Sunday, January 24, 2010

ES4SD Evaluation of Curricular Effectiveness

The Elementary School for Sustainable Design will use the PSSA and Terra Nova standardized assessments in appropriate grades to meet Commonwealth of Pennsylvania and School District of Philadelphia requirements. The school will be held accountable to the AYP requirements for PSSA participation rate, PSSA test results, and school attendance through the year 2014. In addition to the scheduled PSSA assessments in Reading, Math, Writing, and Science, the ES4SD will administer benchmark assessments to monitor student progress towards proficiency in PA Standards and to inform instruction. Students in grades K-2 will be benchmarked using DIBELS and DRA. Students in grades 3-8 will be benchmarked in the areas of reading, math, writing, and science in appropriate grades using PA 4-Sight Benchmark Assessments. The PA 4-Sight Benchmark Assessments provide diagnostic information on PA Standards and specific subskills areas to guide classroom instruction and professional development efforts. After each benchmarking, time and ongoing support will be provided to the staff to interpret the data and to plan instructional strategies to insure that students are progressing towards proficiency. In addition, these data discussions will create a data-driven culture at the school. Response to Intervention (RTI) is an ongoing process using student performance and other data to guide instructional and intervention decisions. The first and most important step of our educational program is to insure that all students receive quality academic instruction and support including the use of research based core programs. Furthermore, behavioral and social supports will be in place on an as needed basis. All students will be screened for additional instructional needs in Fall, Winter, and Spring using DIBELS, DRA, and 4-Sight in appropriate grades. If less than 80% of students are not meeting benchmarks, the core programs will be reviewed by the RTI team to determine if they are sufficient to the students, needs. It will also be the task of the RTI team to monitor the core programs over time. We will follow a three-tiered model. All students (Tier I) will receive instruction using research based core programs. That instruction will include multiple grouping formats to meet individual student needs. Using the benchmark data, students will be assigned to supplemental small group intervention (Tier II) or intensive small group intervention (Tier III). Small group interventions will be designed by the teacher teams with RTI team support. Students assigned to Tier II will receive 20 minutes a day of additional instruction and students in Tier III will receive 30 minutes a day of additional instruction. Research based supplemental programs will be utilized to address weaknesses. Students in Tier II will be progress monitored monthly and those in Tier III will be progress monitored weekly. ES4SD will comply with IDEA standards for providing students with the least restrictive environment. The inclusion model will be fully developed in which the regular education teacher and the special education teacher work together to develop an educational plan that meets the needs of all special needs students within the regular education classroom. The Differentiated Instruction model will be utilized school-wide and in all content areas. Teachers will be expected to differentiate content, process, and/or product according to student's readiness, interests, or learning profile. All teachers will use a range of instructional and management strategies.

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