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4-Day CAPA Orientation. Collaborative Assessment for Planning & Achievement. Agreements. Ask questions for your understanding and support Conduct discussions in a professional manner Agree to listen, honor and respect all perspectives

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4-Day CAPA Orientation

Collaborative Assessment for Planning & Achievement

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Ask questions for your understanding and support

Conduct discussions in a professional manner

Agree to listen, honor and respect all perspectives

Be mindful of the patterns of participation—give everyone an opportunity to speak—refrain from side conversations

Use the parking lot

Put cell phones on silent

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Workshop Handouts

4-day Handbook

Teaching and Learning Tool

4-day Protocols


Reflection Form

Workshop Flyer

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Agenda & Background

Preparing for the Visit

What Occurs on a Visit

CAPA Teaching and Learning Tool

Classroom Walkthroughs

Summary Report

Follow Up


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In this session, you will learn:

What is CAPA?

Who receives a CAPA Visit?

How to prepare for a CAPA Visit?

What occurs before, during and after a CAPA visit?

Who to contact with questions about a CAPA visit?

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CAPA is:

A teaching and learning collaboration between the New Jersey Department of Education, districts, local educators and parents

Designed to empower schools and districts to go beyond current efforts

To improve student achievement.

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To provide feedback that will assist the school in developing and committing to the execution of an action plan to further student advancement

To jointly determine the root causes hindering student advancement

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Who receives a visit?

Schools listed as “in need of improvement” in year three and above of school improvement status

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Federal Requirements

The federal No Child Left Behind Act (NCLB) requires all states to establish standards for accountability for all schools and districts in their states.

The foundation for the accountability system is based on a state’s academic content standards and aligned assessments.

The accountability system looks at the degree to which students across schools and districts are mastering the state standards.

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New Jersey Requirements

Schools are evaluated using adequate yearly progress (AYP) indicators.

Student achievement is determined by grade span and each content area.

There are 40 indicators that must be met (including participation and proficiency rates) plus secondary indicators.

A safe harbor calculation is applied to measure progress if AYP is missed

When a school does not meet AYP, it may be designated as a school in need of improvement.

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NCLB Corrective Actions:

In addition, the LEA must take at least one of the following corrective actions§1116(b)(7)(C); §200.42:

Institute a new curriculum grounded in scientifically based research and provide appropriate professional development to support its implementation

Extend the length of the school year or school day

Replace the school staff who are deemed relevant to the school not making adequate progress

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NCLB Corrective Actions:

Significantly decrease management authority at the school

Restructure the internal organization of the school

Appoint one or more outside experts to advise the school (1) how to revise and strengthen the improvement plan it created while in school improvement status; and (2) how to address the specific issues underlying the school’s continued inability to make AYP

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Student Subgroups





Asian/Pacific Islander

Native American/Indian

One or more Races (multiple category)

Economically disadvantaged

Students with disabilities

Limited English proficient

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IEP Students

IEP exempt from Passing

Used for Graduation requirement

NCLB requires that all students be tested

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95% Confidence Interval

A confidence interval (CI) is a statistical method to minimize the risk of misclassifying schools.

A confidence interval at 95% probability is applied to the actual proficiency results for the total population as well as each student subgroup for each content area.

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CAPA is:

A process involving an external team of educators and parents working in collaboration with school and district personnel to

pinpoint obstacles to student achievement,

identify needs and

develop solutions to improve school performance.

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Task-Oriented Team Development











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High Performance Teams

Shared Common Vision

Commitment to the Task/Vision

Optimal Use of Skills

No Personal Agendas

Good communication and Feedback

High Trust

Access to Resources

Like to Work with Each Other

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YouTube - Let's build a filter



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Team Activity

  • To explore team dynamics and decision making

  • Identify characteristics of effective teams

  • To build relationships and networks

  • To have some fun

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Get ready teams…

  • Use only the materials given.

  • Additional materials are available

  • Do not eat the materials

  • Lay out paper as a working surface

  • Build a tower in 20 minutes using the materials provided

  • The team that builds the highest tower that stays upright for 10 seconds wins a prize

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Processing the Activity

  • What was the initial reaction of your team?

  • What roles did people play?

  • How did you solve the problem?

  • What other situations (e.g., at school, home or work) are like the tower activity?

  • Observer feedback/reporting out

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We Know That:

“The top-performing school systems recognize that the only way to improve outcomes is to improve instruction: learning occurs when students and teachers interact, and thus to improve learning implies improving the quality of that interaction.”

How the World’s Best-performing School Systems Come Out on Top, McKinsey and Company (2007)

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We Know That:

“Teaching is the first and most important element of progress. Neither programs nor curricula nor assessments nor administrative mandates will replace the primacy of teaching effectiveness as the number one impact on student achievement.”

Leading Change in Your Schools, Douglas Reeves (2009).

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Team Leader


Language Arts Literacy Specialist

Mathematics Specialist

Special Education Specialist

ELL Specialist

Parent/School Climate

External CAPA Team

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Internal CAPA Team

District Liaison

LAL Coach, Lead Teacher or Department Chair

Math Coach, Lead Teacher or Department Chair

Inclusion Coach, Lead Teacher or Department Chair

ELL Lead Teacher or Department Chair

Parent Liaison/School Culture Specialist

Union Representative

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Team Leader Planning Day

Team leaders are allocated one day to assist the school in preparation for the visit

Principal and planning committee should determine how best to use this planning day

Examples of assistance: development of schedule, selection of staff for focus groups, presentation to staff, explanation of administrative walkthrough or data analysis

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Prior to the visit

Explain the process to the school faculty

Select school team members

Establish a CAPA planning committee

Involve the NCLB Planning Committee

Involve building union representation

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Planning Committee

Teaching & Learning

Standards 1, 2, 3


Standard 7

School Culture

Standards 4, 5, 6

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Document Review - Prior

Internal and external team members should become familiar with the following documents prior to the visit:

State assessment data by grade and cluster

NCLB unified plan

Other formative assessment data

School Improvement Status Summary

Adequate Yearly Progress Status

One & Three-Year Trend Charts

School climate survey

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Internal/External Team Schedule

Planning Day

One hour visit planning for district/school and external team

External/internal team reviews data, NCLB unified plan and school portfolio

Begin interviews and visits



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Internal/External Team Schedule

Days Two and Three


Classroom visits

Subteam debriefing of findings

Debriefing of full group

Begin writing findings

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Internal/External Team Schedule

Day Four

  • Team debriefing for assigned indicators

  • Writing and reviewing information

  • Subteams present findings, recommendations, proposed action plans

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Team Lead Follow Up Day

Within one week of visit

Work with internal team to refine action plans

Review final summary report for accuracy

Assistance with presentation to faculty

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Visit Schedule

  • For staff--individual or small group (no more than 6-8)

  • For the NCLB committee-whole group

  • For parents--scheduled in groups – no fewer than 10

  • For students—representation of all grade levels & abilities—formally and informally

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Interview Schedule


Child Study Team


Guidance Staff

I&RS Committee

NCLB Committee, site-based management team or SLC


Students (randomly selected across grade levels—10% of student body)

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Team Needs

Room for debriefing and document review

Room for interviews & focus groups

Computers, LCD projector, photocopying

Emergency numbers

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Team Folder

School vision & mission

Master schedule—individual staff schedules

Staff roster

Bell schedule

Floor plan

NCLB committee names

Background information form

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School Culture Survey



URL Available from Team Leader

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School Portfolio Examples

NCLB Unified Plan

Suspension Reports

10 Report Cards

10 PDPs and evaluations

Professional Development Plan

School/ Community Survey Parent Involvement Policy

Meeting Minutes

Parent Information

Meeting Agendas

Curriculum Documents

HQT Documents

Curriculum Reports

Code of Conduct Policy

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Classroom Portfolio Examples

Lesson Plans

Student Work

Student Portfolios

Student Projects

Student Journals

Student Assessments

Grade Books

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District Document Examples

Curriculum Documents

DINI Plan (if applicable)

Strategic Plan

Technology Plan

Parent Involvement Policy

NCLB & SES Communications & Reports

Comprehensive Equity Plan

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For staff can be either individual or small group (6-8 people)

For the NCLB planning team or SLC should be whole group

For parents should be scheduled in groups – as many as possible

Interview 10% of student body—formally and informally

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Interviews to be scheduled:



Child Study Team


Guidance Staff

District Administrators

Security Staff


Social Worker

NCLB Planning Committee


10% of students (randomly selected across grade levels)

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A random selection of classrooms will be visited

The classrooms are chosen by the team leader

The principal determines the classrooms visited for the administrative walkthrough

Subteams determine classrooms to visit for content and

Administrative & Content Walkthroughs

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Walkthrough Process

Walkthroughs provide a school wide snapshot, over time, of classroom environments, learning experiences and student perspectives

Walkthroughs are not part of the evaluation process

Walkthroughs are a catalyst for reflective school wide discussion

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Promote a collaborative atmosphere for the visit

Help gauge the overall school environment

Help provide a shared language for teaching and learning

Teams see the same data

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CAPA Teaching& Learning Tool

Used to help determine specifically where you are regarding goals and benchmarks for higher student achievement

Also used to help determine what action steps the school and/or district need to take to meet benchmarks at the desired levels of success

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Focus on Research-based Strategies

Curriculum – where it exists and is good, is it what guides daily instruction?

Instructional leadership – leaders who have an unrelenting focus on learning, therefore on instruction

Teamwork and professional learning communities – opening up the teaching practice of individuals to their colleagues, so that they can learn from those who do it well.

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Research Base

CAPA Descriptors, 2006, NJ DOE

Classroom Instruction that Works, Marzano, 2001, ASCD

The Art and Science of Teaching, Marzano, 2007, ASCD

Leadership for Learning, Carl Glickman, 2002, ASCD

The Differentiated Classroom, Carol Tomlinson, 1999, ASCD

Results Now, Schmoker, 2006, ASCD

The Basic School, Boyer, 1995, Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching

The Learning Leader, Reeves, 2006, ASCD

Turnaround Leadership, Michael Fullan, 2006, Jossey-Bass

National Forum to Accelerate Middle Grades Reform: New Jersey Schools to Watch: Self-Study and Rating Rubric

“Bridging the Gap between Standards and Achievement”, Richard F. Elmore, 2002, Albert Shanker Institute

“The Leadership We Need”, Waters and Grubb, 2004, McREL: Mid-continent Research for Education and Learning

“Interstate School Leaders Licensure Consortium (ISLLC) Standards: Education for the Future – the School Portfolio”, 2000, Council of Chief State School Officers

“Planning Change for Restructuring Schools”, Mid-Atlantic Comprehensive Center, 12/2006

Arizona School Reform Tool

The Great Maine Schools Project School Change Rubric, 2005

Pennsylvania Department of Education: 2006-2007 Review Criteria for “Getting Results!” SIP Framework, 2004

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Structure of Teaching and Learning Tool

A single tool for identifying best practices, collecting and analyzing documentation, interview results, begin formulating recommendations, recording strengths and challenges and providing a rating.





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Standards & Indicators

Within each of the 7 Standards, there are 24 specific subsections labeled “indicators.”

The team will write a “Finding” and assign a “Performance Level” rating for each indicator.

Within each of the indicators is an essential question

Within each of the indicators there are “sub-indicators.”

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Assessment & Evaluation


School Climate & Culture

Student, Family & Community Support

Professional Learning, Growth & Development

Leadership & Governance

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Within each of the 7 Standards, there are 24 specific subsections labeled “indicators.”

The team will write a “Finding” for each indicator.

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Essential Questions

Do all teachers use the curriculum in planning instruction?

How do students know what is expected and are they able to articulate expectations share their work and reflect on others’ work?

To what extent are all students engaged in learning?

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Using the Tool

Standard 6 –The school provides for staff research-based, results-driven professional development opportunities that are consistent with the district’s professional development plan, and implements performance evaluation procedures in order to improve teaching and learning. (Objective)

Indicator 6.1 - The school and district devote resources to content-rich professional development that is connected to reaching and sustaining the school vision and goals for increasing student achievement and is differentiated by teacher and student needs. (Strategy)

Sub-indicators: Professional development is embedded, intensive, of high quality, ongoing, and relevant to various grade level education and provides opportunities for learning that increase knowledge and skills, challenge outmoded beliefs and practices, and provide support in the classroom. (Actions)

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Seen in classrooms

Read in documents

Heard in interviews

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Teaching & Learning Tool

Available at:


Click Teaching & Learning Tool

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Summary Report/Action Plan

Background statement regarding each standard using essential questions

Notes strengths, challenges, root causes and recommendations

Team determines most critical recommendations

Separate school and district sections

Incorporated into the school’s NCLB unified plan

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Summary Report

FINDINGS: Compilations of data about the school substantiated by TRIANGULATION (at least three sources of data such as an observation, an interview, or written documentation).

RECOMMENDATIONS: Research-based strategies and best practices suggested by the team for each standard. Subteams determine 2-3 high priority recommendations.

ACTION STEPS: The team prioritizes and develops a short plan for implementation of 3 recommendations.

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Based on triangulated data

Focused on key areas – academic performance, culture & climate, leadership

Question for prioritizing:

“If the school does this well, will it significantly advance student achievement?”

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Action Planning

Action Steps

what needs to be done to implement the recommendation – action steps

for each action step

what strategy will be used

expected results


time lines

people responsible and accountable

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Benchmark Meeting Process

While the school is in improvement status:

One-day follow-up with team member

Purpose: To review the progress the school is making regarding student learning, instruction, climate and leadership by observing and discussing implementation of strategies from the NCLB Unified Plan & Action Plans

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Breakout Sessions


School Culture

Language Arts


Special Education

English Language Learners

Be sure to complete the reflection handout so we can continue to improve our assistance

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A Parting Thought

“Nothing, and we mean nothing, is more critical to the future of the world than rapidly and constantly improving systems of public schooling that serve all students.”

Breakthrough, Michal Fullan, Peter Hill, Carmel Crevola