To ensure that school districts across the state are providing a high level of education to all students, Washington developed Essential Academic Learning Requirements (EALRs). EALRs are broad statements of expected learning. Within the EALRs are Grade Level Expectations (GLEs) and Performance Expectations (PEs), which describe the skill or process to be learned within subject areas. School Districts must align their curriculum with these EALRs, GLEs, and PEs to meet the standard of education that the State feels is essential. Measurement of how well school districts are complying is assessed by the Measure of Student Progress (MSP) in grades 3-8 and the High School Proficiency Exam (HSPE) and End of Course (EOC) assessments in Math and Science in grades 9-12.
Curriculum Development Teams
The Nine Mile Falls School District forms teams of teachers to review student performance, explore new instructional practices, and set goals for district wide direction. To ensure continuity, teachers from a variety of grade levels and buildings are involved on each team. The goal of these teams is the continuous improvement of student learning. The scope of their work includes review of and recommendations for modifications in instruction, course offerings, professional development, assessment, and instructional resources, including textbooks, supplemental materials, and technology. We have curriculum teams in reading, writing, math, science, social studies and the Arts.
Professional Learning Communities
The District has set a goal that 90% of our students will be proficient on local, state and national assessments by 2013. By proficient, we mean that 90% of our students should be performing at grade level expectation. It is our belief that we can impact student learning in a positive way through our engagement in effective collaboration. Our collaboration efforts focus on; 1) what our students need to learn and be able to do, 2) how we know when they have learned it (or not), 3) what we might do in our classrooms if they haven't learned it, and 4) what we might do for students who have already learned it and need to be challenged. We are in the process of updating our classroom instruction with the new and ever-changing state standards in reading, writing, math, science, social studies, the Arts, Health and PE. As we finish aligning our curriculum, the staff has begun to develop common assessments that we use to make sure our students are learning. By having a few 'key' assessments in common across a grade level, our teachers can begin to have conversations about the progress across classrooms. We can begin to reflect more deeply about the effectiveness of our instruction and to develop interventions in our classrooms to support and challenge our students.