Amy Griffin's Blog

Giving Thanks...

Students and families enjoy Thanksgiving Lunch!
 
With Thanksgiving quickly approaching, I hope everyone is taking the time during the hustle and bustle of the holiday to reflect on what you appreciate. It is easy to focus on the challenges, difficulties, and the only-ifs.  The CuCPS family has much to be grateful for-- we have quality staff members, students who are eager to learn, and a caring community. Even though we are a small, rural community with limited resources, we continue to show the world that we can compete and hold our own! 
 
I wish everyone a safe and Happy Thanksgiving!
 
Keep up with CuCPS and current trends and research in education on the CuCPS Twitter feed at https://twitter.com/CuCPS.
 
 
CuCPS Highlights:
  • News from the VSBA Annual Conference:
    • Cumberland County School Board Member George J. Reid, Jr. received the VSBA All Virginia School Board Award.
    • CuCPS was one of 33 “VSBA Certified Green School Divisions” in the VSBA Green Schools Challenge. 
    • Haven Langhorne and Wyatt Salinas attended the VSBA Student Leadership Workshop.
    • Ciera Whaley, Wesley Marshall, and Mrs. Davis participated in the Student Achievement Fair. They shared the Duke Store business plan.
  • Ahkiya Allen, Ebony Jones, and Alexa Massey attended the Conference for Future Medical Leaders in Washington, D. C. 
  • Kayla Paras was awarded $250.oo from a travel scholarship by EF, our travel sponsors to Puerto Rico. 
  • CHS student Brenton Morris received his Eagle Scout Badge.
  • CCES reading specialist Rachel Johnson was awarded $50 for books through a Mini-Economics Grant.  CCES teachers Miss Lane, Mrs. Riviere, and Mrs. Dobrowolski also received $50.00 from this grant.
  • Check out pictures from a CHS Site Visit:  https://www.facebook.com/media/set/?set=a.892474424099053.1073742138.243780738968428&type=1.
  • CHS student Holly Tillett produced a video about Technology at CuCPS for my visit to the White House: www.cucps.k12.va.us.
  • CCES and CMS hosted family members for Thanksgiving lunches last week. Pictures can be found on our Facebook page.
  • Members of CCES Team WIN and the Cartersville Garden Club are beautifying the Children's Memorial Garden at CCES.
  • CCES celebrated Mrs. Barley's 45 years of service.
Events for the Week:
  • Monday:
    • 6:00 CuCPS Town Hall Meeting
  • Tuesday:
    • 8:30 a.m.  Academic Jacket Ceremony
  • Wednesday-Friday:  Thanksgiving Break

The Future Ready Pledge

4th graders engage in closed circuit labs.
 
As a division, we have been working to move from a 19th/20th Century education model to the 21st Century. Our purpose is to prepare students to be successful life-long learners, workers, and citizens-- in the future, not the past nor present. We do this with a focus on teaching content through 21st Century learning skills at much higher cognitive levels. We must ensure students can effectively communicate and collaborate; critically think and problem solve; access and analyze information; have curiosity and imagination; and be innovative. These skills are evident in the Virginia Standards of Learning Curriculum Framework.  Several examples include:
 
  • The English standards and essential knowledge/skills include communication, collaboration, critical thinking, and problem solving.
  • Math standards (processing skills) and science standards include critical thinking and problem solving.
  • The history standards include accessing and analyzing information as well as critically thinking.
  • Many of the essential knowledge and skills of the standards across disciplines require students to create-- meaning new, unique applications of the content.
Along the topic of preparing our students for their future, I will be representing Cumberland County Public Schools at the Superintendents Summit at the White House this week.  During the Summit, I will once again sign the Future Ready Pledge along with 99 other selected superintendents from across the nation, President Obama, and Secretary of Education Arne Duncan. I am honored and humbled to have been selected.  I know that I have been selected due to the great team of professionals and students I serve. I pledge to:
 
  • Foster and Lead a Culture of Digital Learning Within Our Schools.
  • Help Schools and Families Transition to High-speed Connectivity.
  • Empower Educators through Professional Learning Opportunities.
  • Accelerate Progress Toward Universal Access for All Students to Quality Devices.
  • Provide Access to Quality Digital Content.
  • Offer Digital Tools to Help Students And Families 
  • Mentor Other Districts and Help Them Transition to Digital Learning.
I know I will have lots to tell once I return. Until then, you can research more about the Summit and the Future Ready Pledge at http://tech.ed.gov/futureready/attendees and http://tech.ed.gov/superintendentsummit/.
 
 
CuCPS Highlights:

FFA Officers and Mrs. Talbott present information on the new Ag Program at the Cumberland Woman's Club Meeting.

Events for the Week:

  • Monday
    • Driver's Education Meeting
  • Tuesday
    • VSBA Annual Conference
  • Wednesday
    • PreK-1st Grade Thanksgiving Feast
    • CMS Thanksgiving Feast
    • Supt. Summit at the White House
  • Thursday
    • Grades 2-4 Thanksgiving Feast
    • 5:00 Dual Enrollment Info Meeting
 
Wednesday, Nov. 26-28, 2014:  Thanksgiving Break (Schools Closed)

Memories

 
 
There were many happy memories made last week ranging from academics to athletics. A whopping 53 middle school students were inducted into the National Junior Honors Society while new Little Duke leaders joined the pack to begin service leadership for the 2014-2015 school year. Our students had various educational experiences including field trips to Bear Creek Lake State Park and Amazement Square.  4th graders learned from Native American expert, Mrs. Sawtelle, who taught them about Native American culture through stories and dance. Fall athletics are on the upswing with a great season for the first CMS football team, cross county athletes qualifying for state competition, and the Lady Dukes volleyball team earning runner-up in the conference and proceeding to the 1A-East Regional Volleyball Tournament. My favorite event of the week had to be the 8th grade Sock Hop.  I do believe the adults had just as much as fun as the students.  Make sure you check out Mrs. Snead, Ms. Rhodes, and Mrs. Chambliss in the pictures posted on our Facebook page.
 
As I reflect each Sunday in order to write this Blog, the accomplishments of our students and staff always make me proud and get my mind and heart in the right place to begin a new work week.  I would like to thank each CuCPS faculty and staff member for ensuring our students have all the opportunities they experience each and every day.  It is truly amazing to see how much happens over a week. What touched me the most about last week was seeing our teachers having such a great time with the students, from the Sock Hop to the 6th grade field trip-- teachers and staff were loving what they were doing!  That makes me proud!  
 
 
 

CuCPS Highlights:

  • 53 middle school students were inducted into the NJHS last week.
    • Congratulations to the following NJHS officers: President - Nadia Elasha; V. President - Cailey Hurley; Secretary - Abby Heath; Treasurer - Tayanna Bradley; and Historian - Cole Fillman.
  • The Little Duke Leaders have added new members this year!
  • Sports News:  
    • Our CHS Lady Dukes will be the #6 seed in the 2014 VHSL 1A-East Regional Volleyball Tournament tonight. The Lady Dukes will travel to #3 seed Mathews High School with game time at 6:00 p.m.
      • The Lady Dukes finished as the Conference 44 runner-up with a 13-8 record by defeating William Campbell, 3-1, and Highland HS, 3-0. 

  • The Cumberland High School Girls Cross Country Team finished in 10th place out of 17 in the 1A East Regional at Pocahontas State Park.
  • Congratulations to the following Boys Cross Country Team runners who qualified for the VHSL State competition to be held this week: Jared Halvorsen (4th), Mathew Bapties and John Ryan Bapties. 
  • The CMS Football team beat Nelson 42-0.
  • The following teams celebrated Senior Night:
    • Volleyball
    • Football
  • Alumni News: Article written by CHS alum, Allie Robinson Gibson:  http://www.tricities.com/news/article_a81d7058-6625-11e4-9ecd-0017a43b2370.html
  • Faculty and Staff News:
    • The Judith Randolph-Longwood Chapter, National Society Daughters of the American Revolution, will hold its Nov. 11 meeting at the Farmville-Prince Edward Community Library in Farmville, at 3:30 p.m. The guest speaker will be Major Peter Amico, Commander R.O.T.C at Cumberland County High School. The topic of discussion will be “Training Our Young Men.”
    • Kindergarten and 1st grade teachers planned with Mrs. Ruth Harbin-Miles during collaborative planning.
    • 3rd grade teachers developed Table of Specifications (TOS) during collaborative planning.
Events for the Week:
  • Monday
    • School Board Meeting (Closed Session at 6:00 p.m. and Open Session at 7:00 p.m.)
  • Tuesday
    • Ruritan Veteran's Day Breakfast at the Cumberland Fire House
    • CCES Focus School Visit
  • Wednesday
    • Fall Sports Banquet (6:00 p.m.)
  • Thursday
    • Financial Aid Night (6:00 p.m.)
  • Friday
    • SVCC Health Science Fair in Chase City

Upcoming Events:

  • Monday, November 17th: Parent-Student Driver’s Education Meeting 

Thinking about Rigor

While working on aligning the written, taught, and assessed curriculum,  we have found the importance of ensuring that the standards and essential knowledge/skills are taught at the appropriate cognitive level. The rigor of the intended learning outcome must be planned, executed, and assessed. I found the above graphic to be a good example that planning for deeper learning does not mean more, added work -- but different.
 
CuCPS Highlights:

  • Congratulations to the CHS Volleyball Teams for their wins last week. JV won in two sets and  Varsity won in four sets. The Varsity Ladies celebrated Senior Night with solid play and have earned 3rd place in the Conference 44 playoffs scheduled for this week. 
    • The Varsity Lady Dukes will be hosting the first round of the Conference 44 Volleyball Tournament on Wednesday, at 6 p.m. against Highland County High School in the gym. 
  • Girls Cross Country finished 3rd and qualified for 1A East Regionals. Ebony Jones (10th), Marya Elasha (12th), and Annesha Harris (13th) were All-Conference 44 runners. Carmean Meacham and Tonishea Ford qualified with the team.
  • Boys Cross Country Team finished 4th. Jared Halvorsen finished in 3rd place and was All-Conference 44. Matthew Bapties finished 11th place and made the All-Conference Team. John Bapties (16th), Joseph Kingsley, Delante Trent, and JaQuan Brown all ran well. The VHSL 1A East Regional will take place Wednesday, November 5th at Pocahontas Park in Chesterfield.

  • CMS Red Ribbon Week Art Contest Winners:
    • Front row L-R: Alexander Alvarez, Ann McConkey, Jada Patterson, Ebony Arauz-Tellez
    • Back row L-R: Taron Yancey, Shakisha Ayers, Linden Czeizinger, Zoe Leonard
  • Alumni News:
    • John P. "Jay" Brandt was inducted into Omicron Delta Kappa at Hampden-Sydney College on October 26, 2014. Membership in Omicron Delta Kappa is granted to those who demonstrate leadership achievements in one of five phases of campus life:
      • Scholarship
      • Athletics
      • Campus or Community Service, Social and Religious Activities, and Campus Government
      • Journalism, Speech and Mass Media
      • Creative and Performing Arts

Events for the Week:

  • Tuesday
    • 10:00 Administrative Council Meeting
  • Wednesday
    • 3:30  CCES SLT/Division Team Data Meeting
  • Thursday
    • 3:30  CCES Focus School Webinars

Big Things Do Come in Small Packages

 
It is said that big things come in small packages-- this is definitely the case with all the great things that are happening at CuCPS. We may be a small school division; however, last week was filled with many milestones, events, and accomplishments as you can read in the CuCPS Highlights.  From winning in fall sports to participating in unique field trips, our students excelled and participated in numerous activities and events. Please take the time to read about all the wonderful things and opportunities that took place with our students and staff!
 
 
CuCPS Highlights:
  • CHS students interacted with NASA in the MESDT 2014-2015 Student Kick-Off Event. See our students at 51.03 on the video clip. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7_qutCzBUv0&feature=youtu.be.
  • The first edition of an online magazine published by English 10 Honors students, under the direction of Mrs. Haigh, can be found at http://cucps.weebly.com/.
  • Cumberland Theatre finished 2nd place in the Conference 44 Theatre Championships. The Dukes performed well and now look forward to advancing to the Regional Championships in two weeks at Northumberland County High School.
    • Congratulations to Justin Crawford for being selected as an All-Conference 44 Outstanding Actor!
  • Cheyenne Crenshaw and Linden Czeizinger were recognized at the 2014 Area Youth Art Exhibit for having selected works displayed in the Longwood Hull Building.
  • The CHS Boys Cross Country Team finished 3rd in the JRD Cross Country Championships. John Bapties finished 7th; Matthew Bapties, 3rd; and Jared Halvorsen finished in 1st place. All three runners were named to the All JRD Team. These young men will be competing with the rest of their teammates in the Conference 44 Championships in Altavista Va. 
    • Congratulations goes to Jared Halvorsen for being named the 2014 JRD Cross Country Runner Of The Year.

  • The CMS Football Team won against William Campbell.
  • The CMS Volleyball Team finished the season with a 7-1 record!
  • Field Trips:

  • Special Events for the Week:
    • Delegate Tommy Wright visited early for VSBA Take Your Legislator to School Month
    • CCES Participated in Read for the Record Day!
    • Chemistry students celebrated Mole Day!
    • Students with the Respiratory Therapy Program in the Heath Science Academy celebrated Respiratory Care Week.
    • Parents and students participated in Conferences.
  • Staff attended the following Professional Development:
    • CCES Focus School 
    • Region 8 Writing Aligned Test Items 
    • DOE English SOL Institute
  • Alumni News:  
    • 2014 Graduate Ti'Eshia Crump was named the 2014 Virginia State University ROTC Homecoming Queen!
    • 2014 Graduate Logan Ross was recognized at the 2014 Area Youth Art Exhibit for having selected work displayed in the Longwood Hull Building.

Events for the Week:
  • Monday
    • 10:00 Administrative Council Meeting
    • 3:00 CMS Alternate Assessment Meeting
  • Tuesday
    • 3:30  CCES Alternate Assessment Meeting
  • Wednesday
    • CMS Academic Review Workshop

New addition in the Ag Program! 

It's Parent-Teacher Conference Time!

 
Congratulations to Homecoming 2014 King and Queen, Chase Davis and Madison Glover!
 
Parent-Teacher Conferences will be held this Thursday, October 23, 2014, from 11:00 a.m. - 7:00 p.m.  The format is different this year with students not having school on Thursday. Students are strongly encouraged to attend conferences with their parents.  Students are an integral part of the conferencing process -- you are conferencing about their learning! This will hopefully lead to student-led conferences in the future.  
 
To get everyone prepared for Thursday, I have found two articles. One is about what parents want teachers to know while the other is about what teachers want parents to know.  I found it interesting to read about the perspectives from both stakeholders.
 
What Parents Want Teachers to Know:
 
  • Every home situation is different.
  • Please, plan for us.
  • Homework must be meaningful-- if given at all.
  • How can I be an advocate without being overbearing?
  • We're here for a better life.
  • Meet us where we are.
 
What Teachers Want Parents to Know:
  • Coaches, advisors play valuable roles, too.
  • Stay in the know with social media.
  • Change is hard but essential.
  • We are all on the same team.
  • At-home projects are important.
  • Respect goes both ways.
  • Your words can foster a love for learning.
Read more from Eric Sheninger's article in USA Today at http://www.usatoday.com/story/news/nation/2013/08/25/teachersecrets/2693775/.
 
CHS teachers have fun with Spirit Week!
 
CuCPS Highlights:
 
  • Last week was filled with good times and lots of spirit!  It ended with a game win (44-20) and the Homecoming Dance on Saturday. Congratulations to Homecoming 2014 King and Queen, Chase Davis and Madison Glover.  Homecoming Week pictures can be found at  https://www.facebook.com/pages/Cumberland-County-Public-Schools-VA/243780738968428.
  • Recognitions and presentations at the October School Board meeting can be found at www.cucps.k12.va.us.
  • Dr. Jones, Mr. Reid, Mr. Gilliam, and Mr. Preston represented CuCPS in the Backpacks of Love Golf Tournament fundraiser last week.  
  • All three schools participated in Great ShakeOut Earthquake Drills on October 16th.
  • The October 13th Professional Development Day consisted of K-8 Math PD and Collaborative Planning.

Coleman Phillips and Justin Caban attend the West Point Leadership and Ethics Conference.
 
Events for the Week:
  • Monday:  
    • English SOL Institute
  • Wednesday:
    • Report Cards Home
    • 1:00 Visit from Delegate Tommy Wright (VSBA Take Your Legislator to School Month)
  • Thursday:
    • No School for Students
    • Parent-Teacher Conferences from 11:00 a.m. - 7:00 p.m.
    • Region 8 Writing Assessment Items Workshop
  • Sunday:
    • Longwood Youth Art Exhibit from 2:30-4:00 p.m.
High School Students:  If you are interested in going to Puerto Rico for Spring Break 2015, please contact Mrs. Barr at mbarr@cucps.k12.va.us.  
 
K-8 Math PD: Math Vertical Alignment 

It's Homecoming Week!

 


CMS celebrates Pink Day to bring awareness and prevent Breast Cancer.
Cooler weather and the beautiful changing colors of leaves are indications that Homecoming is upon us.  Homecoming week is an exciting and memorable time for our students and staff. Traditional events take place this week including spirit days, a Powderpuff game, the Homecoming Game against Bluestone High School, and the annual Homecoming Dance. CCES and CHS Spirit Week themes can be found on our Facebook Page at https://www.facebook.com/pages/Cumberland-County-Public-Schools-VA/243780738968428.  We are pleased to recognize the 2014 Homecoming Class Representatives: 
 
Mr. and Miss Freshman – William Groves and Olivia Sims 
Mr. and Miss Sophomore – De’Shaun Liggins and TayZiana Booker 
Mr. and Miss Junior – Dakota Boyles and Cadajah Randolph 
Mr. and Miss Senior – Deitrich Brown and Ajah Smith
 
2014 Homecoming Queen Nominees: Annesha Harris, Madison Glover, Kajah Smith, Alexa Massey, and Taneijha Hampton
 
2014 Homecoming King Nominees: Juwan Childress, Edward Rose, Chase Davis, Quinton Harris, and Tony Ford
 

First graders in Ms. Grant's class collaborate on a map project.
 
CuCPS Highlights:
Events for the Week:
 
Monday
  • Professional Development Day: No School for Students
    • K-8 Math PD
    • Collaborative Planning
  • 10:00 Ag. Advisory Committee Meeting
  • October School Board Meeting
  • Make-Up Football Game against Amelia (in Amelia)
Tuesday:
  • 7:00  Board of Supervisors Meeting
Wednesday:
  • End of 9 Weeks (Report Cards Home Oct. 22)
  • 4:00 Gov. School Joint Board Meeting
  • 5:30  CHS Powderpuff Game
Thursday:
  • Backpacks of Love Golf Tournament
Friday:
  • Homecoming Football Game
Saturday:
  • CHS Homecoming Dance
October 23, 2014: Parent-Teacher Conference Day from 11:00-7:00. There will be no school for students; however, parents are strongly encouraged to bring their children to the conferences. Students are integral participants in conferences.
 

Inspiration, Innovation, and Impact



FFA students participate in the two man sawing contest at the Virginia State Fair.

 

I have been away from campus for approximately a week and a half participating in an Academic Review workshop on behalf of CMS, the Superintendents' Professional Conference titled, A Vision for Virginia's Future, and the national EdLeader21 Conference. My heart and mind are full of wonderful thoughts and plans. I became most inspired at the EdLeader21 Conference, where over 500 progressive individuals gathered from across the nation.  I learned about student voice, performance tasks, learning spaces that promote 21st Century learning, Maker Spaces, quality student work (with High Tech High staff), and much, much more! Keynote speakers included Michael Fullan, Jay McTighe, and Russ Quaglia. I attended a design thinking workshop at Mount Vernon Presbyterian School in Atlanta where school staff and students along with Albemarle County Public Schools (VA) partnered to teach, model, and show examples of design thinking.  A tour of the school showed a culture of student voice and leadership as well as a culture of inspiration, innovation, and impact.  

 

I am certainly glad to be back home. I have definitely missed the CuCPS family.  And of course, cannot wait to begin sharing, designing, and planning as a result of the learning that I experienced in the last several weeks!

 

 


 

 

CuCPS Highlights:

 

  • Rose Giles won first place in the middle school division of the state’s CVC Poster Contest. She was invited to Richmond to participate in the CVC kickoff event and to have a VIP tour of the Executive Mansion as well as a tour of the Capitol. 
  • CCES raised $1750.65 for the Walk for Education.
  • A new stall has been delivered for our Ag animal friends.
  • Tyler Shores made the All-Conference 44 Golf Team. He advances to play in the Region 1A East Regional Golf Tournament.
  • CHS Boy's & Girls Cross Country Teams competed in the 2014 James River Cross Country Challenge. The event was held at Hardy Cross Country Course on the grounds of Fork Union Military Academy. Our boys placed 3rd out of 9 teams; Jared Halvorson placed 5th out of 118 runners; and Matthew Bapties placed 8th. 
  • CMS Volleyball defeated Bluestone MS, 3-0 25-15 25-15 25-14. CMS has a record 6-1 in the season. 
  • CHS Varsity & JV Volleyball defeated Central Lunenburg, JV 2-0 and Varsity 3-0.
  • CuCPS has been highlighted in the following Ecycle Best Blog:  http://www.ecyclebest.com/blog/recycling-revolution/cucps-piloting-the-way-to-a-greener-tomorrow
  • US Marshalls visited ROTC:  http://www.cucps.k12.va.us/index.php/component/k2/item/159-marshalls-visit-chs

 


CuCPS at the Annual Moton Museum Community Banquet.

 

Events for the Week:

 

  • Monday
    • 3:00 Division/CHS SLT Data Meeting
  • Tuesday
    • 10:00 Administrative Council Meeting
    • 3:00 Division/CMS SLT Data Meeting
  • Wednesday
    • 4:00 Comprehensive Plan Advisory Committee Meeting
  • Thursday
    • 3:30 Federal Programs Advisory Committee Meeting
  • Friday
    • Focus School Workshop (CCES)

 

Division Calendar:  http://www.cucps.k12.va.us/index.php/important-dates

http://blogs.kqed.org/mindshift/2014/09/why-students-should-take-the-lead-in-parent-teacher-conferences/

 


 

Meet Ruby who is relaxing in the new rabbit hutch built by our carpentry students.

 

CuCPS 2014 Graduation Rates

 

Last week, the Virginia Department of Education released 2014 On-Time Graduation rates for school divisions. We are pleased to report that Cumberland County Public Schools exceeded the state average in graduation rates as well as the percentage of students graduating with Advanced Studies diplomas.  The class of 2014 at Cumberland High School earned the following:

 

  • Graduation and Completion Index:  94%
  • Advanced Studies Diplomas:  60%  (state average:  50.6%)
  • On-Time Graduation Rate:  91.2%  (state average:  89.9%)

Cumberland High School also had 43.53% of students participating in dual enrollment coursework and 22% of students graduating with Associate Degrees. Congratulations to our students and staff!

 

http://www.doe.virginia.gov/news/news_releases/2014/09_sept24.shtml

 

 

CuCPS Highlights:

 

Students participated in See You at the Pole!  

 

Events for the Week:

 

Division Calendar:  http://www.cucps.k12.va.us/index.php/important-dates

 

October Dates to Remember:

 

October 13, 2014: Professional Development Day (No School for Students)

 

October 23, 2014: Parent/Teacher Conferences from 11:00 a.m.-7:00 p.m. (No School for Students; however, students should attend conferences with their parents)

 

 

State and Federal Accreditation Ratings: Questions and Answers


 
Last week, VDOE issued a press release regarding state and federal accreditation for school divisions in the Commonwealth.  Since then, a reporter from the Farmville Herald emailed me the following questions regarding our schools' state and federal accreditation ratings.  
 
Below are the questions from the reporter and the answers from me:
 
Question:  Last year, all three schools were accredited with warning. This year, they have moved in three different directions. As far as state and federal accreditation, what do you think is the greatest challenge for the Cumberland School Division? What is its greatest strength?
 
Answer:  We are excited that Cumberland High School is Fully Accredited and met all federal benchmarks. We are currently intensely focused on K-8 reading and math. Over the past several years, Virginia has implemented new standards. A decline in scores during the transition does not mean that students are learning less but that the standards are more rigorous. We are working to align our curriculum, instruction, and assessments to the new standards. CMS and CCES will become Fully Accredited. Teachers and students will adjust to the new standards and there will be growth in scores.
 
  • Our greatest challenges are K-8 reading and math.
  • Our greatest strengths are the CuCPS faculty and staff who are dedicated to ensuring our students have a quality education, not only measured by SOL scores, but also through many other accomplishments and achievements. Our staff has a strong work ethic and is committed to aligning instruction to the new standards.  Our students are a strength.  They are eager to learn and appreciate the opportunities they have at school. We are also thankful for the continued support of our parents and community as we implement the new standards and expand opportunities for our students.

Question:  The elementary school is a focus school this year. It is a big jump to go from fully accredited two years ago, to in the bottom 10 percent in the state. What is the division doing to ensure elementary students will receive a quality education this year?

  • Answer:  We are working on aligning the written, taught, and assessed curriculum to the new standards.  We have spent the summer participating in professional development on aligning assessments, rigorous math instruction, and English/Language Arts instruction.  We have also hired consultants in reading and math to assist teachers and administrators in alignment and deeper learning of the standards. Professional Development days have been scheduled once a month for continuous learning and collaborative planning. As a focus school, there will be additional professional development with designated consultants from the Virginia Department of Education.

Question:  Can you explain the precipitous drop in reading at the Elementary School over the past years? What is the division doing to correct that?

  • Answer:  Although we invested additional resources in the area of elementary reading last year, there was no growth in elementary reading SOL scores. However, we did see a gain in reading levels (according to iReady diagnostic testing) from 52% to 81% of students reading on or above grade level.  This year, we will continue to improve our reading levels; however, we will also ensure that we are teaching the standards at the depth required.

Question:  Can you explain the increase in math at the Elementary School? What resulted in that increase over the years?

  • Answer:  The teachers have become more familiar with the math standards.  Elementary math is still an area of improvement and teachers have been strategically working to teach the math standards through more problem solving, hands-on learning, and understanding of concepts.

Question:  What led to the high school’s increased graduation and completion index?

  • Answer:  We are very proud that Cumberland High School is Fully Accredited. There was growth noted in all areas with significant growth in math scores and the graduation rate.  I believe this was achieved through the relationships built with students by the staff, the focus on standards, and hard work from the staff and students.  I interviewed each senior individually last year prior to graduating. Student after student commented on the caring and dedicated teachers at Cumberland High School who go above and beyond to ensure students have what they need. 
Closing Remarks to the reporter:  It is important for all three school to be Fully Accredited.  However, SOL scores do not measure all the learning and growth that take place in a school.  Our students and staff have many accomplishments and achievements that go beyond standardized test scores. 
 
As a school division, we have decided to look at our challenges as opportunities for learning and growth for all stakeholders. I am confident that we will overcome these challenges for our students and community. Our students deserve the very best which is a quality education that prepares them for life.  We want our students to be life-long learners, hard workers, and productive and giving citizens. We are committed to this purpose as well as having all three schools Fully Accredited.
 
 

 
 
CuCPS Highlights:
  • I enjoyed my visits to classrooms last week. Some highlights are:
    • Mrs. Barr's Spanish class singing the parts of the body. Check out the video on Facebook.
    • The students' presentations and stories about conic sections in Ms. Miller's class.
    • Students doing model drawings while problem solving in Mrs. Page's math class.
    • Students researching to develop 13 Colonies Brochures in Miss Weider's class.
    • Mrs. Fleischman's class doing Brain Gym. 
    • Miss Kelly's students presenting their Constitution for students.
    • Mrs. Price's class using problem solving to solve a word problem in math class.
    • Mrs. Hughes' class being archaeologists!
  • Annesha Harris was awarded her state ring and plaque during lunch on Friday.
  • Mrs. Talbott's Ag. class went to Holliday Lake last week.
  • Prek went to the Richmond Zoo on Friday!
  • The Sports Officiating class if off to a great start with Mr. Pearman. This is the first of its kind in Virginia!
  • 2014 graduate, Dylan Samuels, is highlighted in the SVCC video featuring technical courses offered at SVCC. The video can be found on our Facebook page. 
  • Love the new art gallery in the CCES Lobby!

 
  • The following Professional Development and Collaborative Planning took place on September 17th:
    • K-8 math teachers participated in Math PD and began vertical articulation discussions.
    • PreK teachers visited a preK class in Chesterfield and TTAC.
    • CMS English teachers collaboratively planned.
    • Mrs. Korrow presented Kahoot to the CHS staff.
    • Ms. Whittaker presented Outdoor Classroom opportunities to CHS staff.
    • Ms. Miller facilitated professional development on Aligning Assessments.
    • The CCES reading team met to develop intervention plans.
  • Check out our website to see the September School Board meeting recognitions and presentations:  www.cucps.k12.va.us
  • CCES held Family Movie and Data Night.
  • Algebra I, Geometry, AFDA, and Algebra II teachers held Family Math Night for families.
  • The visiting teachers from China enjoyed their visit to CCES and CHS!
  • Mrs. Sharpe received an email from a staff member from Lynchburg College praising how well mannered our high school students were during their visit.  She said they were one of the best groups they have ever had!

 
 
Events for the Week:
  • Monday
    • Administrative Council Meeting
    • CHS After School Program Begins
  • Tuesday
    • Region 8 Aligning Assessment Workshop in Chase City
  • Wednesday
    • Nature Explore Workshop
    • Superintendent Student Panels
      • 9:00 CCES
      • 10:00 CMS
      • 2:15  CHS
    • CIP Meeting (4:00)
  • Thursday
    • Academic Review Workshop for CMS (Division/Principal)
  • Friday
    • Academic Review Workshop for CMS (Division/Principal)