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Division Stakeholder Committees have been created to assist divisions in obtaining input and feedback on tasks assigned to divisions by Cabinet. The Committees are recommending bodies to their respective divisions and ultimately Cabinet. The Committees will use a consultative decision making process in formulating recommendations to their respective division and Cabinet.
At the January 15 meeting Walt Wilcox, NCSD’s Associate Superintendent for Curriculum & Instruction, gave a brief rundown of the agenda before turning to Chad Sharpe, the CAPS principal, for a discussion regarding secondary transformation. Sharpe told the group that the Pathways Framing Document (which outlines NCSD’s secondary transformation efforts/goals) has a timeline that has several milestones this year. One of those key milestones is professional development of our teachers to prepare them for this transformational shift. Sharpe says the District is looking into an agreement with Wonder, by Design and their co-owner Christian Long, for a multi-phase training program that will teach District leaders, administrators, and teachers how to become “design thinkers” and then “design teachers”. Students will also have a role within the training sessions. Cabinet and the Board will review the proposal before the District moves forward.
Next, Terry Hooker reported that his Co-Curricular ad-hoc committee is moving closer to finalizing their final recommendations to Cabinet regarding the cut policy admin regulation, and the articulation and undue influence Board policy. Hooker summarized some of the more recent discussions that have been taking place at the ad-hoc committee meetings. One item of interest was the agreement that a formal reporting process needs to be used when it comes to the undue influence issue. The stakeholder group also discussed the need for more discussions regarding these issues at the activities level – not just in athletics. Next steps include a final approval from the Board Policy committee on the articulation/undue influence policy, and a review of the admin regulation by this stakeholder group and Cabinet.
Next, Wilcox began the discussion regarding the kindergarten program proposal. The program has taken on different names throughout the process, but currently is called Classic Kindergarten. The proposal that was given a ‘thumbs-up’ by the Board is a 2-year kindergarten experience – for those students that qualify following a screening. The program’s intention is to build a bridge between preschool and traditional kindergarten, and helps to solidify foundational skills that set the student up for a successful educational career. Kindergarteners that enroll for next year will all be screened. At this time, the plan calls for an additional 3 classrooms at undetermined school(s). At this time, students who participate in Classic Kindergarten will then roll back into the open enrollment system at the conclusion of year one. The group discussed how to code the Classic Kindergarten students within internal systems so they can be tracked as they move through the system. Testing these students was also an issue that was brought up during the meeting. Also noted: if the student is prepared to move on to 1st grade following the first year of the Classic Kindergarten program, it will be possible for those students to “skip” the second year of the process. The group spoke about current retention levels within the system now, and how the Classic Kindergarten could impact those numbers.
Next, Wilcox led the group to a discussion regarding the biggest initiative in the C&I Division: standards-based education. Wilcox summarized the steps taken so far, including the Board resolution, Board presentations, and building reports that have been filed.
Currently mathematics is the content area that is the farthest along when it comes to standards-based learning. The other eight content areas are in different places. Wilcox also told the group about the Curriculum Coordinating Council, which will meet once a month and work directly on this initiative. The group will identify priorities and will help push along the process. The Curriculum Coordinating Council (CCC) will meet in one of the stakeholder meeting slots and then report back to the bigger group. Members of the CCC will be among those that are in the PreK-12 content area-specific groups that meet. The next two content areas that will be focused on will be English Language Arts and Health. The ELA group will have 35-36 members and the Health group will have 18-22 members.
Next, the group heard from employee representation groups:
SEIO: No items. (no representatives)
NCEA: Jill Felbeck-Jones asked about moving the dates of the NWEA testing window due to the change in quarter schedules. Jon Lever said the window isn’t that much different just the dates have changed. He is open to discussing moving these dates for next year. Wilcox also clarified that continuous improvement should still be used, but all Shipley items are no longer prescribed. Buildings will be in charge of what systems are used. Sheila McHattie asked if there are questions that should be asked to her group at-large. There weren’t any at this time. Felbeck-Jones also asked about the exclusion of school data from the Family Guide school book. Wilcox said it was his decision to keep them out of the books this year, but that the information can be posted online if it’s needed.
NCASE: Marie Puryear noted concerns from teachers regarding glitches in math benchmark assessments. There are also concerns about the length of the testing and the clarity in areas the student is not proficient in at the conclusion of the assessment. These issues are being worked on.
NCAESS: No items.
The next C&I Stakeholder Meeting is scheduled for February 5.