Friday, May 6, 2016

Summary of 4/18/16 FCAPAGE Presentation

Thank you to everyone who attended our last meeting!

For those of you who were unable to attend, Dr. Matt Harris and Ms. Ashley Nestor have provided us with the following pdf of their presentation.

FCAPAGE Presentation, 4/18/16

In addition, Amy Meyer (Fairview Elementary Liason) took down the following notes from the meeting:

Literacy 6 at DMS 

  • New 2 period course, fully implemented this year
  • Aligned to the PA Core
  • Combined reading & writing standards - students no longer take a separate Language Arts course
  • Literary Scholarship - text complexity/more advanced texts
  • The challenge was to find resources that aligned to the new standards.  Houghton-Mifflin Collections series was chosen for its rich digital interface and combination of novels and articles
Literacy 6 Advanced Placement Criterion
  • Students must show a need for enrichment in both reading and writing
  • Star testing in the top quartile in at least one of 3 assessments (STAR, CDT) from school year, or score in upper quartile of STAR assessment in May
  • Top rubric score on an above-grade-level writing prompt
  • Review of writing portfolio will be performed for students who are close
  • Advanced score on PSSA to confirm placement

7th grade will be piloting Collections Series program in the upcoming school year, but will retain a separate English Language Arts class

Several parents attending the meeting expressed concern regarding the emotional weight of some of the 6th grade novels in Literacy 6 Advanced.

Another parent expressed concern over the lack of time spent discussing/processing certain novels vs. the new "Collection Series"

Elementary Enrichment - English Language Arts (E-ELA) Program
  •  FCASD now has a cohesive ELA curriculum across all elementary grades & schools
  • This is the first year of full implementation
  • Grandfathering vs flexible model - students are now assessed mid-year for appropriate placement
  • enrichment programs run parallel to grade level classes
  • There is a 50/50 balance between novel studies and informational text 
  • Program has been successful - we have picked up new students 1/2 way through the year
  • Program will be refined to update existing novel studies & create additional options, modules will be adjusted to semester units so there will be 2 per year, and culminating tasks (projects) will be designed to complement the novel studies

Note: Ms. Nestor shared that there will be an Elementary Quest Focus Group 
This meeting will take place in May.  Lisa Lakkis and Monica Hertzman will represent FCAPAGE at this meeting.  One parent asked Ms. Nestor to consider past models for Quest.  There may be value in looking at the history as many parents have good memories of project-based learning that was incorporated before the current curriculum was implemented.