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  • #39495
    Melanie Friese
    Keymaster

    Check out the live blog of the Curriculum and Instruction Committee at 6:30 p.m.!

    Agenda here: https://drive.google.com/folderview?id=0B6cNHOSIYKNZaFIxZ0tuZkdlaWs&usp=sharing

    #39510
    Melanie Friese
    Keymaster

    All members are here and the meeting is starting.

    Here: Langton, Avard, Freeman, Van Houten, Girard

    #39511
    Melanie Friese
    Keymaster

    Patrice Benard to speak!

    The next generation science standards. These were improved from the common core math standards. I looked at them: (reading them as listed on the agenda)

    One standard for second grade very wordy. As compared to a different k through 3 standard that is a lot less wordy. It’s easier to understand. I’d like something I can read and understand. I’d ask you to put a hold on this. I know our scores are not great. It’s bad, but it’s not as bad as the fact that English and language arts 65% were not at grade level. If you improve reading scores math scores, science scores will improve. Please say no to these next gen. science standards.

    #39512
    Melanie Friese
    Keymaster

    DLiv update on PACE

    Pat Snow, Executive Director for Innovation Zone. Her and her team will present.

    Snow and 4 women (teachers) to share experiences with PACE (I didn’t catch all of their names.

    PACE means Performance Assessment of Competency Education

    We are learning how to create locally designed performance requirements. We felt we have been over-tested and this would help this. We are in pilot 2 and receiving professional development. We would go up to a tier 1 support if we continue, we could decrease standardized testing and we would have tests by the school and the teachers.

    Reading supervisor – we look at what students can do and what we want them to do. We are having them do things instead of taking a test.

    We came to meeting with some performance tests K through grade 5 including special education teachers and gym teachers to get different opinions. You could see how we could make better performance tests based on many people’s feedback.

    Special education teacher – it’s exciting to see how students can improve and show their education in a different way. If they additional support, I work with them in the resource room.

    Snow – we noticed at Parker Varney professional development. Christina Brown worked through it with the teachers. Teachers are receiving training and professional development. It helps everyone see the learning progression.

    We don’t stop to have a PACE assessment. We looked at assessments that were already there. We wanted to create more rigorous assignments to apply and analyse instead of regurgitating information. It’s built into the curriculum.

    #39513
    Melanie Friese
    Keymaster

    Van Houten – Principal Allen – I would like to ask you – what is the name of the firm

    Center for Collaborative (Education?) – all of it is provided with no cost.

    VH – do you see any down sides?

    Allen – No, not yet. Our goal is to have all of the teachers be able to go through this. I have mirrored the cost for subs for teachers to be trained would come out of professional development.

    VH – how would you get to tier 1 from tier 2?

    Allen – support from the board

    Girard – How did we get to this point? Who made the decision to involve Parker Varney and Gosler Park in the PACE program?

    DLiv – the decision came to me. the DOE approached me. I don’t then just say that they’ll do it. I contacted Amy and Gosler Park and asked.

    Girard – Would you consider the school district at this time a participant in the PACE program?

    DLiv – for professional dev. yes. assessment no

    GIrard – what is the purpose of the training? to in fact administer the PACE assessments?

    Snow – to reflect on teaching and learning and to see where students are…

    Girard – Is the training to prepare them to administer the PACE exams?

    Allen – No, it’s to improve our current

    Girard – Are you familiar with the waiver that makes the PACE program possible?

    DLiv – yes

    Girard – are you aware what you the requirements are from the state to participate in the PACE program? are you familiar with the requirements on the district?

    DLiv – That is not my understanding. The BOSC had a lot of discussion on this. The board was very firm that they were interested in us moving forward.

    Girard – Did the board actually take any action to authorize the district entering into the program?

    DLiv – we discussed it, probably not the right way to do it but it was the right thing to do.

    Girard – when was this presentation given to the board? I don’t have the same memory that you did. Did you come to the board to seek approval in advance?

    DLiv – I don’t know that we did a formal vote.

    Girard- It has been said this professional development for free. I thought it was going to be paid for by a grant from the state.

    DLiv – Yes

    Girard – should it not have come through the committee for approval as well?

    DLiv- I don’t appreciate your line of questioning. We are updating you on where we’re going and what we’re doing. we make decisions every day and we don’t always come to the board. I’m not saying it was done in the right way and I accept that responsibility, but it’s successful and it’s honing skills. I think we have proven that the innovations that are taking place are making a difference in learning and our teachers’ professionalism and to work with kids who come from a variety of backgrounds. We are going to move forward with that. IF the board says not to go forward with that, that’s there decision.

    Girard – I see your decision usurping the authority of the board without letting them know. I’m reading the actual waiver and you seem unfamiliar with the requirements it places on the district. I think you overstepped your boundaries before we get so deep into it that we have to follow. I would like our legal counsel look at this. (I tried to keep up – hope you can see this online!! – Melanie)

    Avard – can you look into this and let us know any obligations we are required to meet?

    DLiv – yes

    Avard – What are you doing on Feb 9 for professional development?

    Snow – a lot

    Avard – did you bring any of these to the board for approval? when was your last pd day?

    Election day

    Avard – did you bring the program forward to the board for professional development? Is the purview of administration? Yes. I don’t remember having to approve or authorize professional development. I remember PACE and questioning David Ryan and not getting the answers we wanted. I don’t want us to micro-manage the administration. Before this changes our curriculum or any test obligations will you bring this to the board? yes. the BOSC has an interest in professional development. What I see here is an opportunity without any general fund expense to Manchester. We are not accepting a grant we are accepting seats? Yes. DLiv I think you did a good job with following the board with this. I understand that this is the direction of the board but please let us know if there is an obligatory clause.

    #39514
    Melanie Friese
    Keymaster

    Martin – This is not the first time we’ve done professional dev. Performance assessments and accountability testing is different. This is amazing professional development.

    Langton – performance assessment is a trend and newest buzz term. The DOE has been given the grant and we’re getting the professional dev. are there any strings attached by the DOE or whatever entity is providing us with it?

    Ryan – We are not held to an obligatory test. Smarter Balanced Test ends next year. We are going to use the teachers with professional development to teach others.

    Allen – THis is not tied to the common core. It has been tied to the competencies. TO meet the needs of students below the grade level.

    Freeman – What is a tier 1 vs tier 2?

    Allen – Tier are administering there own PACE assessments. Tier 2 we are just learning to enhance assessment literacy and looking at learning progressions. We are working in our district assessment.

    Freeman to DLiv – are there any other options for professional development besides PACE?

    DLiv – I’m not sure.

    VH – I would like to concur with Avard and I remember acceptance of PACE. I would say as a teacher for decades that i believe our admins and superintendent is educational leadership and I differ to her judgment on this. The tone of the board was to approve this.

    #39515
    Melanie Friese
    Keymaster

    Girard – (Respectfully) I wish this were jsut about professional development. But the PACE program is to train them to administer the PACE testing. It requires this. I don’t believe the board is fully aware of what these requirements are. ESSA comes with their own requirements. What are they? Do we know what requirements we are under if any? If we’re going to put these teachers to all of this training? I think this was a backdoor into the program that the board may or may not have chosen to accept. THere was no motion and no action and the board was only informed after the fact that suddenly the news got ahold of it. They were not proactive measures to bring it to the attention of the board. This was forwarded it to this committee to thoroughly vet this. No presentation had ever been made to the board. I renew my motion to table until we can answer the question whether or not there are obligations to this district and if we want these teachers (training for this test) to not take the next step and agree to the tests (feeling obligated to take the test now that they’ve prepared for it).

    WIth respect Miss Allen, if this is as harmless as it seems then why was this presented the way it was?

    Avard – I don’t think we have the authority to table this (As Girard suggested)

    Langton – can you provide the answers to Girard’s questions? Could we have this in our agenda next time and can we put a hold on this? Right now it seems unclear. I am for professional development, however, holding them to an assessment is not good.

    Langton – I’m asking for the information and then vote so they know how we feel and I would like the entire board to see this.

    #39516
    Melanie Friese
    Keymaster

    Girard – I have many questions like Bedford not getting involved because of regional rewuiremetns. I don’t want to stop the professional development, but the point here is to get these questions answered. There are multiple issues here. I jsut don’t believe that the state is going to render, the waiver document, the district is obligated to align itself with the states standards of the common core. I think the dialogue is important. I think allowing the board to know of all of the issues that would pertain to this?

    Langton – We will continue to discuss this and let the teachers could go to there session on Feb. 3.

    DLiv – I would like to speak to this committee about those questions. We can answer anything but it’s the accusatory tone that is not in our nature. I hold this board in high respect and I ask, we will do what we can to get you the information, and being able to have the open discussion.

    Langton – I think it’s a matter of procedure. I would like it written from the Dept. of Education too. I think the board would like some clear answers and move forward with a plan.

    MOtion to have the educators proceed with actions they’ve taken but the board expresses caution as we move forward. and an additional meeting to talk about this.

    Y Langton, Avard , Van Houten
    N Girard , Freeman
    A

    #39517
    Melanie Friese
    Keymaster

    Next generation science curriculum

    Update on the revision process

    Middle school science committee – established goals and look at current standards and the next generation science standards. see how next gen would align with current curriculum. We wouldn’t adopt it but we would adopt the language.

    2nd meeting we did an unpacking activity to talk about the next gen language to see the best instruction in that topic.

    3rd meeting still talking about that – the language of the standards. We are starting to develop some standards that we would like to see and thinking about what it would look like.

    Our goal is to have a draft by the spring.

    High School

    – we had two days to familiarize us with the next gen standards to see if what we have been doing is aligning with these standards. Content wise we are doing really well.

    The approach is slightly different. It’s more of a UPD (?)

    We are doing well in the content area – pretty much everything is currently covered in the standards, but the science practices like learning by design – this is where we could improve. Integrate science practices and cross cutting English and math in the classrooms.

    We thought we could work something that would fit what we are already doing. This would get competencies and further match the three high schools.

    We’ve worked together with the middle and high schools to see how one goes into the other.

    We’re in the process of curriculum revision. The last time was 2007.

    #39518
    Melanie Friese
    Keymaster

    Freeman – since you are developing these, what are we using? the 2007 standards? Yes. Can you elaborate on the integration?

    -This is a philosophy in understanding by design. It’s more based on problem solving rather than just content. It goes much deeper. You get a broad statement because it uses investigation. It’s an engineering part. Pushing the problem solving aspect of science.

    Freeman – What did you mean by society issues?

    – We’re looking at what students need when they leave high school. The jobs, higher education, and a lot of students go into engineering and we’re going in that direction.

    #39519
    Melanie Friese
    Keymaster

    VH – Can we assure Patrice that the wording will not be adopted?

    – What she read was the general, broad description and then the rest of the unit will be subdivided in much more detail.

    – To the elementary piece of it, the student language it would end up saying… I can understand that plants absorb water through their roots not their leaves. The language is for curriculum dev. people to see what the content is. It’s not for the children. We come up with what that learning would look like in the classroom. The wording is the product of all the teachers. We bring you drafts and drafts. There’s a lot of pieces to it.

    VH- There’s no intent to take them verbatim and transfer them?

    No.

    Langton – Who determines ultimately the wording?

    The Board

    Langton – How many teachers meet and how many times?

    High school we meet by subject and then we will work on our electives to align them to the standards.

    Langton – when do the teachers meet during the school day?

    Yes, we have subs

    Langton – it’s still not the same. Now teachers have extra professional dev. days.

    Girard – Why was the second standard clearer that Patrice read?

    – That was a specific, direct information. The depth of knowledge is not as deep. Everything is reversed in the new standard. You start with problem statement and ask the student to solve the problem with the tools. This is why the statement is broad.

    Girard – you said you are not going to adopt the standards, just the language. Is this accurate?

    I did not say that. Patrice actually submitted some standards that we have looked at and she was helpful with language art. THe teachers decide what the standards going to be.

    GIrard – what other standards are you looking at in addition to next gen?

    grade span expectations, there are many

    Girard – how far are you into this process?

    We just started.

    Girard – what standards are you looking to review?

    grade span expectations (I don’t know what they are exactly or where they come from.) But just this one and next gen

    High school has been looking at the state competencies.

    Ryan – we have to subscribe to graduation competencies.

    #39520
    Melanie Friese
    Keymaster

    Avard – are the elementary schools meeting?

    Ryan – No, we are only working on 6 through 12. We don’t have science specific science teachers in elementary school. We’ll get to them when we are done with 6 – 12.

    Avard – There has been complaints that we have given less and less attention to science in elementary schools. I’ve seen the dinosaurs unit diminish. Now we’re trying to bring in Steam ahead Junior. I want to see what we are going to do to help them. Science has doubled since we took on the last curriculum. That base learning has changed. I’m disappointed that it’s been since 2007 since we updated the curriculum. I’d like to make it more fluid so we can account for developments.

    Langton – I know there’s a focus on ENG and Math, but do they have science every day? how does it work?

    Martin – We can do better, but with the STEAM program, the concept of designing is an aspect of science. These skills are transferable. It is integrated.

    Girard – Miss Ricard – You said it’s more focused on problem solving and less on content. How can you ask kids to solve problems without content? How does this approach teach the basics?

    It’s learning by discovery. There are guidelines with specific concepts and vocab. But it’s about the process. GIve them the problem, concepts, and background, and they need to use that concept.

    To think like a scientist is to be caught up with ever changing content. Four new elements just got added to the Periodic Table. If we think like scientists, those empty places allow kids to think more in that vain. Understand the why because of technology. That is the piece of it that reflects the thinking. The content will continue to grow.

    The concept behind the chapter I’m writing about integrating English language learners and teaching them with the next gen standards as my own professional development.

    #39521
    Melanie Friese
    Keymaster

    Freeman – why are we staring with middle and high schools and not the elementary level?

    we are beginning with the end in mind

    Freeman – I’m concerned how you can integrate that when the grade 5’s get to 6 and are not ready. My love for science started in elementary school, but to have it so broad it leaves it out. I wanted to understand the reasoning behind that.

    I don’t know if the two of us know what is going on at the elementary schools.

    Martin – It’s a common curriculum format to begin with the end in mind and we build backwards from there. The concepts of STEAM carry forth through the middle schools and high schools. We will get better with that.

    Want – I wanted to say I am also concerned about the elementary school and even more when I hear that certain elementary schools and are doing better. I don’t like it that the kids develop bad attitudes about science and they don’t like it.

    I’ve been teaching 6th grade science for 6 years, I don’t feel that students have those attitudes about science. The kids seem exciting. I would hate to go on public record right now and say that anyone was doing it better. I don’t know what elementary schools are doing in science and I don’t know how to compare them and I don’t want parents to get the wrong idea.

    #39522
    Melanie Friese
    Keymaster

    Connecting the concepts of science to real life. This process is better.

    Want – Is it possible to do a survey of elementary schools to find out what they are doing?

    Martin – Yes, we have an elementary principals meeting tomorrow morning. We will get back to you in the board update next week.

    Snow – we are doing the STEAM program and we are going to expand it to all 14 schools. We are looking to expand it among the grades. This takes time and we want to make sure it’s a vertical alignment.

    Avard – I am a science geek myself. I live for science and math. I see a lot of people have a fear of math and science. I’d like to see a little desensitization of the terminology. Get them beyond the terms and get the kids over the fear of the terms. We want them to be able to interpret information base to understand information in their adult lives. It’s a balance. Science changes and we need to help them have the base to interpret it as it changes. It has to be approached differently and I applaud you.

    #39523
    Melanie Friese
    Keymaster

    Miss Piccard – This is the application of what they’re learning.

    Number 7 Curriculum Management Draft Plan

    Ryan- I’m looking for a vote or a direction on how to improve it.

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