GV BOCES School Improvement

July 2022 Newsletter

News You Can Use

Embedded in the School Improvement (SI) newsletter you will find important updates, information, and resources from the New York State Department of Education (NYSED) & your regional Joint Management Team BOCES (Monroe 1 BOCES, Monroe 2 BOCES, Genesee Valley BOCES & Wayne-Finger Lakes BOCES). Below are direct links that assist with staying current regarding news and changes at the state level.

Cancellation of Regents Examination in United States History and Government (Framework)

The new Regents Examination in United States History and Government (Framework) was canceled for June 2022. At the June 2022 Board of Regents meeting, the Department asked the Board to approve an exemption to the assessment requirement for students scheduled to take the Regents Examination in United States History and Government (Framework) in June. Due to the technical requirements associated with administering a new assessment, the regulatory change will include exemptions for students planning to take this exam in June 2022, August 2022, and January 2023. The first administration of the new Framework exam in U.S. History will be in June 2023.

Please the attached Frequently Asked Question Document for more information.

FAQs on Cancellation of Regents Examination

in United States History and Government (Framework)

NYS Next Generation Mathematics Learning Standards: Suggested Breakdown of Instructional Time

SED is pleased to announce this new math resource for a breakdown of instructional time. This was briefly referenced during the math presentation earlier this month and is now available. This announcement will be shared in the upcoming NYSED P20 Weekly. Additionally, SED has arranged for a pop-up meeting on July 18th for SCDN Membership to discuss the rollout of this document. Please see the webex information below to attend the session.

NYS Next Generation Mathematics Learning Standards: Suggested Breakdown of Instructional Time

  • To support the field with the implementation of the Next Generation Mathematics Learning Standards (NGMLS), the Office of Standards and Instruction has developed a guidance document for NYS educators to utilize when planning for classroom instruction.

  • This guidance document was made in collaboration with NYS educators and is an optional resource intended to provide support for districts and teachers as they work to align local curriculum to the Next Generation Mathematics Learning Standards.

  • Teacher preference and flexibility in planning units of study both play vital roles in aligning with the purpose/expectations of the learning standards and meeting the needs of the students.

  • To access the Next Generation Mathematics Learning Standards: Suggested Breakdown of Instructional Time document, please visit this NYSED webpage.

  • For questions regarding the document, please email standards@nysed.gov.

On June 16, 2022, the Office of State Assessment released the Educator Guides to the Grades 3-8 English Language Arts and Mathematics Tests. These guides are now posted on the Office of State Assessment webpage, under Grades 3-8 ELA and Math Test Manuals.

As a reminder:

  • The 2023 Grades 3-8 Tests will measure the Next Generation Learning Standards in English Language Arts and Mathematics.

  • The Guides provide specific information about the design of the tests, question formats, and other important material for educators.

Questions about the Educator Guides to the Grades 3-8 English Language Arts and Mathematics Tests may be directed to the Office of State Assessment at emscassessinfo@nysed.gov or by calling (518)-474-5902.

Blue Ribbon Commission

In early 2019, then-Chancellor Rosa committed to rethinking New York’s graduation requirements. A few months later, the Board of Regents announced it would create a Blue Ribbon Commission on Graduation Measures.

To help inform the work of the Commission, the Board of Regents and the State Education Department held regional meetings across the state to gather input from many stakeholders, including parents, educators, administrators, school support staff, representatives of higher education, the business community, students, and the general public.

Beginning in fall 2022, the Blue Ribbon Commission on Graduation Measures will undertake a thoughtful and inclusive process to explore what a New York State high school diploma means and what it should signify to ensure educational excellence and equity for all New York State children. Approximately 40 individuals representing various stakeholders, judicial districts, and students, including students with disabilities and English language learners, will meet approximately every other month. Members will include educators, administrators, researchers, school counselors, professionals from business and higher education, parents, and students.

The Blue Ribbon Commission will develop recommendations to the Board of Regents on what measures of learning and achievement could better serve New York’s diverse student population as indicators of what they know and their readiness for college, career, and civic life.

Recommendations from the Blue Ribbon Commission will be developed through a lens of diversity, equity, and inclusion, and consider those requirements that will drive improved instructional practice and curricular selections aligned to the Culturally Responsive-Sustaining Education Framework and the New York State Learning Standards in all areas for all student populations.

Big picture

If you would like to serve on the Blue Ribbon Commission, please submit a cover letter, resume, or CV, and complete the supplemental Applicant Questionnaire by Friday, July 15, 2022. Only complete applications will be considered.

Continue Your Professional Learning

The School Improvement (SI) newsletter also strives to continue professional learning for school administrators, teachers, and staff even from afar. This section of the newsletter will provide readers with timely and relevant learning aligned to evidence-based practices. If you would like more on topics outlined in the newsletter, please contact the SI department. Our contact information is located at the bottom of the newsletter. Enjoy!

What We Teach; FOCUS in Focus - Part 2

What is truly essential for success in schools? The evidence points to three fundamental components: coherent curriculum (the what we teach); well structured lessons (the how we teach it); and large amounts of purposeful and intentional reading and writing across the disciplines (Schmoker, 2018). This article is Part 2 of 2, in a series, highlighting the how we teach, or more specifically, outlining the essential components of quality classroom instruction within a soundly structured lesson. Mike Schmoker believes these simple components contribute to the success or failure that we observe in schools today (2018). In his published text, Focus; Elevating The Essentials to Radically Improve Student Learning, Schmoker reiterates the importance of quality classroom instruction and the effects that it has on student achievement. For example, “If every teacher mastered and then consistently implemented these basic elements, in most of their lessons, our schools would make unprecedented progress toward the goal of learning for all” (p. 61). John Hattie states that the “variability in student outcomes” is largely “the consequence of the variability in teacher effectiveness” (2015, as cited in Schmoker 2018, p.54). Due to this occurrence, Wwe must continue to clarify these most effective actions and carry them out with consistency and reliability. Practice, in the sense of doing something again and again, will combat the natural tendency to forget and/or ignore these most effective elements of daily instruction.

The components of the effective lesson structure are as follows:

  • State clear learning objectives

  • Create interest in the topic

  • Teach and model in small chunks or scaffolds for learning

  • GProvide guided practice

  • Check for understanding

  • Provide Iindependent practice (with feedback) and final assessment

The most effective teaching methods are not characterized by a mysterious process. Therefore, the components above do not come as a surprise. The elements within the structure may seem ordinary or non-innovative, but the evidence contributing to greater achievement is indisputable when the structure is applied. Furthermore, the fact that “Our profession has never been driven by evidence, but instead by whims, fads, opportunism and ideology” (Corcoran et al., 20021) is another barrier to success. Cognitive Scientist, Dr. Pooja Agarwal agrees, it’s imperative that policy makers take these long-standing and seemingly mundane practices that we’ve all known about for decades and make them routine components of daily instruction. She suggests, “And unless we begin to make decisions about education differently, we will continue adding money, programs, and computers, hoping for a quick fix” (Agarwal, 2019 p. 282).

There is overwhelming evidence and convergence of research for these effective actions to all but guarantee “stunningly powerful consequences” (Schmoker, p.8). The principle here is that we can all accomplish more when we focus on less. And the things we need to focus on, to develop regularity and consistency with, are the fundamentals of quality classroom instruction.

Don't Forget to Register for Leadership Institute 2022

Click the link below to access information on registering.

School Improvement Spotlights

School Improvement (SI) takes great pride in the work we do at the state level, regionally, and when working directly with component districts. This section of the newsletter offers insight into the work SI does and provides recognition to local districts that strive for continuous school improvement. Partnerships and collaboration are the key to everyone's success!

The Science of Learning Has Been Unleashed

During the 2021-2022 school year, the Genesee Valley BOCES (GVB) Regional Curriculum Council (CC) group, comprised of regional instructional leaders, used Powerful Teaching as an anchor text for continuous improvement, professional learning. As a culmination to that learning, the CC group closed out the 2021-2022 year by having co-author Patrice Bain present to the region, on June 8th at the LeRoy Service Center. Many GVB component districts sent administrators, instructional coaches, and classroom teachers.

Having worked with cognitive scientists for over fifteen years, Bain developed teaching strategies based on robust research that improves learning. Best of all, these strategies don't add to teachers' already filled plates, but streamline what they are already doing. Bain was able to unlock the research and provide evidence-based strategies that will transform teaching, so that all students will be successful learners. Below, you will find the powerful teaching strategies outlined in the text Powerful Teaching.

Big picture

Many GVB districts are planning future book studies and professional learning to bring this evidence-informed information back to their classrooms. How will you unleash the science of learning at your school?

Supplementary Reading

Aligns with concepts in Powerful Teaching

School Improvement Professional Learning for 2022-2023

Don't forget to check out the PLS 2022-2023 Catalog!

Follow School Improvement on Twitter

Don’t forget that you can follow the School Improvement Team (SIT) on Twitter. The team is often posting information about upcoming professional learning opportunities, educational resources, and strategies for the classroom. You can stay in tune with what is happening at Genesee Valley BOCES and the SIT by following #gvbocessit.

Need Support?

Please direct all requests for service to the Director of School Improvement, Stephanie Burns at 585.344.7923.