Congratulations Melissa Brinkerhoff
Powerschool New Logins
Teachers, we are excited to announce to you some new things are coming to PowerSchool. One of those new things is that the district is no longer hosting PowerSchool. That is why last week you could not access PowerSchool Thursday and Friday. Lynn and Randall were working with PowerSchool to move our data to their servers. Now, this does mean that our web address had to change, it is now https://dcsd.powerschool.com/teachers. We are excited about this change because it will offer us some more features and greater capability to provide for your needs. Please take the time and change any bookmarks.
Powerschool LMS for Secondary Teachers
This is another of those new tools coming for PowerSchool. We are wanting to roll it out to secondary teachers starting in second quarter. Along with this, we will be providing those teachers and administrators training. Again we are excited to bring you these tools.
Doing all that we can
Teachers and staff of DCSD, I recently had a discussion with my kids that surprised me. I thought I would share part of my takeaway from that conversation. My kids were frustrated with their schooling experience, especially my son who just graduated. As I listened to them I became curious as to why they were so frustrated, so I asked them.
My son, James, put it best to me, he said that at school they are told the mission statement of the school is to help students reach their highest potential and become lifelong learners. However, teachers repeatedly won't work with them to help them improve their grades.
They won't let them retake tests or makeup assignments they do poorly on.
To me, this was a very troubling statement. Now, he also said that it wasn't all teachers and that most teachers were great. If you know my son James he doesn't ever criticize anyone. So, for him to feel this way it was very surprising. I asked my other kids and they felt similar, that teachers were not always willing to help them improve.
With all of this being said I was a teacher, and I struggled to get my grading done and in the grade book on time. I didn't always do the best that I could to help students, and there are probably a lot of kids that share a similar feeling of my son about me. So, please don't take me as an expert, or that I know anything more than you. I just want to share some information with you.
First, standards-based grading/mastery grading, focusing on what is important, and not worrying about points makes sense to me. We need to help our students realize what they are learning and how it is important to them. I think that we all hate to hear a student say they are stupid because they didn't get an A. Grades don't show intelligence or ability. Currently, they focus more on the number of points a student has received. I even remember sitting at parent-teacher conference and only focusing on assignment and tests a student needed to make-up to get their grade up. That wasn't the conversation that needed to be had, but it was all I knew to do at the time.
I look at standards-based grading/mastery grading now as tools that we as teachers can use to make our lives easier and help us have the real conversations we need to have with our students.
Second, technology has improved and the district will be rolling out another tool here soon to help teachers communicate with students and parents. It is a learning management system through PowerSchool. We are excited for the capabilities that it will bring to the classroom.
However, all of these items our administration is giving us to use are just tools, in your teacher toolbox. How well they work depends on us as a school district. We need to come together and do whatever it takes to make our schools successful.
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