Curriculum Department Updates
State Assessment Updates
Important Reminders for the 2021 PSSA Administration
- PDE has extended the administration window to allow testing through September 30, 2021. Schools can administer and return PSSA tests anytime during the initial and extended test window: April 19, 2021 – September 30, 2021.
- Schools can communicate their intention to administer the tests after the previously scheduled May 28 end-date in the DRC INSIGHT Portal’s Testing Dates collection system. Schools that intend to complete all testing after May 28 are asked to place a ‘2’ in the May 28th, PM, field and leave all other boxes blank.
- All PSSA materials will be delivered as scheduled for the spring testing window, regardless of a district’s testing plans. Assessment material will arrive by March 29, 2021, and each LEA is responsible for securely storing the materials until the tests will be administered. Materials cannot be returned to DRC for re-shipment on a later date.
- LEAs that intend to administer the tests in September must make arrangements to account for student mobility within the district. LEAs should plan to make the grade-specific test materials available at the schools where the students will be enrolled in 2021-22 (e.g., 8th-grade materials may need to move to the high school to allow the 2021-22 freshmen to participate in the 2021 Grade 8 assessments).
Other important notes on state testing...
- A single test module(Keystone) or section (PSSA) cannot be split up among multiple days for a given set of students. You may however, administrator a module/section to different sets of students on different days, necessitated by physical distancing requirements. For example (two grade three homerooms might complete section 1-2 on Tuesday followed by two additional grade three homerooms on Thursday.)
- If you are testing in the spring AND in the fall, you may send tests back in the spring, and then again in the fall. You do not have to wait to send all tests back at one time.
- Still waiting on 95% participation rate waiver to be approved from USDE
- An official FAQ guidance document is forthcoming at the beginning of the week
Act 35 Toolkit and Civics Assessment
Act 35 Citizenship Knowledge Test: Beginning with the 2020-21 school year, eachschool must administer at least once to students in grades 7-12, a locally developed assessment of US history, government and civics. Each school entity shall determine the form of the assessment and the manner in which the assessment shall be administered. A student with an IEP shall not be required to take the assessment if the provisions of the student’s IEP indicate otherwise. May use the US Citizenship and Immigration Services test to meet the requirements.
Reporting will likely take place in the FRCPP (new portal) under “reporting” or state required reports this year and at the conclusion of every second year hereafter.
Reporting will include the type of assessment administered, the total number of students who took the assessment, the total number who attained a passing grade, the grade level(s) in which the assessment was given, and the course(s) in which the assessment was administered.
The Phase 2 Comprehensive Planning deadline has been extended to November 30, 2021. The Phase 3 Comprehensive Planning deadline has been extended to March 30, 2022. You may submit the plan at any point prior to this date as well.
Help Guides for the Prepare for Planning Phase
- Educational Values
- Meaningful Local Engagement Under ESSA
- Phase 2 Planning Timeline
- Phase 3 Planning Timeline
Comprehensive Planning Tip Jar
Special Education Plans
All Special Education Plans are to be submitted in the FRCPP.
Phase 1 - Due May 1, 2022
Phase 2 - Due May 1, 2023
Phase 3 - Due March 1, 2022 *Extension granted by PDE*
A mandatory pre-recorded webinar will be released on April 1, 2021, for all school districts identified in Phase 3. It can be accessed by clicking here. The purpose of the webinar is to train school districts on the special education plan requirements and the new FRCPP system.
For questions about the Special Education Plan process or transition to the Future Ready Comprehensive Planning Portal, please do not hesitate to contact your assigned Special Education Advisor or Amy Deluca, Division Chief, at email@example.com.
Act 45 Opportunity: Advancing Environmental Literacy
The Advancing Environmental Literacy Leadership Academy is a blended (live-virtual sessions,
and online learning) 34-hour program that has been thoughtfully and purposefully designed to
build the capacity of district and school leaders in increasing environmental literacy within their
organization through the development of a systematic environmental literacy plan.
The major ideas/objectives of this course align to theories of change that suggest that
educational leaders must identify their ultimate vision and desired outcomes and develop a
strategic plan containing the activities and supports to achieve the ultimate goal. Through this
course, educational leaders will be guided through the strategic planning process by identifying
a guiding coalition of various stakeholders to support the work, development of a vision for
environmental literacy, articulate the goals, strategies, and activities to achieve their vision, and
identify funding and community assets to sustain their environmental literacy plans.
For more information, click here.
Your IU Professional Development Programming
Google Basics: Sheets, Sites, Gmail/Calendar, Meet, and YouTube (NEW)
Participants in this learning experience will learn how to operate the tools and features in Google Sheets to create spreadsheets, sort and analyze data collection, share the spreadsheet for collaboration purposes, and consider how to use this application in their classroom. Learners will also create a Google Site, learn how to navigate the features in a Site, and embed materials into a Site. The Gmail/Calendar portion of the learning experience will expose participants to organizational features in these applications to enhance workflow and collaboration. An introduction to Google Meet and some practical suggestions for successful synchronous lessons and meetings are included in this training, followed and concluded by a useful section on creating channels, playlists, and using YouTube in a classroom. For more information, click here.
Google Certified Educator Level 1 Bootcamp (NEW)
The curriculum department at ARIN Intermediate Unit has developed a two and a half day, 18 hour bootcamp on the basics of using all of the various Google applications tested on the Google Certified Educator Level 1 exam. The training is in an asynchronous, self-paced format in Google Classroom. This bootcamp does not guarantee a passing score on the Google Certified Educator Level 1 exam, but we are confident that participants will be very well prepared for a successful experience. For information, click here.
Chronic Absenteeism (NEW)
Equity: The Beginnings of Equitable Education Practices (NEW)
This introductory session is a great precursor to the curriculum department's Achievement Mindset asynchronous training session. For more information, contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
Join Us for Remake Learning Days!
May 6-16, 2021
Remake Learning Days (RLD)
An innovative learning festival for families and youth. Northwestern PA is one of 17 regions involved across the country. These hands-on and engaging events are designed for kids of all ages at libraries, schools, tech centers, museums, play spaces, community centers, and more.
We have 50+ events on the Northwestern PA Remake Learning Days calendar!
- There are also over 400 virtual events across the country.
- Don't forget -- Professional Development events for Educators, too!
There's still time to participate as an Event Host!
Remake Learning Days would not be a success without event hosts like you. YOU can be a part of this national festival. It can be as simple as an already planned in-class event/project. I know there are some great things happening in our schools - let's highlight Northwestern PA through the Remake Learning Days festival!
Submit Your Event:
Submit your event to www.remakelearningdays.org to be part of this exciting community festival.