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District committees met on September 17th. The following is a brief summary of each committee meeting. If you’re interested in further detail please contact your school’s committee representative.
Elementary Discussion Items:
- Update on District Wonders Unit Assessments. Working on a platform to digitally assign the assessments as well as collect data that will show schools and PSCD how students are progressing in solidifying Utah ELA core standards. The committee will be informed when assessments are ready.
- Explanation and discussion of the Utah Literacy Framework including the allocation of ELA time in the elementary classroom.
- Extensive review of the Early Literacy Plan that has been approved by the board and will be submitted to the state office of education.
- a. The state of Utah’s 2018-2019 Uniform Growth Goal (UGG) in DIBELS was shared and reviewed. It states that 60% of students in grades 1-3 will make typical or better progress.
- b. Local goals include (1) PCSD will increase the percentage of first grade students who are proficient on the EOY DIBELS by 8 percent (2) PCSD will increase the percentage of second graders who move from well-below grade-level benchmark on the DIBELS EOY composite by 4 percent.
Secondary: The Secondary Literacy Committee met together to discuss the upcoming school year. We talked briefly about end-of-year testing, and how it will change. The district has asked the school representatives to go to English teachers for feedback on curriculum, programs, and professional development ideas for our district Development days and report back to the committee next month.
Elementary: The Elementary Math Committee has great representation this year including teachers from every grade level, Title One and STEM Coordinators, principals, and district leaders. We discussed furthering our understanding of effective mathematical practices through an investigation of NCTM’s book, Principles to Actions. We also discussed possibilities for the committee’s primary focus for the year, some of the challenges schools face in math instruction, and ways we can support our teachers in implementing best teaching practices for math. Committee members were asked to check in with their teachers to see if more support is needed regarding accessing or utilizing the district pacing guides, and also to encourage K – 5 teachers to register for the Think Central online course.
Secondary: The District Secondary Math Committee reflected on the district’s progress during the 2017-18 school year. The committee developed curriculum resources for the majority of secondary math courses. The schools are now working to align the pacing guides with standards informed assessments that closely aligned with teacher clarity principles. Some of the challenges the committee identified that they would like to address moving forward are unique characteristics inherent with different campuses and staff. Also, school teams would like to develop stronger skills in effective data analysis to inform student learning and improve instruction. A survey of professional development needs of secondary math teacher needs will be studied to identify potential areas for teacher growth.
SOCIAL STUDIES COMMITTEE:
The DSSC welcomed new members to the committee and then reviewed the Knowledge, Skills, and Dispositions identified by the committee last year as the desired outcome for students in social studies courses in Provo City School District known as the Student Profile. There were some minor changes (minor in quantity significant in content) made to the student profile and then the committee identified next steps for our work for this year. The discussion included the need to complete the list of curriculum materials being used in the district and the need for both vertical and horizontal alignment discussions as well as the need to discuss time for instruction at the elementary level.
The District Instructional Strategies Committee discussed the need to prioritize, define, and plan the implementation of Standardized Grading. The committee reviewed last year’s working definition of Standards Based Grading and gave input. We discussed breaking this huge undertaking into manageable pieces and the need to work at every level; district, schools, leaders, teachers, parents, students, communities – even colleges and universities. There will be philosophical and cultural differences that need to be considered and reconciled where possible. These changes will take time and we will work on getting a plan together that will be sustainable and improve district instruction for our students.