Curriculum Update for November 4, 2013

posted Nov 5, 2013, 2:01 PM by   [ updated Nov 5, 2013, 2:09 PM ]

“The Manchester School District will be a dynamic system focused on the realization of student aspirations.”

“The mission of the Manchester School District, in partnership with the community, is to inspire and empower all learners with the knowledge, skills, and experiences essential for them to reach their greatest potential.”

Organization for the Development of the Manchester Academic Standards

The school district took its first step toward developing its next set of academic learning standards by releasing the logic model for standards and curriculum development last week. The logic model is a first draft and should be followed moving left to right. It is a simple illustration of the workflow involving inputs and outputs and over time will be updated with specific information such as resources, products, and links to the standards and curriculum documents. It will be made available to the public in the Resource Documents section of the curriculum website.

The District Standards and Curriculum Committee (DSCC) is scheduled to meet on Wednesday, November 6 from 8:30 - 10:00 AM and will begin their work by organizing the charge and building the standards writing teams. The DSCC will meet twice per month to start and oversee the process of selecting teachers to research and build the set of standards, revise and write curriculum, and develop an implementation plan. A few members of the DSCC will also be responsible for communicating all of the work to the public in an efficient and timely manner. Members of the DSCC include district level administrators, building level administrators, district directors and coordinators. All of the standards and curriculum writing teams will be comprised of classroom teachers from all grade levels, and the teams will be scheduled to work during and after school hours.

Student Learning Objectives (SLOs) and Teacher Evaluation

All schools in the district began the work of developing a school-based student learning objective in mathematics in September and that work continues to move forward. Many of you will be learning more about this work tomorrow during our November In Service day. Our seven Priority Schools have, as part of their work under the ESEA flexibility waiver, a requirement to implement a new teacher effectiveness model that incorporates SLOs and assessment data to determine student growth and therefore, teacher effectiveness. We believe it will not be too long after the Priority Schools implement the plan that the remainder of the schools across New Hampshire use the evaluation model as well, and a draft copy of the proposed model is here. It should be comforting to note that the Task Force on Effective Teaching, the group that developed the model, includes teachers and state-level NEA executives among its membership.

In support of your work with SLOs  is the section of the plan devoted to teacher evaluation through the assessment of student growth, encaptioned here from page 21 of the plan:

“Student Learning Objectives (SLOs) form the foundation of New Hampshire’s approach for documenting changes in student learning associated with a teacher or group of educators and, as such, all educators will have the results of SLOs incorporated into their evaluations. For educators in “tested” subjects and grades, those grades and subjects for which there is a state, standardized test as well as a state test in the same subject in the previous year, student learning will be evaluated using Student Growth Percentiles (SGP), and the results of SGP analyses, along with SLO results, will be used in the evaluations of educators in tested subjects and grades.

Both SGP and SLO approaches can be used to attribute the academic achievement and growth of students to individual educators or to appropriate aggregations of educators such as grade or content-level teams or even the whole school. Distributing student learning results to multiple educators is referred to as “shared attribution.” The tradeoffs associated with shared attribution

are also discussed below” (New Hampshire Model Educator Support and Evaluation System, p.21).  

Bravo! English Learner Improvement Plan Writing Team Completes Its Work

Eleven EL teachers from all grade levels came together in the early weeks of September to dive into the EL program in our school district and develop a two-year improvement plan that is being submitted to the NH Department of Education this week. Throughout the past two months this team met as frequently as once a week for full days to review EL data over the past three years, identify barriers and bridges to student achievement, develop strategies to overcome barriers and advance student learning, and justify strategies with supporting data and resources. All members of the team contributed a significant amount of work in the name of kids, and special thanks go to Margaret King, June Tumblin, Meryl Shea, Carey Hodges, Jane Pollard, Ginny Mahan, Donna Crook, Gigi Munoz, Sarah Dubois, Diane Stutsrim, and Douglas Leclerc for their incredible work.

Bravo! West High School Implements New Teacher Cohort

Principal Chris Motika announced last week that he is establishing a new teacher cohort in his school to help support first-year teachers and the work they do. Most of us remember how hard that first year was, especially without the proper support and guidance. According to Motika “the purpose of this cohort is multi-faceted. First, in order to properly support new teachers, they need consistent feedback, a chance to discuss strategies and problems, and the opportunity to brainstorm ideas. Second, from a cultural and building standpoint, new teachers need the forum to ask questions and raise concerns in a non-threatening, non-evaluative manner.” Congratulations West on formalizing a program for new teachers and demonstrating the importance of embedded professional development for all staff.

URead of the Week

Building Relationships with Students  -  By Nina Sears, NEA