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Working Toward Growth

I hope that you all had a wonderful Christmas and a Happy New Year! Every year I have the intention of actually staying up and watching the ball drop, but with three youngsters in the house, I usually defer to going to sleep when given the chance. So how about those resolutions? Do make any for your classroom? What would they be if you did? 

I know one of the main focuses is our students' growth. We want to make sure that regardless of where students are in the current learning trajectory that they show growth on their own paths. Hopefully, your district has just completed or is soon completing some form of mid-year assessment. This should help you see where you students are after one semester of work. It should also allow you any reassessment of their learning path if they have had slow or rapid growth in the second semester. 

It is important that as you move along both segments of students, those who are exceeding their growth targets and those behind on their growth targets, that you provide any necessary intervention. Not taking a second or third look at those learning paths could have a major impact on those students and how much they grow over the school year. 

One of the partnerships we have is with NWEA. These assessments tailored to our state standards are a great method to know where your students are and where each individual student is on his or her learning path. NWEA allows for four assessments each year and can be done online. The have reports for teachers, administrators, students and parents. After each test, the system generates a detailed report of what learning has taken place and what learning needs to happen next. 

In the coming months, OPSRC will be hosting two great NWEA workshops free to our members. The first one is Informing Instruction. This will be on January 27th and will be centered around using your MAP growth data to plan instruction to meet student needs. It will also cover state standards and provide the opportunity to also tailor it to local curriculum as well. 

The second great workshop we will have is Focusing on Growth, also free to our member schools. This session will help deepen your understanding of growth. It will discuss how NWEA measures its growth as well. Then we will discuss how to set realistic yet challenging growth goals. We hope you will join us for that. 

Even if you are not currently using NWEA but would like to come to see how this software could impact your class or school, we would love to have you stop by and join us. Not a bad way to get a free breakfast and lunch either! Although after all the food I ate over the holidays, I'm not sure I need it!

Again though, I hope you had a wonderful holiday season. We continue to want to help you in any way we can. If the Teaching and Learning team can be of any assistance, please reach out to us!

Jason Midkiff


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