Peoria Public Schools

Peoria Public Schools

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  • Higher frequency and adaptive nature helps teachers and students use NWEA results for academic achievement

    Research-based, differentiated instruction and frequent assessment are the foundations of District 150’s approach to achieving another of its 2014-15 priorities: Increase the number of students meeting or exceeding standards in reading and math. In years past, reading and math standards have been determined by the ISAT/PSAE, a state-mandated test given once each school year. As of 2014, the State of Illinois has discontinued the ISAT/PSAE, leaving the Northwest Evaluation Association (NWEA) Measure of Academic Progress (MAP) and the Dynamic Indicators of Basic Early Literacy Skills (DIBELS) as the primary tools of student assessment in District 150. While they remain the most stable and continuous form of testing for District students, the State of Illinois is adopting The Partnership for Assessment of Readiness for College and Careers (PARCC), a common set of assessments to measure student achievement and preparedness for college and careers collaboratively designed by a consortium of states, to replace ISAT/PSAE in 2015. Specific attributes of these tests, particularly the NWEA, allow school interventionists and teachers to design instruction to address a student’s exact needs because the results are immediate and because the students are tested three time each school year, rather than just once. Many Peoria Public Schools have charts with color-coded stickers posted prominently in their entry hallways. These charts detail students’ NWEA scores from the beginning of the year (BOY). Each student knows what the data means and which sticker is theirs. As they test again at the mid- and end-points of the year, they can track their own progress.

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  •  AVID

    AVID expands to four more schools

    One obvious sign that a school is following the Advancement Via Individual Determination (AVID) system is the plethora of college and university-related visual references in the building. Pennants decorate classrooms and offices. Hallways are named after colleges and universities. Classroom doors not only indicate the name of the teacher and the grade but the teacher’s alma mater. Staff members frequently wear their college colors to school. These visual tools help students as young as kindergarten begin to form their own mental picture of “college.” But AVID is much more than hallway decorations. AVID is a long-term, comprehensive system that prepares students for college. AVID is a set of rigorous expectations and skills that students can use through elementary, middle and high school. AVID is already in place at Richwoods High School, Peoria High School, Manual Academy, Lincoln K-8, Harrison Community Learning Center and Franklin Primary School. As outlined in the District’s priorities for 2014-15, AVID is expanding to Calvin Coolidge Middle School, Von Steuben Middle School, Thomas Jefferson Primary School and Kellar Primary School. This expansion is a multi-year process with many teachers undergoing AVID training during the summer of 2015. “Our school is in the first stages of implementing AVID. We are educating our students about AVID and our first AVID class for eighth-grade students will start this spring. Teachers have begun to incorporate AVID in lessons and classrooms,” says Calvin Coolidge Math and Language Arts teacher Katie Elledge. AVID reaches over 700,000 in 45 states. Nationwide 99 percent of high school seniors in AVID graduate from high school on time. Seventy-six percent of those students are accepted to a four-year college or university.

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