On Target

Blended Learning 101

posted Feb 1, 2018, 9:16 AM by Kristin Daniels   [ updated Feb 1, 2018, 10:47 AM ]

If you are a licensed teacher and have not yet completed Blended Learning 101, you should have received the following information in an email from your principal on Wednesday, January 31st. If you have any questions about this information, please do not hesitate to talk with your principal or tech integration specialist.

Our district continues to support staff in the implementation of blended learning, a recommendation from the District Tech Advisory Committee. This is our third year of addressing teacher training with technology tools for the 1:1 device migration. It has been approved for all teachers to complete the Blended Learning 101 course in order to have the competencies needed for our future success. For more information on the process of this approval, click here. To learn about the membership of the District Tech Advisory Committee, click here.

You are receiving this email because there is a need for you to complete the Blended Learning 101 course. If you feel this is inaccurate, please contact a technology integration specialist. The course will need to be completed by May 15, 2018.  Staff will have various options for completing this before the deadline.

Blended Learning 101 course can be completed in one of three ways:

  1. Complete the course during contract time

  2. Complete the course outside of contract time for four hours at the service rate of pay

  3. Demonstrate proficiency by successfully completing BL101 proficiency tasks

I choose to...

Does this qualify

for additional compensation?

What are the next steps?

When do I complete the work?

How do I complete the course?

Complete the course during contract time


Attend optional “BL101 Jumpstart” on

Feb 16th as an introduction to the course.

Blended Learning 101 Session (3-4 hrs)

April 3rd Professional Development Day

Complete proficiency tasks

Complete the course outside of contract time

Yes, for 4 hours at the service rate of pay

Attend optional “BL101 Jumpstart” on

Feb 16th as an introduction to the course.

Outside of the work day

Complete proficiency tasks

Demonstrate proficiency


Explore course resources

and proficiency tasks

Anytime, including designated work sessions during the Feb 16th (1hr) and April 3rd (1 hr) Professional Development Days

Complete proficiency tasks

Most staff are able to complete the Blended Learning 101 course in four hours or less. For more information on the course content, click here.

When does the course need to be completed?  The revised course will be available on February 16, 2018. The last date staff can submit completion of the required proficiency tasks is May 15, 2018.

Blended Learning Course Completion Record

posted Feb 1, 2018, 9:03 AM by Kristin Daniels   [ updated Feb 1, 2018, 10:38 AM ]

Blended Learning 101 has been available for teachers since the summer of 2016. The course provides basic knowledge and skills for using technology as a professional as well as providing an introduction to how technology can be integrated into classroom instruction. During the first summer, the course was available to all teachers but 5th through 9th grade teachers were required to take the course in preparation for the 1:1 Chromebook environment during the 2016-2017 school year. In the second year, all 3rd through 12th grade teachers were asked to complete the course.

The following spreadsheet is a record of all teachers and their Blended Learning course completion status. Please find your school link at the bottom and your name if you are unsure of whether you have completed Blended Learning 101. Your name will be highlighted yellow and column G will have an ‘x’ in it if our records indicate that you still need to complete Blended Learning 101. If you feel this is inaccurate, please contact one of the tech integration specialists.

If our records indicate that you have not yet completed Blended Learning 101, please read our Blended Learning update here.

Update on TIES

posted Jan 29, 2018, 11:38 AM by Kristin Daniels   [ updated Jan 29, 2018, 11:38 AM ]

An update regarding the vote at TIES and what this means for Cambridge-Isanti Schools:


As many of you may already know, the member districts voted to dissolve the Technology and Information Educational Services cooperative, known as TIES. Cambridge-Isanti Schools is not a TIES member district, we are a customer. 


A couple of things to know regarding this news:

1.  Our TIES and edSpring products will still be available for use – this vote does not mean that the switch is “being turned off” anytime soon. You will still have use and access to data, assessments and progress monitoring as usual.

2.  We were aware of the situation at TIES and the possibility of a vote to dissolve. Over the past two years we have explored a limited number of replacement options, but at this point we will need to identify additional options for review as well. These options would include the data warehouse and assessment software pieces, along with possible replacement math and literacy benchmark assessments and progress monitoring tools.

3.  Teaching and Learning will be working to draft a process, action plan and timeline to explore our future data and assessment needs which will be shared with the Principals and coaches for future discussion.


So once again, we are continuing with “business as usual” in regard to TIES and edSpring! Stay tuned for more information as it becomes available.


Please contact Anne Johnson, Data and Assessment Coordinator, if you have any questions.

PD Update: February 16, 2018

posted Dec 18, 2017, 12:17 PM by Davidson Blanchard

To those that submitted proposals for peer-led PD on February 16 - THANK YOU! We will be contacting everyone who proposed a session before winter break about the status of their proposal. It is those amazing leaders that will help others have a successful day of learning, reflection and integration. We wish to express how proud we are of our staff for helping their peers learn new strategies through district PD sessions. While we understand this may be “intimidating” for some staff, we look forward to supporting you in every way possible!

In mid-January the schedule of sessions will be posted on the PD.ISD911.ORG website and sent to all instructional staff. Included in this schedule will be session titles, descriptions, presenters, and useful notes to help you select sessions that best align with your work. We are looking forward to hosting this incredible morning of learning and are so very proud to be doing it with so many quality peer-led sessions!

Literacy Visit Q&A

posted Dec 18, 2017, 12:13 PM by Davidson Blanchard   [ updated Dec 19, 2017, 8:18 AM ]

Q: Why is the district reviewing our literacy resources?

A: In 2018-19, literacy is on the curriculum cycle for review. Since literacy is a foundation to students accessing grade level content, it is essential we understand our current instruction, assessment, technology, interventions and resource needs. The district has requested an outside expert, Dr. Bonnie Houck, conduct school and classroom visits with principals. As Dr. Houck and principals look at the current level of implementation of core components, they will discuss challenges, success and needs. It is essential that our system be reviewed in time for budget planning and building a professional development calendar.

Q: When will the Literacy Review occur?

A: January to March 2018

Q: What do I need to know about the classroom visits?

A: A classroom visit is a short observation of the learning environment, it is not an evaluation of the teacher. Dr. Houck will look for things that are consistent among classrooms and between schools. She may ask a few questions of students or of a teacher while observing. She will look at resources being used and visual evidence within the classroom. It is expected that there are different resources or scarcity going on in our district. We understand how this came to be. It is our goal to learn how we can best move forward to create greater equity in order to ensure consistency in the learning trajectory.


Q: What will be done with the data from the school and classroom visits?

A: Dr. Houck will formulate a summary of her findings.  She will also make recommendations for future action to the Teaching and Learning Department. Where needed, Dr. Houck may specify priorities for the following year (professional development, intervention plans, purchasing or eliminating resources, etc.)

Q: If I’m not a K-8 classroom teacher, does this impact me?

A: Yes. Literacy skills need to be applied across all content areas in order for routines to develop. If all instructional staff anchor their delivery of content area standards, being mindful of a few literacy skills, students will be more successful. The skills needed for vocabulary development, inferential comprehension, writing, conferring on a topic, characterization, etc. all transcend over subject areas.

Formative Assessment - A Teacher's Journey

posted Nov 27, 2017, 6:29 AM by Kristin Daniels   [ updated Nov 27, 2017, 6:33 AM ]

District Curriculum Review Process

posted Nov 22, 2017, 3:16 PM by Kristin Daniels

In early 2017, the District Curriculum Committee (with teacher, coach, and administrator representation from across the district) was formed and charged with creating and implementing a Curriculum Review Process. This process contains two main “tracks” for reviewing curricular/instructional resources:

Continuous Improvement Process: This process is an ongoing review of standards, practices, assessments, and resources. This process results in updating practices, assessments, or supplementary resources.

Formal Study: This process is a formal review of standards, practices, assessments, and resources, generally facilitated after an MDE standards revision. This process results in updating practices, assessments, or core resources.

Ahead of each review process, the Teaching & Learning Department will work with teachers and building administration to assemble a Content Area Team. The Content Area Teams will span both communities and will consist of teacher leaders who will review existing programs, create recommendations, and will work to implement the changes within the district.

After reviewing a number of data sources, the District Curriculum Committee needed to choose a manageable number of content areas to focus on for 2017-2018. The committee approved a  Curriculum Review Forecast to tentatively plan for future years.

The following areas began the Continuous Improvement Process during Summer 2017:

Math 6-12

Science K-5

We will concentrate our efforts in the following content areas during the 2017-2018 school year:

World Language 9-12

Literacy Supplemental Review K-5

Phys Ed SHAPE Review

If you have any specific questions, please feel free to email the Curriculum Coordinators Michelle Glasgow or Dave Blanchard.

Suicide Prevention Best Practices CEU Update

posted Nov 22, 2017, 2:16 PM by Kristin Daniels   [ updated Jan 20, 2018, 8:07 PM by Davidson Blanchard ]

The Teaching & Learning Department has identified a quality online course that can be completed to meet the new license renewal requirement of “Suicide Prevention Best Practices”. This free, two hour course, focuses on a the education specific role of teachers and provides research-based information that will strengthen your understanding about this vital topic. One of the focus areas of this course is for you to learn enough information about suicide to identify possible at-risk students so you can refer these students to more trained individuals within our schools. Developed by The Society for the Prevention of Teen Suicide, this course is targeted to teachers working with teen and pre-teen populations, but all of the knowledge is applicable to all staff within the district. Staff may register and complete this course at anytime (click here for link).

Looking Ahead to December 1st

posted Nov 5, 2017, 11:19 AM by Kristin Daniels   [ updated Nov 6, 2017, 2:26 PM by Davidson Blanchard ]

December 1st is the next professional development day for our instructional staff. Building principals have been finalizing their plans for the day and will be sharing them with staff in the second half of the month. Teachers should remember that this day is ½ professional development and ½ teacher work day, as well as the last day of Trimester 1 for the traditional calendar program.

Building leadership will be facilitating the ½ professional development and ½ teacher work day on Friday, December 1, 2017. Having common district events and building specific events allows our district to meet the needs of teachers from both a unified organizational perspective as well as a unique building perspective. The next issue of “On Target” will provide an update on each school’s plan for the day and how it relates to the District Professional Development Themes.


Throughout the 2017-2020 school years, all professional development experiences will continue to focus on the District Professional Development Themes which were developed by the District Professional Development Committee in Spring of 2017. These themes provide valuable experiences to all employee groups and ensure focus on developing staff to best meet the needs of students and a unified community.

Please make sure to continue to check out the Cambridge-Isanti Schools PD Site for the most current information, CEU downloads, resources that will help with pd days and planning your class instruction, and updated calendars for professional development. Thank you for continuing to dedicate yourselves to strengthening your skills through pd.

What is assessment for learning?

posted Oct 2, 2017, 12:01 PM by Kristin Daniels   [ updated Oct 2, 2017, 12:52 PM ]

Assessment for Learning is the process of seeking and interpreting evidence for use by learners and their teachers to decide where the learners are in their learning, where they need to go and how best to get there.

Assessment for Learning is also known as formative assessment.

Why should we provide feedback to students and how do we prepare students to take the feedback? 

We use formative assessment to find out what students have learned. Sometimes we discover students did not learn what we wanted them to learn because students often make sense of ideas in different ways than teachers had planned. When teachers discover this, they need to provide feedback to get the learners back on the planned path of learning. 

Creating a culture where students know it is acceptable to struggle, and even fail, is essential in the feedback process. With a healthy feedback oriented classroom, students take feedback and learn from it rather than looking at teacher’s feedback as a sign that they aren’t smart enough to master the content.

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