Board Briefs - Fall 2020 Curriculum Workshop

The District 58 Board of Education held a curriculum workshop on Monday, Oct. 26, 2020 at Indian Trail School and via YouTube livestream. View the agenda and presentation links and access the meeting video.

School Report Cards and ESSA Summative Designations

Assistant Superintendent for Curriculum and Instruction Justin Sisul began the presentation by noting that all curriculum updates have been impacted by COVID-19. ISBE’s Illinois Report Card, which will be released to the public on Oct. 30, annually highlights how well Illinois schools have progressed on their educational goals. This year, several metrics were not available, including the Illinois Assessment of Readiness (IAR), Dynamic Learning Maps (DLM), Illinois Science Assessment (ISA), Growth Percentile for IAR, Assessment Participation Rate, and Climate Survey (5Essentials). Due to the pandemic and suspension of in-person instruction, other Illinois Report Card metrics were “calculated with concerns,” including chronic absenteeism, chronic truancy, number of school days, student attendance, student mobility, teacher attendance and teacher evaluation.

Summative designations under the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA) were not calculated for 2020. However, a statewide waiver permits the reissue of 2019 summative designations for the 2020 school year. View the 2019 summative designations.

Fall MAP Data

This fall, MAP assessments in reading and math were administered remotely to students in grades 2-8. The data will be interpreted cautiously for several reasons: remote assessment environments can be inconsistent for students, new NWEA 2020 Norms have an impact on the percentiles assigned, and growth data will not be available until after the winter benchmarking period. Kindergarten and first grade students were not assessed via MAP, but are currently being assessed via AIMSWeb Plus. 

NWEA-MAP has released new normative data for 2020, which has been applied to Fall MAP scores. Norms provide the national achievement and growth percentiles as context for individual student scores so that educators can compare achievement status and growth to students’ performance in the same grade at a comparable stage of the school year. Compared to the 2015 Norms, the 2020 Norms show that, in general, student achievement is declining across subject areas, grades and terms. The average RIT score associated with a particular grade and subject tends to be lower in 2020 than it was in 2015. Therefore, the same RIT score for the same grade level will see a higher percentile rank using 2020 norms. In reviewing median achievement percentiles for the Fall MAP administration, while the trends look promising, they must be viewed with caution. Growth over time will be reviewed after the January 2021 MAP assessment when it can be compared to Winter 2020 data.

Curriculum Updates

Curriculum Coordinator Christine Priester reported on the implementation of the newly adopted math resources. Bridges in Mathematics, for kindergarten through 5th grade, includes professional development for implementing a hands-on curriculum in a remote environment. The District purchased individual student manipulatives to send home with students and has prioritized instructional coaching support for teachers. An overview of the curriculum for parents has been shared in the first video of a parent education series.

Big Ideas Math, for grades 6-8, has a robust online component. Ongoing professional development and synchronous and asynchronous planning support by grade level has assisted teachers in implementing the new resource. Priester said that it is exciting to see the level of math discussion that students are sharing.

Curriculum Coordinator Matthew Jewell presented an update on the social studies curricular adoption timeline. While piloting resources was scheduled for Fall 2020, the Social Studies Committee opted to postpone the pilot one year for grades K-5. Grades 6-8 are moving forward with the pilot of two resources, McGraw-Hill and Pearson myWorld Interactive, and are on track to provide a recommendation to the Board in early 2021 so that implementation can begin in Fall 2021. 

“It is an exciting time to be addressing our social studies curriculum,” said Jewell. “The Illinois Social Sciences standards emphasize a rigorous...knowledge in areas of civics, history, [and] geography, and also puts students more in the driver’s seat in their learning.”

School Improvement Planning

Each school has developed a school improvement plan with four goal areas: reading achievement, math achievement, math curriculum implementation, and communication/collaboration/Telling Your Story. These plans will be shared with staff and families and reviewed for progress toward the goals in January and May. Though the timeline was interrupted by COVID-19, the District continues to work toward implementing the Cycles of Inquiry approach to school improvement planning. In collaboration with the DuPage Regional Office of Education and Dr. Sharon Frys, this approach uses a robust process to identify and solve within-school problems that impact student achievement. The process will be implemented for 2020-21 school improvement planning.

Upcoming Events

  • Friday, Nov. 6 at 7 a.m.: Financial Advisory Committee at the ASC/Zoom
  • Monday, Nov. 9 at 7 p.m.: Regular Board Meeting at Downers Grove Village Hall

District 58 Board of Education members are: Darren Hughes, president; Gregory Harris, vice president; Kirat Doshi, Emily Hanus, Steven Olczyk, Jill Samonte and Tracy Weiner, with Dr. Kevin Russell, superintendent; and Melissa Jerves, board secretary.