Tuesday, September 2, 2014

TLSS liveblog: dropout prevention, math curriculum, dual language, prescription drug abuse

posting as we go

Early Warning System plan for dropouts
O'Connell: number of initiatives to work on that issue
Monfredo had asked for an ad-hoc committee on it
Monfredo reviews concerns around dropouts, made a number of motions...discuss if they may be feasible, need an action plan, made ten suggestions, would like something in writing
is Edwin system being used?
Rodrigues: yes, part of database for the state and produces reports on those that may be at risk
only provides characteristics of those who may be at risk of not graduating
"doesn't tell us what to do with that child...says this child may be at risk"
breakdown at the school level and the student level
Perda providing training and information for principals on how to access the information
"that's one data point, that's one report"
schools have multiple data points, multiple pieces of data
MCAS for 2014 coming out in mid-September, schools then refining their school accountability systems
all different assessments tell the story
"form the vast picture to best inform us how to help those children"
grants for transition teams, work to support students who are struggling
look at suspension, students who are tardy..."all these things now are changing in how we report the data"
"refining how we reach those students falling through the cracks"
"looking at data, and looking at the early warning system, is already in place. It's not one data point...ongoing process"
Monfredo: "should be looking at a variety of data in our system...concern are we red-flagging those students who appear to have problems?"
"do we have a plan for each of those students?"
Yes, we do. Go into a teacher's room where they look at the data, by name, by student, by topic, what exactly the issues are
Horizontal grade level meetings, talk about each of those students who are struggling: names attached to those 30% of students who are struggling
Monfredo: each plan will be different...wants his suggestions from the last three years looked at
Ramirez: question I have around this area...has there been anything to look at extending time for those kids to get more; any different design for elementary schools where we're seeing that there's a volume of these kids?
Rodrigues: yes, we have. Lessons learned at Level 4 schools, can be incorporated at various schools, support for students to have additional teaching and learning opportunities within the day, "schools have been creative about that"
principals designing a "learning lab" for students to go for extra help in particular subject areas as needed
principals meet once a month in clusters for them to talk about all aspects of teaching and learning
"What can we do within the day, within the schedule, for students to excel"
Monfredo: teachers to develop a generic action plan for systemwide sharing?
Rodrigues: school accountability plans, each school creates what they feel works best. Instructional Leadership Team meet once a month, "they are the network" for what has been working in schools
keep looking at what's working in those schools
how do we create capacity and bring things to scale?
schools are sharing best practices with each other
O'Connell asks if item should be held for a report back on Monfredo's recommendations
Rodrigues: some of these suggestions part of district literacy plan
committee for a multi-tiered system of support; can be included in toolbox available to all schools
opportunity will come for it to be instroduced to the proper group
O'Connell: general cost of Monfredo's suggestions (motion)
Rodrigues suggests talking as we head into budget, should budget allow such a conversation
"time would be best utilized looking to implement what we can implement, and working on those that are cost neutral"
Monfredo: concerned that things get lost sometimes
Rodrigues: disagree, such a difficult budget, summer programs to target the dollars we have for the best use; best program together; target for students to benefit; leveraging resources that we have
O'Connell argues that it won't take that much time
Novick: not theorizing in advance our data, respect the information coming from schools, connection with literacy plan

Curriculum review process: elementary math
curriculum renewal cycle: how do we revamp and revise and move forward
pilot to look at a number of resources
Thompson: four resources piloted in the district: enVisionMath, Math Expressions, Go Math, Math in Focus
teachers had professional development on the materials
math resource advisory committee met last October to talk about what we'd want to see in a resource: standards, cultural diversity, engagement, implementation (can we afford it?), family, ease of use
coaches (steering committee met in November): teachers somewhat confused on implementation of scope and sequence and following curriculum
teachers "could use their own understanding as professionals to use the resources" based on the children in front of them, where they are, what they need
alignment of resources done by teachers in November; aligned to standards that way
checklist survey sent to teachers in spring
negativity around professional development: were looking for support around state standards, not around the resource itself
Meade-Montegue: found through the pilot, thinking that piloting would bring more PD on the standards based instruction; how to do math, how to teach math
teachers needed to learn about the resource, but also wanted to learn about the subject
opportunities for going across schools with a particular pilot
Thompson: PD needed for math content and standards implementation (heard from teachers)
"the resource isn't the curriculum...we're developing the curriculum...can be a little flexible with different populations of kids each year"
from teacher survey, a lot of variety in resources and grade level
enVisionMath and Go Math came out as most workable
O'Connell: teaching literacy through the math curriculum: is there one that addresses this issue?
Thompson: resources do an okay job, but what would be most helpful on the use of the standards
"what does it look like when a student is reasoning about mathematics?"
don't necessarily do a huge job of targeting mathematical language: reading, writing, discourse
O'Connell: "resources are important, but you're going to still need a significant amount of professional development"
Thompson: conversation with higher ed on what teachers need to take for courses
Monfredo: next step?
Rodrigues: have engaged with Houghton Mifflin for a district-wide pilot in elementary (Go Math)
talking to teachers about not going page by page through books
"best fit for the population we have"
pilot will provide resources for systemwide this year
Rodrigues: will report back on this midyear

Dual language
bit of back and forth here on native speakers of other languages to provide for 50/50 split
Rodrigues: very very happy started fresh
a number of informational meetings with parents in dual language programs at Norrback, Chandler Magnet, and Roosevelt
"evaluate and look at quality of dual language program...had often promised that the program would evolve...disappear by grade three...needed to fully understand what was being done"
enrollment falling as students continue
needed to restructure: will start in K, go through grade 6, then will provide opportunties for your child, pretty much billingual
dual language exposure, fully 50/50
true capacity to provide the dual language model: billingual, biliterate
dual languge at Chandler Magnet and Roosevelt: kindergarten through grade 4
kindergarten has one teacher doing both; all other grades split Spanish, English
anticipate doing same for grade 5 next year, grade 6 year after
middle school level high enough to support that level of literacy
make sure as students leave middle school can continue that practice in high school
O'Connell: get to grade 6 with a high level of mastery
only in Spanish?
Yes, that's the only population we have the capacity in the classroom for
Rodrigues: accelerated algebra entering high school; like that in Spanish
Mandarin Chinese offered as a second language
French out of curriculum? at elementary?
foreign language out of elementary level for a number of years now
middle school offers French and Mandarin (Spanish everywhere; Chinese at Forest Grove and Claremont)
Monfredo: calls from Roosevelt area: what happens when the child leaves elementary? Program for middle schools
concern on numbers: can we sustain the program with the number of children we have?
Rodrigues: families who are interested in this kind of program, once they are in, they are in; kindergarten on up
Monfredo: numbers in classrooms?
(below numbers: Chandler Magnet/Roosevelt)
K still being formed 24/16+
1 has 16/24
2 has 14/20
3 has 15/18
4 has 14/17
Monfredo: would love to see that program grow
Rodrigues: recruit for the program; show what the program really is
"parents are going to be our best advocates for this program"
hosting a conference Massachusetts Association for Bilingual Education is happening in Worcester--hosted by Chandler Magnet, in the spring
"have an opportunity to showcase programs at both Chandler Magnet and Roosevelt
attracts professionals for all New England

Opiate addiction
working with DPH in Worcester "and they have been wonderful"
devise how we bring awareness
coaches, athletic liaisons
wellness meeting for all students, bring as awareness piece
also have opportunities for health teachers to have this training

Monfredo: chronic absenteeism, wants to know how program last year went
asking for: a PR plan on the importance of attending school; benchmarks to reduce absenteeism; plan for students who are absent the most; parents report why their child is absent and track reasons; monitor attendence on a weekly basis; student attendance initiatives; have a meeting of parents whose children are chronically absent; asking parents to schedule doctors appointments and vacations during off-school times
wants a strategic plan written out
Novick points out that some doctors require particular appointments during school hours; we should push them on this
Rodrigues reconvening attendance forum for presentation from what we saw last year, can report out then
awareness, but more action, and more support
principals each received a report of students in their schools who last year had 18 or more absences
figuring out what is going on with those students; have to sift through the data we have

No comments: