Elementary ELA & Math Expansion
WVGSA, Student achievement, and where we stand
The latest scores on the West Virginia General Summative Assessment (WVGSA) went home with students in September. Regardless of where you stand on standardized testing, it is still a measure of performance of some very important skills students need to succeed academically and in life.
After many years of rising scores in mathematics, JCS saw a steep decline during the pandemic, from which we have not recovered. In English/Language Arts (ELA) we see higher performance, but some staggering deficits that are keeping hundreds of children just below the mark for proficiency remain.
We have spent a considerable amount of time and energy reviewing those scores and determined that we must adjust our practice in order to support elementary students who either have gaps in fundamental knowledge or who are proficient and ready to move ahead.
What does that mean?
We have made the decision to redesign our elementary education program for the 2022-23 school year. We will be expanding our ELA and mathematics work by 50-80 minutes during the school day by integrating the WV Department of Education’s (WVDE) social studies and science standards into our ELA and math programs. That additional time will create opportunities for students at all levels to get the support and enrichment they need.
To be clear, social studies and science will remain part of the curriculum, but without 25-minute long classes focusing on those standards alone. Instead, third through fifth-grade students will follow the same model as kindergarten through second-grade students, with social studies and science integrated into their ELA and mathematics. This will be enhanced as those standards are also integrated into specials (art, music, PE, and library).
October 7th: Jefferson County Schools will have a two-hour early release. All elementary teaching staff will be completing a review and grouping of students based on the standards they missed and which they passed. This will allow us to make multiple student groups for remediation and extension. We will be focusing explicitly on ELA and mathematics. Groups will be centered on very specific targeted standards skills. The groups will be monitored and children will be regrouped in intervals once they have mastered the targeted skills.
October 10th: This is a scheduled PD day, meaning there will be no school for students. All teaching staff will receive training on CKLA literacy tools and mathematics programs. These structures will address student deficits and provide high-achieving students with opportunities to extend their learning to achieve above mastery status.
October 18th: Elementary will begin 2nd nine weeks with extended ELA and mathematics blocks for all students in grades 3-5.
January 2023: All elementary schools will complete a mid-year assessment designed by WVDE to mimic the WVGSA. These scores will be utilized to track progress and determine the effectiveness of specific standard remediation.