ACPSConnect – Vol. 1, Issue 1


Welcome to #ACPSConnect, a division-wide communication from the Department of Student Learning designed to share instructional initiatives and innovative practices from our classrooms. As Dr. Haas noted when presenting 2020 budget needs, “A rising tide lifts all boats.” #ACPSConnect strives to contribute to the rise by sharing stories and insights from the field that lead to a lift for all students. Open Issue 1 »

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TPA & Learning Walks Brief

Matthew Haas, Ed.D.Dear Teachers and Administrators: I want to thank each of you for your role in getting our division off to such a fantastic start this year! As I have had the privilege to see during my school visits, teachers already are providing excellent learning work and opportunities for our students.

That’s a great lead-in to our 2015-16 School Year Teacher Performance Appraisal (TPA) cycle. The Performance Appraisal process is so important because it strengthens and extends our professional learning culture. This in turn ensures that we are meeting the educational needs of all students. While you can read about our TPA philosophy and technical guidance, I’d like to share with you some thoughts about three of our division’s priorities this year: goal setting, learning walks, and an update to the TPA that will take effect next year. Continue reading

Are Teachers Distracting Students With Bad Interior Design?

Busy Classroom DisplayFew environments feature such a cacophony of decor as the elementary school classroom. Colorful bulletin boards, scientific posters, state maps, and student artwork tend to cover nearly every inch of wall space. Yet a new study on classroom design from researchers at Carnegie Mellon University suggests that all that educational flair may not be all that great for getting kids to learn. Read more in this Co.Design feature from Fast Company »

Superintendent Pam Moran encourages educators to consider replacing commercial products with student-made work that adds value and ownership for learners and their learning. Continue reading