Superintendent's Advisory Council on Instruction (SACI): Thursday February 10, 2022, 7 p.m.

DRAFT. Presentations will be available on the SACI website.

Welcome-Mrs. Vanessa Olson, Chair, SACI.

Approved by a vote of acclamation for Ann Dean from Saunders Middle School to serve as Middle School Vice Chair. Minutes from January are approved as written. The March meeting will be developing the SACI annual report, finalizing the report in April, and Best Practices Conference in May.

English Language Arts-Elizabeth Davis, Supervisor, English Language Arts; Sarah Crain, Admin Coordinator, English Language Arts.

PWCS K-12 ELA curriculum based on the state SOL standards. 4 strands: communication and multi-modal literacy, reading, writing, and research. PWCS vision for literacy: voice, choice, and volume. Seek to celebrate authentic voice in student writing. Choice includes text to read, and topics to write about. For the first time, PWCS has adopted common resources across the county: HMH and myPerspectives. Having the county procure and provide the materials provides equity. The foundational early literacy skills include phonemic awareness, phonics, high frequency words, and vocabulary. For each feature supporting SOL requirements, there are a full week of lessons and resources provided for teachers. Decodable texts are very regulated, helping illustrate the lessons for the week. There is choice in the reading to help increase student engagement. While the SOL does not cover phonics after 3rd grade, 4th and 5th grade teachers have access to the phonics features, which is especially important given the current unfinished learning issues. The online resources offer not only on grade level resources, but additional support for students not yet performing on grade level, and the ability for teachers to access more advanced resources for those performing above grade level. Comprehensive literacy includes a wholistic approach. In middle and high school, the first few modules are intended to establish routines in the first weeks of school. These build the habits of independent reading, daily writing, and evaluating texts. The SOLs are based on skills, not particular texts, so the more practice students have, the better they become. The most challenging thing for students writing isn't the grammar, it's getting words on the page to begin with. Vocabulary and word analysis can help students skim a reading for key information. Reading for comprehension includes processing and determining their reactions to the reading. The opportunity to discuss items helps increase their communication skills-one of the critical threads. Yes, there were a lot of assessments in the early part of the year, especially in Elementary. This was particularly critical for the Unfinished Learning Plan. One of the main ES assessment is PALS (which is required by the state). There are additional assessments when the teacher needs to dig deeper to understand the student needs. Middle school extended language arts condenses the curriculum, and allows additional time for extended, enrich, and accelerate their learning. Learning grammar is incorporated starting in Kindergarten and reaching through 12th.

History & Social Science-Jeff Girvan, Supervisor, History & Social Science.

PWCS strands include US and World History, Civics and Government, Economics, and Geography. In PWCS, looking to perceive past events and issues as they might have been experienced by people of the time, with historical empathy, rather than present-mindedness. We focus on reading critically, to discern differences between evidence. We seek to interrogate texts and artifacts, posing questions about the past that foster informed discussion, reasoned debate, and evidence-based interpretation. Students need to understand that as we uncover more evidence, our view and understanding of the past can change. The PWCS curriculum helps students develop necessary skills, not just memorize facts. Kindergarten covers community and basic concepts, 1st on Virginia History, 2nd US History, 3rd world history, 4th Virginia History, 5th North American Geography, 6th and 7th US History, 8th Civics and Economics. In high school the core courses are world history, US history, and government. Available electives include economics, geography, law, psychology, sociology, African-American History, etc. The Council was presented examples of images students might be presented and asked to evaluate. Engaging the students in the lessons, not just lecturing to them, helps them understand the content better.

Arts- Dr. Ed Stephenson, Supervisor, Fine & Performing Arts; Jasmine Hawkins, Administrative Coordinator, Arts.

Dr. Stephenson has been in this role for 7 years, and was a MS principal previously, HS assistant principal before that, and MS and HS music teacher prior to that. His father was a cellist in the National Orchestra for 40 years, but Dr. Stephenson's professional music career was brief. Ms. Hawkins has also been in this role for 7 years, and has ES and MS teaching experience. She has primarily a visual arts background, with dabbling in theatre and dance. Study in the arts is unsurpassed in its ability to help create excellent human beings. Studies have shown that intense study of the arts while young, even for only a couple of years, is associated with a much higher level of success in life. Drawing helps enhance creativity, strengthen focus and strategic thinking, improves holistic health, develops communication skills (visual language), helps improve hand-eye coordination, improves mood, reduces stress, reduces daydreaming, improves memory, releases endorphins and serotonin, helps build new connections and pathways between the right and left brain, and enables us to actively use both sides of our brain. It is easier to make a straight line if you are dragging the instrument towards you. For drawing exercises, give yourself permission and freedom to experiment. Focus on process (not perfection or product). Practice making intuitive decisions. And yes, doodling helps many people focus and listen better, reducing wandering thoughts. The elementary level program focuses on learning the language of art, developing studio skills to create expressive artworks, exploring through play, visually communicating ideas, learning how to solve visual problems, and exploring two- and three-dimensional spaces. Middle school includes assessing and critiquing artwork, developing technical skills and creative thinking, building content knowledge, and building a portfolio to show growth over time. In high school, students develop more skill with various media, but also greater fluency in visual, oral, and written communication. There are a lot of visual arts options. For the music program, at the elementary the program is broad. They focus on the development of music reading, literacy, listening, movement, body percussion, instruments, and singing skills. Students perform in multiple public concerts throughout their elementary years. Middle school level is more performance-based: choir, band, or orchestra. This builds in that a couple of years of more intense study of music for most students that helps with later success. In high school, there are a wide variety of courses, including honors classes, and specialty programs available. Theatre and Dance are also available in middle (theatre) and high schools (dance and theatre). Productions bring together multiple skill sets to cooperate (such as sets, costumes, etc.). Our curriculum is only as good as the people delivering it. There are professional learning opportunities to help our teachers. For many high school courses, there is a sequence recommended, usually starting with Art 1, to give a good foundation of art basics (though some counseling departments may be willing to work with you). Art 1 helps develop a baseline, but also helps expose students to areas they may not be familiar with that can help them find their niche.

Budget-Ken Bassett, Director of Student Learning.

While the cancelation of the December meeting left us without a meeting covering the budget process, information on the Superintendent's proposed budget is available online. Dr. McDade recently presented the proposed budget, and that presentation is available online. We encourage you to engage in the process and communicate with your elected officials, and with your Principal's Advisory Council. It is important to be informed on this process. For information, go to the PWCS Home page > Departments > Budget, then click on Budget Updates (or just click here: PWCS Budget Updates). There is a lot of information on the process and where we are in the process. The page includes a link to the Capital Improvement Plan (school updates and renovations).

Closing-Mrs. Vanessa Olson, Chair, SACI.

This is a critical time in your Principal's Advisory Councils, often including budget information and draft budget development. The next meeting we will be developing the topics for the annual report. We will need volunteers to help with the report development and writing after that meeting, with review and approval in April. The development team will probably mostly meet virtually again this year, and even if you cannot make the virtual meetings, there will be email exchange and review.

Adjourned 9:02 p.m. Next Meeting will be March 10, 2022.