GV BOCES School Improvement

April 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.

Seal of Civic Readiness Application

The Seal of Civic Readiness +1 Civics Pathway Application Is Now Available!

NYSED has released information for the application to offer the Seal of Civic Readiness +1 Civics Pathway. The Seal of Civic Readiness may be a 4+1 pathway or a stand-alone diploma seal for students who choose a different 4+1 pathway. Any district interested in applying for the Seal of Civic Readiness +1 Civics Pathway should be certain to read the information required for this pathway.

All districts and schools have access to this in the SED Monitoring and Vendor Performance System located within the Application Business Portal. Schools that wish to offer this pathway for the 2022-2023 school year must complete this initial application by August 1, 2022. Schools will be notified of their status on a rolling basis. For more information on the Seal of Civic Readiness +1 Civics Pathway, please visit the Office of Curriculum and Instruction’s Civic Readiness Initiative webpage.

Please contact the Office of Curriculum and Instruction at 518-474-5922 or via email at emscurric@nysed.gov if you have any questions.

Application Information & Guidance

2022-2023 Seal of Civic Readiness

Next Generation Mathematics Learning Standards Implementation

Full implementation of the Next Generation Mathematics Learning Standards begins in the 2022-2023 school year. The Implementation Roadmap and Timeline are documents prepared by the State Education Department to assist educators’ transition to fully implement the new standards.

On March 22, the NYS Office of Curriculum and Instruction hosted a live, one-hour webinar for NYS K-12 math teachers. The webinar reviewed many available resources to support NYS teachers with the implementation of the Next Generation Mathematics Learning Standards (NGMLS). The presentation was recorded and will be published on the Office of Curriculum and Instruction’s mathematics website for the educators who were not able to attend. In Spring 2023, the NYS 3-8 assessments will align to the new standards. A complete timeline illustrating the instruction and assessment implementation is available.

The Genesee Valley BOCES School Improvement Team is currently collaborating with districts to provide guidance and support to local districts and make all education stakeholders aware of the revised standards and the timeline for implementation. Goals include highlighting areas of impact with respect to current standards, instruction, and assessment. The School Improvement Team will continue to provide professional development and assist the needs of local school districts to fully integrate the Next Generation Learning Standards.

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SIPS Science Assessment Pilot

NYSED released the following information regarding a science pilot:

NYSED has partnered with a consortium of states on the federally-funded Stackable, Instructionally-embedded, Portable Science (SIPS) Assessments Project, which is focused on developing instructional and assessment materials that embody the best of the research and learning, based on the Framework for K-12 Science Education. SIPS is offering science teachers in grade 5 and grade 8 the opportunity to participate in a pilot program. If selected, the teachers will be asked to administer the SIPS end-of-unit assessments during the 2022-2023 school year. This year-long effort will also be supported with professional development for the teachers, and on-demand instructional support. If your district/school is interested in joining this effort to improve science instruction and assessment, please complete the brief survey at https://forms.gle/wb4TPGiTYPzPAJGZA to express your interest in learning more. The deadline to apply is April 7th, 2022. Please email NYSED’s Office of State Assessment at emscassessinfo@nysed.gov if you have any questions.

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!

Equitable Opportunities to Demonstrate Learning

Part 1 - January Newsletter: Using Data to Establish Local Context

Part 2 - February Newsletter: Curriculum with an Equity Lens

Part 3 - March Newsletter: Instruction with an Equity Lens

Part 4 - April Newsletter: Assessment with an Equity Lens

Assessment practices historically continue to remain unchanged in regards to inclusivity, and little has been done to ensure that all students are provided with equitable opportunities to demonstrate their learning. If educators don’t continue to have equity at the forefront of assessment practices, it can offer privileges to some and hinder the validation of others. It could also foster a false sense that certain students are academically minded, while others are not. If assessment is about collecting evidence of learning, then we need to allow students space to show their knowledge (National Institute for Learning Outcomes Assessment, 2017). As put forth by Montegegro & Jankowsk (2017), “The manner in which students demonstrate learning is irrelevant when student demonstration is held to the same learning outcomes and evaluative criteria” (p. 7).

Educators may not have the power to single-handedly change high-stakes testing policies that use assessment scores to measure educational achievement, but we do have influence over curricular decisions and how we assess and grade our students at a local level. We can create more equitable curricula and assessment practices and policies to create more equitable education in our classrooms, departments, schools, and districts (The Center for Professional Education of Teachers, 2021). Below you will find some recommendations for classroom shifts educators can make right away to be more equitable in assessment practices.

  • Ensure our assessments align with what we actually teach

  • Formatively assess students on a regular basis

  • Offer a variety of ways to demonstrate mastery

  • Be flexible and offer time to make up assessments

  • Make assessments rigorous, not rote

  • Emphasize effort and progress, not grades

  • Acknowledge and cultivate students’ strengths and talents

  • Collaboratively develop criteria that outline what success is for students

Another way in which educators can ensure equity and access for all students is by providing students with disabilities assessment accommodations. As required under the Individuals with Disabilities Act (IDEA), all SWDs must be included in all general state and district-wide assessment programs, including assessments required under the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA), with appropriate accommodations and alternate assessments where necessary and as indicated in their respective individualized education programs (IEPs).

In addition to the IDEA federal requirement, NYSED also addresses the rights and responsibilities relating to test access and accommodations for SWDs in the Part 100 Regulations and the Part 200 Regulations of the Commissioner of Education. Many SWDs will require testing accommodations in order to participate (aka: have access) in testing programs on an equal basis with their nondisabled peers. Such accommodations provide students with the ability to demonstrate skills and attainment of knowledge without being limited or unfairly restricted due to the effects of a disability. SWDs must have access to and participate in the general education curriculum and in courses that will prepare them to take and pass the required examinations.

The manual linked below will outline policy and tools to guide decision-making and implementation of appropriate assessment accommodations for students with disabilities.

Testing Accommodation Guidance

NYSED/Office of Special Education (OSE) Manual 2018

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!

SIT Presents: Interdisciplinary Unit Development at Early Learning SCDN

On March 15th, the School Improvement Team, in conjunction with New York State’s Staff/Curriculum Development Network, presented at the Early Learning Statewide Conference, entitled Reimagining P-3 Education, on building interdisciplinary units of instruction. Over 60 participants, including a few GV BOCES region educators, attended the two sessions presented by School Improvement. Part one (1) of this professional learning opportunity allowed participants to understand the foundational standard movement process needed for building all units of instruction, which are necessary for multi-disciplinary units as well. This session specifically illustrated how participants can enhance clarity around standards to create learning intentions, success criteria, and tasks, which focus on student learning, not just students doing. This session also demonstrated how to begin populating the NYSED Resource Guides For School Success, as a useful tool in developing units.

Part two (2) of the professional learning opportunity further modeled multi grade-level exemplars for participants to see how to integrate multiple standards to start the initial steps of creating interdisciplinary units. A kindergarten and first grade example drove the modeling process, so that participants could conceptualize developing their own interdisciplinary unit by integrating ELA, social studies, and social-emotional learning standards into a synergistic unit, which also demonstrated populating a guiding template.

If interested in learning more, most of the sessions from the Reimaging P-3 Education Conference were recorded and stakeholders will be able to gain access through New York State’s Department of Education at a future date.


See below for a few general reminders from the School Improvement Team!

Genesee Valley BOCES Leadership Institute 2022

Registration is open for the 2022 Genesee Valley BOCES Leadership Institute! Click the link below to register on Frontline.

2021-2022 Regional Professional Learning Opportunities

Registration for upcoming regional professional learning opportunities can be accessed through the links below. Check out the various opportunities the School Improvement Team is offering during the 2021-2022 school year. We look forward to seeing you in the upcoming months!

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.