By FPS Director of Standards-Based Instruction Jodell Teiken
On January 15, while students were sleeping in and hanging out with friends, teachers went to school. For the past three years specialists, middle school teachers, and high school teachers have met in course-alike groups on district Professional Development (PD) days. The day’s agenda is facilitated by Course Captains – teachers who volunteer to plan and lead curriculum discussions about course goals, and student achievement. Once PD was complete, secondary teachers completed a survey about their 2017-18 course-alike PD time. While there is still work to do to ensure everyone has a clear picture of the vision, these survey results are evidence of the collaborative effort teams are making to ensure all students will meet or exceed essential learning goals.
Identifying and Analyzing Essential Learning Outcomes
Teachers have agreed on a short list of essential knowledge and skills for each course and are in the process of determining how students can demonstrate they have achieved these outcomes. The goal is application of learning: depth vs. breadth. Collaborative teams reflect on student work and share lessons plans and strategies to improve student performance. Student achievement on essential learning outcomes will be published to parents in PowerSchool in 2019-20.
21st Century Skills
While an ACT score may get you INTO college, 21st Century Skills will get you THROUGH college. Teachers are agreeing on which of the 21st Century Skills (4Cs – Communication, Collaboration, Critical, and Creative Thinking) they will intentionally teach and give students feedback about in each course.
Ultimately, learners must be engaged in the task and believe it is worth doing. Teachers value this collaborative time with colleagues and continually strive to improve learning outcomes for students.