NEw 2017-18 Rigby Requirements

Primary Meeting 4:00 PM September 18, 2017 @ CEA Office

The CEA Primary Director has scheduled a meeting for all Primary Teachers. It will be held at 4:00 PM September 18, 2017 at the CEA Office, 10011 N. Foothill Blvd, #107 Cupertino, CA 95014. The focus will be on changes to Rigby, although any Primary concerns and questions may be added to the agenda. CEA will provide an explanation of what has changed for Rigby and why those changes were made. Read further below for a background overview on Rigby changes. The Primary Director will bring any concerns and issues back to the CEA Executive Board and the CUSD Instruction Department to resolve. CEA will also provide a spreadsheet for teachers to track their hours spent testing to meet the new EAT requirements. CEA will use this data in our collaborative effort with CUSD to improve our Language Arts EAT program, while minimizing the impact on teacher work conditions. The spreadsheet will be added as a link on this page soon.

Release Days for K-3 teachers for Early Assessments MOU

The MOU for 2016-17 that provided release days for primary teachers was continued and updated. The new language provides an additional day for 1st grade teachers (3 total), specifies that the additional (4th) day for Kindergarten teachers is for pre-assessment of incoming students, and requires teachers to assess students who need to be tested each trimester (which is based on variety of parameters for each grade level) to Instructional Level instead of to benchmarks as previously required.

Background Information on the Changes to Rigby Requirements

In 2015-16, CEA was pleased when Superintendent Wendy Gudalewicz sent an email to all elementary teachers stating she would provide 2 release days to 1-3 grade teachers in 2016-17 (K, TK, and K-1 teachers contractually already had 3) to help them complete Rigby assessments. CEA believed it was a measure of her beginning to understand the increased workload and burden that elementary teachers were under, and offering a way to help alleviate it. However, in mid-June 2016, CEA found out that CUSD had significantly changed Rigby assessments, requiring teachers to test all students three times a year to Instructional level instead of the previously required benchmark levels. This new requirement would significantly change the time required to complete Rigby testing, and therefore negatively impact teacher work conditions.

CEA had never been asked for input during the planning process or informed prior to the CUSD decision. The district had already informed all elementary principals of the new requirements and trained them on Rigby and Instructional level. When CEA discovered the district's new EAT requirements, CEA immediately informed CUSD that such a change would significantly impact the working conditions of elementary teachers. We requested to work together with the district to find a compromise that would move us toward having instructional level reading data for all students, but over a reasonable period of time, and to find a less time intensive assessment program.

During the summer and fall of 2016, CEA worked with the Instruction Department and we were able to keep the release days, with a non-required option to test to instructional level, and for Kindergarten teachers to test to Level 6, while continuing to base 4-5 grades Rigby assessments on students' CAASP results, EL level, and new students or those below benchmark. We agreed to continue working together over time to move all reading level assessments to instructional level.

When it was time to consider renewing the Release Days MOU for 2017-18, CUSD required the inclusion of the term "testing to instructional level" if they were going to continue to provide the release days. They did not offer any increase in the number of release days to be provided. CEA worked with the district to find a reasonable compromise as teachers continue to be required to use the time intensive Rigby materials. Both sides agreed to CUSD piloting a digital online program at 2 schools this year. CUSD will continue to work with CEA to move toward a district-wide digital reading assessment platform that does not require all assessing to be one-on-one. CUSD and CEA agreed to keep previous 4-5 grade testing requirements, and to continue to limit the 2nd test window for grades 1-3 to only those students not meeting benchmark. CUSD emailed these new 2017-18 Rigby Guidelines to all elementary teachers on August 7. CUSD has since emailed all elementary teachers the grade level specific EAT guidelines as well links to new videos the Instruction Department created demonstrating how to assess with Rigby. All EAT Guideline documents and videos will be available on the CUSD Instruction website at that time.

Current Rigby Requirements and Future Plans: What You Need to Know

  1. CUSD is piloting an online reading assessment program this year, 2017-18, at 2 elementary schools. CUSD and CEA hope to implement a district-wide online assessment system as soon as feasible.
  2. All required EAT data must be input into Synergy by each test window deadline.
  3. 1st grade teachers now have a total of 3 release days for the school year. (Previously only had 2 days)
  4. Primary 1-3 teachers must test to each of students' instructional level by the first test window October 27, and again for the final May 7 test window. Only students not meeting the mid year benchmark, and EL students, need to be tested to Instructional for the February 2 test window.
  5. K teachers must test to each student's Instructional Level by the second test window February 2, and again for the final May 7 test window.
  6. The additional release day for K teachers (contractually they are provided with 3 already), is only to be used for pre-assessment of incoming kinder students. K teachers may alternatively choose to be paid at an adjunct duty rate instead of taking a release day. Please read the MOU for further explanation.
  7. 4-5 teachers must only test students that either scored below the previous grade's ending benchmark, scored Standard Not Met on CAASP, or are new to the district and do not have any reading level or CAASP data available.
  8. All release days must meet the requirements listed in the EAT Guide:
  • requested in advance
  • not on sub blackout days
  • prior principal approval
  • must be provided to the school secretary who will submit the request

Points CEA and CUSD Agree on for Early Language Arts Assessments

  • Testing reading levels to a student’s instructional level is best practice.
  • Data derived should be entered into a district wide digital format that allows analysis and shows student progress through grades.
  • Data from assessments should be used to inform instruction.
  • Testing to instructional ensures early intervention, maximizes progress for grade level readers, and provides enrichment and growth for advanced readers.
  • Feasibility of teachers assessing all their students to Instructional level multiple times during a school year using the current Rigby testing process is constrained by the length of time an assessment takes and the one-on-one nature of the assessment.
  • Moving to a digital online reading level assessment program would alleviate some of the time intensiveness and constraints of the current Rigby system.
  • CUSD has 2 schools piloting a digital online program in 2017-18 and will continue to work with CEA to move toward a district-wide digital reading level assessment program.