Minutes for March 2, 2010

REGIONAL SCHOOL UNIT NO. 13

SCHOOL BOARD

CURRICULUM COMMITTEE MEETING MINUTES

March 2, 2010

 

Committee Members Present        :           S. Carleton, L. Andrews, G. Emery, P. Moran-Wotton,                                                             J. Sanborn

Other Board Members Present      :           R.A. Hohfeld

Staff Members Present                   :           N. Guyer, M.A. McLean, L. Schooley

Others Present                                 :           1 RSU 13 parent

Location                                             :           Superintendent’s Office – McLain Building

 

I.              Call to order:

 

This meeting was called to order by Sally Carleton, Curriculum Committee Chair, at 6:35 PM.

 

II.         Overview of Expeditionary Learning projects at the St. George School and Thomaston Grammar School.  M.A. McLean & L. Schooley:

           

           Principals Mary Alice McLean and Larry Schooley profiled the Outward Bound Expeditionary Learning (EL) projects currently being pursued in each of their schools. They explained that 2009-2010 is the first year of full implementation for both schools following an exploratory experience in 2007-2008, and partial implementation in 2008-2009.  The two years preceding this full implementation allowed time for the faculties of both school to coalesce in a collective commitment to adopt the EL model and pursue the associated training as the core of continuing professional development. The St. George School has also taken the opportunity to extend EL participation to the elementary level so that grades K – 5 are also included in learning expeditions.

 

            While participation in regional and national EL conferences is a component of the professional development protocol, the bulk of training occurs on-site, within each school. Approximately 18 days of on-site services will be accomplished this year so that training is embedded in day-to-day practice, directly connected to on-going instruction, and sustained over a period of time with the same service provider. 

 

            Principals noted that they both feel that EL has contributed significantly to delivering highly relevant professional development that is in turn - improving student engagement and learning outcomes. Pre and post data will also be utilized to monitor teachers’ continuing commitment and over-all assessment of this effort as it moves forward.

 

            Curriculum Committee members inquired as to the cost of providing this training on an on-going basis.  For 2009-2010 both schools committed to fully utilizing their school-based resources for EL in lieu of other considerations, and Title IIA NCLB grant funds were also dedicated. It was explained that continued funding at this level will be a challenge in light of present and anticipated funding constraints, but every effort will be made to sustain a level of funding that allows this important work to continue.  It is also expected that as each school gains more experience, the need for on-going direct service from EL will decrease over time while the capacity for RSU faculty members to support each other in this work will increase.  

             

III.        Review and discussion of assessment results and orientation to the New England Common Assessment Program. N. Guyer

           

            Neal Guyer profiled the major differences between the New England Common Assessment Program (NECAP) that was taken by students in grades 3-8 for the first time in October of 2009 – and the Maine Educational Assessment (MEA - historically given in the spring of the year for grades 3-8) which will no longer be utilized within the State.

 

 

           

 

            Committee members were also provided with two reports relative to the NECAP.  The first was the MEA, NECAP, & MHSA (Maine High School Assessment) Profile – Four Year Average By School & Grade. This report chronicles four years of historical performance data for each school comparing performance for students meeting or exceeding standards within all RSU schools as compared to the State average for the same performance criteria. The second distributed report was the RSU 13 NECAP Study – Fall 2009. This report provided a more detailed analysis of all performance areas by grade and by school, and additionally profiled gender-based patterns of performance by grade. Committee members were reminded that while the over-all NECAP outcomes were positive, the district has yet to be informed regarding determinations of Adequate Yearly Progress which also takes into account performance within specific subgroups such as special education students or students who are determined to be economically disadvantaged. 

 

            The final set of assessment data shared with the committee included an extension of the district-wide writing assessment that was conducted in the fall of 2009.  This supplement to the original report profiled the gender-based performance patterns evident within this data.  This same data will be collected in the spring of 2010 so that pre and post comparisons can be made.

 

            It was explained that work is ongoing to establish a venue on the RSU 13 Website were all of these reports will be assessable on a continuing basis.  It is intended that this site will be maintained and updated as new assessment data becomes available.  Additionally, each school will be posting its own assessment profile in accordance with NCLB requirements during the spring of 2010.

           

IV.       Date, time, and location of the next meeting:

 

            The RSU 13 Curriculum Committee will meet again on Tuesday, April 6, 2010, at 6:30 PM.

            This meeting will be held at the Superintendent’s Office.

 

V.        Other/Adjourn.

 

            This meeting was adjourned by Sally Carleton at approximately 7:55 PM.