RVS to explore math and improvements in teaching English next year

Content of the article

The 2022-2023 school year will be the last year of the Rocky View Schools (RVS) four-year plan, and the board has approved some changes that aim to explore how math and English lessons can be better taught at and understood by the students.

Content of the article

Superintendent Greg Luterbach presented the changes to the board on May 12 before final technical changes could be made and the plan submitted to Alberta Education by May 31.

Luterbach said the changes tie into one of the goals set out in the four-year plan, adding that it’s a step toward establishing a division-wide standard of practice when assessing student success in their math and English classes.

“A big change is related to the second goal (students realize their potential), and it doesn’t really change that goal. It’s really about implementing division-wide literacy and numeracy assessments in Rocky View – a standardized approach,” Luterbach said.

“There are now going to be performance metrics around division-wide literacy and numeracy assessments, so that will be new. It is a local measure,” he said.

“We’ve really tried to tell our own story through local measures and to reduce the emphasis (provincial achievement tests) and diploma exams.

He clarified that not how students are graded changes, but how teachers measure the success of their teaching practices.

“We are not proposing to change the grading scales or the elimination of report cards. Outcome-based assessment models are only about teachers’ practices and how they determine where students are at,” Luterbach said.

Luterbach referred to a new practical instruction and evaluation guide mentioned in the document.

Content of the article

When implemented, it will serve as a tool for teachers to support their instructions.

It establishes a benchmark of what is expected of teachers to ensure that students have the best chance of success in school.

“It’s really about what teaching and learning will look like, and it depends on what our assessment practices look like. It examines what are the most effective research-based literacy and numeracy practices,” he said.

“We will outline these in this practice guide and link to the professional practice guide on how we bring this to life in classrooms and support teachers to do so.”

Two new performance measures have been added to the document to track the success of students achieving their potential. The school division will look at the percentage of students in grades 1-4 demonstrating academic achievement or above, as well as the percentage of students in grades 2-9 demonstrating proficiency or above in their math skills.

Luterbach said engagement efforts with RVS staff, students and families are expected over the next year.

“We’re also collecting input and feedback on this through our education plan survey, and we’ve already heard from almost 1,000 parents, staff and students,” he said.

“We ask students, parents and teachers questions if they think they are learning, and we link this directly to the goals and results of our four-year plan.”

He added that this commitment will be particularly useful in formulating the objectives of the division’s next four-year plan.

“As this is the fourth year of the plan, you can expect a lot of engagement over the next year…on what the next cycle of the four-year plan will look like.”

RVS always collects responses to an education plan survey. It received 11,000 survey responses last year and so far the division has received responses from 1,000 staff, 2,800 parents and 7,000 students.