Beginning next school year, educators hope to get younger children more involved in their own assessments.
The process means that the district will be putting an end to the children’s “best work” portfolio, said Assistant Superintendent Cathy MacLeod.
Speaking to school committee members Thursday night, MacLeod said that educators have agreed to combine portfolios of students in grades K – 5, which had previously been separated into best work and assessment samples.
New assessments will begin the first day of school next year, and all “best work” student portfolios, for students in grades K – 5, have been sent home.
MacLeod said educators will encourage students to decide what they’d like to include in their portfolios, but they want them to include sample work in their portfolios that do not solely reflect their best efforts. The students then will be instructed to compare their work with other, more advanced, samples.
“We want kids to select the pieces of work and then critique their own work, against a sample, and know what things they need to do as a learner to approve their learning,” she said.
The district is also working on more consistency with assessments, so that all students are assessed in the same way, regardless of their grade level.
In other school committee news:
- French fries will be offered as a side order next year, for $1.50. The district offered them only as part of a cafeteria lunch last year, in order to discourage students from eating just French Fries. However, the fries (which are actually baked, according to School Superintendent Michael Green) will once again be offered a la carte, but students must also purchase them with another cafeteria item (or eat them with a lunch brought from home).
- The school committee approved an advanced learning policy. The changes will affect advanced elementary students, who will be identified and monitored through multiple data sources. Those students will be given targeted instruction and enrichment activities.
- has been posted. The district has changed its spring early release/parent conference days, for grades K-5, to the end of the March, so they are not as close to the April school vacation.
- The school committee accepted the resignation of Dianne Monnin, a Special Education teacher, who will be retiring.
- The school committee approved an unpaid leave of absence for Frank Rich, a sixth grade teacher, for one year, who is exploring a career change to become an administrator.