The start of spring and a tasty breakfast kicked off our Northern California Users Group Meeting on March 6, 2018. Twenty-seven participants from nine of our district partners (including Washoe Schools in Reno, NV) joined us at Patterson USD (CA) for a variety of activities that prepared everyone for improved student achievement and personalized learning. The full-day agenda included a “Sharp Shooting Snowball Ice-Breaker”, an exploration of Smarter Balanced Claims, Targets, and Standards, Next Generation Science Standards aligned items and resources, plus the newest developments from SchoolCity.
To break the ice and meet one another, the entire group embarked on our own version of March Madness with a hilarious “snowball” discussion game, containing crumpled paper prompts and spring up baskets - excitement and energy ensued. Individuals shared on a variety of topics including how SchoolCity reports provide teachers clarity on their student’s individual progress to inform further instruction, and how teachers can use SchoolCity to prepare students for the Smarter Balanced Assessment.
Sarah Williams, Ed.D, a favorite district partner champion from Napa Valley Unified School District, CA, presented on Smarter Balanced testing and SchoolCity, taking participants on a walk through the Claims, Targets, and Standards documents, highlighting the Depth of Knowledge in each target. With this information, Sarah then detailed how teachers and administrators can access results using SchoolCity SUITE SBAC and other predefined reports to monitor students growth toward mastery of standards. Huge congratulations to “Dr. Sarah” for recently completing her doctorate from UC Berkeley!
Sondra Cloud, Regional Business Development Manager with Measured Progress, provided a presentation on Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS) and Measured Progress STEM Gauge Resources and Item Bank. Sondra detailed how STEM Gauge was developed specifically for the 3-dimensional learning of the NGSS.
After a break to stretch the legs and grab a snack, we heard from our own Will Brock, Arizona Account Manager, on “Student Ownership of Data”. He detailed how a significant percentage of students have time left over after completing an online assessment while waiting for classmates to finish, and posed the question, “What do students normally do with this time?” Reading a book, writing in a journal, or browsing the internet were common responses. Will showed us that by reviewing their scores in the Student Portal and completing a reflection sheet, students could instead detail why they may have missed a question and explain their rationale. As a result, teachers would have a deeper understanding of a student’s thinking, and could make more informed decisions about the supports or interventions the student might need.
In the afternoon, both Will and Dr. Pepper Williams, Director of Product Strategy at SchoolCity, presented our newest SUITE modules to be released this Fall 2018. Will described the Student Support Services Module, which will enable districts to record and track a plethora of student information. Pepper described Personalized Review Assignments (PRA) and the integration with Learning Management Systems (LMS). The PRAs are designed to answer the “what now” questions surrounding formative assessment. Using powerful resources from Khan Academy, Gooru, OpenEd, SAFARI Montage and more, users will be able to pre-assign resources during the assessment creation process for students to complete post assessment. These PRAs are directly tied to a student’s assessment results and, as such, will reinforce subject matter content knowledge. Pepper also explained that SchoolCity can integrate with a district’s LMS such as Canvas and Schoology. All assessments and PRAs can be contained within the LMS for a streamlined experience for both teachers and students.
District partners, presenters, and SchoolCity staff thoroughly enjoyed this full day of learning, inter-district collaboration and networking. Users Group Meetings provide a critical venue for SchoolCity staff to share more about our products, as well as to listen and learn from our district partners. We continually strive to fulfill our mission to be a leading K-12 partner with innovative assessments, analytics, and personalized learning solutions to ensure the success of ALL students.
Thank you to all who attended the Northern CA User’s Group Meeting! And congratulations to Mary Shoemaker from Washoe Schools, Reno, NV, as our drawing winner of a brand new Chromebook!
Keep up with the latest SchoolCity developments and future User Group Meetings at https://www.schoolcity.com/Users-Group.