Superintendent's Report for April, 2013
Goal: Long Range Facilities Plan and Vision for CRMS
The Facilities Committee has reviewed the RFP’s for the study of the CRMS renovation and identified several Architectural firms to be interviewed. The members of the interview committee will be recommended to the Board for appointment at the May meeting, and will include two community representatives. The process for interviews, including specific questions and a rating system have been developed. Interviews will be conducted over the next few days. I attended the Camden Select Board meeting this week and informed them of the goal to have a long-range plan for CRMS. I discussed how the budget the Board approved was developed to include the funds for bringing this goal to fruition by hiring a firm to assist the school and wider community to identify and consider the options for renovation of the building. My reports in the budget report and town reports also provide additional information for the wider community.
Goal: Improve technology:
The options for devices for the Maine Laptop Initiative Program were released this week. Unlike past years, schools will have some choice about which device to select. Administrators are in the process of reviewing the options with staff, the technology committee, and the Board. Additional information has come out just this week that will help to inform the recommendation. This decision requires a great deal of discussion and proves to be challenging as we are operating in a changing scenario under short time constraints. Regardless of the device, it is clear that all staff need to be involved in the training and work necessary to fully utilize technology as a tool for learning.
The Technology Plan, which was developed by a subcommittee of the Technology Committee, is ready for Board review at the June meeting. This plan is a requirement to be in compliance with School Approval and NCLB. A more comprehensive vision for technology and a plan for professional development are being developed.
Goal: Standards Based Education:
I have included again the following definition of standards based education:
Standards based education starts with a clear articulation of what all students need to learn in order to graduate with the skills they need for success in college, careers and civic life. Students progress through the standards at an individualized pace based on their learning needs.
Teachers make decisions about:
- What to teach, in the context of the curriculum, by assessing where students are relative to the standard
- What the student needs to learn at any given point in time to make progress toward the attainment of the standard
Students will have opportunities to make decisions about:
- How they can demonstrate what they have learned
- How they can take increased responsibility for their own learning
The school makes decisions about:
- How resources, including time, can be allocated to support all students in achieving the standards
- How they will be accountable to parents and the community by reporting the level of success of students in attainment of the standards
The following information is from the Department of Education, and explains where we locate standards for education. Standards define what students are expected to know and be able to do at each level of education in order to, ultimately, be prepared for the rigors of college, careers and civic life.
Maine law outlines a specific set of standards for each of the eight subject areas defined in state statute. Maine is currently in transition with standards in some subject areas, as schools work to fully implement the Common Core State Standards for English language arts and mathematics in time for the 2012-13 school year.
Eight Subject Areas
Maine statute requires that schools provide instruction in eight content areas: Career and Education Development, English Language Arts, Health Education and Physical Education, Mathematics, Science and Technology, Social Studies, Visual and Performing Arts and World Languages.
The standards for those eight content areas are included in the Maine Learning Results. For math and English language arts, Maine has incorporated the Common Core State Standards -- shared by 45 states -- into its Learning Results. In science, Maine is one of 26 states participating in the development of Next Generation Science Standards.
- Common Core State Standards. Maine is one of 45 states to adopt these internationally benchmarked expectations for student learning in math and English language arts. Maine fully adopted the Common Core standards in April 2011, and the state's schools are working to fully implement them in time for the 2012-13 school year.
- Maine Learning Results. Initially adopted in 1997 and revised in 2007, the Maine Learning Results outline what students should know and be able to do in all eight subject areas defined by Maine statute. Starting in the 2012-13 academic year, the Maine Learning Results will incorporate the Common Core State Standards for math and English language arts.
- Next Generation Science Standards. Maine is one of 26 states leading the charge to develop shared standards for science learning that focus more on inquiry and investigation than fact memorization.
Career & Technical Education
Career & Technical Education Industry-Related Standards. Maine's career and technical educators use the skills in demand by industry as the basis for determining what's expected of students studying career paths ranging from automobile collision to horticulture to welding.
Both CRES and CRMS have Art and Science Steering Committees that are leading the implementation of the common instructional framework that has been adopted. Both schools have been involved in a yearlong study to more fully understand all of the components that are involved in teaching and the research base that supports specific practices. Teachers have been involved in “instructional rounds”, when a small group of teachers observes a teacher during instruction to identify practices that would be beneficial to them in their own classrooms. A number of teachers attended a conference recently that was presented by Debra Pickering, a leading national author and researcher who works with Robert Marzano. The Steering Committee in each school will make recommendations for “next steps” that will bring this system of instructional practice into fuller use next year.