Throughout the month of February our Monday morning professional development opportunities for staff focused on our Title 1 School Wide Plan and common grade level math assessments. This included grading assessments, recording data, analyzing data and developing plans for getting students to standard in areas that they are struggling. This will continue into the first few Mondays of March. The work that we have done with common math assessments and the SW Washington Math Consortium this year has been extremely valuable. The data that we are gathering is clearly informing our understanding of student achievement as it relates to the math standards. Assessment results are driving instruction at a high level.
On February 25th WIS students were the recipients of a FREE assembly that featured The Reptile Man. The assembly was very well received, hugely entertaining and at times quite educational. The Reptile Man also performed an assembly at WPS and an evening assembly for the community.
We are preparing for MSP testing. One monumental change from last year involves out 6th grade students testing online. This is a tremendous undertaking. Every student will have exposure to both demonstrations and tutorials in multiple computer labs in both reading and math over the next six weeks.
One of the goals associated with our Title 1 School Wide Plan is to research the benefits of a standard based grading system and determine if this is something that would be positive at WIS. Tara Eilts and Veronica Heller have facilitated this committee and the work/research behind it. They have gathered and studied information from several schools in our area who have converted to a standard based grading system. We have found this to be an increasingly popular shift, especially among elementary schools. There is a high likelihood that WIS will convert to a standards based grading system in the future. Our timeline for a switch like this is still unclear. Many factors influence a major change like this. The development of report cards, common trimester assessments, the development of scope and sequence in each instructional area, staff training, the revision of technology, parent communication, time and financial resources are just a few of the factors that impact implementation.
The Standards Based Grading Committee is now analyzing samples from neighboring districts. We are in the process of developing sample report cards. This will take us the next few months to complete. When this is done we will be ready to share samples with our staff and move onto the next step of our plan.