Many of the participants came from their elementary schools where they were still completing State testing with their students, so they needed a recharge. Upon arrival, participants grabbed a nutritious lunch and entertained themselves a bit by dressing up in our photo booth. As lunch progressed, Ms. Cynthia Hanna, and Mr. Michael Slakman, Broward County’s Account Managers for SchoolCity, welcomed the participants and opened their eyes to new possibilities within the SchoolCity SUITE by demonstrating the power of SchoolCharts / SchoolGrades. This is a newer feature that allows school and district-level users to review achievement levels and learning gains made in Math, Science, ELA and Social Studies from State assessments.
With eyes wide, Ms. Lucy Long took the stage. Her message was to remind the teachers and administrators that intelligence in not fixed. The mindset must be changed to a belief that the power is in the own potential to grow through effort. Therefore, it is so important for students to take ownership of their data and set personal goals informed by the data they understand. SchoolCity is the right choice to help them do that. The information provided on reports such as the feedback cards and standards progression report allow students to see evidence of their progress and realize that their goals are within reach. When online, students have access to additional resources that facilitate enhancing their knowledge and further their mission to achieving their objectives. But as I said earlier, this wasn’t a sit and get, Lucy also engaged the participants via Mentimeter (www.mentimeter.com) and probing questions that enabled an engaging discussion about personalized review assessments (PRA’s). This is a feature expected to be included in the fall release. When assigned, the PRA will deliver a set of resources that best match the weakness demonstrated by that student on the assessment and allow the teacher to hold the student accountable for completing each activity.
We are very fortunate, here in Broward County, to partner with so many amazing schools. Every day the leadership work hard to see that their vision for their schools comes to fruition so it was important that we take the opportunity to have a couple of these schools show off what they are doing to drive their schools from good to great.
Ms. Flowers is the principal of Charles R. Drew Elementary. The energy she provided was invigorating. She and her team of superstars uses a unifying sports theme for guiding their SchoolCity playbook and working towards stardom. Their “One Team, One Goal” vision drives home the realization that assessments mean very little unless teachers act to change what is going on their classrooms to enhance learning.
As a model curriculum coach for others to emulate, Ms. Kassie Hameister, regaled that crowd with the incredible improvements her school made in the last year. Her school started using SUITE in middle of the last school year. She noticed that teachers were not increasing the rigor in their classrooms and the scores were showing that. Although apprehensive at first, teachers started climbing on board the SchoolCity train and in just a few short months, numbers started to significantly climb on their formative assessments. This lead to a 44-point increase on the 2017 Florida Standards Assessment. This school year, they are expecting even better results since they will have had a full year using the system and the accompanying data chats that ensued.
The day wrapped up with Cynthia and Michael preparing the schools for end of the school year and what they need to do to start the next school year with the right tools like copying assessments from one year to the next and whether it is important to test students at the beginning of the year. And no Lunch and Learn is complete without the opportunity to win some loot! Participants were asked a few questions via Kahoot (https://kahoot.it) based on the information shared during the various presentations. Winners were awarded gift cards from venues such as Starbucks, Panera and even Amazon.
Thank you to all who attended the 2018 Broward Lunch and Learn. The SchoolCity Account Management staff truly enjoyed the opportunity to share the wonderful features and possibilities that SUITE has to offer. We look forward to seeing you all next year as continue to “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.” Betty Flanary, A Network for Defining Student Achievement!
About the author:
Michael is an Account Manager and a Trainer for SchoolCity. His primary focus is on supporting the incredible schools in Broward County, FL. He has over 25 years of teacher and technical expertise. During his tenure in the classroom and the district office, Michael earned a master’s degree in Computer Science Education and a Specialist degree in Educational Leadership. When he is not applying himself at work, Michael enjoys running marathons, cooking and basketball as well as a plethora of other outdoor activities.