Dr. Tracy Contact Information 
Email: tracy@kestrelheights.org 
Phone: 919-484-1300 ext 201


Weekly Messages 

September 2016

Weekly Message (September 12-16)

Kudos to the Kids- I want to let you as parents know that our students have been doing a great job so far this year.  We are very proud of the students and their hard work and dedication.  We know this is a community effort so thank you parents for your continued and daily support of KHS. 

One area that we have seen a dramatic improvement is in student alignment with the dress code.  Students are in dress code and tucking in their shirts.  I know this can seem minor but it truly changes the culture of a building.  It can also seem redundant for our students but they have been doing a great job complying with the directions from the staff.  We thank the students and parents as this has been a point of focus this year and our students are responding in a positive manner. 

Interims- Interim reports will be coming home in the near future.  This is an opportunity for you as parents to see how your child is progressing.  It is also a time to communicate with your child’s teachers to make sure we are all on the same page.  Interims are intended to be a temperature check on the quarter and allow ample time to make the necessary adjustments to change in a positive direction.   

One way a student can make an immediate and rapid adjustment is by working to their highest potential each and every day in the classroom but also completing the homework each night.  One of the 3 R’s is rigor and we at KHS expect all our students to perform to their maximum potential in all classroom activities and complete homework when assigned. 

MAP Testing- Our high school students are finishing up the beginning of the year MAP assessment.  Our middle school students started last week and should be finished by the end of this week.  Finally, our elementary school students will start their MAP testing this week.  We have invested a lot of resources to make this process possible.  Why are we taking these tests?

These assessments are considered formative and diagnostic.  The assessments will provide each student specific information on their areas of strength and areas of growth.  They will help teachers provide better support and instruction because the assessment provides the teacher the exact skills needed to progress to the next level.  The results of the score will be shared with you and your child so you can set goals for their learning and growth as well. 

Though we will not have the results for a couple of weeks, the data provided will allow our teachers to make informed instructional decisions into January, our students will take these assessments three times this year (August-September, January, and April).  We are excited to see our results but more importantly we are excited about better supporting our students on their educational journey. 

Teacher Workday- Do not forget that this Friday September 16 is a teacher workday, no school for students on that day. 

Board Meeting- There is a Board of Directors Board Meeting on Tuesday September 13, at 6:30 PM in the middle school media center.  All KHS stakeholders are invited to attend.  Hope to see you there. 

Weekly Newsletter September 26-30

Paideia- Kestrel Heights is a Paideia school, but what does that mean?  The fundamental goals of Paideia is preparation for a full life, teaching essential skills so students can earn a good living, contribute to our democracy, and pursue happiness.  Paideia is an active learning process that fosters critical and creative thinking through didactic, coaching, and seminars

Didactic Instruction is the delivery of must-know factual information. Lecture, demonstration, videos, and reading are common forms of Didactic Instruction. The goal of Didactic Instruction is for students to acquire basic vocabulary, names, dates, places, and other facts. Effective Didactic Instruction includes students engaging with information using graphic organizers and mind maps. In a Paideia classroom, teachers work to limit their Didactic Instruction to 10-15% of instructional time.

Coaching is modeling and questioning to help students develop academic skills.  Coaching can happen one-on-one, in small groups, or as a whole class. The goal of Coaching is for students to master skills, such as reading, writing, speaking, listening and thinking. Coaching ideally occurs 70% of instructional time.

In Paideia schools, Seminar is a collaborative, intellectual dialogue facilitated by open-ended questions about a text. The goal of a Seminar is to deepen understanding of ideas, concepts, and values. Seminars are about critical thinking and civil discourse. Seminars occur approximately 15-20% of instructional time.

On September 28, we will be having our first schoolwide seminar.  Throughout this year students will be having both schoolwide seminars (based on a common theme throughout the school) and content seminars (based on what is being taught in the classroom).  As a Paideia school we are expecting that all students actively participate in seminar as well as all classroom activities.  

 At Kestrel we truly believe that Paideia creates well rounded and developed students.  By providing the student the key information they have the foundation to understand the subject; by coaching students to mastery the student will truly understand; and by conducting seminars the student will expand their thinking, reading, writing, listening, and speaking skills.  Please ask your child how seminar went and be prepared to be excited about their learning. 

 

Previous Messages 

September 2016 Messages.pdf

August 2016 Messages.pdf

Weekly Message 7.11.16.pdf

Weekly Message 6.27.16.pdf

Parent Message 2.5.16.pdf

Parent Message 1.29.16.pdf

Weekly Message 1.15.16 (Welcome Back).pdf

Weekly Message 11.23.15 (Thanksgiving).pdf

Weekly Message 11.16.15.pdf

Weekly Message 11.9.15.pdf

Weekly Message 9.28.15.pdf

Weekly Message 9.18.15.pdf

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Mark Tracy,
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