Teaching and Learning Report
To: Michael Green
From: Asha Riley
Date: February 18, 2020
Re: Teaching and Learning
Aligning Test Supports/Accommodations:
Each year, Sarah Hadaller and I meet with key staff at each school to document the supports and/or accommodations each student should have access to during state testing. Sarah then spends several weeks entering each support and/or accommodation in to the system prior to the mid-year Interim test (often used as a mid-year check/practice SBA). Students then can practice using their supports and/or accommodations mid-year, prior to taking the required state test in the spring.
Last year during this process, we realized confusion lingered over the types of available supports and accommodations students with Individual Education Plans (IEPs) could receive during state testing. After meeting with Jake, we realized the online system that is used to prepare the Individual Education Plans needed to be updated to include the most current available options, and several old options needed to be removed or clarified.
Over the past month Jake and I met to review the supports and accommodations listed in each system and updated IEP online to reflect currently available accommodations. Sarah Hadaller and Michelle McLoughlin made the updates and the systems are now aligned.
Language Essentials for Teachers of Reading and Spelling:
Dian from LETRS returned to check in on our progress last month. She visited classrooms in each school, met with teachers to answer specific questions, and modeled lessons for our teachers to observe.
The conversation in each building focused on how we are embedding our new learning in our lessons. Our current curriculum has the components necessary to teach the foundational skills, but teachers are seeing that more time and emphasis needs to be dedicated to these aspects of the lessons. They have spent a significant amount of time beefing up these parts of their lessons since the summer workshops and were looking for her feedback on how they are doing. She was impressed and offered helpful ideas to each grade level.
Our third and fourth grade teachers were eager to discuss with her how to effectively support their lagging readers in the classroom. She recommended a resource, Equipped for Reading Success. I plan to purchase a copy for each 3rd and 4th grade teacher.
As a result of looking at our data, visiting classrooms, and listening to teacher reflections with our trainer, I believe our next focus will be on differentiating reading lessons within the classroom. We are effectively using our curriculum and seeing students improve overall. Now it’s time to focus on how to accelerate progress of our struggling readers.
I am also exploring options to have our trainer back next summer to complete the training series.