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Curriculum, Instruction and Assessments

Barbara Gransee

District Assessment Coordinator

608-339-3213 Extension 1013

gransee_b@afasd.net

 

Michelle Johnson

District RTI Coordinator

608-339-6556 Extension 1501

johnson_m@afasd.net

 

Shannon TerMaat

District Reading Specialist

Educator Effectiveness Coordinator

ESEA Coordinator

608-339-4064 Extension 1324 (AFMS)

608-339-3016 Extension 1436 (AFE)

termaat_s@afasd.net




Educational Reform

Educational Reform is bringing sweeping changes to Wisconsin schools.  These changes are based on four key principles:  higher college/career expectations, dramatic increases in testing standards, eventual tie-in of teacher and principal evaluations to student outcomes, and overall better efficiency in tracking students’ data -- all in exchange for more flexibility in meeting targets set by federal legislation known as No Child Left Behind

No Child Left Behind requires schools and educators across the country to center their teaching on content and learning standards. Beginning with the 2009-2010 school-year, the Adams-Friendship Area School District implemented a grading policy which led to the development of a standards-based report card. This initiative directly relates to the District's mission of preparing students to perform for life and sets a foundation for the implementation of the Common Core State Standards.  See Frequently Asked Questions.

 


Common Core State Standards

Standards describe what students should know and be able to do in each subject area at each grade level. Wisconsin is one of 45 states adopting the Common Core State Standards.  This initiative is a state-led effort that establishes a single set of clear educational standards for kindergarten through 12th grade in English language arts and mathematics. The standards are designed to ensure that students graduating from high school are prepared to enter credit bearing entry courses in two or four year college programs or enter the workforce. The standards are clear and concise to ensure that parents, teachers, and students have a clear understanding of the expectations in reading, writing, speaking and listening, language and mathematics in school. 

http://www.corestandards.org/

The Next Generation Science standards

The Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS) provide an important opportunity to improve not only science education but also student achievement. Based on the Framework for K–12 Science Education, the NGSS are intended to reflect a new vision for American science education.

http://www.nextgenscience.org/next-generation-science-standards

The Adams-Friendship School District is reviewing curriculum to ensure alignment to college and career readiness standards.

 


Assessing Learning

Currently, Wisconsin students in grades 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, and 10 take the Wisconsin Knowledge and Concepts (WKCE) exam each fall.  Next year (2013-2014) will be the last time this assessment is used.  Beginning in the spring of 2015, students will begin taking a tougher alternative to the current Wisconsin Knowledge and Concepts Exam (WKCE).  The SMARTER Balanced Assessment is the computerized test chosen as the replacement for WKCE.  This test was piloted at both Roche-A-Cri and Grand Marsh Elementary Schools in the spring of 2013.  Though the district will not be given specific results, this experience provided an opportunity to preview the types of skills students will need to be successful.  Final decisions regarding testing for middle and high school testing have not yet been made.  The Department of Public Instruction is recommending EXPLORE, PLAN and ACT tests for older students.

 

As Wisconsin makes the transition to a new testing program, other changes have occurred.  Beginning in the fall of 2012, WKCE scores were aligned to the National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP) standards.  Because these are more rigorous standards and expectations are higher, scores across the state dipped into lower proficiency levels.  "Increasing our expectations of what students need to know and be able to do, to match the reality of the 21st century, will not be easy," State Superintendent Tony Evers said.  "Students who were proficient on the WKCE may no longer be proficient on the new assessment systems as new, more important skills are measured.  Schools that were making AYP (Annual Yearly Progress) under NCLB may no longer meet the expectations of our next generation accountability system.  Also, schools growing student achievement will be recognized by this new system in ways that never happened with NCLB."

 

Other assessments used in the Adams-Friendship School District are outlined in the Adams-Friendship School District Assessment Schedule.

 


 Frequently Asked Questions

What does it mean to have standards-based reporting?

Standards-based reporting means that students are measured against a set of district-wide academic standards for each subject area.

Why have we moved to standard-based reporting?

Standards-based reporting shows parents their child's progress within the districts curriculum. With this system, parents will know how their child is progressing towards mastering standards in each subject area. Additionally parents will know whether their child is "on target" with district and state standards.

How will this benefit students?

This will assure that students within a grade level receive similar instruction and are assessed on the same expectations. This will also allow teachers to better communicate individual student progress.

How will academic progress be reported?

A student's progress on the report card is represented by a proficiency level.

What do these levels mean for parents and students?

Earning a "4" means the student has advanced and in-depth understanding of targeted expectations. This student shows initiative and demonstrate advanced knowledge at school. Though our standards are high, it is possible to achieve a "4". Teachers will provide students with opportunities to perform at advanced levels.

Earning a "3" means the student has proficient understanding and reaches the targeted level of performance. The student demonstrates the required skills or processes without making significant errors. The target for students is a "3" and indicates that they are right on track with academic and behavioral expectations.

Earning a "2" means the student has basic knowledge and inconsistent use of knowledge of the skill or concept. A "2" indicates to parents that their child is making progress, but has not yet mastered the concept or skill at the targeted level. Students at this level may need remediation to be successful in future classes in the course sequence.

Earning a "1" means the student has minimal understanding of the skill or concept. A student receiving a "1" may have some academic difficulties. A "1" indicates the student needs help to learn and make progress towards the district expectations. At the high school level, students must obtain at least a "1" for each standard listed for the course to obtain credit for the course.

Earning a "0" indicates that the student has not provided evidence of learning. Often, work has not been completed.

Students in grades 4K-8 will not receive overall letter grades. An overall letter grade will still be determined in grades 9-12. GPA and class rank will continue. For specific information, see the AFAS School Board Policy Guidelines 5421 Assessment and Reporting of Student Progress.

With the increased focus on standards-based education, more and more states, districts, and schools are implementing standards-based grading. Standards-based report cards will provide consistency between schools and teachers. Parents can see their child's specific academic development. Students will have a clearer understanding of learning goals which research shows raises student achievement.