Greetings! It has been a busy and swift summer in the district. I want to update our community regarding the district’s summer work, as well as provide additional information and resources regarding some policy changes from the state of Ohio and the Ohio Department of Education.
Important Updates from the Ohio Department of Education (right click to open links for more information):
The Solar Eclipse is fast approaching! Our staff is preparing to make the very most of this exciting, scientific phenomenon. We are prepared to view the Solar Eclipse on Monday, August 21, 2017, at 2:30 p.m. This link provides information, safety instructions, resources, and an opt out form for students.
It is going to be an exemplary year!
Dr. Jamie Lusher
Chief Academic Officer
On behalf of the Grandview Heights Schools, I would like to thank our community for the opportunity to collaborate during our February 2, 2017, Late Start. I have attached the brochure of professional development sessions made available to our staff as well as some viable resources that were shared during our collaboration.
February and March are extremely busy months for the students and staff. We also have a number of important professional development opportunities occurring that span all content areas and grade levels.
Perhaps you are ruminating on this inquiry: Why is my child's teacher absent again? Is this a question that you (as a parent) and your child are asking? Chances are you may!
Beginning in the fall of 2014, our teachers, principals and instructional coaches have been immersed in on-going and sustained professional learning that has been an instrumental part of our Continuous Improvement Plan. Our teachers are working in grade level and department teams to develop and cultivate an integrated curriculum in every content area from Kindergarten through Grade 12. Our teams of teachers work collaboratively to deconstruct and refine learning objectives, to develop integrated curriculum maps to support the implementation of formative instructional practices, and to develop integrated approaches to project based learning. This work is extremely important and the process is of great value to our students.
Our professional development opportunities are invaluable and we appreciate your support as we move forward in maximizing and personalizing every student’s learning every day!
Additionally, please mark your calendar now to attend the Summer Enrichment Expo on Thursday, March 2, from 6:00-7:30 p.m. in the Edison Intermediate/Larson Middle School Gymnasium. I hope to see you there!
In the Grandview Heights Schools, we commit to helping every student maximize their potential. The personalized experiences provided to every student are a core value of our district.
We guide instruction and support student growth by using a data-driven and systematic approach while tuning into the personal interests and strengths of each child. This team-based approach to MTSS will engage and empower each student to independently realize his or her potential. Our MTSS teams are comprised of grade level and building level teachers, administrators, counselors, psychologists, and other support service specialists to focus on the unique needs of each child.
Instruction, Intervention, & Enrichment
Instruction or Where do we start?
Our teachers use quality, effective instruction intended to reach all learners in the classroom. Teachers and Specialists use our district authored curriculum (based on Ohio’s Learning Standards) to set appropriate learning targets for all students. Instruction is both research-based and tailored to meet the needs of the students in the classroom. Students are continuously assessed to determine if they are reaching the identified learning targets. This classroom instruction is often referred to as Tier 1 instruction, and has been proven to support the needs of at least 85 percent of students.
Intervention or What happens if the first level of instruction is not effective for some students?
If data show that any student is not meeting learning targets of the Tier 1 instruction, the MTSS (team?) will convene and develop a plan to introduce supplemental intervention so a student will have opportunities for additional time and support to build skills, while continuing to learn and grow with the other students in the class. This comprehensive approach is referred to as Tier 2 instruction and is designed to meet individual needs of each student through increased time and frequency of skill-building interventions while the student continues to be exposed to grade level curriculum in the classroom. It is important to note that Tier 2 instruction is implemented in addition to, never in place of Tier 1 instruction. These interventions and the student’s response are monitored for progress for six to eight weeks, and then the team reconvenes to determine the next step.
If a student is not making adequate progress through Tier 2 instruction, the MTSS team will design a system of individual interventions with increased intensity to support student growth. This is referred to as Tier 3 instruction, which differs from Tier 2, because of the increased intensity, duration of time and individualized instruction. These interventions are closely monitored for six weeks; then the MTSS (team?) will reconvene to evaluate the effectiveness and next steps.
Enrichment or What do we do when they already know it?
Pre-assessments, formative instruction, student interest surveys, and other sources of data will invariably show that some students can reach the learning targets even before instruction. In Grandview, nearly 45 percent of our students are identified as accelerated and/or advanced in achievement or identified as Talented And Gifted. We offer 18 Advanced Placement Courses, in addition to College Credit Plus opportunities.
The MTSS framework is a critical component for planning and supporting the growth of this population. For these students, teachers provide opportunities to grow through enrichment or extension activities within Tier 1 instruction. Teachers use differentiation of instruction through workshop models, student interest, choices in the product and process as strategies employed to support enrichment opportunities within Tier 1.
As students demonstrate the need for more intensive enrichment we transition them to Tier 2. In Tier 2, the classroom teacher and gifted intervention specialist collaborate to design learning opportunities that meet the needs of each student.
When students show a readiness based on cognitive and subject specific universal screeners given at different points in their educational journey we move them into Tier 3. The support offered is different for each grade level. Examples of Tier 3 are Extended Learning Class (ELC), Early Entrance, Subject Acceleration, and Grade Level Acceleration.
Another option for meeting the academic needs of the exceptional student is acceleration. Candidates for acceleration should be students who perform at exceptionally high levels of accomplishment when compared to others of their age and experience and those whose unique needs cannot be met in the classroom with applied academic differentiation strategies.
Multiple factors are considered when evaluating a candidate for acceleration. A team approach is used to make the final decision.
The MTSS team meets regularly to discuss the needs and growth of all students. The tiers within the MTSS framework are not rigid. Students can and should move among levels as need dictates. Both the student who is receiving the intensive instruction needed to catch up and the student who is receiving enrichment opportunities are still part of the entire group receiving the quality, effective instruction in the classroom setting. Students might float among the levels as they need intervention, reach competency, or receive enrichment with a concept. Our entire staff is dedicated to making sure each child is learning what he or she needs to learn in the most effective way for each student.
In Grandview, we are unique, in that many times our MTSS teams are pondering how to stretch and enrich students. A recent example includes a student who achieved all 5s on Advanced Placement Exams without any instruction. The MTSS team brainstormed to secure additional course opportunities at The Ohio State University for the student to ensure the student was being challenged. In other words, these are good problems to have! Our small class sizes allow teachers to develop strong and meaningful relationships with our students. We use a variety common assessment to learn about our students’ abilities and monitor their progress. As a result, when a student shows a lack of growth, teachers can collaborate with the MTSS team to match the appropriate intervention to the meet child’s need and close the learning gap.
Update on Today's Professional Development (Posted 10-28-16)
By Dr. Jamie Lusher, Chief Academic Officer
On behalf of the Grandview Schools Administration and Teaching Staff, I would like to thank our community for providing our district with the opportunity to learn together this morning.
I have attached a PDF entitled Ed Camp Late Start Professional Development at the bottom of this page to provide information regarding the sessions that were offered. Our staff had the opportunity to present and select a broad range of innovative and relevant topics. Again, we thank you for the opportunity to learn together!
The Release of the 2015-16 Ohio State Report Card (Posted 9-22-16)
By Dr. Jamie Lusher, Chief Academic Officer
The 2015-16 Ohio State Report Card has been released and Grandview Heights Schools continues to be among the top school districts in the state. Our district, once again, has received the highest Performance Index Score in Franklin County. Additionally, we were 1 of only 4 districts in the entire state of Ohio to receive an A for the Early Literacy Component. For additional information regarding Grandview Heights Schools' Performance on the Ohio State Report Card, please visit http://education.ohio.gov/Topics/Data/Report-Card-Resources (Additionally, the State Report Card and a variety of resources to provide information have been embedded on right side of this screen.)
Clearly, we are proud of our ongoing accomplishment especially at a time when the state is constantly changing the way it evaluates performance. In fact, the state of Ohio has administered three different assessments in three years. Our teachers have worked tirelessly to integrate and articulate our curriculum to ensure that students receive engaging opportunities to learn and explore. Our students have worked hard to develop their skills to comparatively analyze and evaluate multiple pieces of text. We are using the new State Report Card data to evaluate and understand root cause analysis in regard to areas for growth and celebrations.
Testing, meeting standards, and remaining accountable to our residents is important, however, these tests are only one measure of what defines our success. We want our learners to be agile, equipped with the skills to demonstrate their learning in a broad range of contexts and purposes. High-stakes tests are simply a part of their learning landscape and just one example of the many ways they will be asked to “show what they know.” Our goal is to empower our learners to confidently take these assessments, knowing that it is but one test on a given day and trying your best is always enough! Further, these online assessments mirror the format of high stakes tests that they will encounter in the future (e.g. ACT, SAT, LSAT, MCAT, GRE, GMAT, etc).
We want to facilitate our students to develop strategies to approach any learning task with experiential knowledge and multiple ways to problem-solve. We accomplish these feats by ensuring our students have access to a continuum of dynamic learning experiences. Our students are highly engaged in athletics, the arts, extracurricular clubs, and service to the community. Our students often participate in multiple activities and, because we are small, our teachers, coaches, and advisors work together to ensure that our students really can do it all. In the fall, more than half of our high school students are on the field during football games as athletes or members of the marching band. Over the course of a school year, more than 40% of our students participate in athletics and the performing arts simultaneously. This level of student engagement is unparalleled in most districts, and makes us truly special.
We know that the Grandview Heights Schools community has high expectations for our school district and our students. We do, too. Every day, our staff is rising to the challenge, and I can tell you, our students have never been more prepared for the future. We, too, appreciate and value the support of this great community. When working together, Grandview Heights Schools is truly a Small Place to Dream Big for each and every student.
Summer Update and Assessment Results (Posted 8-5-16)
By Dr. Jamie Lusher, Chief Academic Officer
This summer our teachers and administrators have been engaged in on-going professional learning in order to continue our mission to maximize and personalize every student’s learning in Grandview Heights Schools. Some examples of our K-12 efforts include: Advanced Placement Course Development (AP Government and Physics), Assessment Literacy Workshop, Development of K-12 Multi-Tiered System of Supports, Development of benchmarks and decision rules to support student growth K-12, Innovation/Inquiry Workshop, Advanced Placement Seminars in Physics & Calculus, Two Geometry Course Offerings to support differentiated math pathways for students, and Camp Invention was offered for the first time in Grandview Heights.
This week, our Grandview Heights Schools staff members are leading, collaborating, learning, and reflecting at the Innovative Learning Environments Symposium (www.ileohio.org). As a partner district, we are shaping the focus of professional learning to support innovation for all students. We can't wait to begin the new school year and look forward to seeing all of you at our "Back to School” events.
Assessment Results: Family Reports
Next week, schedule pick up begins for students at Edison Intermediate/Larson Middle School and Grandview Heights High School. In an effort to be integrated and efficient while you are picking up your child's schedule, you will also receive the Family Reports provided by the State of Ohio on the American Institutes for Research (AIR) Assessments. Any student (Grades 3-11) who took an online assessment during the 2015-2016 school year will have a student report included in their schedule packet.
Last year all public schools in the state of Ohio administered AIR Assessments in English Language Arts, Mathematics, Science, and Social Studies at various grades levels 3-12. Grandview Heights Schools administered these new assessments completely online. These test results are used as an accountability measure for schools and are reported out on the District Report Card which will be released in the coming weeks.
For additional information regarding the assessments and interpreting your child’s results, please visit the Ohio Department of Education Website at gov/testing. For more information on these assessments and to take sample assessments, please visit the Ohio Computer Based Assessment Portal at http://oh.portal.airast.org
Professional Development Supports Student Wellness (Posted 4-22-16)
By Dr. Jamie Lusher, Chief Academic Officer
The Grandview Heights Schools Staff would like to thank our community for the opportunity to collaborate together on Thursday, April 21. The late start provided our district staff (K-12) with the time to discuss and learn more about ensuring the safety and wellness of our students. Kellie Dillion, from The Ohio State University, presented the research and realities of bullying and cyber-bullying. This information will help us to continue to support and help students. The presentation and information presented has been included at the bottom of this page.
Dr. Lusher Shares Professional Learning Outcomes (Posted 2-4-16)
By Dr. Jamie Lusher, Chief Academic Officer
The Grandview Heights Schools Teaching and Administrative Staffs would like to earnestly thank our community for providing our district with the opportunity to collaborate and learn together this morning. The outcomes of our professional learning were actualized and we wanted to share the content with all of you.
Again, thank you for providing our staff with this time to learn and collaborate. We value your support so much and are very appreciative.
Report Card and Online Assessment Update (Posted 1-13-16)
By Dr. Jamie Lusher, Chief Academic Officer
I hope that each of you have enjoyed a fabulous start to 2016! Our students and staff have hit the ground running this week and are hard at work as we enter the third quarter of school.
Report cards will be sent home with students today in all grades (K-12). If you have any questions regarding grades, attendance, or standards based evidence, please do not hesitate to contact any of our staff members. We look forward to great conversation and collaboration!
Additionally, any student who took an online assessment during the 2014-2015 school year will have a student report included in their report card envelope. Last spring, all public schools in the state of Ohio administered new assessments in English Language Arts, Mathematics, Science and Social Studies at various grades levels K-12. These new assessments replaced the Ohio Achievement Assessments (OAA) in Grades 3-8 and Ohio Graduation Test (OGT) in Grade 10.
Grandview Heights Schools administered these new assessments completely online. These test results are used as an accountability measure for schools and are reported out on the District Report Card, set for release in the next few weeks. It is important to note that there were many concerns raised across the state regarding these assessments including: loss of instructional time, storage of student information/data, inconsistency of assessments modality (0nline, paper-pencil), length of assessments, alignment of assessments, two vendors for the assessments (AIR and PARCC), etc. In response, the state dropped PARCC testing.
In short we feel that it is important to pass along this information to parents, however, the true value of an assessment is to guide instruction and analyze student growth over time. Since these are one-time tests, there is little information that our teachers and staff can glean from the assessments administered last year for any meaningful analysis of student achievement or progress.
I have included links to resources that may be helpful as you attempt to interpret the student reports from AIR and PARCC as well as helpful attachments that are located at the end of this page.
In spring 2016, our students will be taking new and different online assessments in English Language Arts and Mathematics. These tests will be produced by AIR (American Institutes for Research), the same vendor responsible for producing the Science and Social Studies tests that were administered last school year. For more information on these assessments and to take sample assessments, please visit the Ohio Computer Based Assessment Portal at http://oh.portal.airast.org
For additional information regarding the assessments and interpreting your child’s results, please visit the Ohio Department of Education Website at www.education.gov/testing
We will continue to keep you informed as we learn more about the changes and updates regarding this year’s assessments and accountability measures. Again, I thank you very earnestly for your support, as we work together to focus on what really matters: Every child, every day! Our partnership has never been more important.
State Assessment Update 2015-16
This summer House Bill 64 was passed and as a result, there have been changes to the assessments required and implemented by
the Ohio Department of Education. Additionally, HB 64 has impacted the Ohio Teacher Evaluation System (OTES) and The Third
Grade Guarantee. Please see the following PDF files for information (scroll down to the bottom of the page):
Ohio State Assessment Update:
• Ohio will administer and use the same vendor (AIR) for English Language Arts, Math, Science, and Social Studies. The state of Ohio will no longer administer or use PARCC as a vendor for assessments (For Grades 3-12 see the attachment for specific information on tested grade levels and testing window).
• There will only be one testing window for yearlong courses. End of Course Assessments will be administered (Grades 3-12) during the April-May Testing Window (see attachment).
• High School Science students will take the Biology End of Course Assessment. Current 10th graders will not have to take this exam, as they took the Physical Science Exam last year. This change only impacts our current 9th grade students and below. Our current 9th graders will take the Biology Exam in 10th grade (See attachment).
• Third grade students will take a Reading Assessment in December and in April.
We will continue to update you with information and our leadership team will be offering opportunities to discuss in more detail each of these topics. As a district, we value the integrity of the whole child. We will continue to meet the compliance requirements set forth by the state assessments, but we will commit to ensuring that every student is honored for their uniqueness and supported academically, socially and emotionally. Academic Rigor in the 21st Century includes:
1) Critical Thinking and Problem Solving
2) Collaboration and Leadership
3) Agility and Adaptability
4) Initiative and Entrepreneurism
5) Effective Oral and Written Communication
6) Accessing and Analyzing Information
7) Curiosity and Imagination (Wagner, 2008)
Testing students in a summative manner does not allow our staff to build and develop these skills globally competitive 21st Century Skills with and for our students. While, we certainly hope our students will show what they know on these assessments, we fully recognize that our children our so very much more than test scores. If you have any questions or would like additional information, please do not hesitate to contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org
A Frequently Asked Question: Why Is My Teacher Absent Again?
Is this a question that you (a parent) and your child are asking? Chances are you may! Our teachers, principals and instructional coaches are immersed in on-going and sustained professional learning . They are working in vertical and horizontal teams to develop and cultivate curriculum in every content area spanning grades Kindergarten through Twelfth. This work is extremely important and the process is of great value to our students and staff. Our teams of teachers work collaboratively to deconstruct the New Learning Standards, create clear targets for learning & assessment and construct curriculum maps to support the implementation of formative instructional practices throughout our district. Essentially, we are building the foundation for future learning and continued growth.
The most critical step and the focus of our current and extant work is to develop clear objectives for student learning. A Learning Target (otherwise known as a Clear Objective for Learning) is an outcome statement that captures specifically what knowledge, reasoning, skills, products and/or dispositions earners should be able to exhibit following instruction (Teacher & Educational Development).
There are five different types of objectives for learning. Each type of learning target varies in rigor and creates a clear focus for assessment. These types of learning objectives are (Stiggins):
Knowledge: Focuses on what the learner knows and simply understands. This target is the most basic and used primarily when introducing a skill (e.g. I can identify all 26 uppercase letters in the alphabet) Knowledge Learning Objective Verbs: Define, identify, explain, label, list, locate, match, recall, state, tell, name, describe, paraphrase, sequence, categorize, classify, specify, choose, select.
Reasoning: Focuses on how the learner uses what they know to solve problems in novel situations or settings (e.g. I can analyze a piece of text and find 3 pieces of textual evidence to support my opinion) Reasoning Learning Objective Verbs: Interpret, analyze, compare, contrast, debate, conclude, formulate, generate, appraise, justify, defend, deduce, induce, infer, diagnose, differentiate, dissect, formulate, evaluate, transfer, connect, synthesize, draw conclusions, critique, prove, judge
Skill: Focuses on what the learner can do, demonstrate or perform (e.g. I can diagram the water cycle) Skill Learning Objective Verbs: Apply, compute, construct, demonstrate, draw, illustrate, diagram, operate, show, compose, design, reconstruct, convert, model, dramatize, conduct, perform, measure, investigate, collect, observe
Product: Focuses on the tangible (physical) evidence the learner produces or develops (e.g. I can create a model using geometric shapes) Product Learning Objective Verbs: Create, develop, design, generate, produce, lead, facilitate and execute, modify, erect, propose.
Disposition (Affective): Focuses on the affective domain of the student. Includes the attitudes, values, interests, interpersonal skills, self-concepts and motivation (e.g. I can identify and advocate for a solution to an environmental issue) Disposition (Affective) Verbs: Coordinate, engage, elaborate, describe, advocate, organize, formulate, differentiate, revise, justify.
As we work collaboratively and commit to our growth in this area, we will continue to provide as much insight into our process as possible. As parents, you are our most valuable partner and you were the first and most important teacher in your child’s life.
“Learning is the only thing the mind never exhausts, never fears and never regrets.” ~ Leonardo DaVinci
The learning process is complex and perpetual. Each and every one of us develops and grows in a way that is unique. Just as our DNA and fingerprints are “ours and ours alone, ” so too are the dynamic processes that are teaching, learning and assessing.
Currently in Grandview, our teachers and administrators are immersed in the development and alignment of curriculum and formative instructional practices in every content area and in every grade level spanning Kindergarten through 12th. This work is rigorous and requires an enormous about of planning, collaboration and time. However, when completed with integrity, the process results in exemplary and innovative opportunities for students.
The teaching and learning process is often aggregated into the following areas and can be conceptualized in the following essential questions:
· Instruction: What do students need to know?
· Pedagogy: How will students learn best?
· Assessment: How will we know what the students have learned?
As the scope and sequence of our professional work unfolds this year, we will be focusing on the most important practices that should be apart of our pedagogy (how we teach) while we are create and refine our curriculum (what we teach). Students are the heart and soul of this process. The assessment of student understanding and learning (what have the students learned) guide the instructional practices within the classroom. Formative instructional and assessment practices are the most critical features of classrooms that provide enriching and differentiated opportunities for ALL students.
The following formative instructional practices are essential and should be a matter of practice in every classroom for every child, every day: