Jack Franscioni School Bulletin

October 1st - 17th, 2021

Celebrating Student Growth With Formative Data

Big picture

A look at how one district is working to meet individual student needs and accelerate learning by using ongoing formative data to measure growth.

By Beth Holland September 22, 2021

Since the start of the pandemic, much of the conversation around student assessment has focused on what was lost. Administrators, teachers, and researchers have largely measured differences in students’ standardized assessment or benchmark scores as compared with historical data. With last year’s state testing results available, and new students entering classrooms at a variety of levels, these conversations have increased.

A more fruitful approach, however, would be to embrace assessment to improve understanding of student progress.

Lindsay Unified School District (LUSD) in California offers an example of what this could look like in practice. To understand how learner growth varies over time, the district uses an annual Smarter Balanced Assessment Consortium (SBAC) assessment as a summative measure and ongoing formative measures such as i-Ready and NWEA’s MAP Growth. They balance these scores with data from their performance-based assessment system, which captures students’ progress as they demonstrate proficiency on content-level learning targets and standards.


Nationally, there has been substantial pushback against standardized assessments because these year-end measures provide only a system-level snapshot of student performance at a single moment. They rarely address the individual needs or capabilities of each child—nor were they really intended to do so.

At the conclusion of last year, LUSD wanted to gain a deeper understanding of the effects of Covid-19 closures on learner growth. Focusing on formative measures, the district captured reading and math data during multiple testing windows using a combination of i-Ready (K–8) and MAP Growth (9–12) assessments.

Instead of simply looking at end-of-year scores and then identifying discrepancies, the district examined the percentage of change at each point in time to examine patterns of learner growth based on age groups, schools, and subpopulations. From there, they identified strategies like small group instruction and individualized tutoring that contributed to growth to accelerate learning for more students.

As they move into the new school year, LUSD will continue to monitor this data, which can be analyzed and acted on at the district, building, and classroom levels. They will also capture progress indicators from their performance-based assessment system as learners demonstrate proficiency on core standards.


District leaders in Lindsay use formative benchmark data to look at group changes over time and understand what could work at scale. They examine trends by building, age group, and subpopulations of learners such as English learners, migrants, students receiving special education support, and those receiving homeless services.

For example, analysis of growth data helped LUSD redesign their personalized professional learning program, shifting from providing a wide range of options to specific, thematic pathways that included both online and in-person work. It has also allowed them to identify enabling supports such as small group instruction, one-on-one tutoring, and community-based wellness services that benefited learners during the pandemic.


According to a brief from EdResearch for Recovery, administrator-facilitated collaboration on formative assessment can help educators with their curriculum design and instructional planning, particularly when it involves cross-grade or cross-content teams.

At the building level, principals and instructional support teams can look at progress across classrooms and grade levels as well as within subgroups. Examining differences in growth can help leaders identify bright spots and illuminate areas of concern, allowing them to more easily determine which groups of students or educators might need more academic, social, or professional learning support.

In the current context, as learners enter classrooms having had vastly different experiences, discussions around formative data can help educators to better understand prior learning, clarify content gaps, communicate about individual needs, and encourage collaboration across age groups or departments.


The word assessment comes from the Latin root assidere, which means “to sit beside.” In this sense, educators can use formative assessment data as a tool to help them better meet their individual learners’ needs. Whether using ongoing benchmark measures from a system such as i-Ready or MAP Growth, or frequent checks for understanding from real-time data, educators can chart growth over time and use that information to provide more targeted instruction and help learners monitor progress and set goals. In LUSD, educators also leverage this kind of information to guide how they identify learners who would benefit from additional instruction or enrichment during personalized learning time.

Right now, administrators and educators may feel pressured to address what they perceive to be gaps in learners’ knowledge and skills, but a singular focus on loss may obscure some of the successes from the last year.

In LUSD, growth data revealed that learners classified as English Learner, Migrant, or Homeless generally made some of the most progress, even though their average scores remained lower than the overall learner population. This data is in stark contrast to national reports. Had the district not looked at growth, they would have missed the opportunity to identify strategies that could support more students. As the school year continues, a new opportunity exists. Educators and administrators can meet individual student needs and make system-level improvements to accelerate learning by using formative data to measure growth.

Soledad Rotary Presentation of Dictionaries to our JF Third grade

Big picture
Big picture
Big picture
Big picture
Thank you to our Soledad Rotarians who were able to meet with our Third Grade students and teachers (Ms. Denney and Ms. Rodriguez) to continue to support our students in their education! Our students were so excited to recieve their very own dictionary and discuss how to use a dictionary to further their knowledge! Thank you again to Mr. Vanoli and Mr. Slama the Soledad Rotary Members who came to visit Jack Franscioni Elementary School!

lcap Goal 4: parent engagement

ELAC Informational Meeting

Big picture
Big picture

Thank you Jack Franscioni PArents for taking the time to learn about our English Language Advisory Committee! I hope to see you at our next ELAC Meeting!

ssc informational meeting

Big picture
Big picture

Thank you Jack Franscioni Parents for asking questions and learning more about our School Site COuncil! I hope to see you at next month's SSC meeting!


October 1st-Virtual Student of the Month by grade levels

October 5th-SWSST Day

October 5th-STA Meeting

October 7th-IEP Day

October 7th-ILT Day

October 8th-Staff Development Day

October 11-Non Student /Teacher Day

October 12th-COST Meeting

October 12th-Staff Meeting

October 13th-Coffee with the Principal

October 13th-Board Meeting

October 14th-IEP Day


  • Weekly Lesson Plans are due every Monday into the JF Staff 2021-2022 Google Classroom
  • Submit your Weekly Lesson Plan and PLC Meeting Notes into JF Staff 2021-2022 Google Classroom
  • I-Ready Diagnostic #1 Window For Grades 1-6: extended to October 7th
  • I-Ready Diagnostic #1 Window For Kindergarten: September 20th-October 7th
  • 1st Trimester Progress Reports printed and distributed by 10/1/21
  • Sign up October 8th-Staff Development Day Sessions in Sched


Big picture


Big picture

MArisela Chavez is our school counselor. Ms. chavez is a team player and always has a calm demeanor with students and staff.

Big picture

Valerie Ovalle is our Health Tech. Ms. Ovalle is always keeping our students and staff safe even in the presence of Covid.

DEAR STAFF, thank you for all that you do each and every day to make JF a safe and inviting place for our students! WARM REGARDS, ALXIS