Principal's Blog


    Posted by Colleen Byrd on 4/26/2019 3:00:00 PM

    Hoosac Valley High School has partnered with the Northern Berkshire Community Coalition (NBCC) and other area high schools to present a forum that will create dialogue between our local schools and our communities, that will help us all gain knowledge and understanding regarding the perspectives of other schools and communities, that will create connections and an understanding about resources that can make a difference, and that will allow us to leave the forum with 1 thing that each attendee can do, in everyday life, to be a positive and active link between school and community.  

    Be on the lookout for an official invitation for this event which will take place on Wednesday, May 22, from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m. at the MCLA Church Street Center.

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  • Community Forum in its Planning Stages at HVHS

    Posted by Colleen Byrd on 1/11/2019 6:00:00 PM

    There are many exciting things taking place at Hoosac Valley High School, and the #HVHSFAMILY has worked hard this year to focus on a more positive climate and culture, recognizing the Perseverance, Respect, Integrity, Diversity, and Empathy it takes to build a community.  More importantly we recognize that there are many global issues within our communities that impact our students, impact our teachers and staff, and impact our families in some not-so-positive ways.  One issue impacting our students' education is the misuse of social media in its many forms.  Therefore, we are organizing a Community Forum that encompasses all Northern Berkshire Schools, the Northern Berkshire Community Coalition, State and Local Police -- including Northern Berkshire Juvenile Court and Probation, Community Stakeholders, Health Providers, Business Owners, and Families in an effort to start the conversation.  

    This proposed JOINT Community Forum is tentatively planned for March 2019, and initial meetings are underway, but we plan to join forces to give these issues a voice and show our support for each other so we can all educate our students in the best way possible.  

    The idea was made public at Monday's School Committee meeting.  Read the full article here.

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  • Which Causes More Academic Loss, Snow Days or Individual Absences?

    Posted by Colleen Byrd on 12/13/2018 10:00:00 AM

    In the article In Defense of Snow Days, Joshua Goodman (Harvard Kennedy School) reports on his study of the impact of Massachusetts no-school days on student achievement. Using data on school closings and standardized test scores, Goodman concludes that individual student absences “sharply reduce student achievement, particularly in math, but school closings appear to have little impact.”  He continues: “These findings should not be taken to mean that instructional time does not matter for student learning; the bulk of the evidence suggest it does. A more likely explanation is that schools and teachers are well prepared to deal with the coordinated disruptions caused by snow days – much more so than they are to handle the less- dramatic but more frequent disruptions caused by poor student attendance.”

    When just a few students in a class have been absent, teachers have to choose between spending time helping returning absentees catch up, which takes time away from the rest of the class, or letting returning students fend for themselves, which negatively affects their progress. Either way, the class’s achievement takes a hit. A snow day, on the other hand, can be handled by postponing, compressing, or eliminating non-tested material, which is why these lost school days have so little impact on test scores.

    “The negative achievement impacts associated with student absences imply that schools and teachers are not well prepared to deal with the more-frequent disruptions caused by poor student attendance,” concludes Goodman. “Schools and teachers may benefit from investing in strategies to compensate for these disruptions, including the use of self-paced learning technologies that shift the classroom model to one in which all students need not learn the same lesson at the same time.”  Read the full article HERE.

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  • Learning Targets: Helping Students Aim for Understanding in Today's Lesson

    Posted by Colleen Byrd on 10/19/2018 4:00:00 PM

    The Hoosac Valley High School administratros and educators are working to raise student achievement by reevaluating teaching and learning.  Our Instructional Leadership Team has been working hard to develop a solid working turn around plan that addresses four needs: Leadership, Shared Responsibility, and Professional Collaboration; Intentional Practices for Improving Instruction; Providiing Student Specific Supports for Providing Instruction to All Students; and School Climate and Culture.  
    Part of this plan, specifically our goal to develop and create intentional practices for improving instruction, include raising student achievement by conducting a performance of understanding in classrooms (a learning experience that deepens student understanding and produces compelling evidence of where students are in relation to the learning target of each lesson).  Both halves of the team (the teacher and the student) need to create a learning team in order to raise student achievement.  

    One of the goals this year is to provide teaching and learning around Learning Targets and how targeted daily lessons help the teacher understand not only what the students are learning in each particular lesson, but whether or not the student actually understood the target and outcome.  We are utilizing a book called Learning Targets: Helping Students Aim for Understanding in Today's Lesson.  The authors' theory of action is that "the most effective teaching and the most meaningful student learning happen when teachers design the right learning target for today's lesson and use it along with their students to aim for and assess understanding."  Read a synopsis from the book by clicking here, and ask your students if they have noticed the "I can" statements in their classrooms.  

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  • Family Guides to the Standards

    Posted by Colleen Byrd on 9/27/2018 5:00:00 PM

    Learn about Massachusetts learning expectations by exploring the new Family Guides to the Standards from the Department of Elementary and Secondary Education.

    The Family Guides cover some of the learning standards that every student will master in each grade and how families can help them achieve these learning goals!

    Guides include standards for English language arts and literacy, math, and science and technology/engineering.  Check it out online: CLICK HERE

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