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Elementary District Literacy Committee Meeting Summary

During April’s Elementary District Literacy Committee meeting on Monday, April 24 2023, teacher representatives provided feedback to help guide the planning of next year’s literacy professional development. We discussed three areas of instruction and planning that were previously identified as being high areas of interest/need based on teacher surveys and discussions. The identified topics for professional development included analytical writing, the writing process, and designing a literacy block that blends both 95 Percent Core and Wonders while following the state’s recommended timeframes. The committee looked at the Elementary Curriculum Notebook and the curriculum pacing guides to see their alignment with state standards. Teachers on the committee feel the pacing guides show clear alignment between the standards and curriculum supports. We had a discussion on how teachers have used the pacing guides for planning their year. The curriculum guides have been useful in helping teachers identify resources available through Wonders and 95 Percent that can help them meet their students’ needs. We also reviewed a few district and state updates regarding LETRS, Wonders, and 95 Percent Core. Please talk to your Elementary DLC Representative if you have any ideas or suggestions regarding professional development for next year. We would love to hear your thoughts!

Secondary District Literacy Committee Meeting Summary

The District secondary literacy committee met April 24, 2023 for the final time this year. They completed the needs assessment document (attached) that will lead their work in phase 2 next year. It was a successful phase 1 year with a good needs assessment completed.

Needs Assessment Document:

2022-23 District Secondary Literacy Committee

Needs Assessment

After a year’s evaluation of curriculum materials, standards alignment, assessment data, and other needs, the Provo City School District’s Secondary Literacy Committee has identified and labeled the following needs. A priority level need is one that must be addressed at the beginning of the second phase of curriculum/materials review and action is required to remedy this need during the second phase. A need listed as important is one that must be remedied some time before the end of the second phase and all other needs identified in this document should be addressed during the second phase, but may or may not be remedied.

Priority Needs: Curriculum Notebooks

  1. Currently, there are too many essentials to focus on for each term. This hinders the tracking of tier 2 instruction. It is recommended that a committee should evaluate the list of essentials with the objective of refining the essential standards list in the curriculum notebooks.
  2. Middle school pacing guides do not align because of differing schedules, IHS has a different timeline than the other two high schools. The district pacing guide is not as detailed as school grade level team guide. It is recommended that efforts are made to either tighten alignment and/or specifically note the differences more clearly in the curriculum notebooks.
  3. A question arose concerning the frequency of curriculum notebook revision. It is recommended that the district employs a regular review of the curriculum notebooks.
  4. A document that clearly aligns the pacing guide with the curriculum materials does not currently exist. It is recommended that a document be created for this purpose.

Curriculum Materials and Standards Alignment

  1. The current curriculum materials have many weaknesses that need to be addressed in the second phase. It is overly burdensome to find current materials that align to Utah State Core Standards in both the print and online materials. The online platform opens way too many windows/tabs causing confusion for students and teachers. It is recommended that the committee seeks a different curriculum source that gives an online interface that is easily navigable for both teachers and students; is organized in a way that teachers can easily see where the CORE skills appear; and helps identify essential vs flexible standards.
  2. The current curriculum materials do not sufficiently include literature-based content. It is recommended that any future curriculum materials are more literature-based than a basal with clipped passages.
  3. The implementation of the current curriculum materials demonstrated a need for better vetting of the materials. It is recommended that future curriculum materials be piloted in order to verify real integration with Canvas
  4. It was determined that current curriculum materials are weak in writing content. It is recommended that future curriculum materials address writing content including argumentative, narrative, and explanatory/informational writing with ELD scaffolds.

Common Assessments

  1. There is a need for commonality of data from assessment. There are two recommendations to address this need. First, it is recommended that a common universal screener for grades 6 – 12 be adopted. Second, any universal screener needs to specifically address the transition from spring of grade 8 to fall of grade 9.
  2. Currently, there are no common assessments that align to standards and provide actionable data. It is recommended that this deficiency be addressed.
  3. It was found that there are no common assessments for writing. It is recommended that this deficiency be addressed.
  4. There is a real need for teachers to have time and opportunity to look at the data. It is recommended that procedures be implemented to ensure the needed time and opportunity to review data at all grade levels.
  5. There is a deficit in the alignment of benchmarks and RISE/other state tests. It is recommended that all district benchmark tests align to the state’s end of year tests.
  6. It was determined that current assessments are not applicable to daily instruction. It is recommended that future assessments designed to affect instructional practice be implemented.
  7. It was found that currently, there is a disparity in the implementation and analysis of common assessments across the district. It is recommended that at least two assessments be used as benchmark assessments across the district (STAR, iReady, Acadience, etc.)
  8. There is a need for reading curriculum that builds for testing such as Reading Inventory: comprehension skills, decoding, gathering evidence, and analysis (close reading). It is recommended that this is addressed in any search for new curriculum materials.
  9. Currently, there are no models, exemplar texts, or rubrics for assessment. It is recommended that these be created during the second phase.

Other Needs

  1. It was noted that there exists a great need for a discussion on rigor and alignment. It is recommended that in the second phase, a discussion should start with an alignment of grade level expectations for writing of essays.
  2. It was found that a list of approved novels is needed. It is recommended that the district establish a clear, approved list of novels be created; a process to petition for a novel to be approved and added to the list; and a clear process for parents to petition that books be removed from the list if they have concerns.

  Important Needs:  Curriculum Notebooks

  1. Teacher knowledge of curriculum note book access is important, especially for new teachers. However, the need to access to curriculum notebooks diminishes during the academic year. It is recommended that emphasis and training is provided at the beginning of the year, but should lessen as the year progresses, including the district’s data collection of curriculum notebook usage.

Curriculum Materials and Standards Alignment

  1. There were a few flaws in the current reading curriculum materials that were identified. It was recommended that reading content should include literary and informational text; texts should be engaging and relevant to students; texts should be accessible (adapted or alternative texts for IEP/ELD students); curriculum should include a range of resources including core texts, supplementary resources, and scaffolding activities; and should align with evidence-based teaching practices.

Common Assessments

  1. A need to use data from RISE and Benchmark Tests was identified. It is recommended that time and opportunity is provided to teachers and administrators to look at student growth as measured by these assessments in order to improve instruction the following year.
  2. My Perspective’s assessment for evaluating student proficiency in standards is flawed. It is recommended that the district acquires a new assessment that better measures student proficiency related to the standards.
  3. A need for training in the effective use of data was identified. It is recommended that training and time to learn how to effectively use the data once we have it.
  4. It was determined that acquiring data from Utah Aspire Plus and ACT is difficult. It is recommended that data from UA+ and ACT be provided in csv format as soon as possible.
  5. A concern about overwhelming students with too much testing was identified. It is recommended that valuable data from assessments be provided in a timely manner and that concerns for over-testing be addressed.

Other Needs

  1. A need for Tier 2 instructional supplements was identified. It is recommended that this need is discussed in any future curriculum material purchases
  2. The difference between chronological texts/standards and theme-based texts was discussed for 11th and 12th grade students. It is recommended that if we cannot find a chronologically based text, a committee will create an indexed document of the table of contents tied to the standards.
  3. A need for vertical and horizontal alignment was identified. It is recommended that alignment for writing (informational, analysis, argumentative and narrative) and reading (comprehension, evidence, theme, add/change) be created for the district.
  4. A need for technology was identified. It is recommended that resources such as video clips, audio for selections, etc. should be sought after in next adoption.

  Additional Needs

  1. Curriculum Notebooks
  2. Nothing noted

Curriculum Materials and Standards Alignment

  1. There was a lack of diversity in authors, texts, and activities identified in the current textbook. It is recommended that a conscious effort be made to include this in future textbook adoptions.
  2. It was determined the current platform is not easily searchable by standard. It is recommended that any new instructional platform is easily searchable by standard.
  3. Current text lacks robust online material and a usable interface. It is recommended that any new text adoption include disposable text and robust online material.

Common Assessments

  • Nothing noted

Other needs

  • Nothing noted

District World Language Committee Meeting Summary

DWLC April 24, 2023 meeting summary

Review of the final steps of Phase II in the 3-year curriculum adoption process

Final discussion on the requests for each language – the spreadsheet is now ready to be used to request quotes.  You can find that spreadsheet here.

(committee members broke up in language specific groups to finalize each request based on the continuous review and feedback happening since our March 2023 DWLC meeting between the committee members and their colleagues in their PCLs)

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