• Our Administrators have observed Excellence in Action in our classrooms, here are some examples of what they've seen:
    Many of our SMHS teachers use music as an intentional instructional practice to enhance the learning environment and as a classroom management tool.  I’ve seen it in action and it works wonders! 
    When teaching persuasive essay writing, an English teacher writes interesting (provocative) statements on posters and places them around the room. Students use stickers to vote their opinion on these statements and then go to laptops in pairs to create pie charts which represent class opinions and preferences as part of the assignment, creatively integrating technology and math into her English lesson.  When teaching rearranging equations, a math teacher has students mark the text when analyzing word problems.  English supporting math…..math supporting English…….where is this happening???  South Mountain High School, of course.  Another example of South Mountain Excellence in Action!
    Creating a positive classroom environment is one of the ways that our teachers put our students first.  Some of our teachers use decorative lighting ($5 per strand at Walmart) to draw attention to important message boards and create an interesting mood in the classroom.  One of our math teachers recently collaborated with a social studies teacher to create a “community center” or “scholar table” in the center of the classroom from which she and her co-teacher interact with students.  The students love it! 

    How do we measure success?


    ·         There were no testing incidents requiring ADE reporting.

    ·         Student behavior was excellent.

    ·         Staff stepped up to the challenges presented by extended time testing and the new Aspire test.

    ·         Students in extended time received a healthy lunch.

    ·         All tests were returned and accounted for and have been delivered to CES.


    We should learn student test results in December.  Please encourage your seniors who still need to pass one or more of the AIMS tests to continue to come in for tutoring in case they don’t pass this weeks’ tests. Lunchtime math tutoring begins on Monday, November 3 in the IMC.


    As I explained in the staff in service on 10/22, each school was given the option to give the Aspire in sections over several days or all in one day.  Our decision to give the test in one day was an in effort to begin preparing the students for the ACT which they will take as Juniors in one sitting.  We will reassess this decision with the guidance of CES and learn from our experience as well as the experiences of schools which chose a different option.  The testing team will work on your suggestions and create an implementation plan for the spring testing cycle.