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Panther Pause: Looking back and moving forward

Glenn H. Webb

Column by Glenn H. Webb, St. Croix Central Director of Teaching and Learning

I hope your New Year is off to a great start. With every New Year comes many new challenges and opportunities. It is a time to reflect on the previous year and look with anticipation to the future. As we reflect back on 2017, there are a lot of things SCC is proud of and some we can't wait to see develop in 2018. I speak for our entire administrative team when I say one of those "things" is Standards Based Assessing and Reporting (SBA&R).

Back in August, we set an aggressive goal to make sure we moved with urgency to develop a plan for implementing SBA&R at the middle school and high school levels. With this goal, we knew we would have to be patient as there was a lot of work to do to inform all stakeholders about the value we see in SBA&R. In combining our urgency and patience, we have come a long way in only a few months, we have learned a great deal, and we have realized there is still a lot of work to do.

As superintendent Tim Widiker has said numerous times, we wouldn't be where we are today in planning for SBA&R at the middle and high schools if we had not set a deadline for implementation. We also wouldn't know what work was still needed at the elementary, a key feedback item we took from the community listening session. With that said, we still have work to do to get this right, and we are not moving forward until we have it right. Principal Nusbaum announced at last Monday night's board meeting that we are not going to be ready by next fall to implement SBA&R at the middle school, so we are pushing that deadline back. They need additional time for developing the assessments and rubrics to correspond to the essential standards they have identified. There is not a new deadline, just the commitment to keep moving forward until we are ready to go. There is no change to the high school deadline at this time, just the same commitment to develop the plan until we have it right and are ready to roll it out.

Our plan is to continue to review our district data to monitor our progress as we develop our curriculum and essential standards for this system. We are continuously connecting with other schools who are seeing success with SBA&R at the same time sharing what we have learned with many schools looking to move in a similar direction. We are reviewing more research on the pros and cons of SBA&R while also working closely with our staff members and having informal conversations throughout the community. We are putting together plans for another community listening session, but have not established a date for the meeting yet.

We will continue to look, learn and listen during the upcoming months. We are committed to doing this right and your comments and feedback are valuable. If you have any comments, concerns or questions about SBA&R, contact anyone on the administrative team or myself directly at 715-796-4500 or gwebb@scc.k12.wi.us. Thanks for all of your support!

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