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Paraprofessional Overview of Connecticut Accountability for Learning Initiative (CALI) Basic Training. Iris White Associate Education Consultant Connecticut State Department of Education Bureau of Accountability and Improvement 860-713-6564 [email protected]

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paraprofessional overview of connecticut accountability for learning initiative cali basic training

Paraprofessional Overview of Connecticut Accountability for Learning Initiative (CALI) Basic Training

Iris White

Associate Education Consultant

Connecticut State Department of Education

Bureau of Accountability and Improvement


[email protected]

norms for professional meetings
Norms for Professional Meetings
  • Courtesy toward others and presenter
  • Cell phones and pagers in off position
  • Active listening and participation
  • Collaboration
  • Name
  • District
  • Position
  • Number of Years in Position
  • Question You Have Regarding Paraprofessionals and Instruction

Participants will:

  • Learn the current legislation regarding paraprofessionals;
  • Become familiar with the Connecticut Guidelines for Training and Support of Paraprofessionals;
  • Learn about the Connecticut Accountability for Learning Initiative (CALI) and why it is a priority of the Connecticut State Department of Education (CSDE);
  • Explore how paraprofessionals can assist teachers with maintaining environments that create a physically, emotionally, and intellectually safe environment for all learners;
  • Understand how and why teachers use data to make instructional decisions; and
  • Understand the ten Effective Teaching Strategies and how paraprofessionals can reinforce these strategies during individual or small group instruction.
paraprofessional study
Paraprofessional Study
  • The Legislative Program Review and Investigations Committee authorized a study of paraprofessionals in April 2006. The study focused on whether Connecticut should establish minimum standards for public school paraprofessionals who perform instructional tasks for students in kindergarten through twelfth grade (K-12) . Findings and recommendations were made in several areas affecting paraprofessionals with instructional responsibilities.
  • The full report can be downloaded at:
legislative program review and investigations committee recommendations
Legislative Program Review and Investigations Committee Recommendations
  • The State Department of Education should encourage all local public school districts to provide training to teachers, particularly new teachers at the beginning of each school year, on the role and effective use of instructional paraprofessionals. The department should also encourage school districts to develop intradistrict methods and strategies whereby paraprofessionals, teachers, and administrators periodically discuss issues or concerns involving the use of paraprofessionals in providing effective student instruction.
connecticut paraprofessional legislation
Connecticut Paraprofessional Legislation
  • Sec. 10-155j. Development of paraprofessionals. The Department of Education, through the State Education Resource Center and within available appropriations for such purposes, shall promote and encourage professional development activities for school paraprofessionals with instructional responsibilities. Such activities may include, but shall not be limited to, providing local and regional boards of education with training modules and curricula for professional development for paraprofessionals and assisting boards of education in the effective use of paraprofessionals and the development of strategies to improve communication between teachers and paraprofessionals in the provision of effective student instruction.


connecticut paraprofessional legislation1
Connecticut Paraprofessional Legislation
  • Sec. 10-155k. School Paraprofessional Advisory Council. The Commissioner of Education shall establish a School Paraprofessional Advisory Council consisting of one representative from each statewide bargaining representative organization that represents school paraprofessionals with instructional responsibilities. The council, shall advise, at least quarterly, the Commissioner of Education, or the commissioner’s designee, of the needs for the training of such paraprofessionals. The council shall report, at least quarterly, in accordance with the provisions of section 11-4a, on the recommendations given to the commissioner, of the commissioner’s designee, pursuant to the provisions of this section, to the joint standing committee of the General Assembly having cognizance of matters relating to education.
connecticut paraprofessional legislation2
Connecticut Paraprofessional Legislation

Sec. 2008. Not later than December 1, 2008, the department shall report and make recommendations to the joint standing committee of the General Assembly having cognizance of matters relating to education concerning professional development for paraprofessionals and the status and future of school paraprofessionals with instructional responsibilities.

autism training
Autism Training

Public Act 08-169 An Act Concerning the Teaching of Children with Autism and Other Developmental Disabilities.

The Commissioners of Education, Higher Education and Developmental Services and the President of Southern Connecticut State University shall define autism and developmental disabilities and develop recommendations for a comprehensive statewide plan to incorporate methods of teaching children with autism and other developmental disabilities into training provided to school paraprofessionals pursuant to section 10-155j of the 2008 supplement to the general statutes, related service professionals, early childhood certificate holders, administrators and parents.

nclb requirements for paraprofessionals
NCLB Requirements for Paraprofessionals

All paraprofessionals working in Title I-funded programs must have met the higher standards of qualification required in the No Child Left Behind (NCLB) Act of 2001.

The requirements apply to paraprofessionals paid with Title I funds who provide instructional support in Title I targeted assistance schools and to all paraprofessionals with instructional duties in Title I school wide program schools, regardless of funding source. These include Title I instructional paraprofessionals who provide services to private school children and to preschool children.

nclb requirements for paraprofessionals1
NCLB Requirements for Paraprofessionals
  • All Title I paraprofessionals must have a high school diploma or its recognized equivalent (GED) and:

Have two years of college credit; OR

Hold an associate’s degree (or higher) degree; OR

Pass a State Board of Education adopted paraprofessional assessment which assesses content knowledge in mathematics, reading and writing and an understanding of how to assist in the instruction of these topics (ParaPro Assessment)

parapro assessment
ParaPro Assessment
  • Educational Testing Services (ETS) administers the exam:
  • Paper and pencil assessment given 4 times a year at various locations.
  • Cost: $45
  • Internet Based Version at LEARN.

paraprofessional pd survey results
Paraprofessional PD Survey Results

Total number of respondents: 259


2 Assistant Principals

10 Assistant Superintendents

4 Consultants

2 Coordinator of Special Services

2 Directors of Human Resources

2 Directors of Professional Development

9 Directors of Pupil Personnel Services

159 Paraprofessionals

5 Principals

3 Program Administrators

3 Superintendents of Schools

35 Teachers

1 School Psychologists

paraprofessional pd survey results1
Paraprofessional PD Survey Results

Participants were asked to identify their 6 top choices for paraprofessional professional development

Positive behavior supports and implementation of behavior management plans (179)

Knowledge of and skills to assist in reading/reading readiness (138)

Knowledge of and skills to assist in mathematics/mathematics readiness (128)

Facilitating inclusion in general education (127)

Knowledge of specific disabilities (125)

Knowledge of and skills to assist in writing/writing readiness (122)

Reinforcing Teacher Planned instruction (121)

Assistive Technology (69)

Collaboration with the teacher (60)

Communication skills (oral and written) (59)

Confidentiality/Ethics (49)

Knowledge of Federal, State, and District Regulations (43)

Health and Safety (Communicable Diseases, Blood borne Pathogens, Ergonomics) (25)

Time Management (21)

ParaPro Assessment Preparation (24)

Other: train teachers on the role of the paraprofessional, DCF mandated reporting, specific interventions on Autism, how to meet the needs of a special education student, Autism, Professionalism, computer skills-power point, technology, participants in meetings related to PPTs, how paraprofessionals can stand up for themselves, mental health knowledge, classes offered to continue education.

crec professional development curriculum for paraprofessionals
CREC Professional Development Curriculum for Paraprofessionals

Basic and Advanced Training Modules

Paraprofessional Newsletter

Paraprofessional webpage:

csde paraprofessional webpage
CSDE Paraprofessional Webpage
  • Paraprofessional Information and Resources, part of the CALI website

Contains paraprofessional regulations and legislation, professional development opportunities, resources, and research on paraprofessionals.

serc paraprofessionals as partners initiative
SERC Paraprofessionals as Partners Initiative
  • The goal of the Paraprofessionals as Partners Initiative is to enhance the skills of paraprofessionals providing instructional support to students in various educational settings including students with disabilities.

District Paraprofessional Contact

Each district in Connecticut has identified a central office employee as a district contact person for paraprofessional issues. This person’s role is to act as a liaison between the district and SDE, disseminate information of importance to paraprofessionals, such as personnel development opportunities, policy updates, resource availability, information exchange, data gathering regarding best practices and networking across districts on effective practices for paraprofessionals.

guidelines for training and support of paraprofessionals
Guidelines for Training and Support of Paraprofessionals
  • The Connecticut State Department of Education (CSDE) has endorsed and published this guideline document to inform and guide district personnel in the many important factors to consider in the use of paraprofessionals, specifically their training and effective use. It also clarifies the role of the paraprofessional as it is related to instruction.
national resource center for paraprofessionals nrcp model framework
National Resource Center for Paraprofessionals (NRCP) Model Framework

Connecticut adopted a modified version of the NRCP model framework to articulate key competencies for Connecticut paraprofessionals

National Resource Center for Paraprofessionals Model (1999)

Connecticut Guidelines for Training and Supervision of Paraprofessionals, pp. 28-36

1. Assisting teachers/providers with building and maintaining effective instructional teams.

2. Assisting teachers/providers with maintaining learner-centered supportive environments.

3. Supporting teachers/providers with planning and organizing learning experiences.

4. Assisting teachers/providers with engaging students in learning and assisting in instruction.

5. Assisting teachers/providers with assessing learner needs, progress and achievement.

6. Meeting standards of professional or ethical conduct.

for each of these responsibilities (the model describes the scope).

The model defines six primary areas of responsibilities for paraprofessionals:

According to these guidelines, paraprofessionals have the instructional responsibility to do the following

1. Assist professionals with building and maintaining effective instructional teams.

2. Assist professionals with maintaining learner-centered supportive environments.

3. Support professionals with planning and organizing learning experiences.

4. Assist professionals with engaging students in learning.

5. Assist professionals in instruction.

6. Assist professionals with assessing learner needs, progress and achievement.

three levels of responsibilities
Three Levels of Responsibilities
  • Level 1: This individual is an entry-level paraprofessional, with a high school diploma or equivalent, but has little or no experience. This individual requires a high level of direct supervision.
  • Level 2: This individual has multiple years of experience and training, typically on the job, and has the knowledge and skills to work more independently in the same setting as the supervisor.
  • Level 3: This individual has participated in some type of postsecondary training, usually with a focus on a specialized set of skills. This person may work more independently, such as in the community or a student’s home.
where am i
Where am I?
  • What level do you think you are on?
the ct state department of education defines a paraprofessional as
The CT State Department of Education defines a paraprofessional as:

An employee who assists teachers and/or other professional educators or therapists in the delivery of instructional and related services to students. The paraprofessional works under the direct supervision of the teacher or other certified or licensed professional. The ultimate responsibility for the design, implementation and evaluation of instructional programs, including assessment of student progress, is a collaborative effort of certified and licensed staff.

(-Connecticut Guidelines for the Training and Support of Paraprofessionals, page 7).

connecticut regulations 10 145d 401
Connecticut Regulations 10-145d-401

Requires anyone who is not certified be under the direct supervision of state certified personnel. This means that all paraprofessionals must not provide initial instruction to students and must be under the direct supervision of certified personnel when carrying out their responsibilities.

roles of teachers in the instructional process
Roles of Teachers in the Instructional Process

Teachers are responsible for the following:

Developing lesson plans to meet curriculum requirements and education objectives for all learners.

Adapting lessons, instructional methods, and curricula to meet the learning needs of individual students

Developing behavior management and disciplinary plans

roles of teachers in the instructional process cont
Roles of Teachers in the Instructional Process, cont.
  • Creating learner-centered, inclusive environments that respect the cultures, religions, lifestyles, and human rights of children, youth, parents, and staff
  • Involving parents in all aspects of their child’s education
  • Analyzing, with the assistance of other licensed (credentialed) professional personnel, results of standardized tests for assessing learner needs
  • Developing functional (informal) assessment tools to document and evaluate learner progress and instructional needs.

Adapted from Strengthening and Supporting Teacher and Para educator Teams: Guidelines for Paraeducator Roles, Supervision, and Preparation by A.L. Pickett, 1999, New York: National Resource Center for Paraprofessionals in Education, Center for Advanced Study in Education, Graduate Center, City University of New York.

teachers provide instructional support
Teachers provide instructional support

Provide regular feedback regarding paraprofessional’s work performance, support paraprofessionals in providing instruction to students, and provide support and direction to paraprofessionals who work in independent capacities.

The following are 10 examples of appropriate and effective utilization of paraprofessionals, taken from the model of roles, responsibilities and training of paraprofessionals identified in the Connecticut Guideline document.

1. Participation in regularly scheduled meetings and sharing relevant information.

2. Implementation of proactive behavior and learning strategies.

3. Use of strategies that provide learner independence and positive self-esteem.

4. Assistance in accommodating and modifying learning strategies based on learning styles, ability levels and other individual differences.

5. Review and reinforcement of learning activities.

6. Assistance in engaging learners through an awareness of cognitive, physical, social, emotional and language development.

7. Use of developmentally and age-appropriate reinforcement and other learning activities.

8. Collection of data on learner activity.

9. Carry out functional (informal) assessment activities.

10. Participation in continuing professional development.

(-Connecticut Guidelines for the Training and Support of Paraprofessionals, pg. 37)

  • In the case of paraprofessionals whose support includes students with disabilities, it is necessary for them to have an understanding of the IEP information that is pertinent to their role as an implementer.

(-Connecticut Guidelines for Training and Support of Paraprofessionals, pg. 58.)

paraprofessionals at the iep team meeting
Paraprofessionals at the IEP Team Meeting
  • Paraprofessional attendance at Pupil Placement team (PPT) meetings is an individual district and school-based decision. It is important that district or school personnel explain their policy on the attendance of paraprofessionals at PPTs to both parents and school staff. If a paraprofessional is required in the IEP and is not attending a student’s PPT meeting, it is the responsibility of the student’s teacher and the paraprofessionals’ supervisor to communicate in detail with the paraprofessional about the student, before the PPT.

(-Connecticut Guidelines for the Training and Support of Paraprofessionals, pg. 42).

connecticut accountability legislation
Connecticut Accountability Legislation
  • Legislation adopted in the 2007 Special Session (P.A. 07-3, Section 32) identifies school districts with the greatest need for improvement and gives new authority and responsibility to the State Education Department to support improvement activities in each district.
connecticut accountability legislation1
Connecticut Accountability Legislation
  • Under the legislation, the Commissioner and State Board of Education are given the authority to evaluate each district’s strengths and weaknesses, work with each district to develop a focused and prioritized plan for improved student performance, approve certain expenditures for reform, and monitor progress.
  • The CSDE implemented a comprehensive accountability initiative to accelerate the learning of all students, with special emphasis placed on districts with Title I Schools that have been identified as in need of improvement according to NCLB.
The goal of CALI is to develop and offer a model of state support to districts and schools to support the process of continuous school improvement and to accelerate the closing of Connecticut’s achievement gaps.
csde partnerships
CSDE Partnerships
  • Advisory Committee for Accountability and School and District Improvement
  • CAS – Executive Coaching
  • CABE – Assist local boards of education
  • The Leadership and Learning Center
  • RESC-SERC alliance – CALI and data team facilitators
  • DSAC
  • CEA – AFT – New partnership
cali districts
CALI Districts






E. Hartford







New Britain

New Haven

New London





West Haven


4 Charter Schools

  • CALI is a model based on the research findings of Reeves, Marzano, McNulty, Pickering, Freiberg, Pollock, Waters, Elmore, Simpson and others.
  • Their work provides evidence that schools with student populations including high rates of poverty and high percentages of ethnic minorities can achieve high academic performance.
common characteristics of high achieving schools include
Common characteristics of high achieving schools include:
  • Clear focus on achievement;
  • Standards-based curriculum that emphasizes the core subject areas of reading, math and writing;
  • Frequent assessment of student progress and multiple opportunities for student improvement;
  • An emphasis on non-fiction writing; and
  • Collaborative scoring of student work
cali is offered to
CALI is offered to:
  • Title I Schools identified as being in need of improvement (determined by Adequate Yearly Progress measured by CMT/CAPT Performance)
  • Schools in Priority School Districts
cali professional development includes
CALI Professional Development Includes:


  • Best Practices in Educating our English Language Learners (ELLs) Basic and Advanced Training
  • Data-Driven Decision Making/Data Teams


  • Making Standards Work


  • Effective Teaching Strategies


  • Common Formative Assessments


  • Improving School Climate


  • Scientific Research Based

Interventions (SRBI, also known as

Response to Intervention)*


  • Coaching Instructional Data Teams
  • Coaching Effective Teaching Strategies
  • Leading Change and Getting Everyone on Board
  • Classroom Data: Feedback, Follow Up & Follow Through
  • School Climate for Leaders
  • School Improvement Planning & No Child Left Behind


  • CALI Overview*
levels of training
Levels of Training
  • Basic training provides foundational information
  • Certification training allows participants to turnkey basic training in a trainer of trainers model (completing basic training is a prerequisite)
  • Certification is offered in DDDM/DT, MSW, ETS, CFA, ISC, Paraprofessional Overview, and SRBI.

“Until you have data as a backup, you’re just another person with an opinion.”

Dr. Perry Gluckman

data driven decision making data teams
Data-Driven Decision Making/Data Teams
  • In this two-day basic training module, cause data (adult actions) and effect data (student achievement outcomes) are reviewed by district leaders, building leaders, teachers and parents to determine strengths so success can be replicated, and areas in need of improvement so assistance can be provided.
what are data teams
What Are Data Teams?
  • Small grade-level or department teams that examine individual student work generated from common formative assessments
  • Collaborative, structured, scheduled meetings that focus on the effectiveness of teaching and learning.
data teams
Data Teams*
  • Data Teams occur on district, school, grade levels and/or in content areas.
  • School and District Data Teams are used to develop and monitor improvement plans.

*Developed by The Leadership and Learning Center

(866) 399-6019

data team action
Data Team Action
  • “Data Teams adhere to continuous improvement cycles, examine patterns and trends, and establish specific timelines, roles, and responsibilities to facilitate analysis that results in action.”

(S. White, Beyond the Numbers, 2005, p. 18)

data driven decision making data teams1
Data-Driven Decision Making/Data Teams
  • State, District, and School Data Teams are used to monitor improvement plan implementation and efficacy.
  • In Instructional Data Teams, teachers collaboratively analyze data from common formative assessments, identify strengths and weaknesses in student learning and determine which instructional strategies will best address students and learning objectives. Teachers reconvene to analyze the effectiveness of the instructional strategies selected and implemented at the previous data team meeting.
great educators
Great Educators
  • “…use assessment data to make real-time decisions and to restructure their teaching accordingly.”

D. B. Reeves, Accountability for Learning: How Teachers

and School Leaders Can Take Charge, 2004, p. 71

the data team process
The Data Team Process
  • Step 1-Collect and chart data
  • Step 2-Analyze strengths and obstacles
  • Step 3-Establish goals: set, review, revise
  • Step 4-Select instructional strategies
  • Step 5-Determine results indicators
two types of data
Two Types of Data
  • Effect Data:Student achievement results from various measurements
  • Cause Data:Information based on actions of the adults in the system
data worth collecting have a purpose
Data Worth Collecting Have a Purpose
  • How do you use data to inform instruction and improve student achievement?
  • How do you determine which data are the most important to use, analyze, or review?
  • In the absence of data, what is used as a basis for instructional decisions?

See page 15

data teams the mechanism for measuring progress
Data Teams: The Mechanism For Measuring Progress
  • Collect and chart data and results.
  • Analyze strengths and obstacles.
  • Set S.M.A.R.T. goal for student improvement.
  • Select effective teaching strategies.
  • Determine results indicators.
results indicators
Results Indicators
  • Adults Actions: Are these students doing what they said they would do?
  • Student Outcomes: Are the students getting any better at the critical skills identified
results indicators examples
Results Indicators: Examples
  • Adults:

Number of data team meetings held. The quality of the data team meetings.

  • Student Outcomes:

% of students proficient or better on weekly dipstick

% of students proficient or better on district benchmark assessments

s m a r t goal
S.M.A.R.T. Goal
  • Specific
  • Measurable
  • Achievable
  • Realistic
  • Time-bound
are these goals smart
Are these goals SMART???
  • The percentage of Grade 5 students scoring proficient and higher in algebraic concepts will increase from 45 percent to 55 percent by the end of a two-week period as measured by common assessment administered on November 28, 2006.
  • Reading proficiency will increase proficiency by a minimum of 15% as measured by CAPT by 2011.
teacher directed
Teacher Directed
  • Paraprofessionals may be asked by their supervisors to keep a record of behaviors or demonstrations of skills for an individual learner.
  • As a paraprofessional, what type of data do you collect?
  • How do you collect this data?
  • How can this data help teachers in their data team meetings?
ways of keeping data
Ways of Keeping Data
  • Checklists
  • Anecdotal records
  • Interviewing
  • Other data collection
  • Frequency or duration notes
making standards work
Making Standards Work*
  • Teachers and administrators collaboratively decide on Priority Standards that endure, give students leverage in other areas and prepare them for the next grade.
  • Priority Standards can be thought of as the posts in a fence. Other standards are still needed to keep the fence standing, but may not be as critical.

*Developed by The Leadership and Learning Center

(866) 399-6019

making standards work cont
Making Standards Work, cont. *
  • Priority Standards are “unwrapped” by teachers to deepen their understanding and to identify what students need to know and be able to do.
  • Performance-based tasks are developed to enhance instruction and assess student learning.
  • Rubrics to accompany tasks are created by teachers to ensure that all teachers are using the same measure of proficiency.

*Developed by The Leadership and Learning Center

(866) 399-6019

consider these facts
Consider These Facts

5.6 instructional hours per day X 180 days = 1008 hours per year X 13 years = 13,104 total hours of K-12 instruction

McREL identified 200 standards and 3093 benchmarks (indicators) in national-and state-level documents across 14 different subject areas

Classroom teachers estimated a need for 15,465 hours to adequately teach them all

Marzano, R. (September 2001). Educational Leadership.

more years in school
More Years in School?

“To cover all this content, you would have to change schooling from K-12 to K-22. The sheer number of standards is the biggest impediment to implementing standards.”

“By my reckoning, we would have to cut content by about two-thirds.”

Marzano, R. (September 2001). Educational Leadership.

connecticut standards terminology
Connecticut Standards Terminology
  • CONTENTStandards—few in number; broad statements of K-12 learner outcomes
  • PERFORMANCEStandards—grade-specific or course-specific learner outcomes
  • EXPECTED PERFORMANCES—also grade- or course-specific learner outcomes but with greater detail
  • GRADE-LEVEL EXPECTATIONS(GLEs)—what you will prioritize and later “unwrap”
priority standards
Priority Standards

All grade-level or course-specific standards are not equal in importance!

Narrow those standards by distinguishing those that are essential from those that are supporting

Teach the supporting standards in the context of the essentials!

Prioritization, not elimination!

the priority standard s fence metaphor
The Priority Standard’s“Fence Metaphor”
  • Fence posts and supporting rails —Without both, there is no fence!
priority standards and supporting standards
Priority Standards and Supporting Standards

Like fence posts, Priority Standards provide curricular focus in which teachers need to “dig deeper” and assure student competency

Like fence rails, “Supporting Standards” are curricular standards that connect to and support Priority Standards

but the state tests all standards
But the State Tests All Standards!
  • Good set of Priority Standards will address about 88 percent of the items on the state test, but not 100 percent
  • If you go after that extra 12 percent, you will have to cover many more standards and have less time to teach the truly essential ones.
  • Rationale: Better to have all studentsproficient at 88 percent of what will probably be on state test versus exposure to 100 percent of what could be on test without corresponding degree of proficiency

Douglas B. Reeves, 2003

guiding questions for identifying priority standards
Guiding Questions for Identifying Priority Standards
  • Which standards (GLEs) are critical for our students to know and understand to be prepared for the next level of learning?
  • Which standards (GLEs)—based on our CMT and CAPT data—do we especially need to emphasize?
  • Which standards (GLEs) represent necessary life skills?
the power of common assessments
The Power Of COMMON Assessments

“Schools with the greatest improvements in student achievement consistently used common assessments.”

D.B. Reeves, Accountability In Action, 2004

what are common assessments
What Are Common Assessments?
  • “Not standardized tests, but rather teacher-created, teacher-owned assessments that are collaboratively scored and that provide immediate feedback to students and teachers.”

D.B. Reeves, CEO,

The Leadership and Learning Center

common formative assessments
Common Formative Assessments
  • Common formative assessments are used as assessments FOR learning, as opposed to summative assessments OF learning.
  • Common formative assessments are aligned to large scale assessments collaboratively designed by grade level and/or content area teachers are administered prior to beginning a unit to inform instruction.
  • Results of common formative assessments are analyzed in data teams.
purposes of assessments
Purposes of assessments
  • Identify if students have mastered particular concepts or skills in the standard(s)
  • Evaluate the effectiveness of instructional strategies
  • Motivate students to be more engaged in learning
  • Help students learn content through application and other reasoning skills
  • Help students develop positive attitudes towards a subject
purposes of assessment cont
Purposes of assessment, cont.
  • Communicate expectations to students
  • Give students feedback about what they know and can do
  • Show students what they need to focus on to improve their understanding
  • Encourage student self-evaluation
  • Determine report card grades
  • Communicate to parents what students presently know and can do
functional assessment
Functional assessment
  • While both standardized tests and behavioral checklists probably will remain as integral parts of the assessment data that is gathered for each child or youth with disabilities, the most important assessment data that is gathered for children, are usually done informally and relate to the functional skills of the individual.
functional assessment1
Functional Assessment
  • Assessment carried out that is directly useful in planning for the student.
how powerful practices work together
How Powerful Practices Work Together
  • Teachers and administrators collaboratively analyze data from common assessments and identify strengths and weaknesses in student learning.
  • Identify Power Standards that address skills and content that endures, gives leverage to other disciplines and make students ready for the next grade level.
  • “Unwrap” those standards to identify concepts and skills students need to know and be able to do, determine Big Ideas and develop performance-based tasks and rubrics.
how powerful practices work together cont
How Powerful Practices Work Together, cont.
  • Select effective teaching strategies to achieve improvement.
  • Teach those “unwrapped” concepts and skills through performance assessment guided by Essential Questions.
  • Evaluate student work with rubrics to assess proficiency.
  • Give common assessments to see improvements within grade, department, school, and district.
  • Analyze data and repeat cycle.
improving school climate to support academic achievement
Improving School Climate to Support Academic Achievement*
  • In this two-day basic training module, participants learn that the quality of school climate is all about relationships, which are determined by how well the people within the school treat each other physically, emotionally, and intellectually.
  • This module offers practical strategies including data gathering on how to improve school climate to support student achievement.

*Developed by CSDE & RESC/SERC Alliance

“If we are to reach real peace in the world, we shall have to begin with the children.”

-Mahatma Gandhi

what is bullying
What is “Bullying”
  • “Bullying” is a public activity needing a stage on which to perform…when the audience is not there, the show closes
  • Power imbalance
  • It’s about power and not about conflict

Conflict resolution and peer mediation are not appropriate as means of addressing bullying

Juvonen, Graham, & Schuster (2003) found that 22% of students experience bullying. Specifically:
  • 7% reported being a perpetrator
  • 9% reported being a victim
  • 6% reported being both a perpetrator and a victim.
differences between males and females
Differences between Males and Females
  • Males often use physical aggression.
  • Females that bully are more likely to engage in verbal means of bullying such as ostracizing an individual from a group, teasing, or gossiping.
  • “Female bullying is typically more insidious, cunning, and difficult to spot than male bullying.” (Garrity et al., 1994)
two types of victims
Two Types of Victims

Passive victims generally do not defend themselves and can be characterized by:

  • Being isolated during the school day
  • Lacking social skills
  • Being physically weak
  • Crying or yielding easily to bullies
  • Suffering from past traumatization
  • Having learning difficulties
provocative victims
Provocative Victims

Provocative victims generally tease and provoke bullies but do not have the social or physical skills necessary to defend themselves. Provocative victims are characterized by:

  • Being easy to arouse emotionally
  • Maintaining the conflict
  • Likely having attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (AD/HD)
current connecticut bullying legislation local accountability
Current Connecticut “Bullying” Legislation: Local Accountability
  • Requires Boards of Education to develop and implement a policy on “bullying” by February 1, 2003; Amended in July 2006 and July 2008
  • Policy must enable anonymous reporting from students or written reports from parents/guardians
  • Requires school personnel to inform students yearly on procedures for reporting bullying allegations
  • Requires school personnel to notify administrators in writing when they witness or receive reports
  • Requires administrators to investigate all written reports
current connecticut bullying legislation local accountability cont
Current Connecticut “Bullying” Legislation: Local Accountability, cont.
  • Maintain a public list of number of verified acts of “bullying” without specific names
  • Create case-by-case intervention strategies for dealing with bullying including language in the student code of conduct
  • Require notification of parents/guardians of all student involved in school response and consequences including invitations to meet
adults often ignore bullying behavior
Adults Often Ignore Bullying Behavior
  • Adults in school do relatively little to stop bullying behavior at school
  • Adults overlook or wait to intervene when initial instances of mean behaviors or language occur
  • Adults in school who are physically present during acts of meanness
  • Uninvolved or ignored 71% of observed incidences
modeling behavior
Modeling Behavior

The role of adults as moral agents and exemplars:

  • Parents
  • Teachers
  • Administrators
  • Support Staff
  • Other School Personnel
  • Community
adults mentors not friends
Adults: Mentors, Not Friends
  • Must be friendly and compassionate
  • Students have friends

Students want and need adults to be:

  • Adults
  • Mentors
  • Guides
  • Parents
  • Teachers
using every adult to foster positive connections
Using EVERY Adult to Foster Positive Connections

Who Are the Adults?

  • Parents
  • Administrators
  • Teachers
  • Pupil Support Staff
  • Office Workers
  • Nurses
  • Paraprofessionals
  • Community Volunteers
  • Maintenance Staff
  • Cafeteria Workers
  • After-School Care Workers
  • Bus Drivers
what you can do to prevent bullying
What You Can Do to Prevent Bullying
  • Be vigilant
  • Monitor Hot Spots
  • Identify patterns
  • Encourage bystanders to report incidents of bullying.
  • Keep a watchful eye on isolated students.
  • Provide activities for students during recess.
  • Make available alternate activities to at-risk children.
what to do when bullying happens
What to Do When Bullying Happens
  • Make sure you understand your school’s bullying policies and procedures.
  • Respond quickly to all reports of bullying.
  • Support the victim.
  • Discipline the student but avoid harsh measures.
  • Connect with the bully.
  • Monitor the students.
  • Think of a time when you participated, witnessed, or were the victim of a bullying incident.
  • Discuss what the bullying looked like, what it felt like, and what possible interventions might be appropriate for the situation.
discussion questions
Discussion Questions
  • Can you identify a situation in your school or classroom in which bullying occurred? How did you react?
  • Knowing what you know now, would you have reacted any differently? Explain.
what does effective mean
What Does “Effective” Mean?

“The reflective process is at the very heart of accountability. It is through reflection that we distinguish between the popularity of teaching techniques and their effectiveness. The question is not ‘Did I like it?,’ but rather ‘Was it effective?’”

(Reeves, D. B., Accountability for Learning, 2004, p. 52)

most effective teaching strategies
Most Effective Teaching Strategies?
  • “Effective” = actions of the teacher that elevate or lift cognition of learners
  • The simple question is, “Is it working for the students?”
  • What teaching strategies are most commonly used in your schools that DO WORK?
if you think that teachers and leaders influence student achievement you are right
If you think that teachers and leaders influence student achievement, you are right!

Student Causes Teacher Causes

Source: Leadership for Learning, 2005, Center for Performance Assessment,

nine effective strategies
Nine effective strategies
  • Marzano, Pickering, and Pollock examined decades of research findings to identify nine broad teaching strategies that have positive effects on student learning
ten effective strategies
Ten effective strategies
  • Identifying similarities and differences.
  • Summarizing and note taking.
  • Reinforcing effort and providing recognition.
  • Homework and practice.
  • Nonlinguistic representations.
  • Cooperative learning
  • Setting objectives and providing feedback.
  • Generating and testing hypotheses.
  • Questions, cues, and advance organizers
  • Non fiction writing (added based on Reeves)
reinforcing effort and providing recognition cont
Reinforcing Effort and Providing Recognition, cont.
  • Key Premises
    • Effort can be taught and learned
    • Increased effort = greater success
    • Recognize accomplishments that go above and beyond what is expected
  • Techniques
    • Effort/Motivation
    • Providing Recognition
strategy reinforcing effort
Strategy: Reinforcing Effort
  • Reinforcing Effort/Motivation – 5 Key Aspects from Mendler
    • Emphasizing effort
    • Creating hope
    • Respecting power
    • Build relationships
    • Expressing enthusiasm
strategy providing recognition
Strategy-Providing Recognition
  • Providing recognition
  • Intrinsic and extrinsic motivation
  • Monitor effort
  • The more abstract and symbolic the rewards, the more powerful they are
  • Does not necessarily have negative impact on intrinsic motivation
  • Most effective when linked to a performance standard
  • More effective when abstract
  • The “Nintendo Effect”
key ideas from motivating students who don t care
Key Ideas from: Motivating Students Who Don’t Care
  • Effort-Chapter 4
  • Ask for small things first
  • Encourage each student to improve one thing each day
  • Show simple courtesy
  • Separate effort from achievement when grading
  • Build on mistakes
  • Allow for 3-Rs-re-do, retake, revise
  • Give a reason for effort
application in context
Application in Context
  • Take what you have learned about reinforcing effort and providing recognition and the techniques along with the concepts and skills you have identified as learner outcomes.
  • Identify a plan or application of how you will use the techniniques in context. Be prepared to share.
providing feedback
Providing Feedback
  • Feedback must be accurate-we have a moral obligation to tell the truth
  • Feedback should be corrective in nature
  • Feedback should be timely
  • Feedback should be specific to criterion
  • Students should also engage in self-reflection/feedback
  • Students should use anonymous student work peer reflection and feedback
strategy nonlinguistic representations
Strategy-Nonlinguistic Representations
  • Key Premises
  • Many names: visual tools, graphic organizers, thinking maps
  • Dual-coding (linguistic and imagery form)
  • The more both forms are used simultaneously, the better students think about knowledge and recall information
  • Techniques
  • Many types of visual tools
strategy visual tools
Strategy-visual Tools
  • Three types of visual tools
  • Brainstorming webs: mind mapping, webbing, clustering for personal knowledge
  • Task-specific organizers: life cycles, text structures, decision trees for isolated context tasks
  • Thinking process maps: concept mapping, systems thinking for transfer across disciplines


“Feedback gives information that a student can use….so that they can understand where they are in their learning and what to do next.” The goal is to give students the feeling that they have control over their own learning.

Brookhart, 2008

the bottom line
The Bottom Line…..
  • Focus on the work, process or student’s self regulation.
  • Compare to criteria (work), other students (processes or effort), or past performance (especially struggling learners).
  • Describe, don’t judge.
  • Use positive comments; accompany negative comments with positive suggestions for improvement.
  • Be clear to the student.
  • Tailor the specificity to the student.
  • Be respectful of the student and the work.
math examples
Math Examples
  • “I know you worked this out with your group. Good strategy.”
  • “You could have expressed these (decimals) as 13/100, 72/100 and 4/5. Sometimes you can’t reduce and it is easier to say out of one hundred. The more you rounded, the less accurate your fractions were. “
  • “These aren’t as accurate. I think rounding and reducing worked better.”
more math examples
More math examples
  • “You didn’t answer the second part of the problem.”
  • “Your explanation was the shortest one in class. Can you write more next time?”
  • “Put these fractions in order and they will make more sense.”
  • “Multiple errors in spelling on the explanation. Please correct and resubmit.”
feedback for struggling students
Feedback for Struggling Students
  • Focus feedback on the process. This will help them determine what actions can lead to further success. They will be “learning to learn.”

“I noted that you reread your paper three times and made changes. Going back and checking helps you catch problems, doesn’t it?”

feedback for struggling students1
Feedback for Struggling Students
  • Use self-referenced feedback (formatively) which addresses improvement.
    • “This paragraph had a lot more vivid verbs than the one you did last week. It is much more exciting to read.”
    • Note: For grading, use standards- or criterion-based feedback.
feedback for struggling students2
Feedback for Struggling Students
  • Limit important points.
  • Focus on small steps for improvement.
  • Use simple vocabulary, explaining words as you go.
  • Check for understanding by asking questions….”What is one thing that we talked about that you are going to do for the next paragraph?”
strategy questions


  • Waiting briefly before accepting responses from students has the effect of increasing the depth of students’ answers
  • Questions are effective learning tools even when asked before a learning experience.
need additional information
Need Additional Information
  • Iris White, Associate Education Consultant

CSDE, Bureau of Accountability and Improvement

(860) 713-6564

[email protected]

General Information