A number of surveys and in-person meetings around standards-based learning have happened this school year (2017-18) with students, teachers and parents. A variety of work has been happening all year, and the result of it will be evident this coming fall.
Next school year, expect the following action steps to be completed:
  • Most relevant for parents/guardians are technical improvements to Empower. The student interface will be revamped, and a feature added to give quicker access to assignment feedback and grades. Overall, these adjustments will create a more user-friendly experience.
  • High school principals will work with teachers more closely on the implementation phases for standards-based learning. Some of the teaching and assessment practices required for standards-based learning are different from the way some teachers were trained originally. They need more time to introduce practices in their classrooms that support personalized learning and standards-based learning. This will slow down implementation of Empower at the high school level.
  • At the elementary and middle level, however, more teachers will be grading in Empower. District staff have worked with those teachers to ensure Power Standards and learning targets are refreshed and ready for the 18-19 school year.
  • An internal committee has been developed to create more guidance and consistency in assessment practices. District staff also are reviewing the current grading scale in Empower, considering options that would give teachers and students more flexibility.
  • The professional learning and training for standards-based learning & Empower has been revamped. There is more emphasis on specific teaching and assessment practices and on clearer communication for staff, students and families.

Additional information is available at www.district112.org/standards.