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Approved Your CaLL Projects

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​2017-2018 Your CaLL Projects

Passion Projects: Genius Hour in the 7-12 Classroom
In year 2 of this project the team is exploring how genius hour engages students to explore their own passions and encourages creativity in the classroom. The resources will include how to implement genius hour in the classroom, samples of student deliverable throughout a genius hour project, technology resources to help implement genius hour and a list of tips for those teachers ready to dive in and have their students participate in genius hour.


2016-2017 Your CaLL Projects

Bringing IT Everywhere
Providing tailored, short informational sessions for support staff, that are designed to share meaningful training while respecting use of time. This will empower the school staff to address technology issues by providing them with access to resources and training opportunities.

Cultivating Campus Leaders Year 2
The goal of this project is to increase the leadership capacity of staff on the Dysart High School Campus. We believe by increasing staff leadership and connectedness we will improve campus culture and increase teacher retention. By identifying data on staff school involvement, we can identify campus staff that are highly involved and provide opportunities to cultivate future leaders. We will collect data, analyze data, establish a common definition of a leadership role, design and propose opportunities, and create supports that enhance success. We will recommend involvement that includes support or training in the area. Our purpose is to design opportunities that meet the needs of students, teachers, and school and to create a culture that has high expectations for student success in all academic and extracurricular activities.

Curators of Proficiency Levels of HS Math
Curators will be responsible for continuing the creation and vetting process of building a math resource library. The library will include video instruction, explorations and activity based learning, anchor tasks and other supplemental resources to guarantee effective math instruction is accessible to all students. Curators will ensure that all videos and additional resources contain appropriate proficiency levels to secure district-wide alignment.

Growing a Community School Garden Year 2
This project is to design a community school garden to be used as an outdoor classroom and establish a meaningful connection to nature. Students will be engage in 21st Century Learning skills as they design and grow multilevel organic gardening structures.

Orff in the Music Classroom
Three teachers from different Dysart elementary schools will collaborate to redesign and realign our K-6 music curriculum to be taught using the Orff-Schulwert method of teaching. Our goal is to take the K-6 curriculum to a more rigorous level of instruction. Allowing music staff to help build 21st Century Learners through a method of teaching that allows students to learn by doing. This approach to music education builds skills and music concepts while involving the child actively in movement, speech, singing, playing instruments, and finally in creating their own music and compositions. 

Passion Projects: Genius Hour in the 7-12 Classroom
Genius hour is a movement that allows students to explore their own passions and encourages creativity in the classroom. It provides students a choice in what they learn during a set period of time during school. The project is intended to research and provide teacher resources to implement a passion project (also known as a Passion Project). The resources will include how to implement genius hour in the classroom, samples of student deliverable throughout a genius hour project, technology resources to help implement genius hour and a list of tips for those teachers ready to dive in and have their students participate in genius hour.

Peer Mentor Connections Expansion
Our team would like to expand our work on this project to include additional training resources and modules for mentor and mentees use in growing professionally as an educator and/or in the "Dysart Way". The goal of this project is to fully initiate teachers that are new to our district and new to the profession in the "We are Dysart" culture and community. Teachers will be able to show their understanding through 21st century skills as well as increasing their engagement in their own learning. Additionally, our goal of the expansion is to extend our learning experiences, build additional modules and resources by branching out from our initial partnership of two schools to include additional partnering schools mentors and mentees.

Realign and Redesign Art through Technology Year 3
Teachers will be able to use the resources created in this project to collaborate on media, artwork, lessons,links, websites in one place. We will use a Blendspace account to create linear lessons. Students will become more self-direct as artists as they use the resources created in this project as a flipped classroom, enrichment or share and collaborate with teachers and each other as they work on the lessons. Advanced students can use these lessons as enrichment To increase student engagement through critical thinking, communication, collaboration, and creativity. 4 C’s becomes a logical extension of classroom instruction as students are connected to their learning and each other with technology devices. 

School, Family, and Community Partnerships in a Title I School
In order to uphold and fulfill the vision and mission, it is essential for all schools to develop and sustain school, family, and community partnerships. Epstein et al. (2002) argue that with frequent, high quality interactions between schools, communities, and parents, many students are more likely to receive common messages regarding the importance of school and working hard. More than communication of common messages, family engagement is a critical part of school improvement efforts. Additionally, schools must create multiple ways for families and communities to become engaged in the learning process. For this project, we will be committed to thinking outside of the typical parent nights and conferences that take place on the school campus. Our goal is to significantly increase family and community engagement with the school in many venues, which in turn should significantly increase academic achievement among the students of the school. 

STEM100 Year 2
EdLeader21 is a professional learning community (PLC) of district and school leaders focused on integrating the 4Cs (critical thinking, communication, collaboration and creativity) into education at scale. We are seeking more rigorous ways to define success and measure improvement. 

Use of the Dual Discrepancy/Consistency Model to Determine the Presence of a Specific Learning Disability
The purpose of this project is to move Dysart towards a more research based, data driven model to diagnose specific learning disabilities. The Dual Discrepancy/Consistency Model (Flanagan, Ortiz, & Alfonso, 2013) will help school psychologists in conjunction with teachers tailor specific academic interventions based on student specific deficits and increase SLD student achievement.

2015-2016 Your CaLL Projects

Advanced Placement App Resources
Project collaborators will create a mobile app for students to load onto devices (or pull via the web) that provides access to readings and other materials deemed essential for advanced placement success. This resource will include feedback from staff and students, and support students in preparation for their annual Advanced Placement Exam.

Bringing Multiple Teacher Initiatives Together to Build a Path to Coherence
Multiple initiatives pressure teachers, competing for their interests: AZCCR, a renewed emphasis on teacher evaluation, a shifting landscape for professional development and now the emphasis on 21st Century Skills and the 4Cs. There is a need to help teachers see how these initiatives serve to support each other and do not stand independent of one another in their own silos.  Dysart will gain valuable insight in regards to how professional development aligned to specific high yield instructional strategies, explicitly connected to teacher rating scales, impacts teachers views of their efficacy and if this impacts the rating scale used to evaluate teachers.

Cultivating Campus Leadership
Our purpose is to cultivate teachers to become connected, committed, and involved campus leaders. We will collect data, analyze data, establish a common definition of a leadership role, design and propose opportunities, and create supports that enhance success. Through these leadership opportunities we will increase teacher retention and promote a school culture of success.

DysartSafe: Think Safe, Act Safe, Be Safe
We are creating a culture of safety awareness, confidence and preparedness through engaging videos and instructional plans that can be utilized by teachers to enhance the learning environment. Goal C of Dysart's Strategic Plan says: Through consistent processes, students and staff will be safe and secure. The DysartSafe Project Team will work to support the district's goal by providing tools and resources for students and staff, creating resources that can be used year to year, and enhancing the expertise and confidence of students, staff and administration.

Growing a Community School Garden
This project will provide many opportunities for students to collaborate among various grade levels, their families, and the community by designing and establishing our school’s community garden.  Students will engage in 21st Century Learning skills as they design and grow multi-level organic gardening structures.  They will be exposed to a hands-on environmental education which will foster an awareness of agriculture, nutrition, and provide a school-based ecosystem.  Students will learn the value of working hard and gain responsibility and patience while tending their gardens.

Motivating Students Through Creative Expression
This project will be comprised of five main components. The first three components will focus on innovative instruction and creating professional development modules that will help teachers use humor and games in the classroom, use music and props in the classroom, and use technological tools in the classroom to increase student motivation and engagement. The next component will focus on assessment and establishing ePortfolios as a means of authentic assessment to increase student motivation and engagement. Finally, in year two, we will expand our project to include motivating students through opportunities for creative expression such as Poetry Outloud, a songwriting contest, literary magazine, and open-mic night(s). 

Peer Mentor Connectivity
This project will help the Peer Mentors and Mentees connect through a Google Classroom. Mentors will support mentees as they work through different modules sharing expertise and strategies. These modules or lessons would help the teachers that are new to the district or new to teaching understand the "Dysart Way" and collaborate with any of the peer mentors to get any needed help.
 
Realign and Redesign Art through Technology
Three teachers from different Dysart schools will use technology to redesign and realign our Art curriculum to the 4 Cs : critical thinking, creativity, communication and collaboration, using Blendspace. We would like to create a resource for district art teachers to use to share our lessons .Students will become more self-direct as artists as they use the resources created in this project. Advanced students can use these lessons as enrichment. District art teachers will be able to use the resources created in this project to collaborate on media, artwork, lessons, links, and websites in one place. We finished the 7th & 8th grade curriculum and we are using them. They have been phenomenal! As part of our Project Expansion we will revise and improve the existing resources. We will also create 12 new Art units for our 5th & 6th grade programs. 

Simplifying I. T. Expansion Project
The Simplifying I.T. project is designed to create and sustain a team of student leaders to support technology integration including the connection of hardware, troubleshooting of hardware, preparation of new hardware on a site-based level, while following all District procedures, requirements and protocols. Our Expansion year will continue supporting our tech student leaders with educational training during after school enrichment club and on the job training while expanding support to include commonly used software applications in addition to hardware. Simplifying I.T. leaders and other professional experts will support enrichment opportunities of previous skills while teaching new skills as we bring experts to our schools and take field trips when applicable. The Simplifying I.T. project is designed to create resources for the establishment of a team of student leaders to support technology integration on every school site in the Dysart Unified School District.

Standards Alignment Project Expansion - iPAL
This project will build upon our previous project of aligning sequential and spiraled curriculum that ensures all stakeholders understand and master the required standards between Cambridge and Advanced Placement. The pacing guides that were developed will provide the framework needed to insure high levels of student achievement on Cambridge, AP, and college placement tests. For this project expansion, we will create iPAL resources for Cambridge First Language English & Cambridge Literature courses.

Strategic Intervention in the Middle and High School Levels
Our team is going to continue to work toward the goal of implementing a district wide protocol for referring and responding to students in need of academic interventions. The groundwork for this project included the development of an online platform for data collection and progress monitoring, a collection of evidence based, effective interventions, and the development of Professional Development to be used in training sites district wide. We look forward to continuing this work and ensuring that each of our students in DUSD has appropriate and quick responses through intervention when they are struggling with their academics.

Stem 100
The STEM100 project is a national initiative in which 100 6th grade classrooms come together to define what STEM looks like and to explore how science can be integrated across subject areas.  Partners include EdLeader21 and the Carnegie Foundation, as well as several school districts in close collaboration. Our role is to document the development of cross curricular STEM projects that embed the 4Cs rubrics.  Resources created and lessons learned will be available for all Dysart teachers to support STEM learning.

West Point's Virtual World Creation
7th and 8th grade students will be using new century media arts tools to collaboratively designing an ideal virtual world and eventually collaborate with high school students taking gaming computer classes. Our goal is to make our new century learners STEAM-I (using science-technology-engineering-arts-mathematics-interactively) This is a tool, a construct that supports engineering 21st century graduates. We are planning to create a meeting place for students that can teach other students methods in virtual world building. This project enhances the expertise of participants within an area of each educator and student's interest. Educator members are at multiple sites and students will be collaborating with multiple school students.

Writing for Understanding
Writing for Understanding will provide a practical, proven approach to teaching writing that targets insufficient student understanding of content information and of the writer's craft as key reasons for poor quality student writing. Through Writing for Understanding, teachers learn to help students build and process working content knowledge and understanding of the writer's craft; identify a central idea for their writing then focus it for a question; and transfer their developing writing abilities independently to knew situation. With models of effective teaching, samples of student writing, and practical tools for classroom use, Writing for Understanding offers an inspiring and useful tool for developing effective, independent, student writers.

Administrative Internships
The goal of this project is to provide administrative leaders in the district with opportunities to learn and expand their skills and understanding of the leadership responsibilities and opportunities at the district department level.  This program is an extension of Your CaLL and supports the mission of that initiative to create a 21st century community of leaders and a sustainable model for developing leaders throughout the Dysart Unified School District.
 

2014-2015 Your CaLL Projects

Bringing Multiple Teacher Initiatives Together to Build a Path to Coherence
Multiple initiatives pressure teachers, competing for their interests: AZCCR, a renewed emphasis on teacher evaluation, a shifting landscape for professional development and now the emphasis on 21st Century Skills and the 4Cs. There is a need to help teachers see how these initiatives serve to support each other and do not stand independent of one another in their own silos.  Dysart will gain valuable insight in regards to how professional development aligned to specific high yield instructional strategies, explicitly connected to teacher rating scales, impacts teachers views of their efficacy and if this impacts the rating scale used to evaluate teachers.

Cracking the Code
Students will explore the evolution of communication in this study of early American communication including the Underground Railroad "code", Navajo Code Talkers, slang throughout various decades and the use of figurative language and song.  For students, the study will culminate with the challenge of communicating with technology where students will learn to read and write computer code and apply it to everyday situations and learning experiences.  Resources created will enable other teachers to also deliver curriculum incorporating opportunities for students to code. Video

English Language Proficiency (ELP)  Mastery Assessment Project (MAP)
The ELP MAP team proposes to develop an online pre and post testing bank, using the district online assessment tool, to assess student mastery of Arizona Department of Education ELP standards.  The project will create a bank of online tests that directly correlate to these standards and will provide assessment data to show student acquisition of the targeted objectives.  Assessments created by the ELP MAP team will be trial tested by classroom teachers at multiple elementary schools. The project will produce a data resource that the classroom teachers in DUSD can use for lesson planning and Individual Language Learner Plan (ILLP) documentation.

Flipped Classroom - Chemistry and Cambridge Chemistry
This project will be creating curriculum resources for a flipped chemistry classroom and sharing resources to support other teachers interested in flipping their classroom.  Instructional materials will be created to allow students to initially learn content outside of class.  This will free up the time in class for students to ask questions, experiment, and dig deeper into the content.  Scaffolded curricular resources will be created to allow for differentiation based on student need.  

iSchool Facilitator Course
This project will result in a new online teacher facilitator course including the implementation and evaluation of the course.  The purpose is to help new and existing online teachers alike become better instructors in the online environment. In addition to providing guidance on how to manipulate the online tools available in the virtual classroom, participants will learn how to support collaboration, creativity, critical thinking and communication through this alternative learning platform.

Motivating Students through Innovative Instruction and Authentic Assessments
This project will be comprised of four main components. Three components will focus on innovative instruction and creating professional development modules that will help teachers use humor and games in the classroom, use music and props in the classroom, and use technological tools in the classroom to increase student motivation and engagement. The last component will focus on assessment and establishing ePortfolios as a means of authentic assessment to increase student motivation and engagement.

Reading Intervention by Choice
The mission of this project is to improve reading intervention by empowering students through self-reflection, goal setting, and choice. A variety of resources exist for reading intervention, some using technology and some not.  This project will catalog the strengths and weaknesses of available resources including feedback from the students who use them and their teachers and parents.  With this information, intervention resource decisions across the district can be increasingly individualized for each student.

Realign & Redesign Art Through Technology
Two teachers from different Dysart schools will use technology to redesign and realign our Art curriculum for 7th and 8th grades to the 4 Cs : critical thinking, creativity, communication and collaboration, using Blendspace. This project will help our teachers create lessons that encourage students to become creative, thoughtful practitioners, and 21st Century Learners. This curriculum aligns with the New National Arts Standards, and will be available on Dysarts iPlan online curriculum tool.

Simplifying I.T.
The Simplifying I.T. project is designed to create a team of student leaders to support technology implementation and services on a site-wide level.  The students leaders will learn about and apply leadership, critical thinking, and technology troubleshooting skills while training and supporting teachers and other students with appropriate use of a wide variety of devices and technology.  The project is a collaboration between two campuses for the 2014/2015 school year but the resources created could be used to expand the program district-wide. Video

Standards Alignment Cross Walk: Arizona College and Career Ready
This project will allow for the multiple curricula to align throughout the grade levels at Dysart High School, and potentially all district high schools, in order to prepare our students to be College and Career Ready through a rigorous course load. We will develop a sequential and spiraled curriculum that ensures all stakeholders understand and master the required standards. The pacing guides that will be developed will provide the framework needed to insure high levels of student achievement on Cambridge, AP, and college placement tests. 

Standards-Based Grading
The purpose of this CaLL project is to research, develop an implementation plan, and teacher training on standards-based grading (SBG) and assessments which supports College and Career Readiness Standards (CCRS). This project will help 7-12th grade teachers transition from traditional grading to standards-based grading within the constraints of a traditional gradebook. The goal is to provide professional development and support to teachers and resources such as access to a webpage containing tutorials, sample rubrics and assessments aligned to SBG.

Strategic Intervention in the Middle and High School Levels
In order to insure that our students are college and career ready at graduation, we need to provide them with a rigorous curriculum as well as a well-designed plan for intervention when standards are not being met. Our vision is to implement a district-wide seventh through twelfth grade intervention model that spans from the identification of individual students to the implementation of Tier 1, 2, and 3 interventions, to program exit criteria when the students have demonstrated adequate growth and success. The implementation will include supporting teachers with the research-based tools, templates, strategies, and assessment technologies, through Professional Development, needed to provide effective intervention in their classrooms and to reach all of our learners.
 
Administrative Internships
The goal of this project is to provide administrative leaders in the district with opportunities to learn and expand their skills and understanding of the leadership responsibilities and opportunities at the district department level.  This program is an extension of Your CaLL and supports the mission of that initiative to create a 21st century community of leaders and a sustainable model for developing leaders throughout the Dysart Unified School District.