Fall Conference 2014 Highlights

Practical Proficiency

autumn leavesWhen:
October 27-28, 2014
8:30 am – 3:00 pm

Where:
Auburn Hilton Garden Inn
14 Great Falls Plaza
Auburn, ME
Phone: 207-784-4433

Designed by MCLA members for school and district leaders, teacher leaders, and school board members.

Conference Highlights

Strand 1: Defining and Assessing Proficiency

  • Districts are each approaching curriculum, instruction, and assessment in a standards-based system differently. There is no single model everyone can follow.
  • Standards-based assessment design and alignment is a four-step process.
  • RSU 14’s curriculum process:
    1. Identify graduation standards
    2. Identify grade span performance indicators
    3. Engage in a curriculum inventory
    4. Create scoring guides for each indicator
    5. Identify learning targets for each grade level course of study
    6. Create assessments – common and classroom
    7. Create units of study
    8. “I expect you all to be independent, innovative, critical thinkers who will do exactly as I say.” (Teacher to class of students; cartoon used in one session.)

Strand 2: Transforming Teaching and Learning

  • Want to know more about standards-based grading? Casco Bay High School is offering a full-day standards-based grading workshop on March 15, 2015. Contact Derek Pierce, Principal to register.
  • Why change? One district, with graduation rates of 80-85% and SAT proficiency at 40-50%, decided something had to change.
  • Want to know more about standards-based grading? Casco Bay High School is offering a full-day standards-based grading workshop on March 15, 2015. Contact Derek Pierce, Principal to register. 
  • Students in MSAD 11 use individual Guiding Principles Tracker folders on Google to collect evidence of each Guiding Principle.
  • Auburn teachers asked: What would happen if we applied the principles of proficiency-based learning with adults? Teachers would have clearly articulated learning targets, frequent, formative feedback, self-assess their own proficiency, and voice and choice in their own learning.

Strand 3: Working with Stakeholders

  • Create regular opportunities for staff, students, and parents to give feedback and express concerns. Single, isolated events don’t include stakeholders in the change. Provide a clear internal communication process, which includes staff leadership.
  • Create regular opportunities for staff, students, and parents to give feedback and express concerns. Single, isolated events don’t include stakeholders in the change. Provide a clear internal communication process, which includes staff leadership.
  • Key school board policies to provide the foundation for standards-based practice: 1) IGA Curriculum Development and Adoption (eliminate the five-year cycle if you have it); IHA Basic Instructional Program; IKF Graduation Requirements; IIA Grouping for Instruction.
  • Start with what’s manageable for your situation and take time to develop common approaches and work on common agreements.
  • Open two-way communication with colleges about how standards-based changes will work for them and for your students.
  • Don’t oversell! Standards-based practice is not so new – what matters most is still great teachers and quality teaching and assessment.
  • A sample of Casco Bay High School’s principles of standards-based grading for parents:
    • Grades should clearly communicate what students know and are able to do in each class.
    • Students should have multiple opportunities to show what they know and can do.
    • Schools should support students in acquiring all of the essential knowledge and skills in a course, versus just a portion of it.
    • Learning cannot be averaged; students need time to practice and learn from mistakes.
  • Tell stories to illustrate key points. Different audiences will benefit from different stories and different story tellers. Stories can be told in words, videos, or still photos and should be appropriate to the way in which they’ll be delivered (website, in person, a newsletter).