Quarterly Update for 2017-2018

Topic & Next Steps

Teaching and Learning: Continue In-Depth Program Review (Math / Business / Computer Science)  

UReview sing the refined in-depth program review model originally developed last year, the Math and Business/Computer Science Departments have finalized the research and study phase of this initiative. Four interdependent subcommittees collaborated and shared information regarding each of the key theme “buckets.” The groups leveraged in-service sessions and after-school sessions to utilize time more effectively and limit disruption to the instructional day as the work was accomplished. Using established criteria, the exemplar and connections committees interviewed schools, universities, and businesses.Town hall meetings were held with parents. Student focus group meetings were also held at multiple building levels. Information learned from the interviews was shared across all committees. Over the past six weeks, the emerging recommendations have been identified and refined. The final report for each department is almost complete. A presentation is scheduled for the next Academic Achievement Committee meeting on April 30, 2018, at 6:00 p.m. Representatives of the committees will assist with the presentation and discussion. 

Teaching & Learning: Implement In-Depth Program Recommendations
(Science Health/Physical Education)

At the conclusion of the Science and Health/PE in-depth program reviews, eight recommendations were identified and defined by action steps, timelines, approximate costs, and the individuals accountable for implementation. The recommendations were broken down into major action steps, 13 for Science and 12 for Health/Physical Education and captured in an action plan spreadsheet, on which committees have begun to identify additional administrators and teachers to assist with their development and implementation. As of April 2018, we have begun or completed work on 9 of the 13 Science recommendations and 6 of the 12 Health/PE recommendations.Review

Updates to the Science recommendation implementation since January 2018 include: development of at least one common unit-based assessment per course; revision of the science pathways and courses, credit awarded for all science courses, and course recommendation process; review of textbooks for secondary science courses; and continued review of and planning for Amplify Science opportunities in grades 6 and 8. 

Since January 2018, Health/PE has implemented the following, additional recommendations: development of at least one common unit-based assessment per course; integration of curricular revisions to Health 8 and 9; continued integration into the Food Service and Wellness Committee; and application to present at the PSAHPERD State Conference.


Teaching & Learning: Implement Universal Screener (STAR 360) and Aptitude Screener
(CogAT 7)

Testing The implementation of the computer-based, adaptive STAR 360 universal screener for reading and math in grades K-7 for all students and those receiving academic support in grades 8-12 continues. In March 2018, students took the third of three benchmark assessments as a component of the MTSS process for consistently identifying students in need of enrichment or remediation across the district. The assessment provides us with student growth data for the first time, as three data points are now available for the entire 2017-2018 school year. A district data team, comprised of key personnel members from each building K-8, has met after each benchmark assessment window closes with the tasks of reviewing the performance data, examining the MTSS decision tree data points, and continuing to integrate the assessment results into our district practices.
The results of the March assessment will be mailed home to families in April and will be accompanied by a cover letter explaining how to interpret the assessment results and will detail the process for identifying students for Tier 2 and 3 supports. The goal is to start the 2018-2019 school year with parent permission to begin intervention/enrichment services, without delay.

In November of 2017, the Cognitive Abilities Test (CogAT 7) was implemented for the first time for students in grades 2 and 5, as a universal ability screener. While the results do not reflect an individual intellectual quotient score, they provide valuable information to the educational team about a student’s ability level in comparison to students in their grade nationally. This assessment is being utilized to identify students in need of enrichment and more challenging learning experience and has been incorporated as one component of the gifted screening matrix. A committee of building level administrators, school counselors, and gifted teachers was convened twice to work through the data points selected on the matrix and to run students through a draft of the matrix and to finalize the tool. We rolled out the new gifted matrices for each grade level at the start of the second semester. The district has budgeted for a small number of additional CogAT licenses to use for the purpose of gifted screening when a child is in a grade level other than 2 or 5. This tool will help us to better identify students’ needs and to ensure that all students in need of differentiated instruction or services are identified for further assessment.

Teaching & Learning: Strengthen Technology Integration (K-12), Device Deployment (K-6),
Digital Citizenship, and Cyber Security 

The district will continue to use the BrightBytes survey tool prior to the end of the year to collect data on the adoption and use of technology. The Technology department has also been refining internal and external system settings with a critical focus on the security hardening of both onsite and cloud-based systems. For example, the implementation of additional email domain settings makes it more difficult to spoof an @PineRichland.org email address. The technology department is also working with a security service provider that simulates phishing attempts and provides education when a user does not follow best practices. Additionally, Cybersecurity insurance policies are being examined to give additional coverage in the case of a cyber attack or data breach.

Computer Several device evaluations are ongoing at the K-3 and 4-6 levels, a teacher from each building is testing Apple tablet devices to aid in the evaluation and possible integration of tablets. On the agenda for tonight is the replacement of two of the elementary computer labs with new touchscreen Windows devices. The third elementary lab will be replaced this summer as part of the 2018-2019 budget. Also on the agenda for today is the recommendation to purchase 93 Promethean display boards. The evaluation and deployment of display boards at the high school will be the final phase of the district-wide initiative that has positively changed how students and teachers interact with content in their classrooms.

Teaching & Learning: Design & Deployment of Step-By-Step Guide for Developing Common Assessments

Over the course of the year, a district assessment team was reconvened to focus specifically on the development of a step-by-step guide for common local assessments. The 11 member team consists of educators from across the K-12 grade spans and across both core and special area content areas, as well as district and building administration. The step-by-step common assessment guide was created during a full day training and workshop session in October and refined in early spring. An overview podcast was developed and shared with the entire district staff to ensure a common language and understanding of the initiative. At the most recent in-service meeting, all staff was organized by department/vertical team to develop an assessment of a specific course. This initiative aligns with the overall Model for Teaching and Learning and the PRSD curriculum framework. The assessment produced in this session will be utilized by the relevant teachers in the next few weeks. The results will then be reviewed by collaborative teams to gauge student learning and share best practices across teachers to enhance results. More common assessments will be developed in the 2018 - 2019 school year. 

Student Services &Programs:  Introduce MTSS Model for Highly Achieving & Gifted Students  

During the 2013-14 school year, the district convened a committee to develop a multi-tiered system of supports (MTSS) to meet the needs of struggling learners. Out of that committee came a tiered model and an accompanying decision tree that allowed building level teams to make systematic, data-based, informed decisions on how to intervene when students struggle to learn. During the 2016-17 school year, the pupil services department created an MTSS Model for Highly Achieving and Gifted Students. The model mirrored the previously developed MTSS system for struggling learners. In the spring of 2017, this model was rolled out to principals but not fully deployed to all staff.

During the first quarter of the 2017-18 school year, the MTSS Model for Highly Achieving and Gifted Learners has been discussed and referenced among building level MTSS teams. Next steps will include the development of four voice-over presentations that will be shared with all teaching staff members with the goal of strengthening the understanding and full implementation of the MTSS Model for Highly Achieving and Gifted Learners. The four smaller modules that cover the whole process will cover the following:

● MTSS - The basics of what MTSS is, how it focuses on student need and where/when we meet student need, and what the triggers are for implementing and/or removing an intervention - This module will be shared with the district within the next few days.
● Gifted MTSS – An overview of the relationship between MTSS and accelerated/gifted learners; this will include a bit about chapter 16 but will focus on intervention based on strengths. This module will be shared with the district by the end of April.
● Tiered Interventions for Accelerated/Gifted Learners – Specific examples of interventions at each tier - This module will be shared with the district by the second week of May.
● Identification of Gifted Learners – What triggers a gifted evaluation and how does the matrix function in the evaluation process? - This module will be shared with the district by the third week of May.

Finance & Operations: Evaluate Managed Print/Copy Services 

Ricoh, previously IKON, started a vendor relationship with the Pine-Richland School District in the 2003-2004 school year. Ricoh provides copier and print management services. This includes staffing of the district's centralized copy center, provides services and ink/toner district-wide laser printers and multifunctional devices (MFDs), and facilitates the delivery of large print jobs and the district's interoffice mail system. Historically, these services have cost approximately $400,000 to $500,000 and (in 2017) results in 24 million paper impressions per year. The current agreement expires December 2018. By reviewing Ricoh and other competitors, we will ensure services are not only competitively priced but also reflect advanced technological features.

In February, a Request for Information (RFI) document was issued to six vendors. Mr. Stoebener and his team conducted building walkthroughs and site assessments with each vendor. On April 11th, the vendors will have an opportunity to present to the proposal review committee. The presentations will cover the following areas: company overview including organization and support structure, reference to similar contracts which may include performance and service metrics, the vendor’s approach to managed print services, recommendations, and specific company and manufacturer value-adds. The proposal review committee will review information submitted in order to narrow potential vendors. Top vendors will be asked to supply a full cost proposal to the Director of Financial and Operational Services and the Director of Technology for review in June/July 2018. The goal of the proposal review committee is to have a contract recommendation in the Fall.