It's Elementary!






         an online forum for information from the Director of Elementary Education, Kelly K. Cartwright, Ed.D.

November 5, 2010

TOP QUINTILE SCHOOLS!

Filed under: K-12 — Kelly Cartwright @ 9:48 am
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I heard some GREAT news yesterday! For a couple of years now, as part of our school improvement processes, CV staff members have been visiting other schools/districts whose PSSA and PVAAS results have placed them in the top quintile, or 20%, of all schools in Pennsylvania for achievement and/or growth.

For the first time, all six CVSD schools made the Top Quintile Schools list in math, reading, and/or writing and in all but one of the tested grade levels.

I congratulate every single person who has been involved to make this happen. This success is a result of the hard work that starts with kindergarten instruction and includes every staff member (teachers as well as support staff and paraprofessionals) and every grade level and subject area all the way up to and including the tested grade levels. Everyone contributes to this accomplishment!

Each school in the state was assigned to a progress group based on the mean gain for a particular grade and subject. Each school was also assigned to an achievement group based on their mean achievement for a grade and subject. A ‘5’ indicates the highest performing quintile – that the school/grade level results placed that group in the top quintile (20%) in the state. A ‘1’ indicates the lowest quintile. What you will see in the chart below, once again, is that CV is continuing to make progress. Our students are showing growth as well as achievement.

Again, congratulations for a team effort and a job very well done! Enjoy these results! See your principal for a more detailed description of the results.

Individual commitment to a group effort – that is what makes a team work, a company work, a society work, a civilization work. Vince Lombardi (1913-1970)

Writing
District Name School Name Grade Mean Growth Quintile Predicted Mean Achievement Quintile Observed Mean Achievement Quintile Percent IEP Percent ED Percent LEP Percent Minority
Conestoga Valley School District Brownstown Elementary School 5 5 3 5 11 21 5 20
Conestoga Valley School District Fritz Elementary School 5 5 3 5 8 31 5 27
Reading
District Name School Name Grade Mean Gain/Growth Quintile Mean Achievement Quintile Percent IEP Percent ED Percent LEP Percent Minority
Conestoga Valley School District Brownstown Elementary School 4 5 3 11 21 5 20
Conestoga Valley School District Brownstown Elementary School 5 5 4 11 21 5 20
Conestoga Valley School District Brownstown Elementary School 6 5 5 11 21 5 20
Conestoga Valley School District Fritz Elementary School 6 5 5 8 31 5 27
Conestoga Valley School District Leola Elementary School 6 5 4 14 41 11 28
Conestoga Valley School District Smoketown Elementary School 6 5 4 9 37 5 31
Math
Conestoga Valley School District Brownstown Elementary School 4 5 4 11 21 5 20
Conestoga Valley School District Brownstown Elementary School 5 5 4 11 21 5 20
Conestoga Valley School District Brownstown Elementary School 6 5 5 11 21 5 20
Conestoga Valley School District Fritz Elementary School 6 5 5 8 31 5 27
Conestoga Valley School District Conestoga Valley Middle School 8 5 4 10 30 5 26
District Name School Name Grade Mean Growth Quintile Predicted Mean Achievement Quintile Observed Mean Achievement Quintile Percent IEP Percent ED Percent LEP Percent Minority
Conestoga Valley School District Conestoga Valley Senior High School 11 5 4 4 11 22 4 24

October 29, 2010

Report Cards

Filed under: Elementary — Kelly Cartwright @ 3:23 pm
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Two groups of teachers have been working since last spring to make recommendations for revisions to our report cards. Our objective is to move toward a standards based report card over the course of this school year. Primary (grades 1 & 2) and intermediate (grades 3-6) committees have developed draft report cards that they will pilot for the 2010-2011 school year.

We intend to gather teacher and parent feedback on the pilot after the first and second trimesters, make necessary revisions for the second and third trimesters based on that feedback, and finalize the new report card by May 2011. Committee members will then share our work with their grade level colleagues during the early dismissal on May 25 so that all teachers are prepared to use the new report card beginning with the 2011-2012 school year.

With the new report card, we also plan to update the Elementary Grading Practices Guidelines with specific information regarding accommodations and modifications, how to grade a student who is not working on grade level, and other concerns that teachers face when assigning and reporting grades. In addition, we intend to provide a comprehensive list of assessments that teachers use to determine grades. This will provide consistency and equity across the four buildings. My goal is to have these documents ready for the May 25 meeting.

Find out who represents your grade level on the committee and discuss the proposed changes throughout the year. Please share your concerns and other feedback with committee members as we pilot the new report cards. We deliberately chose to take the entire year to work out the flaws so that when the final version is unveiled, it has been tried and tested and is a report card that is easily understood by parents and simple for teachers to use.

1st Trimester ends on November 24. Report Card Window is November 19-December 7. Report Cards go home on December 10.

Each day of our lives, we make deposits in the memory banks of our children.

Charles R. Swindoll

October 23, 2010

Common Core Standards

Filed under: Elementary — Kelly Cartwright @ 8:50 am
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I attended a two day conference a few weeks ago, and two of the five speakers (in two out of six sessions) addressed the Common Core Standards.

One speaker was Gene Wilhoit, the Executive Director of the Council of Chief State School Officers in Washington, D.C. He has held positions in the Department of Education in two states as well as the U.S. Department of Education. Dr. Richard Long is the Director of Government Relations for the International Reading Association and Executive Director for the State Title I Directors Association. He consults with USA Today, the World Health Organization, and several US government agencies and education groups. Both men were full of enlightening information and I enjoyed their sessions. The proportion of time spent on the Common Core resonated with me on the importance of understanding what is coming our way in less than three years.

There are still many details to work through as we make this transition. There is talk of a national test to replace the PSSA. There is talk of computer adaptive tests becoming more prevalent. The Keystones Exams must also fit in to this equation.

There are two state consortia that are working to develop assessments aligned to the new reading/language arts and mathematics standards. The US Department of Education, as part of the Race to the Top initiative, has awarded $33 million toward the Partnership for Assessment of Readiness for College and Careers (PARCC) and the Washington-led SMARTER Balanced Assessment Consortium. The PARCC consortium will replace the current end of year test used for accountability purposes with a series of assessments administered at different points during the year. SMARTER will continue the annual test for accountability and create benchmark assessments to inform instruction.

The IU staff has been and will continue to be a valuable resource as we transition to the Common Core. Representatives from the IU have been working on state teams to compare the Pennsylvania Academic Standards to the Common Core and providing us with regular updates. Dr. Mann and I will be attending a four day conference in December to learn more about the Common Core in conjunction with PDE’s Standards Aligned System (SAS). We will continue to share information as we receive it.

Never underestimate the smallest of acts that keep a child from falling through the cracks, help another fit in, or turn a life around: a smile, a word of praise, a listening ear, a kind word, an act of caring…all have the potential to be a turning point in a child’s life. Leo Buscaglia

September 21, 2010

Common Core Standards

Filed under: Elementary — Kelly Cartwright @ 2:33 pm
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Following a six-month review, the State Board of Education adopted the national Common Core standards for English/Language Arts (ELA) and Math in July. The Independent Regulatory Review Commission (IRRC) then voted to approve those standards. 

The Common Core Standards were adopted by the State Board as an amendment to the existing Chapter 4 regulations (Academic Standards and Assessment) with a three-year transition to begin during the 2010-11 school year and full implementation by July 1, 2013.  (Learn more about the Common Core Standards initiative by clicking here.)

The three-year transition timeline established by the State Board is intended to help ensure clear, consistent expectations for students and educators throughout the implementation. To inform this process, the board has been holding a series of statewide roundtables to gather feedback from education stakeholders. The local date and location is Harrisburg on Monday, September 27, 11:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m., Honors Suite (1st floor), 333 Market Street, 17126. To register to participate in any session, contact Adam Schott, the board’s Executive Director, at (717) 787-3787.

At this point, committees that include representatives from IU13 have been examining the Common Core standards in comparison to the PA Academic standards. Committee members are finding a strong correlation among the ELA standards; they are not finding such a strong match among the math standards. CVSD is following this development closely and will keep teachers informed as we learn more.

Whoever you are, there is some younger person who thinks you are perfect. There is some work that will never be done if you don’t do it. There is someone who would miss you if you were gone. There is a place that you alone can fill. Jacob M. Braude

September 8, 2010

Welcome Back!

Filed under: Elementary — Kelly Cartwright @ 4:48 pm
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I hope you all enjoyed a relaxing and rejuvenating summer.

As I settle into my new role, I am enjoying beginning the school year in my position and looking forward to working with all of you. One of my goals is to maintain a blog from this office which will inform elementary staff members of the initiatives and developments at the elementary level. I encourage you to subscribe to my blog and to make comments, ask questions, and otherwise interact with me on these and other issues. The purpose of the blog is to foster open dialog.

Math Resources

Your principal and our math specialists and supervisor have been and will continue to share all of the outstanding new resources we’ve purchased and have begun using this year.  We were fortunate to be able to purchase Otter Creek, Star Math, and Smart Notebook with 2009-2010 budget monies. Training sessions will be offered on October 11 for those who were unable to attend the summer days for Smart Notebook, and as the initial training for first and second grade teachers on Star Math. With tightening budgets and dramatic increases in AYP targets over the next four years, we need to take advantage of all resources available to intervene early and address students’ needs in math as well as reading.

AYP targets:

Year

Reading

Math

2011

72%

67%

2012

81%

78%

2013

91%

89%

2014

100%

100%

Congratulations and Thank You!

Each one of you deserves credit for your part in our district’s achievement of AYP for 2010. I know just how much time and effort this accomplishment has taken from each and every one of us. Many of our targets were met through the Growth Model, which indicates that our students continue to make progress and that this is making a significant difference!

We need to be able to take really good care of ourselves as teachers so we can take really good care of children. Mike Anderson, author of the ASCD book due out in September, The Well-Balanced Teacher: How to Work Smarter and Stay Sane Inside the Classroom and Outon the August Whole Child Podcast

 

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