Director of Learning Report

March 7, 2012

TO:                 Michael Green, Superintendent

FROM:           Asha Riley

RE:  Instruction, Curriculum, Assessment, and Professional Development Monthly Update

Collection of Evidence: After clarifying conversation with state assessment department I am happy to report it is no longer a required high school students fail the Math End of Course Assessment twice before having the option of completing a Collection of Evidence Option. This is a much better option for students who struggle with test taking as the Collection of Evidence allows them the ability to show they have successfully mastered math content and skills to meet the graduation requirement.

Common Core Grant Applications: We have recently applied to participate in a grant that will fund professional development regarding the upcoming common core standards. We expect to hear if we are a grantee by the end of the month. If we are awarded the grant we will be able to send representatives from each school to training at the ESD 112 this spring regarding common core standards.

 I also received a call from Evergreen school district math director Heidi Rhodes regarding an opportunity to participate in a grant targeting the common core math standards and high school curriculum. I accepted the invitation for our staff to join them as they realign curriculum to the new common core math standards. Evergreen is submitting their proposal with us included and will expect to hear back if they received the grant by the end of April. If the math grant is awarded we could begin the work as early as this summer.  In our discussion we agreed this work have little impact on next year's instruction as the teachers will do a majority of this work during the summer and on Saturdays, only 5 school days will be required throughout the process. I am pleased with this arrangement as we've seen in the past how multiple trainings where teachers require substitutes makes math learning difficult for students.

Testing: Washington English Language Proficiency Assessment: We have reached the close of our WELPA assessment window with relatively smooth administration of the exam. Tests will ship out next week and we expect to see the results toward the end of May.

High School Proficiency Exam: We will administering the HSPE in our high schools the week of March 13-15. I have provided each principal a new assessment binder for each state assessment to ensure test administration is smooth, all protocols and followed, and all record keeping will get back to my office for reconciliation in the summer. I expect this round of state testing to run as well as it has in the past.

Instructional Coaches:  Both Malinda and Mo have been doing a phenomenal job working on literacy and interventions for struggling learners.  We recently met to discuss how we are utilizing the Student Information Program to record student interventions for future teachers' reference. As a result I am excited about the type of data we will be able to examine and communicate across our system about students. This resource is becoming a powerful tool for teaching and learning. Much of the design is in part due to the instructional coaches' work with teachers and awareness of the important information we need to record and how teachers need to view that information so they can use it to inform their decisions in the classroom with students. I'd also like to note that they have both gone above and beyond to support staff outside their building. Mo has made weekly trips to Yale to support the literacy program up there and Malinda has done instructional coaching with some of our new teachers in the middle school. I appreciate their expertise and enthusiasm for serving staff.