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Coming to Common Understanding About Student Achievement Bol.

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Presentation on theme: "Coming to Common Understanding About Student Achievement Bol."— Presentation transcript:

1 Coming to Common Understanding About Student Achievement Bol

2 Three Things “Why should we bother?” Context and background for this work “What does that look like?” Berkeley Hall’s Settings and Protocols “How do you maintain buy-in and stay the course?” – Progress and Pitfalls

3 Context and Background – Public school district – Required summer school. “Failing” students looked very different across and within schools. – Each Independent school is, in effect, its own mini-school district, and is left to decide “How good is good enough” for each of its students.

4 Common Assumptions About How to Align Learning Expectations The whole school will adopt the same content standards and our teachers/classrooms will therefore be aligned. (Common Content) We will all use Singapore math/Harcourt, etc., and go through an in-service training on how to use the text and we’ll therefore be aligned. (Common Materials)

5 More Common Assumptions About How to Align Learning Expectations We’ll get experts to come talk to our teachers about implementation. (Expert Help) We’ll all use the same assessment and the same rubric and then we’ll DEFINITELY BE ALIGNED. (Common measures) Let’s all try it to see….

6 Factors to Consider Teacher bias – “I know this kid. He meant to say this.” Or “He just lucked out.” Variability in test administration. Accidental norm-referencing. High class, lower score; low class, higher score. Experience with program. Going with teacher intuition rather than developing teacher judgment. (“I just know it” becomes “I know it and I can prove it with the data and others would agree.”) “I didn’t get to that, but the next year’s teacher will catch them up.”

7 Berkeley Hall –Existing Culture (4 Years Ago) Existing culture – expectant of good, loving and earnest toward students, but also somewhat ingrained, insular, “this too shall pass”. Had adopted CA content standards, with minor additions/revisions and had no discernible common assessments (other than ERBs) or performance standards. PD – Sending individuals to workshops, faculty reading a book over summer.

8 Berkeley Hall’s Journey Strategies for Coming to Common Understandings About Student Achievement

9 Depth of Study, Year One – Small Shift in Teaching Culture Purpose: to get teachers used to meeting about “problems of practice” and to convince them this would NOT pass. Teacher lunch meetings first summer. Set up Depth of Study with existing schedule. Assigned teacher facilitators and met with them monthly.

10 Year One – (continued) Identified Board members that would welcome and understand the purpose of the initiative. Head and Asst. Head attended all Depth of Study meetings. Brought in consultants with whom Head had worked at LessonLab to pace her and lend more credibility to the process.

11 Depth of Study, Year Two – Cultural Shift to Considering Performance Standards Latitude to rearrange groups and did so by subject matter and/or department. Invited Board members to DoS. Formed PAC. Used Faculty/Staff week to teach about performance standards vs. content standards. Studying student work across the system: “How good is good enough?”

12 Year Two – (continued) Content standards created by PE and Perf. Arts. Assessments and performance standards focus of each group – various subject matters: - Creation of grades 1-3 math benchmark assessments for place value (based on analysis of CCSS) - Grade 4-8 writing data collected and studied. Scoring tested against ERBs Reverse engineered our way into adopting FP and TCRWP

13 Year Two – (cont.) Started trying to contact receiving high schools regarding performance standards. Started collecting graded student work from graduates as well as survey data.

14 Depth of Study, Year Three – Cultural Shift to Common Implementation of Performance Standards Continued work on aligning assessments and performance standards within existing groups. Primary switches from math to reading and focuses on using DoS to consistently implement new reading benchmark assessments. They decide to start twice per week DoS meetings. Math/Science splits from Lang Arts for grades 4-8 Outside experts start to be leveraged – PE/language arts P/T conferencing includes use of Performance Standards

15 Depth of Study, Year Four – Cultural Shift Extends to Entire School Community Existing groups with minor adjustments (K to Primary; CCSS technology grouplet) Started “short day” for PD every Friday – common time (finally!) Parents positive. Most parents and all Board members “know” DoS. Goal meetings with individual teachers – possible now because goals are aligned with overall school vision and direction. Have real traction now, but still so much to accomplish! (Trustee at Faculty Week)

16 Depth of Study - Successes Teaching and learning improving Shifting culture – one of collaboration, unity of expectations (and vocabulary) Transparency of expectations among all groups – trustees, parents, teachers, students Clarifies and supports Admissions process – clearer internal measures Grade inflation/variability disappearing Faculty selecting in (or opting out)

17 Depth of Study - Successes 3,4,5, meeting to make connection across departments Classroom doors open – more collaboration Effective PD on a shoestring budget

18 Depth of Study– Ongoing Challenges Really hard work (and time consuming) – for faculty and for the Head/Administrator How do you improve things without implying that they weren’t good enough in the first place? Dealing with parents in the “guinea pig” grades (about adjustment of grading, not enjoyment of program) Stick with it. Keep your eye on the main goal – student learning

19 Depth of Study – Ongoing Challenges Hard-to-access HS data (but there’s a work- around) Finding facilitators who have “drunk the Kool- aid” and who have a firm, gentle affect Takes a long time to change an existing culture. Have to remember to “love the process” and adopt a growth mindset


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