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Improve Student Achievement. Flexible Learning Year Proposal. VISION. Improve student achievement. MISSION. Make systemic changes to improve student achievement. FOCUS. Capture more high impact learning days. Work collaboratively to improve teacher effectiveness.

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improve student achievement
Improve StudentAchievement

Flexible Learning Year Proposal

vision

VISION

Improve student achievement

mission

MISSION

Make systemic changes to improve student achievement

focus

FOCUS

Capture more high impact learning days.

Work collaboratively to improve teacher effectiveness.

Alignment of K-16 educational calendar.

focus defined capture more high impact learning days
FOCUS DEFINEDCapture more high impact learning days.
  • STUDENT MOTIVATION:

The proposal enables schools to maximize “high impact instructional time” to benefit students educationally. The motivational and performance levels of our students are greater at the start of the school year (late August and early September) than they are in late May and early June. The opportunity to schedule these days for learning prior to “high stakes assessments” will provide valuable instructional time that is currently not possible to schedule.

  • PREPARATION FOR STATE ASSESSMENTS:

The proposal provides students additional days (seven to ten) of “high impact instructional time” with access to the academic standards prior to “high stakes” state and federal assessments.

  • CREATION OF A SENSIBLE, NATURAL SEMESTER BREAK:

The proposal permits a natural, uninterrupted semester break between the first and second semesters. Current school calendars are interrupted by a cumbersome, unnatural, winter holiday break that requires students to return to school after the winter holiday break for seven to ten days to complete the first semester. The proposed calendar schedules the first semester to end prior to the December holiday break and the second semester to begin when students return to school following the holiday break.

focus research capture more high impact learning days
FOCUS RESEARCHCapture more high impact learning days.

RESEARCH: TIME & ACHIEVEMENT GAINS

According to the National Center on Time and Learning, on May 5th, the National Center on Time and Learning, the Massachusetts Teachers Association, the American Federation of Teachers Massachusetts, and Massachusetts 2020 released a policy report, where over 40,000 teachers identified time as the single most important teaching condition for promoting learning.

(www.timeandlearning.org/index.html)

According to a report titled Prisoners of Time, "in the school of the future, learning - in the form of high, measurable standards of student performance - must become the fixed goal.  Time must become an adjustable resource." (www.ed.gov/pubs/PrisonersOfTime/Prisoners.html)

A briefing paper prepared by the National Education Commission on Time and Learning, (April 7, 1992) indicated that among the strategies listed for increasing productive academic time was the suggested strategy of restructuring the school day.  Specifically noted was that "a set of time-related strategies involve reshaping the schedule of the school day in order to reduce fragmentation and provide more time for sustained, interdisciplinary instruction."

focus research capture more high impact learning days1
FOCUS RESEARCHCapture more high impact learning days.

RESEARCH: TIME & ACHIEVEMENT GAINS

The National Education Commission on Time and Learning (April, 1992) identified key aspects that impact student results - time, motivation, and instructional appropriateness. 

TIME relates to the calendar structure such as duration and length. 

MOTIVATION includes involving work and college opportunities, student teams/teaming, and real world opportunities. 

INSTRUCTIONAL APPROORAITENESS includes quality instructional practices.

In the book, Closing the Achievement Gap: No Excuses, Patricia Davenport and Dr. Gerald Anderson (2002) share that "the goal is to get each child up to standards.  To make decisions, teachers must ask themselves: What do students need to know?  What do I need to teach?  How much time do I need to do it?  The calendar is created in response to these questions by placing the instructional focus squarely where attention is needed most."

slide8

FOCUS DEFINED

Work cooperatively to improve teacher effectiveness

  • SIGNIFICANTLY ENHANCED PROFESSIONAL DEVELOPMENT OPPORTUNITIES:

The proposal creates common high quality, on-going job-embedded professional development opportunities that improve teacher effectiveness ultimately resulting in an increase in student achievement.

slide9

FOCUS RESEARCH

Work cooperatively to improve teacher effectiveness

“Teacher effectiveness matters. Some teachers are much more effective than others. Some of the earliest and best analysis has been done in Tennessee, where researchers found that all else being equal, students assigned to the most effective teachers for three years in a row performed 50 percentile points higher—that’s on a 100-point scale—than comparable students assigned to the least effective teachers for three years in a row. 1”

“So large was the impact of teachers on student learning that it exceeded any one thing about the students themselves. The authors of the study concluded that teacher effectiveness is the “the single biggest factor influencing gains in achieve­ment,” an influence bigger than race, poverty, parent’s education, or any of the other factors that are often thought to doom children to failure.2”

slide10

FOCUS DEFINED

Work cooperatively to improve teacher effectiveness

CREATION OF COMMON PROFESSIONAL DEVELOPMENT ACTIVITIES:

  • A common calendar provides many opportunities for quality job-embedded professional development of educators.
  • The consortium districts intend to pool financial, human and intellectual resources to provide richer, more high quality job-embedded professional development opportunities.
  • MDE has limited resources, but has abundant help for us with regard to professional development , assessments, data driven decision-making, research based instruction, etc.
  • Consortium schools intend to collaborate with other area schools that have a common calendar.
  • District staff development coordinators will meet together to plan and schedule common professional development activities for teaching, paraprofessional and administrative staff on joint staff development days during the first year.
focus defined work cooperatively to improve teacher effectiveness
FOCUS DEFINEDWork cooperatively to improve teacher effectiveness
  • Joint staff development days will allow for networking and sharing of best practices and instructional strategies that improve student learning among all teachers.
      • Especially helpful to teachers in specialized areas such as math, science, special education, world languages, technology and agriculture.
  • Five days set aside to conduct common staff development activities.
    • Three full days.
      • Wednesday, August 18, 2010
      • Monday, January 17, 2011
      • Monday, March 14, 2011
    • Two early out days used for intra and inter-district staff cooperative activities.
      • Wednesday, October 20, 2010
      • Friday, February 18, 2011
slide12

FOCUS DEFINED

Work cooperatively to improve teacher effectiveness

CREATION AND EXPANSION OF PROFESSIONAL LEARNING COMMUNITIES

  • The proposal creates common job-embedded professional development opportunities by combining limited financial resources among the consortium school districts.
  • Professional Learning Communities (PLC’s) will be developed across and within consortium districts. The professional learning communities will focus on student learning, data driven instruction and will utilize technology to communicate effectively. We intend to tap the expertise within our school districts to lead and share with each other.
  • The potential to create job-embedded professional development is greater working with other districts than it is working alone.
    • We intend to develop “cross-district” professional learning communities that focus on student learning and evaluation of student work.
  • PLC teachers will be able to share student data, instructional methods, and curriculum resources being used to increase student achievement in each of the districts. Teachers will be able to access the wealth of knowledge and experiences that do not exist without collaboration with the other schools.
focus defined work cooperatively to improve teacher effectiveness1
FOCUS DEFINEDWork cooperatively to improve teacher effectiveness

GREATER POTENTIAL FOR SHARED STAFF MEMBERS:

  • A common calendar provides consortium schools with an enhanced opportunity to share part-time staff members or “hard-to-find subject area teachers” (i.e., special education, math, science, industrial technology). Consequently, this will save consortium schools critical funds, provide opportunities for consortium schools to retain full-time positions for high quality teachers who otherwise leave the area for full-time employment. The positive benefits this provides consortium students is obvious.
  • In addition the consortium districts view the opportunity to develop an inter-district mentor induction program for new teachers in specific subject areas as a positive way to increase new teacher effectiveness.
focus defined alignment of k 16 educational calendar
FOCUS DEFINEDAlignment of K-16 educational calendar

COMMON START DATES: K-16:

  • Consortium students’ educational needs will best be served when K-12 schedules are aligned with area post-secondary institutions. All of our schools have university contracts for student teachers to be placed in our school districts and the current calendar makes this more difficult. In addition, practicum experiences for college students will be better aligned.

A start date that is common to post secondary consortium schools enables us to align the schedules and programs of K-12 and post secondary schools to better meet the needs of students in both institutions. (Currently, Minnesota statute sets the school start date as September 6, 2010 or later. The start date for area post-secondary schools in the area is August 23 or 24, 2010. )

This will also facilitate collaborative opportunities between the university staff and K-12 staff in each of the consortium schools. (The STEM grant currently has college professors working with our staff in the area of mathematics.)

  Minnesota State University (Mankato) - Start Date: August 23, 2010

Minnesota West Community Colleges (All campuses) - Start Date: August 23, 2010

Southwest Minnesota State University (Marshall) - Start Date: August 23, 2010

Bethany Lutheran College (Mankato) - Start Date: August 24, 2010

South Central Community College (Mankato) - Start Date: August 24, 2010

measurement what are the proposed measurements
MEASUREMENT What are the proposed measurements?

Consortium schools hypothesize that, within three years, this proposal will result in increased student, family and staff satisfaction and increased student learning and achievement. The consortium schools will conduct the following measurement activities:

measurement what are the proposed measurements1
MEASUREMENT What are the proposed measurements?

Capture more high impact learning days

Stakeholder satisfaction and student motivation

  • Measure the perceived benefits of the proposed plan.
    • Perception surveys will be administered to the following stakeholders:

1) Teachers

2) Students

3) Parents

    • The perception survey will be created by SWSC and administered by each participating consortium school in the spring of 2010.
measurement what are the proposed measurements2
MEASUREMENTWhat are the proposed measurements?

Capture more high impact learning days.

High Stakes State & National Assessments

  • The following are the goals based on the Minnesota state assessments and national assessments. Besides this data, each consortium school may be using other formative and summative data to monitor student learning.
  • In each consortium school district, the AYP index rates in math and reading on the Minnesota State Assessments (MCA-II/MTELL/MTAS) for all students will increase from the Spring 2010 to Spring 2013 school year.
  • The Minnesota State Assessment Growth Model will be used to measure the percent of students in each category. The percent of students making medium and high growth in the not proficient and proficient categories will increase from 2012-2013 as compared to 2009-2010 in the consortium schools.
  • The percent of students proficient on the Grad Test of Written Composition will increase from spring 2010 to spring 2013 in the consortium schools.
  • The composite score on the American College Test (ACT) will increase from the 2010 to 2013 year for the consortium schools.
  • The percent of students proficient on the MCA-II/MTAS Science Assessments will increase from 2010-2013 in the consortium schools.
  • The percent of students scoring 3 and above on the AP exams will increase from spring 2010 to spring 2013 in the consortium school.
measurement what are the proposed measurements3
MEASUREMENT What are the proposed measurements?

Work cooperatively to improve teacher effectiveness

Measure the perceived benefits of the teacher effectiveness efforts.

  • Perception surveys will be administered to stakeholders:
    • Teachers
    • Paraprofessionals
    • Administrators
  • Records will be kept of the activities conducted to improve teacher effectiveness.
    • Were PLC’s developed across and within consortium schools?
    • Were professional development activities planned and held among consortium schools?
    • Were professional development funds spent on high quality professional development activities as compared to how the funds are currently spent?
measurement what are the proposed measurements4
MEASUREMENT What are the proposed measurements?

Alignment of K-16 educational calendar.

Measure the perceived benefits of students participating in post secondary programs.

  • Perception surveys will be administered to stakeholders:
  • Seek letters of endorsement from the following area post secondary leaders:
    • Minnesota State University (Mankato)
    • Minnesota West Community Colleges (All)
    • Southwest Minnesota State University (Marshall)
    • Bethany Lutheran College (Mankato)
    • South Central Community College (Mankato)
  • A record of the collaboration opportunities will be developed.

Common sense supports the idea that creating a common start date between K-12 schools and post secondary institutions is beneficial to students and student performance.

slide20

PRE-REQUISITES TO PARTICIPATION

1.The term of the Flexible Learning Plan proposal will be three years: 2010-11, 2011-12, 2012-13.

2.Districts must be willing to make a three (3) year commitment, beginning in year one (1) of the proposal. Districts may not opt in or out after year one.

3.Districts must agree that the number of minutes of student contact time in the 2010-2011 calendar must be equal to or greater than the number minutes of student contact time in the 2009-2010 calendar.

pre requisites to participation
PRE-REQUISITES TO PARTICIPATION

4. Districts must adopt the common calendar template for 2010-2011 with corresponding dates in each of the two succeeding years. The eight common calendar dates Districts must agree to are as follows:

  • The first day of school for the 2010-11 school year is tentatively set for Monday, August 23, 2010.
  • The first day of school for the 2011-12 school year is tentatively set for Monday, August 22, 2011.
  • The first day of school for the 2012-13 school year is tentatively set for Monday, August 20, 2012.
  • The end of the first semester will be December 22 or 23, 2010.
  • The beginning of the second semester will be January 3 or 4, 2011.
  • Three full Joint Staff Development days will be:
    • Wednesday, August 18, 2010
    • Monday, January 17, 2011
    • Monday, March 14, 2011
  • Two “Early Out” professional development days will be:
    • Wednesday, October 20, 2010
    • Friday, February 18, 2011
pre requisites to participation1
PRE-REQUISITES TO PARTICIPATION

5. Districts must be willing to reallocate a portion of staff development funds or district funds toward consortium staff development activities.

6. Districts must be willing to provide a professional development contact person to plan, schedule and help implement professional development activities with the other consortium schools.

7. Districts must be willing to commit to the development of Professional Learning Communities (PLC) structure within and across consortium districts.

8. Districts must be willing to commit to prepare and share data (testing, schedules, MARRS, funding, etc. . . all data relevant to the consortium goals and efforts), in the format required, and be willing to submit the data to the person/people collecting the data for the consortium.

slide24

Days that must be scheduled on all consortium school calendars

175 Day Student Calendar

All Dates in Red need to be the same on all calendars – 8 dates

tentative planning for the flexible learning year application
Tentative Planning for the Flexible Learning Year Application

TaskTask Completed By

  • Write Outline of Preliminary Plan October 8, 2009
  • Present Outline to Interested Superintendents October 14, 2009
  • Make Plan revisions--Create Final Outline October 16, 2009
  • Meet with MDE Commissioner to Determine Plan Merit October 19, 2009

Revise plan outline—broaden or refine-- or choose to abandon

  • Write MDE Flexible Learning Year Application November, 16, 2009

Investigate and identify research to be used in MDE presentation

  • Present Revised Draft of Flexible Learning Year Application to Superintendents November 18, 2009
  • Meet with MDE Commissioner to Make Final Plan Revisions w/input from MDE December 1-4, 2009
  • Each School District –Conducts three Community Hearings January 25, 2010
  • Each School Board Makes Final Decision Adopting Resolution of Commitment January 31, 2010
  • Submit Final Flexible Learning Year Application to MDE February 1, 2010
  • Respond to MDE revisions February 26, 2010
  • Receive Final Decision from MDE Commissioner of Education March 15, 2010
  • Each School Board Adopts Final 2010-2011 School Calendar March 30, 2010
  • School Districts Begin Implementation of Flexible Learning Year Plan February 1, 2010
slide26
Districts Whose School Boards have Adopted a Resolution to Consider Membership in the Flexible Learning Program Proposal
  • Adrian – Roger Graff
  • Canby—Loren Hacker
  • Cedar Mountain – Bob Tews
  • Comfrey – Allen Hoffman
  • Edgerton – Leroy Domagala
  • Fulda—Luther Onken
  • Hendricks – Bruce Houck
  • Hills Beaver Creek – Dave Deragisch
  • Jackson County Central – Todd Meyer
  • Lakeview – Chris Fenske
  • Luverne – Gary Fisher
  • Lynd – Bruce Houck
  • Marshall – KlintWillert
  • Milroy – Bill Delaney
  • Minneota – Dan Deitte
  • Mountain Lake – Bill Strom
  • Pipestone Area– Jim Lentz
  • Redwood Area – Rick Ellingworth
  • Russell Tyler Ruthton – Bruce Houck
  • Sleepy Eye—John Cselovszki
  • Springfield—Keith Kottke
  • Tracy—Dave Marlette
  • Westbrook-Walnut Grove—Loy Woelber
  • Windom—Wayne Wormstadt
  • Worthington—John Landgaard