FRANK LEDESMA ELEMENTARY SCHOOL
"Learn Like a Champion" Oct. 19-23, 2020
2nd Grade Supplies Distribution Donated by The Rotary Club!
LCAP GOAL 1 and 2 - Student Council Members Show their Leadership and Public Speaking Skills
LCAP Goals 1, 2 & 3 Virtual Student Council Announcements
Happy Boss's Day
LCAP GOAL 2 Proficiency for ALL - Grading During the Pandemic Conversation
In the teacher staff meeting on October 13th we had an in-depth conversation about virtual learning, grading, and report cards. Each week we continue the conversation up until parent conferences in November. The topics include essential standards, common formative assessments, creating assessment capable learners, grading, and report cards. The following article from the September 2020 edition of Educational Leadership helps continue our thinking and discussion on the topic of grading.
In the following dialogue, two leading advocates of grading reform, Joe Feldman and Douglas Reeves, consider how grading practices and policies could be influenced by the ongoing pandemic and the widespread school closures last spring. While the two experts agree that now is the time to look hard at grading practices that may be broken, the two do not agree on everything. See their conversation and notice a few references that are very similar to Solution Tree and Essential Standards:
Q: What major grading issues are schools facing as the new school year begins?
Joe Feldman: Every fall, students enter classes with a range of prior knowledge and educational experiences, but this year, the spectrum may be wider than we've ever seen. Last spring, students with more resources and supports were more insulated from the effects of the pandemic, and better able to meaningfully participate in school. Other students—those who had insufficient technology access, who had home responsibilities like caring for younger siblings, or who felt the overwhelming stress of social isolation or a family member losing their job or becoming sick—had their learning essentially placed "on hold."
We'll need to be more focused on essential content, more explicit about what it takes to earn specific grades, more responsive and strategic with our supports, and more expansive about how and when students can demonstrate what they know.
Douglas Reeves: We'll need to select what's most crucial to teach now. Because many students missed three months of school, with only a fraction of the missing learning replaced by online classes, most teachers face the challenge of addressing 12 months of curriculum in a 9-month school year. And that's for students who only required one year of learning in a school year, since they were basically on track; in some schools, students were a year or more behind before the COVID-19 pandemic. The impact of school closings in the spring of 2020 will range from 30 percent in reading and math to the loss of a full year of learning. Teachers can't address 24–36 months of curriculum in nine months.
Now's the time to finally face the reality that not every academic standard is equal. Schools need a systematic way of establishing priorities for what students need to learn. My own work on "power standards" suggests a remedy. Schools must identify the few standards that provide leverage by applying to multiple disciplines, enduring through several grade levels, and being essential for the next level of learning.
Q: How can schools ensure that grading is equitable and meaningful in this academic year, given the disruptions students have experienced?
JF: First, our grading must be both accurate (so grades describe a student's level of course understanding) and equitable (so we aren't giving an advantage to students who have more resources). For example, we don't want to average a student's performance over time, which—although seemingly an objective calculation—actually hides what students ultimately achieve and makes it harder for students who start further behind to succeed. Second, let's frame grades not as the end of our instruction and students' learning, but as a guide for future decisions.
Students anxious about their learning loss will be more motivated to persevere, because high grades are possible despite what they endured. With so many students having gaps in their learning from last spring, grading can give both us and our students a diagnosis and a prescription of what comes next in their learning.
DR: Education leaders need to remember that some students go home to safe, two-parent homes, filled with books and technology, often supplemented with tutors. Others go home to challenges in housing, food insecurity, medical care, and family support. In some of these homes, success in school might be a lower priority. A commitment to equity means both groups of students have equal access to support, and that success in school doesn't depend upon the conditions of the home—in particular, that a student can achieve academic distinction based on the work they accomplish during the school day. Providing students sympathy or diminished expectations doesn't answer the challenges of inequity. Providing them engagement, rigorous work, and support during the school day does.
Q: What best practices can teachers use to ensure their grading is tied to evidence of learning but isn't punitive, given students' individual circumstances?
DR: Schools must clearly define the purpose of grading. In my judgment, the purpose is neither punishment nor reward; it is to provide accurate feedback in order to improve the performance of students and teachers. This means, among other things, that grades focus on academic proficiency, not behavior, compliance, or other nonacademic attributes.
Accurate feedback rests not solely on a grade, but on explicit descriptions of the learning needs of students. For example, if a student receives a failing grade, we owe that student and his parents an explanation of what was missing. Did he really fail the entire term?
JF: I agree about excluding nonacademic attributes or behaviors. To ensure grades accurately reflect student learning and don't perpetuate achievement disparities, we must be more deliberate about what knowledge and skills are essential and explicitly describe what students must demonstrate (success criteria) to achieve each level of mastery against those standards.
LCAP GOAL 3 Student Safety - Great American Shakeout Earthquake Drill Virtual Style
LCAP GOAL 5 Professional Development October 9th Intermediate Zoom Session
Yvonne Gray and Amy Bowen were two of three awesome trainers.
The third presenter Rebeca Siguenza and Yvonne Gray share their expertise with district staff.
Amy Bowen and Rebeca Siguenza involved in a lively discussion as presenters.
Important Events This Week:
October 19 - Virtual I-Ready PD 1-3pm
October 20 - Virtual Staff Meeting @ 3:25pm
*LCAP Steering Committee 3:30-5:00 pm
*Virtual DELAC Meeting 5:30 pm
October 21 - Pumpkin Patch 9:00 - 4:00 pm
October 22 - Pumpkin Patch 9:00 - 4:00 pm
October 23 -
October 27 - COST Meeting 9-10am
*Kinder Student Assessment 10:00 - 12:00 pm
*Virtual Staff Meeting @ 3:25pm
October 28 - Daytime Program Starts 7:45 am - 12:45pm
October 29 -
October 30 - Timesheets Due!
October 31 - Happy Halloween! Please Stay Safe
Frank Ledesma Elementary School
Soledad, Ca. 93960
(831) 678-8029 Fax