVAILABLE  2010‐2011 OPENINGS    Long-Term Substitute Elementary Special Educator (Grades K-2) needed for a substantially separate classroom/inclusion classroom for children with multiple impairments. Please send cover letter, resume, three letters of reference, licensure and transcripts to or mail to Personnel, Wellesley Public Schools, 40 Kingsbury Street, Wellesley, MA 02481   Special Needs Van Monitor needed for approximately 20-22 hrs. per week. This is a split shift a.m.-p.m. Must have current CPR and First Aid certification. Salary range $12.17-$13.80 per hr. Must be able to start A.S.A.P. Please email Please no phone calls.   Van Driver Immediate Opening 30-32 hrs/week full year, less hours in summer to transport special education students. The schedule is a split shift: am./mid./pm. 7D license preferred (not necessary; will train). $12.66-$15.60/hr. depending on experience. Benefits available (health, dental, disability, and retirement). Please e-mail or call Deane McGoldrick at 781-446-6210, ext. 4514 Wellesley Public Schools Actively Seeks to Increase the Diversity of its Workforce    4
  5. 5.   Coaching Positions Winter Season 2010-11 Coach: Sub Varsity Boys Ice Hockey Contact Athletic Director     Associate Supervisors and Proctors Needed!  Associate Supervisors are needed to administer PSATs and SATs for the 2010‐2011 school year.   Proctors are needed to monitor the halls, direct students to their classrooms and assist the  Main Office staff with running the test center, as needed.  Both positions are paid positions so  you will be compensated for your time.  The dates are as follows:      PSATs         SATs  October 16, 2010      November 6, 2010            May 7, 2011            June 4, 2011    Associate Supervisors and Proctors need to report to the test site at 7:30 a.m.  A brief training  for those who have never administered the PSAT or SAT will be held earlier in the week before  each test date.  The length of the test day will vary depending on the proctoring assignment.     Please note the following:       All tests will be administered at the Middle School this year so parking will not be an  issue.     According to College Board guidelines, Associate Supervisors and Proctors must be  current or retired faculty or other professional staff of WPS or from a neighboring  institution or a graduate student.     Also, according to College Board guidelines, an Associate Supervisor or Proctor cannot  administer any SAT Program test that will be taken by a member of their household or  immediate family at any test center nation wide.    If you are interested in any or all of the dates and are eligible according to the College Board  guidelines, please contact Janet Sozio (x5139) at the high school via email or phone.  In your  5
  6. 6. correspondence, please indicate which position you would be most interested in filling.  Please  also indicate what dates you are available.      IMPORTANT:  Indicating interest doesn’t guarantee a position as the number of Associate  Supervisors and Proctors required to run the test center is based on the number of students  testing as well as their needs.  Every effort will be made to make positions available to as many  people as possible.    403B Enrollment Meeting Schedule Fall 2010 School Based Schedule – Individual Meetings Tuesday, September 28 Tuesday, September 28 7:30 AM - 12:00 PM 1:00 PM – 4:00 PM Upham School Hardy School Individual Appointments Individual Appointments Tuesday, October 5 Tuesday, October 5 7:30 AM -12:00 PM 12:15 PM - 1:00 PM & 3:05 PM - 5:30 PM Sprague School Schofield School Individual Appointments Individual Appointments Thursday, October 7 7:30 AM - 4:00 PM Wellesley High School Individual Appointments Wednesday, October 13 Wednesday, October 13 7:30 AM - 12:00 PM 1:00 PM – 5:30 PM Bates School Middle School Individual Appointments (OPEN TO ALL WHO CANNOT ATTEND INDIVIDUAL SCHOOL APPOINTMENTS) Individual Appointment Thursday, October 14 7:30 AM – 12:00 PM Fiske School Individual Appointments Wednesday, October 20 12:00 PM - 3:00 PM Hunnewell School Individual Appointments The above schedule is based on feedback provided by school principals. Every effort was made to accommodate each school's request and schedule. If needed, additional days for individual appointments may be scheduled in October. Sign-Up sheets will be made available at each school. The deadline to enroll during this school year is December 1, 2010. All staff members are eligible to participate and enroll.  6
  7. 7. Details subject to change Primary Source 2010-2011 Course Listings Seminar Series • Storied Subcontinent: An Introduction to South Asia Jan. 21, Feb. 10, Mar. 5 (half-day only), Mar. 24, and Apr. 14, 2011 9:00 am – 3:00 pm Location: Primary Source 45 PDPs; 2 graduate credits for the course ($200 cost for credit) What is most important to know about the distinctive cultures and historical experiences of South Asia, particularly Bangladesh, India, and Pakistan? Through scholar presentations, interactive workshops, Web 2.0 technologies, and a museum visit, this course will offer a deeper look at the historical, political, and cultural trends that have shaped this complex region. In addition to four 9:00 am - 3:00 pm days at Primary Source, this course will also include 3 hours of online activities and a half-day Saturday museum trip. Open to educators in grades K-12. • Africa and the Americas Connected: A Tale of Three Continents Dec. 3, Jan. 11, TBA 9:00 am – 3:00 pm Location: Primary Source 27 PDPs; 1 graduate credit for the course ($100 cost for credit) The relationship between Africa and the continents of the “New World” is of central importance in world history and globalized American history curricula. This course examines multiple modes of interaction and exchange in the Atlantic world—of people, products, practices and beliefs— from the sixteenth through the twentieth centuries. Topics will include the rise of Atlantic trade and the Black Atlantic world; the histories and legacies of slavery in the European colonies of the Americas; religion and culture in African diasporic communities; globalized Africa in the twentieth century; and the place of Africa and pan-Africanism in liberation politics across three continents. Especially for educators in grades 6-12
  8. 8. Details subject to change • New Bostonians: Immigrants in Massachusetts Today Jan. 27, Mar. 4, Apr. 1 9:00 am – 3:00 pm Location: Primary Source 27 PDPs; 1 graduate credit for the course ($100 cost for credit) How have new streams of immigrants from Latin America, Africa and Asia transformed local communities and their schools? What knowledge about the politics, culture and life experiences of new immigrant communities can deepen educators’ interactions in the classroom and beyond? This seminar seeks to provide educators with a better understanding of immigrant students and their cultural context and will include a field experience at a Boston-area immigrant community center. Topics to be examined include the demographics of immigration in Massachusetts today; transnationalism; education and bilingualism; employment barriers; ethnic entrepreneurship; anti- immigrant campaigns and immigrant advocacy; ethnic literature and cultural identity. Cultural competency for educators will be discussed. Open to educators in grades K-12. • Learning to Be Green: Understanding Connections Between People & The Environment Feb. 8, Mar. 9, Apr. 6 9:00 am – 3:00 pm Location: Primary Source 27 PDPs; 1 graduate credit for the course ($100 cost for credit) How do our consumption patterns and lifestyles affect the natural environment and societies worldwide? What are the social and political challenges of climate change, and how can we teach about them? How has the environmental movement in the US evolved, and what different approaches to environmentalism exist? What does sustainability look like, and what can individuals and institutions, including K-12 schools, do to move towards achieving sustainability? Drawing upon case studies from Massachusetts and around the world, this new seminar series will provide participants with strategies and tools for putting a human face on environmental issues, as well as ideas for taking positive action. Special features of the course include a simulation of the Copenhagen conference on climate change and a panel discussion on current classroom-, school-, and district-level efforts and initiatives. Open to educators in grades K-12. • Understanding Korea: Prominence, Politics, and Personal Experience Oct. 25, Nov. 18, Dec. 9 9:00 am – 3:00 pm Location: Primary Source
  9. 9. Details subject to change 27 PDPs; 1 graduate credit for the course ($100 cost for credit) Despite North and South Korea’s prominence in international news, the complex issues facing both countries are often poorly understood. This course will provide a broader context for understanding historical and current events and introduce Korean culture through live demonstrations of music and art, author presentations, and authentic Korean cuisine. Open to educators in grades K-12. • Web 2.0 Tools for the Global Classroom Oct. 14 and Dec. 8 (in-person workshops); Oct. 21-Nov. 17 (online component) 9:00 am – 3:00 pm (in-person workshops) Location: Primary Source and online 22.5 PDPs; 1 graduate credit for the course ($100 cost for credit) Used effectively, Web 2.0 tools can deepen students’ thinking and engagement with humanities topics. This course will introduce a range of online technologies – such as Delicious, Flickr, Google Apps, and VoiceThread - that are ideal for enhancing classroom learning. Participants will spend one hour each week exploring online activities and pilot one new Web 2.0 tool in their classroom during the course. Open to educators in grades K-12. This course requires a basic comfort level with and interest in the use of computer technology as a medium for learning. One-Day Workshops • Haiti: Beyond the Headlines Mar. 3, 2011 9:00 am – 3:00 pm Location: Primary Source 5 PDPs How has Haiti’s tumultuous history shaped conditions in the country today? This workshop will examine the past and present of Haiti in equal measure. Storytelling, resource-sharing, and a panel on contemporary issues will be among the sessions designed to help teachers to work more effectively with Haitian students and to teach about Haiti with increased knowledge and confidence. Especially for educators in grades 6-12. • Iran Today: Life and Politics in the Islamic Republic Fall date TBA 9:00 am – 3:00 pm Location: Primary Source
  10. 10. Details subject to change 5 PDPs Who are the Iranian people and what is life like for them? Much of our knowledge about Iran is based on the media’s portrayal of its turbulent politics and iconic leaders, rather than on the voices or lived experiences of the Iranian people. This workshop will provide historical context and analysis of the social and political issues that affect Iran today, and explore how they play out in daily lives. Workshop participants will engage with images from Randy Hope Goodman’s “Iran: Images From Beneath a Chador” exhibit, explore the country with Google Earth, and take part in a mini-film festival featuring provocative documentaries from Iran. Especially for educators in grades 9-12. • Homes Around the World Mar. 30, 2011 9:00 am – 3:00 pm Location: Primary Source 5 PDPs From covered wagons to Ghanaian domiciles, from French cave dwellings to Japanese apartments, homes are gateways to learning about the history, culture and daily lives of people around the world. Through scholar presentations and teacher workshops, we will explore • How homes have changed over time; • The influence of location, climate, and basic elements of geography on housing forms; • How culture, technology, income and religion have influenced homes; • How literature, art, science and math can contribute to our understanding of homes. Teachers will leave with specific ideas for integrating a study of homes into their curriculum. Especially for educators in grades K-7. • Reading the World: Exciting Literature for the Global Classroom Mar. 22, 2011 9:00 am – 3:00 pm Location: Primary Source 5 PDPs Choosing world literature can be challenging; it requires both sensitivity and knowledge of global issues. This workshop will explore resources for finding and using engaging world literature across the curriculum. Participants will consider strategies for using
  11. 11. Details subject to change memoirs, graphic novels, and technology to enhance the teaching of literature in the classroom. Open to educators in grades K-12. • Making Sense of Chinese: Language Workshop for Non-Speakers Saturday, Apr. 2 9:00 am – 3:00 pm Location: Boston Children’s Museum 10 PDPs $10 fee for lunch Nearly one-fifth of the world’s population—over one billion people—speak some dialect of Chinese. But for non-Chinese speakers, Mandarin, Cantonese, and the many Chinese dialects can be confusing, intimidating, and overwhelming. Fear not! This seminar will look at Chinese language (primarily Mandarin) from the non- speaker’s point of view. Through expert presentations and hands-on activities, educators will explore how Chinese language has shaped cultural development, how the written language evolved from ancient to modern times and how painting, calligraphy, and poetry are related to the Chinese language. Workshop leaders will demonstrate how to unlock the mysteries and joy of Chinese for students. Note: This workshop includes a Chinese lunch. Especially for educators in grades K-8. • Dig In: The Many Faces of Japan through Japanese Foods Saturday, Mar. 19 9:00 am – 3:00 pm Location: Boston Children’s Museum 10 PDPs $10 fee for lunch This seminar goes beyond sushi, teriyaki, and tempura! We will dig into Japanese history and customs by exploring the world of Japanese food. What foods are key to a long healthy life? How does geography and seasonal change influence eating habits? What is Japanese tea culture? At what age do kids learn how to use chopsticks? Through Japanese foods, participants will learn about the traditional and contemporary culture of Japan. Discover connections to social issues, religions, holidays, and daily customs. See, touch, smell, and taste – this will be a fun multisensory seminar. Note: This program includes a simple Japanese lunch. Especially for educators in grades K-7.
  12. 12. Details subject to change • Taking Students to China: Why, How, What, Where, and When? Oct. 13, 2010 9:00 am – 3:00 pm Location: Primary Source 6 PDPs As China increases in world importance and China studies are added to school curricula, educators are evaluating the opportunities for group travel to China to expose their students to authentic experiences. This one-day program will discuss the value of various travel options and share experiences with study tours, exchange programs and service learning. Participants will learn about the challenges of organizing student travel programs to China and discuss how to handle them. Together, participants will consider how to improve the educational outcomes of travel abroad programs. This program is both for those initiating study-travel to China and those wanting to improve upon past experiences. Especially for educators in grades 6-12. • Cambodia and Vietnam: Cultural Diversity and Historical Context Oct. 30, 2010 9:00 am – 3:00 pm Location: Boston Children’s Museum 10 PDPs $10 fee for lunch This program is designed for teachers who are interested in integrating Southeast Asia into their curriculum and teachers looking to learn more about the cultures of their Cambodian and Vietnamese students. Through a scholar presentation, panel discussion, and teacher workshops, we will address such questions as: • How are these neighboring countries dissimilar and similar to each other? • What are the historical and cultural reasons for their differences? • What can we learn about daily life in Cambodia and Vietnam through folktales, the arts, games, food and religion? • What challenges do students of Cambodian and Vietnamese descent face in U.S. schools, and how are these challenges being met? Especially for educators in grades K-7. • Mexico’s Day of the Dead: The Continuity of Indigenous Culture Oct. 18, 2010 9:00 am – 3:00 pm Location: Peabody Museum of Archaeology and Ethnology at Harvard University 6 PDPs Día de los Muertos is one of Mexico’s most distinct and vital cultural traditions. It expresses the continuity of life and death and the human connection to the spirit world.
  13. 13. Details subject to change At its core, the holiday reflects the blending of cultural belief systems and the persistence of indigenous culture in the Americas. Participants will gain an in-depth understanding of the festival’s ancient Aztec origins and its continuing importance in the religious, family and community life of Mexican people, both rural and urban. Folk art, archaeology, photography, traditional foods, and decorative altar elements will all be a part of this multi-sensory exploration. Useful for Spanish, art and social studies teachers at all levels. Open to educators in grades K-12. International Study Tours • China: Ancient Legacies and Modern Challenges Tour Dates: Apr. 14 – 25, 2011 Additional details available in September 2010 This study tour will visit Shanghai, Xian and Beijing to gain insight into both historic Chinese civilization and the modern country. By exploring the significance of the Great Wall, terra cotta warriors, Yonghegong Lamasery and the Temple of Confucius, participants will learn about the cultural imprint of imperial China. They will also tour a modern technology parks, witness fantastic modern architecture, and talk with Chinese people about successes and challenges in China today. Special attention will be paid to education and how uneven development has created a disparity in opportunities. Participants will be have the opportunity to help for a brief time in Beijing’s Dandelion School for the children of migrant workers. A brief homestay experience with a Chinese family will be included in this tour. Open to educators who have completed one of Primary Source’s multi-day seminars or online courses on China prior to tour departure. • Historic China, East and West Tour Dates: July 9 – 21, 2011 Additional details available in September 2010 This study tour will begin in Beijing and see the Ming Great Wall and Forbidden City as well as visit Beijing’s Dandelion School for the children of migrant workers. Participants will travel to Dunhuang, an ancient oasis on the Silk Route famous for its Buddhist grottoes, which were begun in 366 C.E. and added to over twelve dynasties. While in Gansu Province, educators will travel to Jiayuguan Pass at the western reach of the Great Wall and explore both how foreign objects, people and ideas entered China and how the Chinese empire sought to maintain and expand its borders. Extended time will be spent in Xian to visit Qin, Han, Tang sites and to learn about modern developments before exiting China via Xian. The participants will meet students, teachers, artists and others as they learn about the texture of life today.
  14. 14. Details subject to change A brief homestay experience with a Chinese family will be included on this tour. Pre tour option: World History Association Conference in Beijing July 7-11 The theme of the 2011 World History Association Conference is “China in World History.” Depart Boston July 6 Cost of registration and accommodations at Beijing Normal University: TBA Open to educators who have completed one of Primary Source’s multi-day seminars or online courses on China prior to tour departure. • Chalo India! A New Study Tour for K-12 Educators July 1 – 12, 2011 Cost: $2,999* Primary Source and EF Education are pleased to present our first study tour to India for K-12 teachers and administrators. With the support of EF’s travel expertise and Primary Source’s knowledge of world cultures and K-12 education, participating educators will discover India’s rich culture and history in a meaningful and transformative travel experience. During the course of this 12-day study tour, participating educators will gain firsthand experience with the people, culture, and history of the world’s largest democracy. This tour is designed to deepen your knowledge of India through visits to cultural and historical sites (including the Taj Mahal, the Red Ford, Palace of Wind, and Ghandi’s memorial), NGOs, and schools. The itinerary will include stops in Agra, Delhi, and Jaipur, and participating educators will experience a homestay with an Indian family. Open to educators who have completed one of Primary Source’s multi-day seminars on South Asia prior to tour departure. *Applicable visa, passport, immunization fees, mandatory insurance, and customary gratuities are not included. *Included departure fees are subject to change. Prices are valid through December 31, 2010. Online Programs • The Enduring Legacy of Ancient China 10-Week Online Course Open to all K-12 Educators Choose one: A: Oct. 6 – Dec. 14, 2010; B: Mar. 2 – May 10, 2011 45 PDPs; 2 graduate credits for the course ($200 cost for credit) The remarkable richness and endurance of Chinese civilization will be the central focus for this online course, which will explore the long period from the emergence of China's
  15. 15. Details subject to change earliest civilizations to the end of the dynastic phase in 1911. The course will mirror the thematic approach taken by Primary Source's own sourcebook, The Enduring Legacy of Ancient China. Topics will include geography, belief systems, the arts, and China's relationship with the world. Enduring Legacy will feature supplemental readings, scholar podcasts, and web-based activities to engage teachers in some of the most current scholarship, while exploring student-friendly tools and resources. This course will be offered completely online and will require a basic comfort level and interest in the use of computer technology as a medium for learning. • Changing China: History and Culture Since 1644 10-Week Online Course Recommended especially for educators in grades 6-12 Choose one: A: Oct. 6 – Dec. 14, 2010 or B: Mar. 2 – May 10, 2011 45 PDPs; 2 graduate credits for the course ($200 cost for credit) 45 PDPs; 2 graduate credits for the course ($200 cost for credit)What has driven the dramatic transformation of China over the past 150 years? What should students know about this economic and cultural powerhouse? The complex history of modern China and its unique place on the world stage will be the central focus for this online course, which will explore the period from the Qing Dynasty and the decline of dynastic China to the present day. In addition to the materials presented in Primary Source’s sourcebook China in the World: a History Since 1644, this course will make use of readings, videos, and web-based resources to engage educators in some of the most current scholarship and thinking on China's development as a nation state. Topics will include the early republic, communist China, economic and political changes, internal migration, arts and literature, and China's future in an era of globalization. This course will be offered completely online and will require a basic comfort level and interest in the use of computer technology as a medium for learning. • Thinking Like a Historian in the Digital Age: Primary Sources for Primary Students Online seminar series Winter dates TBA 5 PDPs Through online resources about immigration history, educators will learn how to incorporate and use primary sources in the elementary classroom. Teachers will explore materials from the Library of Congress collection and the Lower East Side Tenement Museum, deepen their understanding of primary sources, and consider how elementary students can benefit from their observation and analysis. This 3 week online course will be equal to a one-day face-to-face workshop at Primary
  16. 16. Details subject to change Source. Suitable for educators in grades K-6. Additional Programs • Coming of Age Around the World Book Discussion Group Oct. 21, Nov. 18, Dec. 16, Jan. 20, Feb. 17 4:30 – 6:00 p.m. Location: Primary Source 10 PDPs What does the transition to adulthood look like in different cultures? Join our book discussion group as we read recently published novels that explore topics including identity, race, family, adolescence, and resilience. Sessions will include guest facilitators and ideas for classroom connections. Participants are responsible for bringing their own books to each meeting. • Using Interactive Whiteboards in the Humanities Classroom Dec. 7, 2010 4:00 – 6:00 p.m. Location: Primary Source How can interactive whiteboards bring humanities lessons to life? This introductory workshop will model effective strategies for using these technologies across the curriculum, such as analyzing primary sources in new ways, creating games to enhance learning, and capturing lessons and discussion ideas. Participants will also explore new ways to use traditional teaching tools such as maps and imagery on an interactive whiteboard, and leave the session with ideas ready for classroom implementation. Open to educators in grades K-12. • Tea and Talk: Developments in Today’s China Oct. 14, Nov. 9, and Dec. 2 4:00 p.m. to 5:30 p.m. Location: Primary Source Free and open to the public In this series, three preeminent China scholars will challenge longstanding ideas and share new insights on recent archaeological discoveries, Taiwan-mainland relations, and the implications of the One-Child Policy. October 14: New Discoveries in Chinese Archaeology Professor Bob Murowchick will discuss recent archaeological discoveries in China and how they challenge our understanding of history. What do the mummies of Xinjiang reveal and why are various interpretations so controversial? How have the fantastic
  17. 17. Details subject to change bronze masks from Sanxingdui challenged traditional linear understandings of Chinese history? What else is being unearthed in China? November 9: Changing Stakes Across the Taiwan Straits Professor Shiping Zheng will discuss the developing cultural, economic and political relationship between Taiwan and mainland China. Why is China confident that time is on the side of unification? What is the significance of direct flights and hundreds of thousands of Taiwanese citizens living in Shanghai? Does the increasing democracy in Taiwan and the continuing forces for independence bode badly for peace? December 2: China’s One-Child Policy and Its Impact Professor Vanessa Fong will talk about the intended and unintended results of the One- Child Policy on children, families, and institutions that she has discovered through two longitudinal studies of Chinese singletons. She will comment on the policy’s impact on children’s lives, schooling, attitudes toward girls, parenting, and economic development. REGISTRATION: Please call or email the contact person for your school/district (see list at and let them know which program(s) you are interested in. If you are selected by your school/district to attend, instructions for online registration will be sent to you via email by Primary Source. Registration Deadline: September 24, 2010
  18. 18. Action Plan for Equity and Excellence: Addressing Achievement Gaps Achievement gaps exist among different groups of Wellesley students when differentiated along lines of gender, learning disabilities, race or socioeconomic status. Initiatives across the district have been implemented to address these apparent gaps. Although some initiatives have been ongoing for some time, the performance data has been slow to improve. Outreach has informed us that other school districts have had some promising gains on some of these same gaps. We acknowledge that some of the initiatives we have used targeted toward specific groups of students are not shared across all groups of students although those strategies may be beneficial for a broader group of students. In sum, there are many parallel efforts happening without clear opportunities for cross- pollination. We have determined that coordinating these efforts will enhance the quality and efficacy of our work with specific groups of children as well as have a broader impact for the benefit of all our students. Recognizing that there are ongoing efforts on this issue, the action plan’s objective is to coordinate the work we are doing as a district to narrow the achievement gap for our students and coordinate our collective strategies and resources being applied for the benefit of all students. The intention of the Action Plan is to build upon the work to date and provide guidance on next steps. Based on common readings on what others have done and reflection on our own work, the Action Plan is designed with these cautionary caveats in mind: • There is no single silver bullet; a combination of strategies is required to gain traction.
  19. 19. • An integrated, cohesive design that brings together multiple strategies is more desirable. No matter how well intentioned -- isolated actions and ad hoc work have more limited effective value. • Both academic and environmental supports should be included in the plan design. • The design needs to include out of school factors (summer school) and in school variables for more rigorous curriculum; for example, more time on task. • Closing a gap that is already established is difficult; prevention trumps remediation. Solving the 9th grade problem in preschool is easier than solving it in 9th grade. • Length of time in treatment is important; for many gap interventions, benefits escalate the longer the intervention is applied. • Sustained work is required to hold gains Based on research and what others and we have done, the Action Plan is further premised on the belief in the following principles. a. Practices that produce narrowing and closing of racial, ethnic, socio-economic achievement gaps are practices that will improve achievement for all students. b. Professional Learning Communities that develop standards-based common assessments linked to data-driven instruction via tiered- intervention strategies benefits all students. c. Practices informed by our research and data benefits our students. d. Enhancing and measuring not only student achievement, but also student engagement benefits all students.
  20. 20. e. Guided widespread use of technology and embedded, on-going, targeted professional development for all staff benefits all students. f. Reviewing curriculum and instruction for cogency, rigor and relevance benefits all students. g. Creating a culture safe to overcome social and emotional barriers to intellectual risk taking for staff, children and families benefits all students. h. Common planning time for teachers to develop and discuss strategies for the aforementioned purposes benefits all students. With these principles in mind, the Action Plan is organized into the following sections. I. Document progress using the data available to us II. Develop and implement common assessments III. Develop tiered-intervention strategies IV. Review curriculum and instruction for relevancy V. Monitor and support student engagement VI. Create culture to support appropriate and important intellectual risk taking VII. Technology plan to support instruction VIII. Professional development IX. Planning time X. Apply research XI. Monitor progress, adjust strategies, until success is achieved Sections of the plan itself will become filled in over time but in the meantime the over all structure will provide us the scaffolding with which we can organize the
  21. 21. work already ongoing and our next steps. It is our hope that this plan will be further developed by staff that will work on various parts so it is possible for some parts to grow faster than others. Documenting what is being done within this structure will provide a better way of informing each other about what has been tried and what worked and what did not. One area that has been highlighted for this year’s set of district goals is developing common assessments. This work is critical to laying the groundwork for the development of effective strategies. While we are working to improve our practice and look to the future, this should not displace our primary imperative to focus on the positive impacts we can have on the students we have today. In fact, it is our work with the current generation of students that informs and inspires us for the benefit of the next generation. The gaps in achievement we are striving to address will not be closed in a year or in two. The process of developing those efforts will take time and its success will depend on collective input and feedback. Through better collaboration of efforts across the district we believe we will narrow achievement gaps experienced by some of our students while benefiting all students at the same time.