Teaching and Learning Report
To: Michael Green
From: Asha Riley
Date: September 17, 2020
Re: Teaching and Learning
With the knowledge that we would not physically see students in classrooms to start the school year, our K-4 leaders explored how we might ensure we have a good pulse on how we might assess student reading skills to start the year. We expect to see a lag in skills as a result of the shift in learning environments last spring and wish to have a good diagnostic picture of where we need to begin our work in reading. The best tool we have, Acadience, is best assessed in person.
With quick work, our team enlisted our paraeducators and with training from Malinda were able to effectively assess students whose family attended the parent partnership conferences with teachers at the start of school. I am pleased that we were able to capture data for every K-2 student, and most students in grades 3-4.
We are currently reviewing results and to summarize, we have our work cut out for us this year. The good news is we know where to most effectively engage students in instruction and are making plans to accelerate growth in reading and make up the lost ground.
Planning Focused Instruction for the 2020-2021 School Year
In preparation for a focused year of instruction in Math and ELA, I modified the 2020-21 pacing guides for curriculum and instruction in grades K-4.
Math - I was able to identify the essential standards in each grade level and made accommodation in the schedule to regain ground that may have been lost last spring. I reviewed it with Megan, our Ready Math expert on pacing, and she confirmed the plan. There is plenty of padding in the schedule to make it through essential concepts and potentially reteach any concepts from last spring. I feel relatively optimistic about our ability to support students to the end of grade standard as a result.
ELA - I have adjusted the dates to match the 2020-21 school year and Malinda, our in house expert, helped identify essential standards. Staff then worked as grade level teams to determine how to focus units of study in ReadyGen to efficiently and effectively address these essential standards.
We also included ELA and Math I-Ready Assessment plans to monitor progress, and incorporated the administration of these in three assessment windows into the schedule.
Test Administration 2020-21
In late August, Superintendent Reykdal submitted a letter to the U.S. Department of Education (ED) requesting that required assessments be waived during the 2020-21 school year. On September 3, ED’s Secretary of Education, Betsy DeVos, distributed a letter to all Chief State School Officers, stating that it is ED’s expectation that states will administer tests and should not anticipate waivers to be granted again.
In a year where uncertainty seems to rule the day every day, we have become experts at shifting gears and turning on a dime, being innovative and flexible in everything we do. We make plans for upcoming activities while also making alternate plans knowing things might change.
The OSPI Assessment is planning for typical 2020-21 test administration. All 2020-21 test administration windows are listed on the OSPI Timelines & Calendar webpage. In the coming days, weeks, and months, we will continue to plan for the assessment administrations, but also be researching and communicating with you about any alternate plans that might be available, needed, or feasible.