Parent information

The Oxford Hills School District

232 Main Street, Suite 2 South Paris, ME 04281

Phone (207) 743-8972 fax (207) 743-2878 www.msad17.org

Jan Neureuther, Director of Special Services Catherine Coffey, Business Manager Heather Manchester, Director of Curriculum

M.S.A.D. #17

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Richard Colpitts, Superintendent of Schools Dr. Patrick Hartnett, Assistant Superintendent

Harrison * Hebron * Norway * Otisfield * Oxford * Paris * Waterford * West Paris

October, 2019

Dear Parents/Guardians/Caregivers,

It is hard to believe that it is October already! It seems like just yesterday we were welcoming our students back into our buildings with open arms after the long, sunny summer.

I am writing to you to share some information about what we are working on with our K-6 staff this year. As a district, we are increasing our professional development as well as feedback to families on the topic of grading in our elementary schools.

Last year, during our workshop days and early release time, all of our teachers collaborated to write the criteria of what we would expect students to demonstrate their learning for each standard at each grade level in ELA and Math. This work was incredibly important for our teachers, as it truly helped them understand the rigor level of the standards and what it means to meet them.

This year, we have the opportunity to use the scoring criteria to give students feedback on their work and to use it to provide feedback to parents both at conferences and on the trimester reports that are sent home. We are also working with our teachers to use an electronic grade book to track students' progress over time. We are supporting our teachers with monthly grade- level meetings at which they have opportunities to look at student work and to think carefully about how they determine what students know and in which areas the students need more practice.

Our administrative team, and the teachers that serve on our Curriculum Coordinating Council (CCC), are excited about the work that we are doing with our teachers on behalf of students. About two years ago, our district determined that the primary purpose of our grading system is to accurately assess and clearly communicate learning progress, academic achievement, and habits of work to students, families, and others in order to foster growth and guide future learning for all students. We feel that our work over the last year has put us well on our way to meeting this vision statement. Our goal is truly to support the growth of all our students.

So, with that in mind, trimester reports are really progress reports: snapshots of your child’s performance at a moment in time.

Some standards are easily mastered in one unit; other

standards take more time and students get several opportunities to learn them. It is important

for everyone to know that each trimester we assess the standards based on students' current

levels of understanding. Therefore, we would expect to see many students who are actually on

target to reach a standard by the end of the year receiving a 2 (2 = progressing towards meeting

the standard) on the first and second trimester reports.

Aude Suscipere Ausum “Dare to Accept the Challenge” The Oxford Hills School District

l Page 2 October 16, 2019

Our K-6 Grading Guide for Parents (http://bit.ly/2AZuQBC) provides more details regarding how your child is assessed. This guide has been developed over time by teachers and administrators and is designed to support consistent practices in the district. Here is a snippet from the guide that describes our grades.






Standard

Emerging

Developing

Proficient

Distinguished

 

1

2

3

4

Performance Indicator from the Maine Learning Results

Student work is beginning to demonstrate basic understanding of the grade level standard.

Student work is progressing towards meeting the grade level standard.

Student work demonstrates evidence of meeting the grade level standard.

Student work shows independence and consistent performance above the complexity level of the grade level standard.

This is where we need your continued support. Our hope is that our upcoming conferences are a time for you to have a dialogue with your child’s teacher about the progress he or she is making. Your child’s teacher will share your child’s strengths and challenges. We hope that, as a team (you, your child, and your child’s teacher), we can all support growth in learning this year.

Sincerely,

Heather Manchester
On behalf of the Curriculum Coordinating Council