Today's parents want to know that their children are not only being appropriately cared for, but that they are learning the skills and concepts to develop deep understandings around important topics and subjects. In order to ensure students are demonstrating positive academic outcomes, Newtown Public Schools must embrace...
- Consistency: A set of standards or learning expectations must be clear in order to foster consistency from school to school and classroom to classroom.
- Quality control and Accountability: Understanding what the expectations are for all learners - both the skills and concepts across subjects and grades - the likelihood of improving school quality, teaching effectiveness, and student performance will have a greater chance of success.
- Coherence: The alignment of curriculum and instruction within the school system is critically important. When the standards or expectations for student learning are strategically mapped out, a greater level of coherence will occur. This also helps to mitigate redundancy or repetition that often disengages learners. According to the Great Schools Partnership, "...creating a progression of instruction in which each lesson builds on previous lessons, moving students from simpler concepts to more complex and challenging concepts, from lower-level thinking to higher-level thinking, or from less-sophisticated skills to more-sophisticated skills" is fundamental to a quality education.
A collaborative team that contributes their expertise, including teachers, administrators, and support personnel, are necessary to ensure consistency, quality control, and coherency positively influence teaching and learning throughout the system. This takes great oversight - from the implementation of a viable curriculum to innovative and consistent instructional practices - so that all Newtown students receive a quality experience and are engaged in their learning.
Impacting student outcomes
The term "student outcomes" can have different meanings depending on the context in which it is used. For example, student outcomes can focus on in-house instructional assessments, standardized test scores, graduation rates, character attributes, social/emotional wellness, or from an educational perspective tied to students' preparedness for college, career, and society.
The purpose for strengthening the administrative team in Newtown, including the collaboration between an Assistant Superintendent and a Director of Teaching and Learning (pending budget approval), is to have a positive impact on the following student outcomes:
- graduation rates
- graduation requirements
- standardized test scores
- in-house assessments (formative and summative)
- social/emotional learning
Student outcomes are influenced by a system of caring, qualified, and experienced individuals who work diligently to ensure students are given access to a multitude of academic pathways and personalized learning experiences that inspire their passion, pique their interest, challenge their minds, and support them in achieving success.