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Teaching and Learning News

A Day of Learning!

posted Mar 16, 2018, 2:11 PM by Patty Gelbrich   [ updated Mar 16, 2018, 2:17 PM ]

Inservice Day, a day where teachers are working without students, is a day full of learning here in Castle Rock!  What a fantastic day.  Thanks to our teachers and administrators for taking this day, and the gift of time, so seriously!  We work hard planning and learning with your children's success in mind....  Way to go Castle Rock!

The A.V.I.D. Tutorial...

posted Mar 6, 2018, 2:23 PM by Patty Gelbrich   [ updated Mar 6, 2018, 2:32 PM ]

Part of the A.V.I.D. system at the middle and high school level are tutorials.  This is a process where students help each other solve their own questions, also known as their "point of confusion."  Watch this two minute video to learn what a tutorial consists of!  Boy, are our Castle Rock Middle School AVID students getting good at this...  Way to go CRMS!

What is A.V.I.D. you ask?

posted Feb 27, 2018, 4:49 PM by Patty Gelbrich

People Like Me!

  Watch this short video to learn more...  

We are excited to announce A.V.I.D. (Advancement Via Individual Determination) is here in Castle Rock School District!  We began this year (2017-2018) with students in grades 3,4 and 5 will benefit from AVID strategies throughout the day in their own classroom.  At the middle school level, an AVID elective class helps support students in rigorous curriculum while they have fun, engaging activities, field trips and motivational speakers.  We started with grades 6 and 7.  Next year, 2018-2019, we will add 8th grade at the middle school, and 9th grade at the high school.  

What does A.V.I.D. do?  It builds confidence.  It provides academic support.  It improves organizational skills.  It builds relationships and friendships.  It provides students with the confidence they need to do anything they desire!

Want to learn more?  Visit avid.org for more information.

What is AVID?


posted Feb 21, 2018, 3:27 PM by Patty Gelbrich   [ updated Feb 21, 2018, 7:02 PM ]

  It is A.V.I.D. recruitment time!  Our middle school A.V.I.D. students have been talking with fifth graders, sixth graders, seventh graders and eighth graders telling them about the A.V.I.D. system and the benefits they have gained as being a part of A.V.I.D.  These kiddos were amazing!  They shared what A.V.I.D. meant to them, how it has built their confidence and strengthened their academic skills.  They are thinking about colleges, careers and their future.  Way to go middle school A.V.I.D. students!!

So, we need your help locating and recruiting students for the A.V.I.D. classes.  The mission of A.V.I.D. is to ensure that ALL students...
  • will succeed in rigorous curriculum,
  • will complete courses to make sure they are prepared for career and/or college, 
  • will increase post-secondary educational options, and
  • will become educated and responsible citizens.
The A.V.I.D. student does okay in school - mostly B's and C's.  They can do better if they are given support.  They have desire and determination, maybe not all of the time.  They might be the first in the family to attend college.  They might have special circumstances where they need more support.

Students need to know...  A.V.I.D. IS... a group, a family away from home that encourages thinking outside the box and wants to help you learn to be a life-long learner.  A.V.I.D. helps you learn what it takes to be successful in a career or college and push for more.  A.V.I.D. gives you the help you need to not fail, and to reach the highest star possible.  AVID helps build confidence and grit.

A.V.I.D. is NOT...
  • A remedial program
  • A free ride
  • A placement program
  • A behavior correction program.
What does that mean to me?  We are looking for students to join A.V.I.D. next year!  If you are in 6th, 7th, 8th, or 9th grades and interested in AVID, contact your teacher or principal.  They can help you.


New Teacher Workshop!

posted Feb 2, 2018, 7:39 AM by Patty Gelbrich   [ updated Feb 2, 2018, 12:12 PM ]

  The past two years, Castle Rock School District has supported it's new teachers through a mentor program.  This year, we expanded our support to professional learning for first, second and third year teachers.  Last night was our February workshop and it was a great success.  Teachers participated in two different learning sessions facilitated and led by our Instructional Leadership Team (teacher leaders and principals).  Mentors supported their mentees as the new teachers learned more about classroom management, student engagement, questioning, writing and pacing of a lesson.  A huge thanks go out to our new teachers, mentors, instructional leadership team and principals for giving up an evening for continued professional learning and growth.  


Washington State Learning Academy

posted Jan 19, 2018, 7:59 AM by Patty Gelbrich

Yesterday our Administrative team worked with the Washington State Learning Academy (WSLA) to continue our work on academic achievement and student success.  This is a two year program with a goal of helping more students be successful.  We created a theory of action - the action plan we follow to help more of our Castle Rock students be successful.  You can see from our chart all the great things happening in our schools - new systems put in place to ensure student success!

In a little over one year we have started the following:
1.  Instructional Rounds/Learning Walks - done monthly, administrators and teachers participate and learn from each other.
2.  Learning Targets - student friendly learning targets are discussed with our students throughout the lesson.  Students knowing the end goal helps in student learning.
3.  Student Growth - teachers are utilizing assessment data in their PLC's and making plans for students that need more support.
4.  Attendance Tracking - we have started monitoring attendance percentages.  If students are not here, they cannot learn.  We will continue our efforts to get our students to be in school.
5.  Graduation Rate - we are tracking graduation rate, and working hard to connect each student to graduation.  We saw improvement in the graduation rate last year.
6.  Professional Learning - in prior years, we had no formal method of professional learning for our staff.  Beginning this fall we implemented an early release schedule on Wednesdays.  This time is valuable for staff to continue learning, to work together, to spend time discussing and planning for student interventions and to look at assessment data creating a plan to move forward.  Successful school systems provide time for this hugely impactful professional learning and collaboration.  To assist with this, we have started an Instructional Leadership Team - teachers from each school who assist with district direction and professional learning for all staff.
7.  Tiered Systems of Support - schools are focusing efforts providing students what they need - be it intervention or enrichment.  We look at both academic and behavioral tiered systems.  At the elementary, they have built in a block of time in their master schedule for intervention/enrichment.  At the middle school, students who need more support in reading and math now have classes designed for that very purpose.
8.  Staff Retention - A part of our strategic plan is to improve staff retention.  Doing all of the things mentioned above, involving our staff every step of the way, and creating an environment that people want to be a part of will improve keeping our staff.  We have seen this area improve in the short year and a half, and will continue monitoring it.

Hand in hand - we all learn!  From our students, to classified staff, to our teachers - it is an expectation.  Lots going on!  Thanks for all the hard work everyone!

It's Winter! What do I do?

posted Jan 3, 2018, 2:14 PM by Patty Gelbrich   [ updated Jan 3, 2018, 2:16 PM ]

Well, the weather outside can be frightful, but with a little planning you can keep the little ones busy, happy and engaged!  Here is a list to get you started....

*Make hot chocolate with marshmallows
*Make paper snowflakes and decorate your house with them.  Very festive and fun!
*How about bowling?  Bowling alleys have bumpers, so kids instantly feel successful.
*Play board games.  Games help children in so many ways - from reinforcing academics, to building cooperation and getting along.
*Make a pine cone bird feeder with pine cones, peanut butter and bird seed.  Hang it on a tree.
*Write thank you notes to friends and family for Christmas gifts.
*Take a trip to a sledding hill.  Nothing more fun than playing in the snow!
*Think about giving to others - pick a charity and volunteer together.
*Indoor Art Projects!  If you are familiar with Pinterest, you can gain a million ideas about arts/crafts with children indoors during those cold winter months.
*Bundle up and go play together at the park!  Be sure to have some nice warm hot cocoa ready when you get home.

Holiday Happenings for Families in Portland Area...

posted Nov 27, 2017, 1:00 PM by Patty Gelbrich   [ updated Nov 27, 2017, 1:00 PM ]

 Now that Thanksgiving is over, we have moved into the winter holidays.  This is such an exciting time for families to spend with their children!  Portland is a hop, skip and a jump away from Castle Rock.  Try some of the holiday fun going on all month there.  Here is a great resource!  PORTLAND HOLIDAY FAMILY FUN    How about HOLIDAY LIGHTS?  Here are some great ideas to keep everyone in the holiday spirit...
Each year, the Aspen Meadow light show has a different theme. This year, it’s “The Greatest is Love,” with the grounds designed to reflect the theme. Check out over 150,000 lights, carolers, an interactive children’s area, a miniature train village, videos, refreshments and more. Our lights display is free of charge — if you would like to bring a canned food donation to give to the Oregon Food Bank, there are donation barrels on site.
When: December 9-26; 5 pm-10 pm Monday-Thursday, 5 pm-11 pm Friday-Sunday.
Cost: Free!
Where: 24232 S. Upper Highland Road, Colton OR 97017. 503-784-7596

Take a Christmas walk through a lighted, wooded “Fantasy Trail,” decorated with thousands of lights for your Christmas enchantment. You can also walk through a 40-foot castle with Christmas scenes, a tunnel, maze, crooked house, suspension bridge and more. Plus, a bonfire nightly!
When: December 2-30, 6 pm-9 pm. Closed December 24 and 25.
Cost: $6 adult, $5 ages 12 and under (cash only)
Where: Wenzel Farm, 19754 South Ridge, Oregon City. 503-631-2047

There’s so much family-friendly fun at this annual light display, including ice skating, a holiday market, live music, food, fire pits, Santa visits, a snowless tubing track and more. Check out their schedule for more details on what’s going on each day.
When: November 24-December 31 (closed December 24 and 25), 5 pm-9 pm. Check out their schedule for specific hours.
Cost: Pre-purchase admission tickets for $8 for adults, $5 kids ages 5-12. Activity prices vary. Parking is an addition $5.
Where: 879 W Main, Silverton. 503-874-8100

The Christmas Ship Parade started in 1954 with one lone sailboat. Today, The Christmas Ship Fleet averages about 55 to 60 boats between the Columbia and Willamette River fleets, with brightly lit displays that can be seen from bank to bank on each river.
When: Parade starts between 5 pm and 7 pm nightly, December 1-21 (no parade December 3,4,5,11,12 or 18). Check their website for a detailed schedule and recommended public viewing spots.

The Christmas Festival of Lights is the largest choral festival in the world, with out 160 indoor holiday concerts. Family entertainment includes outdoor carolers, puppet shows, live animals and–of course–hot chocolate.
When: November 24-December 30, 5 pm-9:30 pm. Closed Christmas.
Cost: $11 for adults, $10 for seniors. $6 ages 3-12, free ages 0-2.
Where: NE 85th & Sandy. 503-261-2400

As always, this charming little street will be decked out in its shimmering finest. Avoid the vehicle congestion by parking a few blocks away and walking down the lane, but please be respectful of the neighbors.
When: 6 pm-11 pm December 15-31. Pedestrian-only nights TBA.
Where: SE Peacock Lane between Stark & Belmont

Described as the “largest holiday light show west of the Mississippi,” this is a great one for chilly days because you drive through it in your car! View over 250 colorful light set pieces and fully animated scenes from the toasty inside of your vehicle. Don’t have a car? You can bike the route on November 29th or walk it on December 6th.
When: November 24-December 26. Fridays and Saturdays 5 pm-11 pm; Sundays-Thursdays 5:30 pm-9:30 pm. Closed November 27. Open December 24 5 pm-11 pm and December 25 from 5:30 pm-9:30 pm.
Tuesday, November 28 is “bike the lights” night – $6, no cars.
Tuesday December 5 is “Lights and Leashes” night – $6, no cars. Thursday, December 7 is over 21 only.
Cost: $20-$22 per car. Additional costs for larger vehicles.
Where: Portland International Raceway, 1940 N Victory. 503-232-3000

Enjoy the wonders of the season at Pittock Mansion’s annual holiday display, a Portland tradition for over 50 years. This year, experience the iconic places, people, and events of Portland—like Powell’s Books, Packy the elephant, and Peacock Lane—as they are incorporated into the decorative stylings of volunteers and professional designers who transform the Mansion into a holiday wonderland. Local musicians will play holiday music regularly in the mansion’s Music Room during the exhibit.
When: November 20-December 31, 11 am-1:30 pm and 2 pm-4 pm. Closed Thanksgiving and Christmas Day.
Cost: $11 adults, $10 seniors $8 ages 6-18, free ages 0-6.
Where: 3229 NW Pittock. 503-823-3623

The historical Victorian Belle mansion and its 2.5 acre plot in North Portland is decked out with a million lights, 10 uniquely-decorated Christmas trees, themed rooms and decorations. You’ll also find a full railroad train display and chocolate and s’mores with Rudolph. Santa will be on site for family photos as well.
When: December 9-23, 6 pm-10 pm nightly.
Cost: $8 adults, $5 seniors and $4 children ages 4-17, free under 3. Bring in a canned food item for $1 off.
Where: 1441 McClellan ST., Portland, OR 97217. 503-970-0213

Source:  PDX Parent - Holiday Light Display Section

Teaching Thankfulness!

posted Nov 21, 2017, 11:58 AM by Patty Gelbrich   [ updated Nov 21, 2017, 12:01 PM ]

It is that time of year, Thanksgiving, where we would like our children to learn to be thankful.  How do we do that?  Here are some ideas to get you going...

1.  Talk about traditions and build memories during holidays, like Thanksgiving.
2.  Turn off the television and talk during meal time.  Tell stories about your own holidays as a child.  Children love to hear stories about "the good old days".
3.  Work together to plan your Thanksgiving Feast.  Talk about the different types of foods, where they come from and how they are prepared.  Get everyone involved in the cooking!
4.  Be thankful...  Have everyone share something they are thankful for at your Thanksgiving feast.
5.  Share with others!  Many charities are very active this time of year.  Donate.  Help others.  Your children will learn the importance of helping others.
6.  Create something for Thanksgiving together!  It could be a favorite dessert, or place mats for the table...  Have fun!
7.  Create a tradition for your family.  It could be a tradition of games after dinner, or a fun game of football outside.  Make it a tradition and something that everyone looks forward to.

Most of all - enjoy your time and build many positive memories of the holiday!  Happy Thanksgiving....


posted Nov 3, 2017, 12:38 PM by Patty Gelbrich   [ updated Nov 3, 2017, 12:47 PM ]

Our middle school team had a great visit yesterday to Parkrose Middle and High School.  Parkrose is an A.V.I.D. Demonstration School and has been involved with AVID for nine years.  They are amazing, and our team gained so many ideas for moving forward.  Thank you Parkrose!

This year Castle Rock is implementing A.V.I.D. in grades 3,4 and 5; 6 and 7 at the middle school.  At the elementary level, A.V.I.D. strategies are used by the classroom teachers and all students benefit.  At the middle school, there is an A.V.I.D. elective class, plus trained teachers are implementing A.V.I.D. strategies in their content area classes.

Next year, we will add grade 8 at the middle school, and grade 9 at the high school.  If you think your child would benefit from A.V.I.D., please contact your child's principal.  It is an amazing system that supports our children.

Learn more about A.V.I.D.!

One Teacher - One Classroom

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