#LovelandLearning – A district view
Navigating school achievement feels a bit like Alice in Wonderland anymore. We were just getting used to ratings like “Excellent with Distinction.” Now we have report cards that assign grades to a variety of student achievement measures that are challenging to interpret. The tests used to generate school ratings have also changed over the years – including last year and again this year. So each year we get that familiar “Alice in Wonderland” feeling thinking we knew who we were only to find out we might be something else. While we appreciate the information provided to us by the Department of Education, we also know that we have a responsibility to improve what we do every day to ensure that Loveland provides the best education possible to our families regardless of our rating. So, what does make a good school district? Great teachers, great students, and great community support. We have all the makings here in Loveland.
As a district we monitor our overall student achievement with multiple sources of data. The state assessment data provides one piece. As a district we have identified other sources of data proven to accurately measure our work with students. The high school looks at student participation rates in AP-level coursework, as well as scores on AP exams and ACT scores. In grades K-8 we look at our MAP data to ensure we are meeting or exceeding expected growth with our students. This spring we will have three years of MAP data to use to evaluate our programming. This broad-lens look will provide us information about the growth students make while participating in programs we offer to support or enrich student learning. At a leadership level, this provides us with the information we need to replicate programming that is working and make changes to programs in which students aren’t responding as well.
The truth is we can measure and rate and rank-order schools all day long, but it’s the hard work our teachers do every day with students that matters. To support classroom teachers and our continuous growth as educators, we are implementing a 5-year instructional cycle. The objective is to empower our teachers to participate in improving instruction and student achievement in our classrooms. The 5-year cycle provides all grade levels and content areas the time to review their curriculum, plan for new purchases, look at the technology needed to support their instruction, develop as a team to improve student engagement in the classroom and study what “best in class” classrooms look like in other schools.
Our teachers are working together as a team to meet each child where they are and move them forward. At the same time, they also commit to growing professionally to improve their knowledge of curriculum, content, and instructional practices through collaborative planning and professional development.
We believe that providing our teachers with the systems to collaborate with their colleagues and use student achievement data to improve the instruction they provide on a daily basis will generate a culture of growth and improvement for our educational community. Our students deserve it.
In Service to Our Tigers,
Dr. Amy Crouse
Assistant Superintendent, Teaching & Learning