Practice Activity: Developing a Monitoring Plan
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Identify data to be used in monitoring

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Schools have to identify the student achievement data they need to collect to determine if they are making progress toward the attainment of their priority goals. If your school’s goal is to attain the state satisfactory standard for reading, then your school will want to collect individual student data on the outcomes the state measures on reading at the indicator level. Your school monitoring plan will focus on monitoring individual student progress on these indicators. Though your monitoring plan needs to span the school year, you might want to organize your monitoring by quarter to more closely align with grade books.

Once you have determined the indicators/objectives to be monitored, you will need to determine how you will collect the data. Some schools have chosen to collect data on a school-wide basis using a school-developed or selected performance task or assessment. Though that would give you information about student performance, it has a couple of drawbacks: 1) it may result in teachers viewing the monitoring piece as external to their classroom instruction, and 2) it may not be moving you to your ultimate goal. The ultimate goal is to have teachers instructing and assessing the indicators they are responsible for teaching on an ongoing basis so that they will know where their students are at any given time in relationship to those indicators being monitored. Teachers need to regularly ask these three questions:

  1. What do I want my students to know and do?
  2. Where are my students?
  3. What evidence do I have to know that?
  4. What do I plan to do about it?

Consequently, a monitoring plan aligned with your ultimate goal would have you focus on the collection of classroom level data that is part of the regular classroom instruction.

Once you have identified your school improvement goals, you will know which content standards you will need to monitor student progress against.

In order to ensure ownership of the plan, you will want to collaboratively develop a monitoring plan with staff. You may want to start this process with the leadership team or with your entire staff. You would begin by sharing the sets of indicators/objectives related to the school improvement goals that the school will be monitoring. You would ask them to determine which content area teacher at which grade level will be primarily responsible for teaching, assessing and submitting data on each of the indicators/objectives. The staff would need to divvy up the indicators in a way that made instructional sense. They will need to discuss how often data needs to be collected on each indicator/objective to determine progress. They will need to set deadlines for when data needs to be collected and submitted. Keeping the focus on student achievement will be critical during this discussion. Teachers sometimes see this process as an “add-on” to their already too full schedules. So helping them to see that monitoring the progress of students on the indicators they are responsible for teaching is exactly what they are expected to be doing in their classrooms will help them see this is not an add-on. The discussion should be framed around the question, “When do we need to see data results so that we have maximum time to make instructional modifications or interventions.” It should not be based on what is easiest for staff or when the staff can get it done.

Once teachers know what indicators/objectives they are responsible for teaching and assessing and how frequently they need to submit the data, they need to determine the format for recording student performance on those indicators. A discussion among teams or departments about how a student can demonstrate proficiency on a specific indicator should help to broaden thinking and develop some consistency in how student performance is assessed. When the state applies a specific rubric or scoring tool to their assessment of this content area, it would be important for the teacher to apply the same assessment criteria to determine whether a student was likely perform at the proficient level on the state assessment.

If there are indicators/objectives not presently being addressed, the team will need to decide who will teach and assess them and when during the school year. For indicators/objectives only addressed in the first semester, teams will need to decide how best to review them with students to ensure that students have retained proficiency. The completed template is your monitoring plan. From the monitoring plan each teacher will benefit from a grade book template that identifies the indicators they are responsible for monitoring for each quarter of the school year.

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