Rising Sophomores have the opportunity to utilize an online platform to help familiarize themselves with some of the math concepts that they will be taught at the start of the 18-19 school year. Research shows that prior knowledge plays a critical role in laying the groundwork for new learning. Students who wish to participate will be assigned an introductory unit that aligns with the standards that will be taught within the first 6 weeks of school. This online unit module has videos embedded as well as practice quizzes.
If you would like your child to participate in and have home access to this online platform, please register your child on or before July 1st. Once you have registered, students will receive a user name/password and directions on how to access and navigate the online platform.
All students that complete the summer work will receive extra credit upon entering sophomore year with a 100% quiz grade. The unit of study needs to be complete by August 25, 2018.
This past year NS has implemented mathematics intervention programs in grades 2-8 that focus on pre-teaching and re-teaching the major contents standards of the grade level to students who qualify based on a variety of data (state assessment, teacher recommendations, curriculum embedded assessments.) Not all of the content in a given grade is emphasized equally in the standards. Some clusters require greater emphasis than the others based on the depth of the ideas, the time that they take to master, and/or their importance to future mathematics or the demands of college and career readiness. In addition, an intense focus on the most critical material at each grade allows depth in learning, which is carried out through the Standards for Mathematical Practice. The intervention programs focus solely on these major content standards. Our students receiving intervention have made significant improvements.
In 2017, the Governor signed a bill into law that allows districts to submit detailed plans for their schools to conduct instruction through virtual education when schools have been closed due to inclement weather or other emergency. Stakeholder survey results showed an overwhelming interest in pursuing this option. NS has developed a Virtual Instruction Day committee that has been creating a clear system and structure as well as employee guidance documents and a FAQ document. The application will be submitted to the Rhode Island Department of Education this month.
If Virtual Instructional Days becomes approved, students would not report to school due to inclement weather or other emergency, but will engage in learning activities using digital resources. Students will engage with all classes scheduled on that day. There is no set “seat time” - students complete work according to family schedule and individual ability.Virtual Instructional Days will be used to maintain the momentum of learning, minimizing the interruptions caused by snow days. Providing opportunities for virtual instruction not only supports the district’s goal of integrating technology into instruction but also provides more effective instruction than days that are added to the end of the school year.Inclement weather cancellations and announcement of a Virtual Instructional Day will be relayed through the school’s notification phone & email system, district website, Facebook , and local TV/radio stations.Students will be able to access instruction via the School Website. Google Classroom/Google Suite will be the platform used in grades K-12 to post student assignments, facilitate discussions, and submit work. Students regularly access Google Classroom on typical school days. All teachers will post assignments on Google Classroom by 8:00 a.m. and will be available for online communication 8:00 a.m. - 2:00 p.m Teachers will be available via their northsmithfieldschools.com email directly from Google Classroom or any other email product. Google Classroom will be the platform used in grades K-12 to post student assignments, facilitate discussions, and submit work. If students need technical assistance or have general technical questions and/or concerns, they may call the school Virtual Instruction Information Line: 401-597-6100 x4220 or email email@example.com. If needed, the message will be relayed to the teacher.
Check back to receive up to date news and developments concerning the virtual instructional days application submission.
This summer the district will be offering a full day professional development workshop titled Tools for Classroom-Ready Techniques for Increasing Student Achievement. Aligned with McRel’s Classroom Instruction That Works strategies and framework, this workshop will deliver a learning, working and planning session. The workshop will help participants raise student achievement in the classroom by focusing on crafting dynamic learning activities supported by the best research on effective instruction. The workshop will be held at North Smithfield Middle on July 30, 2018 from 8:30-2:30.
The multi-year implementation to the Full Option Science System (FOSS) kits aligned to the new NGSS standards is going along well. The FOSS program employs a philosophy of teaching and learning that has guided the development of successful active-learning science curricula bridging research and practice by providing tools and strategies to engage students and teachers in enduring experiences that lead to deeper understanding of the natural and designed worlds. FOSS provides all students with science experiences that are appropriate to students’ cognitive development and prior experiences. It provides a foundation for more advanced understanding of core science ideas which are organized in thoughtfully designed learning progressions and prepares students for life in an increasingly complex scientific and technological world. Upcoming unit implementation/professional development dates:
February 1st- Grade 2 “Insects and Plants”
February 9th- Grade 8 “Electromagnetic Waves”
March 1st- Grade 4 “Landforms”
March 2nd- Grade 3 “Structures of Life”
March 6th- Grade 5 “Living Systems”
In 2010, The School Districts of Burrillville, Lincoln, North Smithfield and Smithfield formed, by a Resolution of each School Committee, the Northwest School District Consortium (NWSC). The purpose of the Consortium was to create cost efficiencies and share resources while improving the quality of education across all four districts.
The Northwest Consortium Career and Technical Education mission is to work collaboratively to ensure a diversity of programming within the four districts and allow for the strategic utilization of resources.
Our Career and Technical Pathway Programs engage students to be problem solvers and self-motivated adults with the communication skills and academic aptitude to succeed in their desired post-secondary college and career choices. The four high schools within the consortium collaboratively provide students unique educational programs that are intellectually stimulating and personally relevant with a strong emphasis on becoming responsible citizens. Our pathways leverage technology, business partnerships, project-based learning, and 21st Century teaching to enhance the student experience.
In 2017, the Governor signed a bill into law that allows districts to submit detailed plans for their schools to conduct instruction through virtual education when schools have been closed due to inclement weather or other emergency.
North Smithfield Schools is interested in gauging the interest of all stakeholders in Virtual Instruction Days in North Smithfield beginning in the 2018-2019 school year and whether to pursue this as an option in the future.
In alignment with the RIDE guidance, Virtual Instruction Days would be structured so that teachers assign work that can be done virtually or on paper and there will be extended time after the virtual day allowed to complete this work to allow for internet and technical issues. Teachers will be available all day to assist students and all work will be aligned to the established teaching standards. While a formal policy and procedure has not yet been created, we must begin with gauging stakeholder interest. The two question survey will be sent to parents, teachers, staff and administrators.
All middle school and high school math and science teachers have participated in Gizmo professional development. The Gizmo platform has online simulations that students access using chromebooks. Interactive design allows for extensive manipulation of variables and "what-if" experimentation.Visualizations and graphing tools help capture and compare results from experiments. Teachers are finding the platform to be user friendly and highly engaging.
The PDAC committee has been the driving force to our approach to the district’s professional development system. The Professional Development Advisory Committee is a volunteer team of K-12 teachers that meets quarterly to help develop and refine the district’s professional development plan. The team has worked over the years to revamp the system and structure of professional development days which has received positive feedback. Our first PD day for the 17-18 school year was on August 30th. We were able to offer over twenty different sessions throughout the day due to a collective effort of faculty, staff and administrators. We are incredibly appreciative of the time, energy and efforts of all involved!
This past summer the North Smithfield School Department hosted a Freshman Math Academy for the Class of 2021. The Math Academy was developed for all students. During the Freshman Math Academy students learned to navigate the school building, met new friends and reacquainted with old friends, as well as, learned concepts and skills that came directly from their first unit of study in math as freshman. The concepts were tied to each student’s freshman math class including, Honors Geometry, Geometry, Algebra Readiness and Algebra I. We are incredibly thankful to have had local business professionals, Mr. Michael Black and Mr. Ed Yazbak, come in to share with students “real world” math applications and connections. Students took a survey at the end of the program and gave informative feedback and positive reviews.
Clare Arnold, Assistant Superintendent