As Oklahoma schools move into the second nine weeks of the 2020-21 school year, Alpha Plus sends our THANKS to some of the most essential workers in the state! Children need you and we appreciate all you do for Oklahoma’s future.
Fall 2020 – an unprecedented back-to-school season!
To help educators and administrators navigate this unprecedented school year, this update includes status, tips and reminders about how each platform supports the Alpha Plus Model of School Improvement.
ALPHA PLUS ONLINE’s suite of summative benchmark and formative assessments aligned solely to the Oklahoma Academic Standards (OAS) is at https://aplustesting.org.
- In its fifth year online, to-date there are 767 teachers, specialists and administrators in the platform with 12,250 students enrolled statewide.
- About 74% of these students in Grades 1-8 have taken at least one assessment so far.
ALPHA PLUS LEARNING is the new Learning Management System (LMS) for Success with OAS mathematics and reading books at https://alphapluslearning.org.
- Launched the first week of September, 580 educators and administrators have access with just under 8,800 students are enrolled in the LMS. Many are successfully using the digital versions of the textbooks in this pilot year.
- Evaluation of user feedback is ongoing as Alpha Plus troubleshoots and develops the system. The primary focus is meeting teacher and student needs for both in-class and distance learning.
ALPHA PLUS RESOURCES is where PDFs of all materials purchased by your district can be downloaded at https://alphaplusresources.com.
- Many resources are available for free on the home page for any educator or parent who needs them. Please share!
- A district-level password is needed to download proprietary assessments (to print as needed), Success with OAS books (for use on school devices), and Alpha Plus Pacing Calendars and other professional-development content.
- Access credentials have been provided to principals; please request that from your central office or an Alpha Plus Facilitator, or call (405) 842-8408.
Great progress so far!
- At least 78% of students in Alpha Plus Online classrooms for Grades 3-8 reading and math completed the summative baseline before October 1.
- Naturally, a drop in number completing the A1 benchmark was expected given COVID-19 constraints. Yet teachers are barely off the pace; 86% of students completed the baseline by this time last school year.
- Average score on this fall’s baseline was 43%, just ahead of the 42% baseline average from summative assessments taken by the end of September 2019. Average score goal for Summative B (different questions/same blueprint) is 50% - 56%. After giving B, teachers can use the Review Test function for classroom discussion of questions missed before the spring benchmark in late February-early March,
- Average score goal for Summative A2 is 75%, which equates to the state cut score of a 300 on the OPI scale for all tests. A1 and A2 are the same tests to provide a true growth model.
Pace is more difficult than ever.
Normally, about one-third (7-13 depending on content area) of the objectives prioritized by the state in the Oklahoma Academic Standards (OAS) should be taught each of the first three nine weeks. This is why Alpha Plus focuses on 100 Days to Mastery between Labor Day and Spring Break.
As of the traditional Fall Break (mid-October), there will be about 88 instructional days left until March 12, 2021, when schools customarily let out for Spring Break. In 2019-20, an impressive 80% of students in Grades 3-8 completed the A2 benchmark for reading and math before Spring Break – a standard of the Alpha Plus Model. Average score growth was 15%. Many teachers continued to use the site with students from home in April and May.
- Maintaining as steady a pace of instruction as possible ensures all state-required subject matter is covered and allows time to use the data to better prepare students for state tests in mid-April.
- State test schedule has not changed yet and is here: OSTP 2020-21 (https://sde.ok.gov). If you want early RSA results, plan for Grade 3 students to complete state ELA test by April 23 (https://oklahoma.onlinehelp.cognia.org).
- After teaching an objective to mastery, give formative quizzes on each objective in the order that works for you, or in the suggested order of the Alpha Plus Pacing Calendars (curriculum maps).
- The Objective Accountability Graph shows teaching pace and student proficiency in real time.
NOTE: Formative quizzes and textbook lessons are listed in the online platforms in numerical order by OAS objective code, not in a suggested order of instruction.
Use the data always.
Throughout the year, the most effective teachers coordinate intervention with a team or provide their own remediation by re-teaching the class and/or tutoring small groups and individual students on key objectives. Get as many people as possible helping with intervention throughout the year.
Aim for completing formative quizzes by the 100th Day of School (mid-February in most schools) and celebrate with students your successes! Then:
- Re-teach OAS objectives on which less than 70% of students scored proficient on the formative quiz.
- Additional intervention resources are available from OSSBA's Oklahoma Library of Digital Resources, a free, high-quality source of curated, interactive content; the OSDE Curriculum Frameworks also provide links to online units.
- Plan a review of all OAS objectives taught before midyear and spring benchmarks to ensure a valid measure of growth for each student.
PLAN NOW for Midyear Benchmark: Nov. 6, 2020 – Jan. 15, 2021: Usually taken just before Thanksgiving or Winter Break, summative B is an opportunity for students with disabilities to practice using accommodations, and for all to practice test-taking procedures.
- Many teachers give a grade for using proper test-taking procedures. See packet in the Teacher PD Resource Binder, or click here to download testing strategies packet.
- Consider giving a benchmarked content grade (or extra points) on questions aligned to objectives taught before B or A2 benchmarks are administered. OAS objectives assessed by formative quizzes are highlighted in the Classroom List Report as of the date a summative is taken.