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Vermont Standards Based Learning Symposium 2017
Fri, March 24, 2017, 8:00 AM – 3:00 PM EDT
Once again, please join various experts, Vermont school and district personnel, and other guests for a day of thoughtful conversation about standards-based and proficiency based teaching and learning. Our overall focus this year will be on assessment within these two systems of learning. Sponsored by JumpRope, St. Michael's College, and VT ASCD , our day will start at 7:45 am with check in and end at 3:00 pm. Lunch is included in your ticket price, as well as a continental breakfast. Our keynote this year is Mr. Damian Cooper. Damian is an independent education consultant from Ontario who specializes in helping schools and school districts improve their instructional and assessment skills. Damian's work is guided by two simple principles:
Assessment must be good for students. That means it must promote learning, and be fair, equitable, and sensitive to individual needs.
Assessment must be manageable and efficient for teachers. That means that it must not be all-consuming in terms of teachers' time and energy. And it must involve a reasonable number of well-designed, high-quality tools.
The following are descriptions of the breakout sessions offered after Damian's keynote. Panticipates are asked to choose their top 3 preferences and we will do our best to schedule particpants' accordingly for a morning and afternoon session. We will gather back together at the Dion Center from 2:45- 3:00 pm to close out the day.
Exploring the "VOCAL" Approach Further-Damian Cooper
Join Damian as he delves deeper into the questions that teachers typically raise when considering assessment through observation of performance and conversation. These include: Isn’t observation and conversation more subjective than written assessment? What does observation and conversation look like in subjects like math and science? How do I involve students in these kinds of assessment? How do I find the time to observe and talk to all my students? How do I convince parents to accept assessment based on observation and conversation? Explore answers to these, as well as your own questions that arose as you listened to the keynote address
The Road to Proficiency-Phil Grant and Valerie Sullivan
The road to proficiency is not a straightforward highway with a clear map for where to go and how to get there. Fortunately, at Lamoille South Supervisory Union (Stowe High School and Peoples Academy) our road and map are taking shape. In our session, you'll hear from administration, teachers, and our curriculum director about how we've educated and motivated staff, changed policy and procedures, communicated with students and our public, changed and aligned curriculum, and designed proficiencies from the ground up. (We might even bring students!)'
Implementation not Implosion: Lessons learned and evolving decisions in the move to a Proficiency-based Learning System-Becky Brown
In its 4th year of a 6 year implementation plan, South Portland School Department has learned a great deal about the delicate and intricate nature of a move to proficiency-based learning. The lessons learned range from different types of professional development needs that have emerged around formative and summative assessment to the need for standardized grading guidelines. Making theory practical requires compromise and adjustment, and that has been the case for South Portland High School as it grapples with decisions about honors and recognition policies, co-curricular eligibility policies and the development of a proficiency-based transcript.
Grappling With The Concept of Proficiency-
Jacki McCarty & Brian Wagner, Harwood Union Middle School
In this workshop attendees will be active participants in a unit designed to inform students and parents about the meaning of proficiency, how the brain based principles (emotional triggers, mental models, targeted practice and rapid feedback) are used to reach proficiency, and designing learning scales to show progress in a skill area. Participants will create a mental model (a colorful mini-poster) that represents the process used for breaking down a proficiency skill to bring back to their classrooms
PBL at People’s Academy: Organizing High School Science for a Proficiency-Based System
Matt Yoskowitz & Lesley Schuster
Our presentation will share our approach to creating our PBGRs and course level targets and scales. Examples of learning targets and assessments that we are planning to use, or have practiced using in our classrooms will be shared with attendees. There will hopefully be time for participants to examine their own proficiency-based graduation requirements, work on their proficiency-based graduation requirements, or create learning targets and scales that are generated from their PBGRs. If possible, please bring your... Proficiency Based Graduation Requirements,Course-level learning targets and/or scales, Assessments that align to targets, Current products/performances, Mission related goals
Reimagining the PLP: A Systems Approach to Increasing Student Ownership-Bill Rich
If you’re looking for some time, inspiration, and guidance to help you reimagine how best to design and implement PLPs, then join us. We’ll begin with a brief, compelling, and specific view of the power and possibilities of taking a systemic approach to PLPs, identifying the principles and practices at play. You’ll then use these principles and practices to diagnose your current approach to PLPs, before identifying specific ideas and strategies that can improve the design and implementation of PLPs for your learners.
The Why, What, and How of Drafting & Using Learning Scales to Improve Learning-Bill Rich
After studying a range of well-designed & wisely used learning scales, participants will access and use resources to draft / refine learning scales for their learners, along with a plan for how to use them in ways that empower learners
Supporting Documents that Facilitate College Admission: A Working Session for SBL Schools-Mike Stefanowicz, Director of Admissions at St. Michael’s College
It is well established that the college admission community can make effective admission decisions when applicants come from schools that have implemented standards based learning. The key is crafting supporting documents like the school profile, letters of recommendation, transcript, and mid-year grade report that explain the assessment system and scales to admission officers. Mike will share some exemplar supporting documents and members of the Saint Michael’s College admission staff will be on hand to provide feedback to secondary school representatives as they craft their school’s profile and other supporting documents. Participants, please bring supporting documents used for the college application process with you to this session.
Making Data work for You-ADL John Pontius, Alda Norcross, Kathleen Legg, Beth Kinney
Learn to organize and efficiently use your classroom assessment data (such as quizzes and rubrics) with help from various Google Apps. Explore ways to utilize that information to guide instruction related to year-long practices and transferable skills. Please bring a mobile device with you to this session.
Customizing Software to Fit your PBL implementation and philosophy - Jesse Olsen
Jesse Olsen, founder and CEO of JumpRope, will discuss specific challenges and advantages to using software as a driver of your PBL implementation. This session will have a specific focus on the importance of customization and the ways that software can either stifle the philosophical and professional PBL work that is already happening, or to help take it to the next level. During this session, specific customization features built into JumpRope will be shown along with examples of proficiency reports that can result. There will also be built in time for Q&A.
Aligning Learning Targets and Assessments-Andrew Jones, Gabe Hamilton (Mt. Abe)
It is not enough to just develop standards-aligned learning targets. Classroom assessments must be closely linked with the delivered curriculum, which often means revising your assessment bank. Auditing your current assessments is an important step in moving towards a complete proficiency-based learning system. This session aims to provide teachers with strategies to develop a well aligned assessment system in their classroom. Discussions and activities will focus on creating formative and summative assessments that are valid representations of student achievement towards identified learning targets.
Transferable skill targets-Jessica Lemieux and Garrett MacCurtain
Many high school teachers at CVU have chosen to use transferable skill targets instead of content-based targets. Science and Humanities teachers will show how skill targets not only address content, but help ensure greater depth of understanding and personalization.
Connection between PBL and Personalization-Troy Paradee and Students
The Nexus Path at CVUHS is a flexible learning environment designed for students who want to learn in an individual, interest-based and personalized way. Nexus is designed to connect people to people, school to community, interests to study, past to future, skill to content, and students to their educational journey. The director of Nexus and a few students will share their practices, systems, structures, and experiences in this personalized, proficiency-based program.
SBL and Differentiation-Stan Williams and Emily Rinkema
Differentiation is the most effective and efficient method for improving student learning and engagement, but it’s not easy. Veteran HS teachers and instructional coaches will share how SBL makes the need for differentiation too obvious to ignore, and how it also makes it much much easier. Through concrete examples from both high school and middle school, Stan and Emily will show how to use the tools of SBL to facilitate differentiation, and why it’s so important that we do so.
Standards-driven, authentic Project-Based Learning-Maggie O’Toole and John Madden (with Students)
Middle Level educators will share a proficiency based unit they developed to help students understand proportionality. They worked with local experts to provide an authentic learning experience grounded in standards. Their first foray into project-based learning asked 7th grade students to work in design teams to create scale models and sketches to present to the school and community in preparation for the next stage of remodeling at the school. Presenters will share successes, challenges, and the structures they used to provide this powerful experience to students.
Special Ed in a Proficiency-Based System-Sarah Crum, Anna Couperthwait
How do we ensure that our students on plans are being supported and challenged? SBL has improved communication between classroom teachers and special educators, allowing the focus of meetings and conversations to be about skills rather than habits or homework completion. But as schools transition to better ways of learning and grading, we need to ensure that all of our students are being assessed fairly and accurately, and that we can report both achievement of class standards and growth towards individual goals. High School special educators and classroom teachers will share their own experiences, systems, structures, and ways to track and report achievement and growth.