Spring Breaks, Countdown to State Testing, End of Year Shenanigans and Summer!



    Spring Breaks, Countdown to State Testing, End of Year Shenanigans and Summer!

    Posted by Kristina Clecak on Apr 03, 2017

    Educators know all too well, when April 1st hits, we enjoy those few “Eddie Haskell”(Leave it to Beaver) , Bart Simpson or “Cedric” (Sophia the First) April fool’s Jokes from our students and then the remainder is a blur! Quite possibly we needed those little chuckles to get us through the next 8 weeks! Who knows?

    Between Spring Science Camps for the Elementary Schools, 8th grade Washington DC trips and High School Proms and Finals, some of THE most enjoyable memories literally fly by and the summer hits! Meanwhile, teachers, school Principals and all Educator personnel are on massive overload with end of year exams, state wide assessment tests, which can be quite stressful, and finalizing grades and closure of the classroom for the summer lock down of the campus, itself. Moreover, April, May and those that still carry on in June are full of excitement, anxiety, exhaustion and for some sadness as they say good-bye to another school year, or move on to another school to embark on a new level of their education.


    Recently I had a chance to speak to a few teachers, Principals and Administrative Assistants who not only feel their own pressure and round of emotions, but support dozens and dozens of families and students that are going through similar or more individualed situations.

    As one veteran, Administrative Office Assistant stated; “This is the time of the year, everything and everyone starts to ramp up. You just have to plan for it. Stay grounded. Stay attentive and be reminded that everyone needs to vent, let it out and move on. ” In talking with a few teachers they remind me that this is also a time of “pride” and “togetherness” for their classrooms. One upper grade teacher stated, “We have spent all year together, going through many interesting changes- academically, socially, emotionally and physically…I want the best for my students. They are like my children now and while I am sad to see them off to another school, I am insanely proud of each one of them.”

    Lastly, a few Principals explained to me that they were busy preparing for bandwidth, rotations of technology for State wide computerized testing while managing some bad choices, otherwise known as discipline measures that tend to pop up later in the year. One Administrator added, “Some may refer to this as Spring Fever or Senior-itis.” They added, “it comes with the territory and seasons, we know to expect this. Our main priority remains safety and academic excellence. We are proud of our students and yes, even those jokesters that can’t resist a good laugh! We get it. They worked hard all year and need to have some fun, too.”

    And as far as thinking ahead, because we KNOW that this is also a budget planning time for the next school year. A few topics came up as well.

    • Making final decisions on adoptions
    • Finalizing budget cuts across the District, in some districts
    • Creating summer plan for technology initiatives, upgrades to technology and preparedness
    • Professional Development for the Summer and for the upcoming School year
    • Hiring teachers, staff and adjusting shared contracts with para professionals
    • Evaluating District Priorities, Goals and lining up resources to support each and every child to mastery and full potential. (Personal favorite!)
    • Gathering final community and Stakeholder input in this last quarter
    • Ramping up 1:1 Technology plans to continue the growth each year
    • Coordinating our data assessment tools with our curriculum material for Fall
    • Spending quality time in school ceremonies, events, BBQ’s, awards, and graduations

    We are so proud of all those hard-working educators that provide SUCH service to our students and school systems each and every day. I can say, without a doubt, our salute to all of you for making ANOTHER incredible impact to another generation. Enjoy the laughter, tears, and even the stress of these last two months as we are applauding you all the way! YOU make the difference. YOU make the decisions and create the AMAZING educational, rigorous, safe environments for students to prosper.

    Please share some of those moments on our Facebook Page. We would love to celebrate and treasure your memories with you.

    Topics: spring break

    Written by Kristina Clecak

    Kristina has been in public education for nearly 20 years. Serving as Lead Principal, Equity Data Instructional Coach and Classroom teacher at various grades. Her skills set and laser-like focus of Instructional pathways, mindset and data-driven goals have been at the heart of her work. Awards winning practitioner who holds multiple Masters degrees and Nationally Board Certified & Recognized in K-12 Literacy, she is no stranger to on-going, life time learning. She will continue to say her greatest accomplishment and purpose remains with equitable and cultural responsive and enlightened instruction for ALL students. Inclusive opportunities and the greatest expectations, along with support for all students, is her daily drive. She serves as the Senior Account Manager and Educational Innovation specialist for SchoolCity, Inc and continues her passion for Student Success, Quality of Instruction and Digital Platforms that reach all Students in their learning.

    Imagine a dynamic, equitable and effective "city" full of innovation, collaboration, educational drive and inclusivity for all, while overlapping with digital brilliance. Welcome to SchoolCity Suite, a place for all professional learning communities to thrive and make an impact.




    SchoolCity ShortCuts

    Did you know...

    SchoolCity continues to replicate and mimic current academic technology tools and make on-going adjustments, with various Technology Enhanced Items (TEI). Thus supporting students all year round to better prepare for true mastery of all skills and standards in a given grade.
    • Constructed Response (CR Items) - Requires a written response from the students and is scored with a rubric.
    • Evidence Based Selected Response (EBSR) - Requires students to answer a two part question in which Part B provides textual evidence for the answer in Part A.
    • Explicit Constructed Response (XCR)- Requires students to type / write an exact response to a question which is then automatically scored by the system in the online assessments. (aka short answer)
    • Hot Text (HT) - Require the student to select words, phrases, or sentences within a given text to answer the question.
    • Inline Choice (IC) - Requires the student to select the correct answer from a drop down menu. Answers are automatically scored by the system.