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District committees met on October 15, 2018. Each committee provided the following summaries. If you would like further information about committee meetings please reach out to your school committee representatives.
District Instructional Strategies Committee:
Eugene Paulson gave us an overview of PowerSchool and Standards Grading. He helped us to understand that we can build a system that records and tracks almost anything we’d like it to do. It will convert grading systems from numbers to letters or whatever we decide will be the format. We then broke into smaller groups to discuss Mastery and start to build a common definition that will allow us to apply that definition across grades and subjects and classes – something parents and students and teachers will understand and know is the same across the whole district.
District Math Committee:
The Elementary Math Committee reviewed the feedback they received from a survey last month to identify current practices and needs moving forward. The scope and sequence developed over the past few years is mostly embedded in teacher teams, but there are still some areas where alignment and use are lacking. Based on the feedback from the needs assessment, the focus of the Elementary Math Committee this year will be identifying and utilizing Tier 2 resources in math instruction.
Then Secondary Math Committee met and designed a 9-10 question survey that can be given to all secondary math teachers to assess concerns, needs, and interests for future consideration by the committee. The questions use a Likert scale format with the topics of pedagogy, management, assessment, teaching resources, and collaboration. The committee members will facilitate their respective departments taking this needs assessment by November 4 so the results can be compiled and shared with committee members in preparation for the next meeting on November 19.
District Literacy Committee:
- Update on State Testing: RISE is the new assessment and will be very similar to the old SAGE assessments with a few changes. There is a new platform and writing will be administered in grades 5 and 8. Scores for ELA will not be available until the summer of 2019 due to the need to adjust comparative scores without the writing component. Testing window opens March 19, 2019.
- Update on Wonders Modified Unit Assessments: Working on different platform options to determine the best available way to share assessments across the district and collect the data from them while keeping in mind that the assessments should be easily accessible for teachers and students and user-friendly.
- Utah Compose: A repeated training class will be offered to teachers in grades 3-6 who want to learn more about how Utah Compose can be used as an effective tool in writing instruction. Next training will be Wednesday, November 28 at 3:45 pm in Room 36.
- Wonders PD is being developed for Kindergarten teachers. In addition, a Wonders Quick Start Course is being offered to new teachers and any teacher who has not previously completed the course. A $200 stipend will be awarded to all eligible teachers who complete the course. K-6 teachers who would like more training on Tier 1 Small Group Instruction are invited to attend training on Thursday, November 15 at 3:45 pm at the GTC Classroom 2.
- CN and Pacing Guides: Separate links to elementary pacing guides will be added for easier access until Phase 2 is complete. Secondary
This month, the Secondary Literacy Meeting met to discuss the new state testing platforms for ELA: Rise, Aspire, and ACT. Each school representative will share what we know with the teachers at his or her school. We also discussed what teachers would like to learn about in our January ELA PD. The list includes: preparing students for new testing platforms, vertical alignment 6th-9th grades, using My Perspectives curriculum, assessments, and tools, improving reading skills, and sharing teaching resources.
District Social Studies Committee
- Completed a final review of student profile which guides the work of selecting curriculum
- Split into elementary and secondary level discussion groups
- Secondary reviewed current curriculum resources being used in grades 8 – 12
- Current books are not being used because they do not address the state standards (some are 20 years old)
- Most teachers are using online materials
- Consensus recommended looking at some hardbound texts, but most likely will want to use electronic resources
- Elementary reviewed current instruction of social studies at the elementary level
- Addressed the why, what and how of elementary social studies instruction
- In answer to the why, what, and how, it was determined there needs to be communication addressing the value of elementary social studies instruction
- Also identified needs for improvement and possible ways to these needs
- Most likely will continue to work in separate levels of elementary and secondary since the levels are at different points of progress