On Target

  • Issue 3 - November 7, 2017
    Posted Nov 7, 2017, 1:10 PM by Kristin Daniels
  • Issue 2 - October 3, 2017
    Posted Oct 3, 2017, 6:20 PM by Kristin Daniels
  • Issue 1 - September 14, 2017
    Posted Sep 14, 2017, 10:04 AM by Kristin Daniels
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District Curriculum Review Process

posted 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 by Kristin Daniels   [ updated ]

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.

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.

Creating Common Assessments

posted Oct 2, 2017, 11:53 AM by Kristin Daniels   [ updated Oct 2, 2017, 11:57 AM ]

When formative assessments are developed by collaborative learning teams, teachers are creating common assessments that are often stronger instructional tools than assessments created in autonomy. While a team of teachers could divide responsibilities for creating a unit and developing assessments, doing so will often result in creation in isolation, duplicating work, and the need for more final revisions. Teams that decide to work this way work hard, but they do not work smart.


posted Oct 2, 2017, 8:00 AM by Kristin Daniels   [ updated Oct 2, 2017, 3:13 PM ]

Flipgrid is the leading video discussion platform used by PreK to PhD educators, students, and families around the world. Teachers post topics to spark the conversation and students respond with short videos. When teachers use Flipgrid to better know where their students are - they can better provide instruction that is meaningful, relevant, and timely.

Teacher accounts are free and students do not need to create accounts on Flipgrid. To get started, make a free teacher account, think of a conversation spark, and grab any device with a webcam! 

Visit Flipgrid to get started now (https://info.flipgrid.com/) or try the flipgrid below!

Raising Student Achievement Through Formative Assessment

posted Sep 11, 2017, 10:04 AM by Kristin Daniels   [ updated Sep 14, 2017, 6:57 PM by Davidson Blanchard ]

The Teaching & Learning Department is very excited to be able to bring Dylan Wiliam, the expert on formative assessment for learning, to Cambridge-Isanti Schools for our October 6 professional development day. Dylan Wiliam will be sharing essential information about formative assessment, how to use formative assessment for strengthening instructional practices, and twenty strategies and classroom techniques that produce meaningful evidence to assist your instructional planning for all learners.

This session ties into our work on Professional Learning Communities (PLCs), as it provides many strategies for eliciting and documenting evidence of student learning to help your team ensure high levels of learning for all students.

District Curriculum Committee Update

posted Sep 11, 2017, 10:00 AM by Kristin Daniels   [ updated Sep 14, 2017, 6:56 PM by Davidson Blanchard ]

K-5 Science Content Area Team Update A highly dedicated team of 19 K-5 teachers and coaches spent some summer time reviewing and revising prioritized science standards, determining the qualities needed in possible science solutions and studying nine different science programs. Representatives from the top four companies presented to the K-5 Science Content Area Team in July. The next step is to reconvene (on 9/14) and refine feedback to advance it to the District Curriculum Committee which will impact the future of K-5 Science in Cambridge-Isanti Schools.

6-12 Math Content Area Team Update A hard working group of 18 secondary math leaders and academic coaches dedicated a number of days throughout the summer reviewing and aligning the prioritized math standards, determining styles of instruction and curriculum to best support our students, and evaluating a number of different resources from over five publishers in an effort to determine the best resources to provide our secondary math teachers. The next step is to reconvene and determine which publishers will be brought back for product demonstrations and questioning. Math Content Area Team members, please be on the watch for an email from T&L Curriculum for more details.

MDE Launches Arts Standards Review

posted Sep 11, 2017, 9:59 AM by Kristin Daniels   [ updated Sep 11, 2017, 10:49 AM ]

Minnesota Department of Education is looking for a few hard working people who are interested in reviewing and revising the arts standards (arts areas of dance, media arts, music, theater and/or visual arts) during the 2017-2018 school year year. It would be incredible if Cambridge-Isanti Schools had representation on this team!

If you are interested in applying for this team, visit the MDE Arts page to read the Assumptions for Guiding the Standards Committee’s Work, review the timeline, and access the online application. Please submit any questions to Michelle Glasgow or Dave Blanchard. The deadline for applying to the committee is Tuesday, September 19.

Technology Integration

posted Sep 11, 2017, 9:56 AM by Kristin Daniels   [ updated Sep 11, 2017, 9:57 AM ]


Please welcome Jackie Alderman to the Tech Integration Team!!!  She brings a wealth of knowledge in utilizing technology in the classroom with students. With the addition of Jackie we will now be able to better serve the grade spans in Cambridge and Isanti by aligning our tech integration support as follows:

PK-2 - Kristin Daniels

3-5 - Rob Swanson

6-8 - Patrick Morrow

9-12 - Jackie Alderman


TILT 2017 - We are excited for the 3rd year of TILT in Cambridge-Isanti Schools.  Your grade level or dept. TILT member is there for you to provide the following support:  maintain grade-level/department web presence, attend building level TILT group meetings, communicate TILT information with you, collaborate on agenda and provide feedback (recommendations and requests) from you, and support building level tech learning opportunities.

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