Tahoe-Truckee schools update on California State Standards progress | SierraSun.com

Tahoe-Truckee schools update on California State Standards progress

Special to the Sun

The TTUSD middle school math professional learning community team works together recently.

TAHOE-TRUCKEE, Calif. — The past five months have included some of the finest research-based examples of collaborative work around teaching and learning in Tahoe Truckee Unified School District.

The Education Services Division has a newly designed structure and includes our new Deputy Chief Learning Officer, Dr. Fal Asrani, and several key support leaders who are responsible for areas such as English Learners programs, Gifted and Talented programs, College and Careers Pathways, Assessment and Testing, Parent Education, Education Technology, Translations and Bilingual Services, and Instructional Materials.

The team also includes five Academic Coaches who plan and design professional development and support teachers in core areas of English, Math, Science and Social Studies.

Having identified the current successes within the district, this team designed a transparent, collaborative structure to engage teachers in developing the next steps around the ongoing implementation of the new California State Standards.

The first task was to revisit current work and invite teacher representatives from each school to collaboratively develop grade level Scope and Sequence documents. These documents will serve as a guide for teachers on which standards must be taught and how they will be assessed.

Teacher representatives made this a very organic and transparent process by committing to three days away from the classroom during a three and a half month period. We never like to pull teachers from the classroom, but this was an important investment in the future of our scholars and required the expertise of our teacher leaders.

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Every participant took into consideration the unique opportunities for all types of learners including our English Language learners, accelerated learners, GATE learners, and special needs students, to ensure that standards-based viable and guaranteed curriculum would guide teaching and learning in every classroom across the district.

The collaboration was outstanding. Elementary grade-level teams also developed new Report Cards aligned to the Scope and Sequence documents for consistency and clarity, and each grade level team is finalizing Common Assessments that will help gauge student learning.

Next year, students will complete three common assessments in English and math; this year there will be two. Timelines and details will be communicated soon. The results from these assessments will drive ongoing classroom level support and professional development.

The enthusiasm during this entire process was infectious; all voices were heard, and though the task was difficult and required true collaboration, it allowed us to revisit our commitment to ensuring the success of every student in our schools.

What's next?

Coaches will be at school sites working with teachers in the implementation of the Scope and Sequence documents, Report Cards and Common Assessments.

Site-based support will replace district level pull-out work in areas such as the new math adoptions, reading and writing skills and interventions, use of technology-embedded lessons, and shifts in instruction to enhance student engagement. This is not new work for TTUSD; it is simply the next steps to more aligned work across the district.

Dr. Asrani and her team commit to keeping the focus on rigorous curriculum and instruction in every classroom; ensuring teachers receive support with research-based best practices through collaborative sessions; parents and community members are engaged and informed; and finally, every student is prepared to transition to college and careers after high school.

Please visit http://www.ttusd.org and click on Educational Services to get up-to-date news and to watch slide deck presentations on some of the big items being addressed across the district related to this work.

This article was submitted by the Tahoe Truckee Unified School District.