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Turning the Course: Notes

Page history last edited by Debby Baker 11 years, 3 months ago

Indian Lake CSD: Explored this issue PK-12 (25-ISH KIDS/GRADE LEVEL)


Session Handouts:


They started w/the essential question:

How confident am I that the grades I report are accurately reflecting student achievement?

  1. Reviewed each of the fixes from O'Conner's book--went through each and listed pros and cons
  2. Explored current practice at each building.  Compared practice across bldgs. (What percentage of the grade does homework encompass?)
  3. Set Goal-provide an accurate representation of student's knowledge of the subject matter
  4. Gave each BOE member a copy of the book
  5. Met w/stakeholders:
    1. PTSO, Student Council, SDM team, parents 


This conversation is one of the most difficult issues you'll tackle.


Biggest issues/practices:

  • Use of attendance as part of grade
  • Behavior as part of grade
  • Cheating on homework
  • Students failing course but still passing Regents


Developed a New System

  • Grades were based 100% on summative assessments
    • Established a need for differentiated instruction.  Included PD on differentiating assessments.  What did they do to ensure that the assessments were quaity assessments?  Teachers believed that they had quality assessments.  The speaker reviews the assessments during evaluation.  Encourages use of multiple assessment types.  Also have to trust the quality of the teachers.
      • Teachers engage in common planning.
    • At least 5 summative assessments/quarter
    • Established a no zeros policy (almost)
    • Established ERBs- Effort, Responsibility, Behavior--developed a rubric.  There are no ERBs represented in the grade.
    • After school study hall--if students don't, becomes insubordination
    • Eligibility policy for extra-curricular activities - review eligibility every Thursday for the next week.  If a student isn't up to date on their homework...name goes on list.  On Tuesday, post a list of the pre-ineligibiity to warn.  If they can't participate, they still go to practice, but can't play in a game.  Three in a row, they are dropped.
    • Established a parent portal--dealing w/pitting teachers against each other, but it is letting the parents know what the kids are doing
    • Reestablished mid-terms and continuing final exams with each not worth more than 10%
    • PD around effective feedback
    • More intentional about attendance (Saratoga has a good attendance policy)


Impact After 1 Year:

  • Still struggling with the zero--using the O'conner method, still have a lot of incompletes. Toughest in the area of music (vocal and instrumental and PE)
  • Assigning Homework - teachers believed that they couldn't give homework. Had to switch the conversation on how to evaluate it.
  • How do you address the issue; teachers just feel that grading homework is a "right of passage".... they want the "pound of flesh"...he has worked w/his staff to change belief systems

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