Board Briefs – Winter 2018 Curriculum Workshop

The District 58 Board of Education held its winter Curriculum Workshop on Monday, Feb. 26, 2018. View the agenda and presentation links. Listen to the meeting audio.

Highlights from the meeting include:

A Review of District 58 Standardized Data
Assistant Superintendent for Curriculum and Instruction Justin Sisul led a presentation discussing the District’s performance on standardized tests. Read presentation highlights below and click here to view Sisul’s presentation.

Measures of Academic Progress (MAP) Assessment
Sisul reviewed the District’s performance on the winter Measures of Academic Progress (MAP) assessment and described how administrators and teachers use the data to enhance and support student learning.

Learn more information about the District’s winter MAP assessment performance.

PARCC Assessment
Sisul again reviewed the disparity between the District’s Spring 2017 PARCC and MAP scores against the expected correlation. He went on to discuss the District’s approach to the PARCC assessment. This spring, teachers will spend some time familiarizing their students with the exam and encouraging them to give the PARCC their best effort.

“We are not advising teachers to give students full-length practice PARCC tests,” Sisul explained. “Instead, our teachers will go over the PARCC’s electronic format and familiarize students with some of its common question formats. For example, they will review how students can access the ruler function or how they can navigate to different sections of the test.”

Sisul said that the District created an internal website that provides teachers with helpful PARCC tools and tips, and parents will receive a letter with more information about supporting the PARCC process on March 1.

Read the PARCC parent email sent March 1.

View the District 58 PARCC preparation video.

Curriculum Workshop Roundtable
District 58 teachers and administrators led five 10-minute presentations on different curricular topics. The Board and audience broke into small groups and rotated among the presentations.

Elementary ELA: Elementary teachers Amy Freitag and Megan Winnecke and Instructional Coach Nicole Ring shared their experiences using the District’s new elementary English-Language Arts (ELA) curriculum resource, Benchmark Advance. The teachers asserted that the new resources have enhanced ELA instruction and increased rigor.

View the student experience examples they presented.

Middle School ELA: O’Neill ELA Teacher Nicki Ferroli and Instructional Coach Megan Ryder reviewed the new middle school (grades 6-8) ELA curriculum resource, StudySync, and discussed the new ELA blueprint and common assessments. They shared very favorable feedback regarding these new ELA resources, noting that they help keep the ELA curriculum consistent among classrooms and middle schools.

View their presentation.

Math: Henry Puffer First Grade Teacher Katie Hurckes and Instructional Coach Tim Frederickson reviewed primary math instruction. Teachers incorporate important critical thinking, problem-solving, communication and vocabulary skills into their math curriculum as part of the rigorous Standards for Math Practices.

View their presentation.

Science/NGSS: Herrick Science Teacher Jill Henry and Instructional Coach Lauren Prosser shared examples of how the Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS) encourage middle school students to understand how and why scientific phenomena occur. For example, Henry said she is integrating NGSS storyline curricular units into her instruction.

“We’re getting students to view science in a new, more genuine way,” Henry said. “This will prepare them for success in future science classes and careers.”

View their presentation.

Parent Partnerships in Communication and Reporting: Assistant Superintendent for Personnel Dr. Jayne Yudzentis, Director of Innovative Technology and Learning James Eichmiller and Teachers Diane Claver, Emma Grisamore and Andy Schmidt shared updates regarding parent partnerships in communication and reporting.

The District set a strategic goal this school year to improve parent partnerships in learning. To this end, the Report Card Committee has explored how the District can improve the way it communicates student progress information to parents. After a thorough review, they recommend the District shift from a quarter schedule to a trimester schedule next year. Parent-teacher conferences would take place mid-trimester, creating an opportunity for parents and teachers to formally connect before a reporting period ends.

They plan to share more information with parents regarding this shift during spring 2018.

View their presentation.    

Grove Children’s Preschool Spotlight
Four adorable Grove Children’s Preschool students led the Board and audience in the Pledge of Allegiance and sang a patriotic-themed song.

Preschool Coordinator Jackelyn Cadard presented some of the recent achievements of Grove Children’s Preschool. She said that the preschool has enhanced its community and parent partnerships this year, with new field trips and many opportunities for parents to volunteer in the classroom. Grove Children’s Preschool is also excited to align itself with the recently-updated ECERS-3, a research-based tool that assesses the quality of early childhood education based on 35 areas broken into six categories. Grove Children’s Preschool looks forward to concluding another successful school year with several upcoming activities, including a field trip to the Downers Grove fire station, the Spring Sing concert and the annual end-of-year picnic at Gilbert Park. Grove Children’s Preschool maintains a Gold Rating with the Illinois State Board of Education.

Extended Reception of Visitors
The Board invited community members to ask questions and engage in a two-way dialogue during a special extended reception of visitors at the conclusion of the meeting. Several community members participated in this opportunity, asking questions regarding student performance data including MAP scores, curriculum, educational programming, school safety, strategic planning and more.

Upcoming Events
Monday, March 12 at 7 p.m.: Regular Board Meeting at Downers Grove Village Hall

District 58 Board of Education members are: Doug Purcell, president; Elizabeth Sigale, vice president; Greg Harris, Darren Hughes, John Miller, Jill Samonte and Beth Taylor, with Dr. Kari Cremascoli, superintendent; and Melissa Jerves, board secretary.