Dear Parents of 5th graders through 12th graders:
Have teachers been sharing your child's NWEA (MAP) RIT score with you?
Are you wondering about how you can use that number to help your child consider future educational options?
Save those RIT scores from parent/teacher conferences this November and input them into this MAPPING THE ROAD TO COLLEGE tool.
The number one most important step that you can take to ensure your child is on the pathway to a successful future is to help your child build a literate foundation by READING to/with/around your child. Doctors and educational researchers agree, which is why your child likely received books during well-child checkups from infancy all the way to age five. Just like doctors, teachers diagnose and prescribe. You can ask your child's teacher what kind of books your child can read for practice. At school, teachers will take care of the instruction as they are highly skilled in their ability to drill into specific skills that fall under the very broad category that we call "reading," but at home, we just ask that you give your child lots of time and opportunities to practice. Not only will this support the skills and fluency that students are working on in the classroom, it will build their confidence as well! I will add that as a former high school English teacher, no age is too old to start this practice, so even if you are the parent of a high school student, this message is still very relevant.
We are proud to work with families in the RSU 13 community, and this partnership will ensure the success of our community's future,
Director of Curriculum, Assessment, and Instruction
K-5 Report Card Changes
In an effort to make the K-5 report card more student and parent-friendly, RSU 13 teachers worked together to develop a new report card for the 2018-2019 school year. Below are some tools that you will see this year, and in case you need a digital copy, click the links below:
Grade 6-12 Proficiency Based Q & A
There has been a lot of talk around proficiency based learning in the news this past year, so in an effort to clarify RSU 13's approach, here are some Q & As.
What is Proficiency Based Learning?
Proficiency Based Learning is an instructional approach that helps districts align what is being taught (the curriculum) to how it is being assessed and ensuring that appropriate instruction of key skills is provided on the way to that assessment. It is important that teachers keep track of specific skills that a student can do at each grade level. Instead of averaging a score in Math, teachers can drill down to a more specific score that pinpoints the specific math skills that a student can or cannot do under that much broader umbrella. This allows teachers to more accurately represent what a student is doing in each skill instead of a general score for the entire subject.
RSU 13’s Proficiency Based System
- allows teachers to keep track of specific student data to help students make growth.
- allows students to know their individual strengths and needs.
- allows parents and teachers to communicate about the strengths and needs of students in subject area skills.
Why is the law changing and why does it seem like people are against proficiency based education?
The law has been under scrutiny due to its language around the proficiency based diploma, not proficiency based learning. There was not enough flexibility in the law to ensure that all students have equitable access to a diploma, which is one of the biggest red flags of the current language. Another issue was the pressure and timeline that schools are under to abide by the law, and with a lack of state supported resources, this has been a struggle for many districts. Please take a moment to read the governor's letter regarding this change HERE. The Maine Department of Education has put out a statement supporting the governor's letter.
Why are we using a 1-4 grading system?
Grades K-8 use a 1-4 system of grading. The scores are intended to align to scoring language (rubrics) that help directly report out on a student's ability in key skills. We call these key skills "Performance Indicators" because they indicate how a student is doing in specific areas. The "Performance Indicators" feed into the graduation standards, which are tracked once a student enters high school so that by the time a student has worked through a series of performance indicators in each content area (Math, Science, Art, etc.) they will have met the standards in those content areas.
In grades 9-12, the same 1-4 system of grading is in place, but in addition, students earn a traditional grade (on a 100 point scale) for an overall course. The 1-4 grade mimics the approach outlined above for grades K-8 to ensure that students are obtaining key skills, and the 100 point score for a course also shows up on a student's transcript to provide colleges additional information. In addition, high school offers several courses that function beyond the Maine Learning Results standards (standards that are required by law regardless of whether the state requires proficiency based diplomas or not) such as AP courses, dual enrollment courses, and CTE courses.