Renaissance Learning

We have used Renaissance Learning products for progress monitoring and ongoing assessments in middle school and elementary school for years. Each student has a unique log in and password that can be used for all the Renaissance Learning programs to which we subscribe. Parents can access the information for their student using the HomeConnect component and their unique login identification. Each classroom teacher has access to her/his own students with a unique username and password that will be issued at the beginning of the school year.
STAR Math is used by middle and elementary school for interventions and Special Services for use in IEPs. STAR Math is a computer adaptive testing program. As a student answers many types of math problems, the program adjusts the difficulty of the questions. There are many built-in reports available. The reports are correlated to the Missouri Learning Standards. Please explore using your teacher login and delve into the reports. If you are seeking specific information, come and see me so that I can show you how to get that information.
STAR Reader is a reading program that we use to help determine a student’s zone of proximal development and instructional reading level. In the elementary building in grades 2-5 this test is given quarterly. There are reports that detail deficiencies and next steps . The reports are correlated to the Common Core Standards and Missouri State Standards.
STAR Early Literacy is used in Preschool, Kindergarten and 1st Grade classrooms. Early Literacy tests reading readiness by assessing concepts of print, letter identification, number recognition, phonics and ordinal numbers.
Accelerated Reader (AR) is the nation’s leading reading management program. Since 1986, AR has helped hundreds of thousands of teachers inspire teacher-led “reading revolutions” in their classrooms. AR Renaissance Place (RP) provides educators timely, accurate information on student academic performance. You can use this information to quickly adjust instruction to help all of your students reach their greatest potential. Accelerated Reader helps teachers reach all types of readers with Reading Practice, Vocabulary Practice, Literacy Skills, and Other Reading Quizzes. Recorded Voice Quizzes are also available for emergent readers. AR quizzes cover all levels of reading ability in both English and Spanish.
I can assist with your needs from any of the Renaissance Learning Products. Just email or stop by the tech office in the high school.


Having survived the first year using InformationNOW, I would like to share a few things that I’ve learned along the way. First and foremost, none of us at our end can break the program. The data is safe or recoverable. BUT, teacher gradebooks need to be protected and backed up. FREQUENTLY! Teachers should print a Gradebook Report for each class and save the report to their computer or the network. I would recommend doing this at least every two weeks or at the very least once a month. If you are in your Gradebook you should select all students and select the Gradebook Report under Reports on the left. STI backs up our data everyday, but teachers need to use this saved report to get back information. There is no cancel in Gradebook. As soon as it is entered it is saved. Occasionally , maybe three times this year, InformationNOW may be unaccessible for a few minutes, but we don’t have to reboot servers, ever.
Secondly, never, NEVER spend more than an hour trying to accomplish a task, create a report, or find a setting. If it takes more than an hour, you’re probably doing something wrong or there is a setting that needs an adjustment. We have very good support resources. Let’s use them.
STI, the owner and publisher of InformationNOW, is constantly making improvements to the program. Our data is housed on servers in Alabama! Cloud-based. Our Customer Care Representative is in Vienna, Missouri. She knows all of the ins and outs and can answer my questions quickly. If you need to change something or want to do something new, let me know and then, when I can’t get it done, I’ll call her.
For Middle School and High School, all gradebooks will, by default, be set to make each semester a running term. That means that all 1st semester grades (1st and 2nd quarter) will be totaled for the semester grade. All 2nd semester scores (3rd and 4th quarters) will be totaled together for the 2nd semester grades. Our principal made the decision to have running term grades instead of averaging the quarters.
I have put in several hours to make standard-based report cards possible for our Elementary School. It is my hope that the fall of 2013 will see standards based report cards for grades 2-5, possible K-2.
The procedure for planning activities, entering scores and posting grades to allow creation of report cards for MS/HS students is very simple. Follow the instructions in this tutorial. (PDF?) Basically, create an activity in the gradebook, enter a score, attach a standard if desired, mark a standard, then at the end of the quarter/semester, post the grades in each gradebook.
If you have a Google Account at school, you can log into Google Drive and view the many tutorials shared with you. Check out the “InformationNOW teachers intial setup #1,#2, #3”. The tutorials are in the InformationNOW folder on your Google drive that I have shared with you. There are 9 different video tutorials for your edification.
Please don’t hesitate to visit me , or email me, if you have a question about InformationNOW, lunch accounts, online payments accounts, or Renaissance Learning programs. If I don’t know the answer, I will find someone who does.

Saving and Editing in network folders on MacBooks

Saving in network folders on MacBooks

1. Save document to Desktop.

2.  Drag into network folder.

3.  Drag copy on desktop into trash and empty trash.

When you need to edit document:

1.  Open copy in network folder.

2.  Complete edits.

3.  Save As.

4.  Save.  (Do not change name.)

5.  A message indicating the document already exists will appear.

Click Replace.

 6.  Close program.

Common Core State Standards, part 1

At the start of 2012, the New Franklin School District began work on integrating the new Common Core State Standards into the curriculum.  Under the guidance of the building Principals and the Curriculum Director, teachers were surveyed about the relevance of each standard to student success.  The Database Manager devised a method by which Google Forms was used to collect and summarize responses.

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Calendar Settings

Google Apps includes a powerful calendar function.  Even if you don’t use it, however, there is a setting you probably will want to change.  By default, Google allows other people in our domain ( to view your calendar.

Do you want other staff to be able to see your calendar?  Possibly.  What about students?  More than likely, you don’t.  You need to make the following changes to your calendar settings to limit access to your calendar.

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