EDUCATIONAL SERVICE DELIVERY
This chapter reviews the educational service delivery of the Rockwall Independent School District (RISD) in the following sections:
- A. Curriculum and Instruction
- B. Organization and Staffing
- C. Student Performance
- D. Gifted and Talented Education
- E. Special Education
- F. Bilingual/English as a Second Language Education
- G. Career and Technology Education
- H. Title I/State Compensatory Education
- I. Guidance and Counseling
- J. Alternative Education Program
A. CURRICULUM AND INSTRUCTION
RISD's Curriculum and Instruction Division manages the development of curriculum, the delivery of educational services, special programs and the evaluation of these projects. The division also is responsible for providing principals and teachers with the tools they need to consistently deliver the state adopted curriculum and to prepare students to perform well on the Texas Assessment of Knowledge and Skills (TAKS). In 2002-03, the TAKS replaced the Texas Assessment of Academic Skills (TAAS). The new assessment is more rigorous than the TAAS and will be administered in grades 3 through 11. Math will be assessed in grades 3 through 11. Reading will be assessed in grades 3 through 9 and English Language Arts in grades 10 and 11. Writing will be assessed in grades 4 and 7; social studies in grades 8, 10 and 11; and science in grades 5, 10 and 11. The exit-level examination will be given at grade 11.
The newly created Office of Statewide Initiatives published the Superintendent's Brief with Planning Guides for Meeting the Higher Learning Standards document in August 2002. This document outlines the new higher stakes challenges that superintendents and district administrators will face between 2002 and 2008. The instructional facilitator's planning guide on page five of this document offers a plan for preparing curriculum and staff for the higher learning standards that will be measured by the TAKS. The Cycle to Raise Learning Expectations 2002 and Beyond recommends, "insuring alignment of the district curriculum with the Texas Essential Knowledge and Skills (TEKS), monitoring the teaching of the TEKS and assessing each student's performance by each TAKS objective."
RISD's Curriculum and Instruction Division provides campuses with progressive leadership. Using vertical teams from 1998-99 through 2001-02, the district produced vertically and horizontally aligned scope and sequence documents that also were aligned to the TEKS. These documents emphasize specific objectives that will be on the TAKS with bold print. The district arranged the scope documents by nine-week grade reporting periods for the four core academic areas-English/Language Arts, Mathematics, Social Studies and Science-in kindergarten through grade 12.
The Curriculum and Instruction Division distributed the scope and sequence documents to each classroom teacher responsible for teaching these subjects. For continuity, the Curriculum and Instruction Division also gives teachers the scope and sequence documents for the grade level above and below the one they teach. These documents provide an avenue for the district to document instructional consistency in each grade level by each of the four core content areas that the state will assess. Each document also lists the vocabulary that teachers need to focus on during each grade-reporting period. Exhibit 2-10 illustrates the organization of the scope and sequence documents.
Exhibit 2-10Source: RISD assistant superintendent for Curriculum and Instruction.
RISD Scope and Sequence Document Organization
TEK Number and Strand Student Expectations Specific Examples/Clarification Vocabulary The specific TEKS requirements are printed below. The student expectations are explained in a statement and then printed in the box below. Teacher created examples and clarifications are printed in the box below. Required vocabulary is printed in the box below. Example:
(5.1) Number; operation and quantitative reasoning.
The student uses place value to represent whole numbers and decimals. The student is expected to:
(A) use place value to read, write, compare and order whole numbers thorough the billions place.
- Use "er" words like bigger, smaller, taller, shorter and larger in story problems to order whole numbers.
- 3000 + 200 + 10 + 1 - 3,211: three thousand two hundred eleven
- Least to greatest: 1001, 1005, 1110
- Word names from thousandths to billions
- Standard form
- Expanded form
- Word form
- Short Word Form
- Place Value
These documents provide each teacher with district guidelines for consistently teaching all students the state's educational requirements. The documents include examples, clarifications and specific vocabulary.
RISD's Curriculum and Instruction Division provides teachers with TEKS- and TAKS- aligned scope and sequence documents arranged by nine-week grade reporting periods.
RISD has no management procedure to ensure that all teachers consistently follow the curriculum scope and sequence documents for their grade/subject level.
RISD requires all principals to monitor the teachers at their campus to ensure that the teachers use the scope and sequence documents. According to the assistant superintendent for Curriculum and Instruction, most principals require that their teachers put the corresponding TEKS numbers on their lesson plans. The district does not, however, have an approved accountability system to guide the principals in monitoring and adjusting this process if teachers do not follow the scope and sequence documents.
Monitoring activities vary from school to school ranging from "random checks" to "weekly checklists kept for each teacher." Exhibit 2-11 describes each school's monitoring system.
Exhibit 2-11Source: RISD assistant superintendent for Curriculum and Instruction.
RISD School Monitoring Techniques
School Method Used for Monitoring Instruction of Scope and Sequence Rochell Teachers turn in lesson plans to the principal. The principal monitors the lesson plans closely to verify compliance with the TEKS. The district hosts team meetings twice a week, again to verify all teachers are following curriculum TEKS criteria. The principal also meets with team leader twice a week to discuss the curriculum. The school keeps a notebook for each teacher with a checklist of the TEKS requirements they need to keep. This school held a fundraiser to purchase materials that augment the TEKS. Parks-Heath The principal tracks the use of the scope and sequence documents by discussions with grade levels and inclusion of TEKS in lesson plans. Some grade levels make notes about the TEKS on the curriculum documents. Cullins-Lake Pointe School administrators monitor teachers' weekly lesson plans. Administrators regularly compare lesson plans to the content listed in each nine-weeks curriculum. When administrators conduct walk-throughs and formal observations, they also check teachers' lesson plans against the district curriculum. School administrators regularly remind teachers that they must follow the district curriculum. Administrators and teachers periodically discuss curriculum scope and sequence documents in grade-level meetings. Jones School administrators review weekly lesson plans for compliance with the scope and sequence of the curriculum. Teachers submit the agendas and minutes of their weekly grade level meetings to the principal. The principal attends the grade-level meetings to evaluate teaching and curriculum alignment as much as possible. The principal discuss testing issues as well as student performance with teachers. After a random observation of a class, the principal returns to her office, checks the lesson plan and verifies the curriculum has been taught in proper sequence. Pullen Teachers use the RISD aligned curriculum for lesson planning. In their lesson plans, they list the TEKS learning objective for each day. The principal monitors lesson plans weekly and refers to a condensed version of the TEKS for that grade level then correlates it to the nine-week activities in the curriculum guide. In addition, the principal meets periodically with the grade levels to discuss curriculum planning and implementation. Dobbs Teachers turn in their lesson plans weekly for the principal to review. Teachers hold grade-level team meetings each week to plan lessons based on the RISD curriculum. The teachers give the principal copies of the minutes of those meetings. From time to time, the principal, assistant principal and/or counselor attend these grade-level meetings. The principal and assistant principal conduct walk-throughs as well as formal observations. School administration also reviews projects, staff development and budgets for curriculum content and shares the information as necessary. Hartman Teachers indicate TEKS objectives on their lesson plans. Administrators match required TEKS objectives by nine weeks in the grade-level curriculum documents. Teachers highlight their lesson plans where TEKS information is taught. Teachers make and use checklists. The administration uses AEIS checklists. The principal holds periodic grade-level meetings and has individual conferences with teachers. The principal conducts walk-through observations of classes. Teachers attend grade-level team meetings to plan their use of the document and lesson strategies. Nebbie Williams The school administration holds periodic team leader meetings to discuss feedback and progress on the TEKS for each nine weeks. The principal and assistant principal evaluate lesson plans and TEKS usage to ensure they fall in the correct nine weeks of instruction. In grade level planning, the team leader guides lesson planning from the curriculum documents. The principal and assistant principal make random appearances in classrooms to ensure guides are being used in planning. Middle Schools Reinhardt In order to maintain focus on the curriculum guides during faculty meetings, the principal emphasizes the importance of following the documents in order to teach the TEKS, prepare for the TAKS and maintain alignment across the district. Teachers document in their lesson plans where they are in the curriculum guides. The principal periodically checks lesson plans to ensure content and skills are being taught according to the curriculum guides. Teachers meet in grade-level teams to plan their lessons, ensuring that everyone is on target with the curriculum guides. Some grade levels created checklists to ensure coverage of the curriculum requirements. J. W. Williams Teachers turn in weekly lesson plans. The plans include how the TEKS is taught and where it is referenced in the curriculum guide. The principal monitors the plans to verify TEKS usage and verifies that teachers follow the lesson plans by conducting periodic walk-throughs. Teams have common planning times so that departments can meet and verify TEKS criteria and incorporate these requirements into finals. Teacher appraisals incorporate correct usage and follow-through of curriculum guide. Cain Team leaders monitor lesson plans in weekly team meetings. The school arranges its teams by the four core academic areas: language arts, math, science and social studies. High School Herman E. Utley Freshman Center Teachers complete and submit lesson plans weekly. School administrators require teachers to write on the plan what TEKS objective they will be working on each day. Departments hold meetings to verify that teachers are following curriculum specifications. Mentor teachers constantly work with new teachers to make sure they are following curriculum criteria. Rockwall High School The district has not completed curriculum guides for some of the courses offered at this level. The school does provide basic guidelines to ensure optimum results. The school administration also conducts a review of district, school and departmental benchmark testing; departmental semester exam results and information review; teacher evaluations; review of teacher grade books; and classroom walk-throughs and formal observations. The school provides ongoing instructional staff development opportunities. RISD Alternative School Teachers use the district curriculum guides to create lesson plans. The teachers also follow the district's curriculum by aligning with home schools through course syllabi from home schools.
RISD's Curriculum and Instruction Division evaluates and redefines the scope and sequence documents on a yearly basis. This process is slow and arduous. The assistant superintendent for Curriculum and Instruction works with the curriculum team, made up of teachers from each grade, each spring and summer in a series of meetings to collect the recommended changes and modifications to the scope and sequence documents. District secretaries manually enter the changes. The district did not completely enter the changes to the scope and sequence documents from the spring and summer of 2002 until November 2002.
In 2000, Kerrville ISD (KISD) implemented OASIS, an automated curriculum system for all content areas in classes from kindergarten to grade 12. OASIS combines KISD's objectives, best instructional practices, resources and up-to-date information about the state's assessment instrument into a single system. OASIS also aligns each KISD objective with the state's assessment instrument Release Test questions, Clarifying Activities and Assessment in Math and Snapshots in Science. OASIS also includes clarifications from TEA's Educator's Guide and favorite Web sites. In 2001, KISD's curriculum writers updated the best practices and resources in each core area and began the alignment of assessment, enrichment and remediation activities to each KISD objective.The OASIS system allows KISD to quickly update and distribute its scope and sequence documents.
Implement an online curriculum management program.
Good management of instructional programs can provide for systematic monitoring of instructional programs, provide feedback on successful aspects of curriculum and instruction, identify areas for program revision and benefit overall student achievement.
IMPLEMENTATION STRATEGIES AND TIMELINE
1. The assistant superintendent for Curriculum and Instruction assembles the curriculum development team to evaluate online curriculum software packages that include online lesson plan templates. September - December 2003 2. The curriculum development team prepares specifications for an online system and presents them to the assistant superintendent for modification and approval. January 2004 3. The assistant superintendent approves the specifications and forwards the information to the director of Purchasing to include in a request for proposals (RFP). January 2004 4. The director of Purchasing issues an RFP for purchasing the software, loading data from the district scope and sequence documents into the software and training the district staff for using the software. January -
5. The assistant superintendent and curriculum development team review RFP responses and select software. April 2004 6. RISD curriculum staff load all curriculum scope and sequence data into the software. May -
7. The selected vendor trains RISD staff in the use of the new online curriculum software and lesson plan program. September - December 2004 8. Principals begin monitoring the lesson plans of all teachers' instruction of the district scope and sequences documents. January 2005 9. Principals report the progress of their school and the use of the automated system at monthly principal meetings with the superintendent. February 2005 and Ongoing
The review team estimates purchasing and implementing an online Web-based program for managing and storing the scope and sequence documents will cost the district $10,000 the first year and approximately $6,000 per year after that. The district's costs for the system will be highest during the first year of the project. RISD will spend significant amounts of time and energy during the first year transferring the information from the scope and sequence documents into the computer system.
Recommendation 2003-04 2004-05 2005-06 2006-07 2007-08 Implement an online curriculum management program. ($10,000) ($6,000) ($6,000) ($6,000) ($6,000)
RISD does not formally evaluate its educational programs. As a result, RISD does not know what programs are most effective.
Statewide student achievement testing in the core subjects provides feedback that enables school districts to evaluate the effectiveness of their core programs. Districts, however, have few program evaluations of ancillary programs, such as those targeted to address a short-term need at one school like reading skills improvement. With no method to evaluate the effectiveness of the program, districts may continue unsuccessful programs or discontinue successful ones.
Districts' program evaluation mechanisms should be comprehensive, focused on program results and effectiveness and be independently conducted. The program evaluation should examine the following issues:
- economy, efficiency or effectiveness of the program;
- structure or design of the program to accomplish its goals and objectives;
- adequacy of the program to meet its needs identified by the school board, governmental agencies or law;
- alternative methods of providing program services or products;
- program goals and objectives clearly linking to and supporting department, division and district priorities and strategic goals and objectives;
- adequate benchmarks and comparisons have been set for student outcomes, program cost efficiency and cost effectiveness;
- compliance with appropriate policies, rules and laws; and
- adequacy and appropriateness of goals, objectives and performance measures used by the program to monitor, assess and report on program accomplishments.
Program objectives are measurable and adequately define the specific effect the program is expected to have on student achievement, especially on student performance.
The 1990 Spring Independent School District Standard Process for Program Evaluation describes the standards that Spring Independent School District (SISD) will apply to all its educational programs. Its intent is "to establish program evaluation as an expected, systematic and continuing process integrated with an organized program development cycle." The plan gathers information useful to improving, revising and determining the worth of programs. The plan includes two types of evaluation for these purposes: evaluation designed to improve the implementation of programs in progress and evaluation designed to make judgments regarding the merit of programs.
SISD reviews a select number of programs each year. These program evaluations identify the programs' strengths and concerns. Instructional and administrative staff and the board use evaluation results as the basis for program planning and revision. In addition to these evaluations, SISD evaluates programs periodically through surveys of parents, teachers and students. SISD also surveys graduates at the end of each school year.
SISD based its five-year curriculum evaluation program on Standards for Evaluation of Educational Programs, Projects and Materials. The Joint Committee on Standards for Educational Evaluation produced this document. The document suggests that districts address the following indicators or measures in the program evaluation process:
- the degree of program implementation;
- student performance;
- the quality of teacher preparation and development;
- teacher satisfaction and concern;
- the use, the quantity and the quality of materials and resources;
- unintended effects;
- student, parent and community satisfaction; and
- adequacy of staffing, facilities and equipment.
Develop a formal program evaluation process.
The assistant superintendent of Curriculum and Instruction should work with central office Curriculum and Instruction Division staff, principals and teachers to develop a program evaluation schedule. The district should adopt a standard report format and establish a timeframe for conducting the evaluations.
IMPLEMENTATION STRATEGIES AND TIMELINE
1. The assistant superintendent of Curriculum and Instruction meets with central office Curriculum and Instruction staff, principals and teachers to discuss the order of priority in which programs should be evaluated. July 2003 2. The assistant superintendent of Curriculum and Instruction develops an evaluation schedule, a standard report format and a timetable for completing the evaluations during the first year. The assistant superintendent of Curriculum and Instruction reviews it with central office Curriculum and Instruction Division staff, principals and teachers. August 2003 3. The assistant superintendent of Curriculum and Instruction modifies the plan to reflect the input of the participants and presents it to the superintendent for approval. September 2003 4. The superintendent approves the plan and authorizes the assistant superintendent to begin the process. September 2003
This recommendation can be implemented with existing resources.