Tuesday, February 7, 2017

Literacy Director Update (2/7/17)

Here are a few updates from the Literacy Meeting on 2/7/17.

1. New Kindergarten Assessment:
  • The state has been developing a common Kindergarten assessment that will be given twice a year (note the pre and post tests are not identical).
  • Amie and Janet had the opportunity to attend one of the informational work sessions. 
  • This legislation is still in process and has not been approved for next year. We will know in a few weeks where it stands. 
  • I will update you when and if this legislation moves forward. 
2. Early Intervention Software (Waterford and Imagine Learning): 
  • We receive Waterford and Imagine Learning software via legislation from Utah; the current legislation states, “A public school that does not use the early interactive reading software in accordance with the technology provider's dosage recommendations for two consecutive years may not continue to receive a license.”
  • In 2015-16 school year, 84% of schools did not meet dosage recommendations and will therefore have their software taken away after this year if they do not meet fidelity. 
  • The Utah Literacy Directors (Sara Wiebke and Jennifer Throndsen) are desperately trying to get the legislation amended so more schools can keep their software on more of a sliding fidelity scale. 
  • All year, OPA has been right on the cusp with some teachers meeting fidelity and some not. Please try your best to meet fidelity with this software so we don't lose it. If you have any questions about fidelity, please let me know!
3. SAGE Writing:
  • The State has moved forward to reduce the SAGE writing test to 5th and 8th grades only (under this plan, 11th graders will take the ACT with writing, but that will not impact OPA). 
  • There are also plans to move from a "soft" time limit to a strict time limit, which will affect how we prepare kids for the test. 
  • These changes will not impact this year. Here is the current implementation schedule (it could change):
    • 2017: 2 writing prompts in all grades 3-8. 
    • 2018: 1 writing prompt in all grades 3-8. The prompt will either be argument or informational and the prompt each kid receives will be random. 
    • 2019: 1 writing prompt in grade 5 and grade 8 only. The prompt will either be argument or informational and the prompt each kid receives will be random. There will be a 50 minute hard time limit. 
  • Debbie and I will provide you with more information at the May first Friday training. Many of these changes are still being discussed and the State Board is aware the prompts would have to change if a time limit is included for 2019. Please do not allow these changes to stress you out at this time! At OPA, we have always taught writing in every grade and we will continue to do so. The literacy advocates at the State are aware of the negative impacts of these changes and are trying to communicate them to the Board. 
4. Student-Friendly SAGE Rubrics
Please talk to me if you have any questions! As we learn more about legislation, I will keep you all in the loop.