MHS Music Teacher

Magrath High School is pleased to welcome Mr. Peter Simon as the new Music instructor at our school. Mr. Simon will be joining our school starting in September 2018. He comes to our school with with a passionate drive and a vast experience in Band, Choir, and Theatre, and he artfully described himself as Thespian, and for those of you that aren't up on your acting history and don't know what that means, he is an actor; moreover, he is an energetic actor as well it seems. Through Mr. Simon's broad range of talents, it will be exciting to see what he, with the support of the community, is able to do with all of the talented students we have at MHS.

We look forward to welcoming Mr. Peter Simon along his family as he joins the Magrath High School family.

#goldbluetrue #SpiritofAlberta 

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Autism Walk

Thank you to the MHS Learning Support team for supporting the Walk for Autism today in Raymond. Family and friends from many communities came out to join our team. Unfortunately not all were available for the picture.

A team donation of $50 was made to Autism Canada with the funds earned by the students recycling pop cans gathered at various school events.

Thank you to the organizers and sponsors of this event.

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CANstruction

Yesterday 4 students from Magrath High School went to the centre village mall in Lethbridge to compete in a CANstruction competition. Waiting for the students when they arrived were 1,512 cans of Arizona Green Tea, selected for it's teal green colour and generously donated by Lance Miller at Surex Insurance brokers. The students goal was the construction of a 9 foot tall replica of one of the grain elevators near the entrance to Magrath. After 7 hours of carefully placing cans (and a large collapse) the build was finally completed. Sam Jackson, Blake Chan, Dedrick Becker and Brittan Hatch put forth an amazing amount of work that will stay on display in the Mall for the entire Month of March. All the cans used will be donated to the Lethbridge Food Bank.

 

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Professional Development: Dr. Thomas Guskey

On August 29 and 30, 2017, all Westwind teachers are attending a training with Dr. Thomas Guskey, Ph.D.

A graduate of the University of Chicago, Dr. Guskey began his career in education as a middle school teacher, served as an administrator in Chicago Public Schools, and was the first Director of the Center for the Improvement of Teaching and Learning, a national educational research center. Dr. Guskey served on the Policy Research Team of the National Commission on Teaching & America’s Future, on the Task Force to develop the National Standards for Staff Development, and was named a Fellow of the American Educational Research Association – one of the Association’s highest honors. He is the author/editor of 21 award-winning books and more than 250 book chapters and articles. His most recent books include On Your Mark: Challenging the Conventions of Grading and Reporting (2015), Reaching the Highest Standard in Professional Learning: Data (with P. Roy & V. Von Frank, 2014), Answers to Essential Questions about Standards, Assessments, Grading, and Reporting (with L. Jung, 2013), Benjamin S. Bloom: Portraits of an Educator (2nd ed., 2012), and Developing Standards-Based Report Cards (with J. Bailey, 2010). He is an engaging presenter who helps bring clarity and resolution to some of education’s most challenging problems.

Having Dr. Guskey come to speak with our teachers is an incredible opportunity and we are delighted to be able to provide this world class training for to our teachers for the benefit of our students. The focus of the time teachers will spend with Dr. Guskey is on standards based grading and reporting. It builds on the foundational teacher practice of skillful formative assessment in the classroom. It will give teachers an opportunity to learn together, examine existing practices, thoughtfully plan our way forward, and purposefully incorporate desired practices into our process of continual improvement. We affirm that the skill set of the classroom teacher is the factor with the greatest impact on student learning.

We are collectively responsible for building the professional capacity of teachers to continuously meet the changing needs of each Westwind student. 


Presentations

Dr. Guskey has given us permission to share the presentations he will be giving to our teachers on our websites so that teachers can reflect on the training afterward. We also invite parents to look at the presentations to get an understanding of what teachers learned about with Dr. Guskey. The presentations Dr. Guskey plans on giving to our teachers are:

  1. Grading & Reporting: Effective Policies and Practices
  2. Developing Standards-based Grading & Reporting Systems
  3. Beyond Assessments For Learning: Assessments That Improve Learning

1. Grading & Reporting: Effective Policies and Practices (link)

This presentation describes what we know about effective policies and practices in grading and reporting. Keeping in mind the challenges faced by teachers, we will review the importance of fairness and honesty in grading and outline strategies for reporting student learning progress that ensure meaningful communication between school and home. Procedures for implementing new reporting structures, including standards-based grading, will be highlighted, together with policies and practices that should be avoided due to their negative consequences for students, teachers, and schools.

Related Books

  • Guskey, T. R., & Jung, L. A. (2013). Answers to Essential Questions about Standards, Assessments, Grading, and Reporting. Thousand Oaks, CA: Corwin Press.
  • Guskey, T. R. (Ed.) (2009). The Principal as Assessment Leader.Bloomington, IN: Solution Tree.
  • Guskey, T. R. (Ed.) (2009). The Teacher as Assessment Leader.Bloomington, IN: Solution Tree.
  • Guskey, T. R. (1997). Implementing Mastery Learning (2nd ed.). Belmont, CA: Wadsworth Publishing.

2. Developing Standards-based Grading & Reporting Systems (link)

Effective standards-based grading and reporting requires more than just a new report card. It means reframing all the ways we communicate information about student learning. This presentation describes the development of grading and reporting systems that consider not only report cards but also open-house meetings, email, phone calls, parent-teacher conferences, student-led conferences, and other means of communication between schools and homes. Participants will leave with new understandings about how to open communication pathways that encourage family involvement and facilitate student learning.

Related Books

  • Guskey, T. R. (2015). On Your Mark: Challenging the Conventions of Grading and Reporting. Bloomington, IN: Solution Tree.
  • Guskey, T. R., & Jung, L. A. (2013). Answers to Essential Questions about Standards, Assessments, Grading, and Reporting. Thousand Oaks, CA: Corwin Press.
  • Guskey, T. R., & Bailey, J. M. (2010). Developing Standards-Based Report Cards.
  • Thousand Oaks, CA: Corwin Press.
  • Guskey, T. R. (2009). Practical Solutions to Serious Problems in Standards-Based Grading.
  • Thousand Oaks, CA: Corwin Press.
  • Guskey, T. R. (2002). How’s My Kid Doing? A Parents’ Guide to Grades, Marks, and Report Cards. San Francisco: Jossey Bass.
  • Guskey, T. R., & Bailey, J. M. (2001). Developing Grading and Reporting Systems for Student Learning. Thousand Oaks, CA: Corwin Press.

3. Beyond Assessments For Learning: Assessments That Improve Learning (link)

Using assessments to improve student learning involves more than the administration of “formative” assessments. It requires teachers to make well designed assessments an integral part of the instructional process. This presentation describes how teachers can develop clear learning targets, gather useful information on students’ performance, offer effective feedback to guide improvements in teaching and learning, and then accurately document students’ learning progress. Participants will learn how to use classroom assessments as effective learning tools, how to integrate performance assessments with more traditional assessment methods, how to align assessment procedures with important learning goals, and how these procedures will allow them to better meet the needs of diverse learners.

Related Books

  • Guskey, T. R., & Jung, L. A. (2013). Answers to Essential Questions about Standards, Assessments, Grading, and Reporting. Thousand Oaks, CA: Corwin Press.
  • Guskey, T. R. (Ed.) (2009). The Principal as Assessment Leader.Bloomington, IN: Solution Tree.
  • Guskey, T. R. (Ed.) (2009). The Teacher as Assessment Leader.Bloomington, IN: Solution Tree.
  • Guskey, T. R. (1997). Implementing Mastery Learning (2nd ed.). Belmont, CA: Wadsworth Publishing.

School Modernization

Work continues to progress on the Magrath School Modernization Project.

This week our team toured the school with the contractor to see how the project is coming along. This week one of the focuses of the work is on the auditorium gymnasium.

As the project continues to roll forward and we see the building come together, piece by piece, we would like to thank the community and our partners for your support in this project. This will be a world class educational facility that will help Magrath grow and help educate children for decades to come. Your support has been, and will continue to be, an essential element behind the success of this project. We will provide more updates on the status of this project as the work progresses.

 

Leading Change Programme

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Dear Parents;

We are very pleased to inform you that we will be in your son/daughter’s school on February 15, 2017 to facilitate a programme called Leading Change. The programme is a gender-based violence prevention programme that will explore issues of bullying, harassment, sexism and dating violence.

The overall goal of the program is to engage men and boys working in partnership with women and girls, to identify and respond to issues of gender-based violence in their communities. Participants will gain an increased awareness and understanding of gender-based violence, abuse and harassment, and the role that individuals can play to stop it. We believe that this programme is important because far too many young people today struggle with issues of abuse, harassment and violence inside and outside of relationships, and reaching out to youth can put an end to cycles of violence and control.

The key teaching tool for the Leading Change curriculum consists of highly interactive facilitated discussion centred around a series of scenarios involving actual and potential incidents of harassment and violence against young women, as well as other instances of sexism and bullying. These are based on real life scenarios that students are likely to encounter.

Parents may ask that their child not participate in this programme. Any children not participating in these activities will work on an alternate assignment. If you choose to exempt your child from this instruction component, please submit the request in writing to the school principal by Monday February 13, 2017.

If you have questions, please feel free to contact the school at 403-758-3366. We believe in a world without violence and hope that this programme will inspire students to take action against gender-based violence! 

Sincerely,

Rob Doig
Principal