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Posted by on in Carroll CSC Blog Posts
Lately, we have had great conversations about grit, rigor, tenacity, and academic stamina and how our students benefit greatly from having these life skills. What exactly does this mean? How do we help our students tackle large tasks and see them through to the end without getting frustrated and giving up? Grit is courage, resolve, strength of character and determination. Encouraging students to be courageous and take risks is key if we expect to make academic gains. Many times students are afraid to take a risk for fear of failure. It is our job as educators to scaffold our students learning and ensure that they are prepared to be risk takers while taking on rigorous tasks. An excellent example of a rigorous task and a challenge for our students to increase their stamina would be to enroll in an Advanced Placement (AP) course. 

Students who are taking an Advanced Placement course at Carroll Jr.-Sr. High School are required to take the AP exam at the end of the course. They must also meet the requirements and standards of an AP course. Due to the rigor of Advanced Placement courses, students get the benefits of these courses being weighted on their transcripts. 

I would encourage students to take a risk and have the tenacity to complete an AP course during their high school career. If we are focused on having our student's college and career ready as they leave Carroll Jr.-Sr. High School, they need to be encouraged to take risks and move outside of their comfort zones. Students will reap great benefits from the challenges of Advanced Placement courses. 

                                                                            Continue reading
Tagged in: CJSHS rigor
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Curriculum Maps

Posted by on in Carroll CSC Blog Posts
Dear Parents,

I wanted to update you on a major project our teachers have been working hard on for over a year.   We knew with all the new tests coming from the State we would need to update our curriculum.  The first step to updating and aligning the curriculum to the new tests would be to document the curriculum.  The teachers have been working on producing a product called a curriculum map.  It is a basic roadmap of the major concepts that will be taught each nine weeks of the school year by subject.  It is similar to a syllabus or a pacing guide, but it is less specific about page numbers in a book and more about what standards and concepts will be taught. 

As the State shares more information about the new tests, we will have to change our curriculum maps to align with what the State is pushing down.  The State will tell us what percent of each test will be loosely based on what standards.   The process of changing curriculum and aligning to a new summative test could take two to three years minimum.  

We are in the process of loading these curriculum maps on our school website.   We will load them underneath the teacher’s name on their respective web page. This will take some time.  We started the project first at the CJSHS, so their maps will be loaded first.  As teachers change the curriculum maps to align with the new tests, we’ll load the updated maps to our website.   Our goal here is to document what our curriculum actually is and make it visible for public review.  I have attached a sample copy of a 9th-gradecurriculum map, so you can have an understanding of what a curriculum map looks like.  These will also be helpful to students as they select courses.  It will give them more information about the class.      

Any questions, feel free to ask, 
Chris Lagoni

9th-grade-English-Curriculum-Map-CJSHS-2015_20151203-140923_1.pdf Continue reading
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STEM Grant with Purdue

Posted by on in Carroll CSC Blog Posts
We are excited to announce Carroll Junior Senior High School has been selected as one of the new Lead Schools for a $250,000 Federal STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math) Integration Grant and Partnership with Purdue University.   CJSHS Principal Angela Moreman has been working with officials from DOE and Purdue on this grant for about six months.    

The grant will provide training for teachers over a three year period.  Teachers will receive summer training and follow up throughout the year.  Purdue has added staff to their Curriculum and Instruction Department over the past two years to support the growth of STEM in Indiana Schools.     

Teachers participating in the program will be given training, develop new units, provided with funds to purchase some new supplies, and paid a stipend for their attendance at the training sessions.   Carroll Junior Senior High School has also submitted its application to be identified as  a STEM school by the Indiana DOE.   Carroll's strong math department and successful engineering and PLTW programs make STEM a natural fit for us. Continue reading
Hits: 1015

Server Improvements This Summer

Posted by on in Carroll CSC Blog Posts
This summer we will upgrade all of our server infrastructure. We are purchasing all new devices with more memory and faster processors. In horse racing parlance, we are upgrading from plow horses to thoroughbreds. The new servers won't win the derby, but at least you will recognize them as race horses when they are running. Our current servers are about ten years old. iPad connection speeds from home should improve. We have been planning and budgeting for this improvement for about a year.

Over the summer we will also migrate from a Novell Network to a Microsoft Network. This will help all our various programs and systems work together better. Novell is a stable platform, but very few systems or educational programs are engineered to work with it anymore. This will not impact the iPad connectivity for the students. Parents and students will not notice this change as you use the iPads at home.

I wanted everyone to know about the pending improvements.

Continue reading
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Deeper Learning

Posted by on in Carroll CSC Blog Posts
One way to summarize the skills and knowledge that students need in 21st century jobs and civic life is called “Deeper Learning”.  Below are the six basic areas of Deeper Learning.

1. Master core academic content
2. Think critically and solve complex problems
3. Work collaboratively
4. Communicate effectively – written and oral
5. Learn how to learn
6. Develop academic mindsets (attitudes and beliefs that lead to perseverance and motivation)

As our classrooms change to prepare students for what is expected of them, we have to consider how students will react.  How will students respond?  The complete answer is dependent on the specific student, but we can expect some commonalities. 

When students are challenged to think critically and solve problems, many will feel uncomfortable and unprepared.  They will want to quit and look for excuses.  They will beg for a worksheet with one word answers, not because it will prepare them better for what is expected of them, but because it is familiar and appears easier.  When students are challenged to think deeply about a concept and consider multiple approaches to a solution, we can expect resistance.  Students will ask for the one “right answer”.  Students can’t learn problem solving skills unless they encounter problems.   That is why “Learning how to learn” and “Developing academic mindsets” are part of the process.  We must teach students to persist and believe in their abilities. Students must take responsibility for their learning and reflect on their thinking.  Teachers must become intentional about teaching these success mindsets.  Reading and thinking strategies must be modeled in all subject areas. 

Parents and community members can help students by anticipating their need for productive struggling through the problem solving process and encouraging them to persist.  Have students write out their questions and roadblocks.  Tell them to look for “clues” to a solution.  As students learn to ask productive questions they will find solutions more quickly.  The student engagement will lead to improved motivation to learn and increased learning.  To find out more about deeper learning, watch the video found at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EpzJgOyiH7g Continue reading
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Scholastic Book Fair!

Posted by on in Carroll CSC Blog Posts
It's Book Fair time!  This is an annual tradition at Carroll Elementary, and a first for Carroll Junior-Senior High School!

We hope you will agree that reading is a fundamental life-long skill, and an area that we want to encourage our students to enjoy and continue to build their skills.  The Book Fairs are an excellent opportunity to do just that!

Thanks to Library and Media Center Specialists Miss Jackson and Mrs. Kinzie (and many other helpers) for all of their work before, during, and after the Book Fair. Continue reading
Tagged in: CES CJSHS Thank You
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Proposed Summer School Jump Start for K-8

Posted by on in Carroll CSC Blog Posts
We are proposing that we move summer school remediation for elementary and middle school students who need it, to July 28th-August 8th. We have discussed this in public school board meetings.This will be more of a jump-start program to start the year.

We are wanting to move away from remediation in June, and then students take a month and a half off before starting school. This only for those students who are in Tier 2 interventions at CES or CJSHS and have multiple data sources which shows this is a need.

Let me know any input on this proposed summer school date change. 

High School Summer School would remain the same dates as last year June 9th and continues until July 24th with final exams July 21st – 24th. Continue reading
Tagged in: CES CJSHS Feedback
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Additional Drug Testing

Posted by on in Carroll CSC Blog Posts
Carroll Junior Senior High School has random drug testing for students in sports, some activities, and drivers. We do not test for tobacco at this time. We would like to add this to our substances we test for. The current athletic handbook policy does not allow a student athlete to use any tobacco product no matter what their age is. We have seen an increase in tobacco usage by students, especially snuff or smokeless tobacco products. This is concerning to us as educators. Let me know your thoughts on adding tobacco as a banned substance we test for.  Continue reading
Tagged in: CJSHS Feedback
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