School Level Questions
School Level Questions - Elementary
What guidelines or support will be available to accommodate multi-grade classrooms?
We are discussing these needs, specifically in science and social studies, and reviewing opportunities, "agreements," and possible resource allocation.
How are elementary teachers going to teach and assess all standards meaningfully?
How are elementary teachers going to teach and assess all of the power standards and learning targets meaningfully, given our schedule and time constraints? What resources will be provided to assist with this?
It’s important to remember that learning targets are parts of the power standard. If you think of it as a mathematical term, LT + LT + LT = power standard, the learning targets are not additional content or skills. Presently, elementary teachers are charged with teaching ALL standards. With the implementation of our new policy, next year, elementary teachers will be able to focus on the power standards and provide the depth that students need rather than trying to “cover” all the standards with the same level of emphasis.
This question prompts us to ask, “How are elementary teachers teaching science and social studies now?” While we understand time must be allotted for science and social studies instruction in a separate block, in addition to the literacy block, schools will have to examine their master schedules as well as what else teachers are teaching to carve out the time to teach the power standards. Some schools’ schedule accommodates this on days the student does not have rotation (PE/music).
Elementary teachers have new social studies resources as well as science kits. We realize there are some gaps in resources for science, and we are working to address this. Teams will begin to identify various resources and units that teachers can use to teach the content where a science kit doesn’t exist. Teachers also have a vast amount of resources at their fingertips via the Internet.
While the text is a resource that teachers can use as part of highly effective instruction, it should not be the sole resource. Some schools have dedicated some of their building budget to purchase leveled texts that align with the science and social studies content for students to use during guided and shared reading.
How will we honor the whole child through SBE?
SBE will support the whole child with clear standards and clear expectations. Learning objectives will be more transparent, which will help to challenge each student. In addition, intervention programs will be aligned to engage all students.
What is the expectation regarding STEM instruction?
The expectation hasn’t changed, but the conversion to SBE will help to make it much more manageable. For example, of the more than 40 science standards, your science SBE team has identified the most essential and narrowed the focus to approximately 12 power standards. Elementary teachers are masters at integration, and SBE maximizes the opportunities for this approach. Try integrating science and social studies into the literacy block through the use of leveled text as a part of guided and shared reading. Or build vocabulary and background knowledge through the Five-Component Reading model, which will provide students with extended opportunities to meet the power standards. And many teachers use their non-rotation days for teaching science and social studies lessons.
Are we considering the developmental appropriateness of power standards and learning targets?
The power standards come from Washington State learning standards. The state determines the appropriateness of standards, not the districts. We do not have the luxury of rewriting state standards. As teachers who hold Washington State Teaching Certificates, we are ethically bound to teach these standards. When the teams identified the power standards, they used the criteria of endurance, leverage and readiness. Each year, we will audit the power standards we selected to ensure they continue to be the most essential and an adequate safety net for all students.
How will the new grade book for elementary will have an impact on the office staff?
The new grade book for elementary will have an impact on the office staff who must enroll/withdraw students multiple times into one classroom. What assistance will be provided for this?
This is not a grade book issue but a student information system (SIS-student plus) issue. We will follow up with ITS on this.
School Level Questions - Multi-Age
Who is on the multi-age review team?
There will be an application process.
Who is the resource to multi-age principals?
Josh Garcia and Marie Verhaar.
Do multi-age schools need to restructure their master schedules?
Not necessarily. However, each multi-age program is different, so some minor adjustments may be necessary.
School Level Questions - High School
At high school level, any student who earned a “D” was marked “incomplete.” What is the policy?
The district has mandated that all teachers prepare a contract in these cases. Can the contracts be left to the professional discretion of the teacher?
This is not the district policy. The policy does not start until the 2011-2012 school year. Please refer to the policy for further guidance on when students should receive an incomplete.
Why are we not requiring students to complete their contracts outside of class time?
The district will work to establish criteria for incompletes for the 2011-2012 school year.