Wednesday, April 4, 2018

High Impact, Day 3

Yesterday was the third and final day (for this year!) of Assessment for Learning high impact strategy training.  Jeff Beaudry and Anita Stewart-McCafferty from USM, along with our district strategy coach, Kirsten Gould, held session #3 yesterday around this pivotal district work.  In attendance were 54 of our teachers, instructional coaches, technology coaches, and administrators!

The design of the day was framed to meet everyone's individual needs, and it delivered! 
It was one of the best professional days this Curriculum Coordinator had ever been a part of.  

Opening remarks from Superintendent Penna

Discussion around mindframes with Jeff Beaudry.

Kirsten Gould leading a thinking & reflection activity.

An administrator session with Anita Stewart-McCafferty

The administrator / technology coach / instructional coach "think tank"

School-specific reflection and planning 

There were small breakout sessions throughout the day around the most needed topics.

There was also PLENTY of collaborative work time and space.

This is a Wordle.  All attendees were asked to submit 2-3 words that came to mind 
regarding this work and this day.  The larger the word, the more times it came up.  
Notice our big stand out words...

Thanks to all of our administrators for the flexibility and efforts to get so many teachers there.  Thanks to our teachers in attendance who shared so much energy and commitment.  
Thanks to our teachers back at the schools for picking up whatever slack needed, and thanks in advance to them for embracing the knowledge that their peers will be bringing back to them.  
And most of all thank you to Jeff, Anita, and Kirsten for planning such an outstanding day!

~Krista Poulin

"The work we are doing in Assessment for Learning directly connects to our work with Carrie Thurston [data driven intervention work]. Our focus is on how to positively impact student learning to optimize growth. This idea isn't something new being added to our plates. It's expanding and deepening our understanding of the same work we've been focusing on since our Proficiency Based Symposiums."  
--from a classroom teacher

"We should be moving from this being a THING we DO, to being the way we DO THINGS."  

--from a building administrator

Friday, February 16, 2018

And the winners are.....

                                   Congratulations to the 2018 District Writing Contest Winners

Wednesday, December 6, 2017

Trimester 1 Report Cards for Grades K-8

Hello K-8 Students, Parents, and Families,

Trimester 1 ended on December 1st, so Reports of Progress will be coming home soon.  This post will explain what you'll see on K-8 report cards, as things look differently than they did last year.

As MSAD #6 continues the transition to proficiency-based reporting, you won't see a single grade or score for a content area.  Instead you see more detail.  Rather than seeing a single grade for "Math," for example, you see scores in the areas of math.  

All of our curriculum documents are public and can be found here, under the Content Standards & Indicators tab:

The basic structure of our curriculum is as follows:
   -->Content Area  (English Language Arts, Math, Science, Physical Education, etc.)
        -->>Graduation Standards (consistent K-12, required for high school graduation)
             -->>>Performance Indicators (specific to grade levels or grade spans)

Example #1 
        -->>Number & Quantity
-->>>Count to 100 by tens (Kindergarten)

Example #2 
   -->Visual Art 
-->>>Students identify career(s) that involve visual arts.  (Grade 4 & 5) 

Example #3  
   -->Social Studies
        -->>Civic Engagement
-->>>Analyze how people influence government and work for the common good. (Middle School)

Last year, our elementary and middle school report cards listed every specific indicator under the content areas, and it was found to be very long and cumbersome.  Many parents expressed frustration, and we agreed!  This year you will see only the main (standards) areas under each content area.  For example, under "Math," you'll see scores for Number & Quantity, Algebra, Functions, Geometry, Statistics & Probability, and (for K-5 only) Measurement & Reference Frames.  All of the detail under each of those still is available to you, by using the online parent portal.  We encourage students and families to use the parent portal, to access further detail about what indicators were scored to contribute to the score for each standard.

On the Report of Progress, you'll likely see blanks on the elementary version for many standards in the Trimester 1 column.  This translates into "Not Scored," meaning that no indicators under that standard have been scored yet.  On the middle school version only the standards that have scores will show up; others are hidden.  If you take a look at the curriculum documents for our content areas, you'll see that there are many performance indicators under the graduation standards.  The goal is quality instruction and student learning, not just getting everything done.  Please be patient, as more will get filled in as the year goes on.  The report card may look sparse, but dig into the parent portal and you'll see the work being done in the various performance indicators!


Middle School:

The other change you'll see from last year's Report of Progress is the addition of Guiding Principles under each content area.  Maine's Guiding Principles are consistent throughout the state for all K-12 students.  Teachers find that students' responsibility, communication, thinking, problem solving, and self-direction sometimes varies by the subject area.  Providing scores this way gives students, parents, and families more information and insight.

 Elementary: (click to enlarge)

Middle: (click to enlarge)

Where you see a standard score, you're seeing where your child is at this point in time toward proficiency in that standard.  Scores may go up or go down through the year, depending on your child's progress with the performance indicators under each standard.  

Another important thing to know is that whatever contributes to a score is from SUMMATIVE assessments.  These are the "end of learning" assessments, where teachers assess what a student has learned within a standard.  What you'll also be able see in the parent portal, but are not counted in proficiency scores, are FORMATIVE assessments.  These are the brief check-in assessments along the way and practice opportunities (homework, for example) that teachers use to inform their instruction with students.  From these formative assessments teachers may slow down, speed up, group students by their specific needs, change instruction, provide challenges and/or provide some extra assistance.  "Grades" aren't made up of formative assessments, but they are a huge part of what we do so it's important for you to be able to see your child's formative work in the parent portal.

An example of an elementary Report of Progress is HERE 

An example of a middle school Report of Progress is HERE

Please contact your child's teacher, principal, 
or the Curriculum Coordinator with any questions.