How to be an “A” School: Stay in the cycle through spring!
The Alpha Plus Model of School Improvement is a cycle that is simple but not easy. [Review the basics in our September newsletter here.] Just teach, assess, remediate, and use data in alignment with the Oklahoma Academic Standards. Then, do it over and over again through the “100 Days to Mastery” from Labor Day to Spring Break.
What happens for teachers who do? Their formative and spring summative proficiency rates get closer and closer. Students are prepared for the state test when these are above the 70% Alpha Plus proficiency benchmark. The following screenshot of Activity at a veteran Alpha Plus Partner School in our online platform was taken March 7 and sorted on A2 proficiency.
These teachers administered baseline summative assessments and started formative quizzes in early September. By March, many classes had completed all objectives, but not most. Yet the average difference in formative and summative proficiency for 29 reading and math classes at Grades 3-8 was 14.8 percentage points. For all classes using Alpha Plus Online, the difference in formative and summative performance currently averages more than 30 points.
Formative proficiency is naturally higher because the short quiz on one objective is taken nearer the period of focused instruction than the summative, which covers all objectives. So, achieving high proficiency on the A2 summative means instruction and intervention throughout the 100 Days has been effective.
Of course, that’s just one school; more than 20,750 students are assessing in Alpha Plus online daily. As of 3/3/23, there were 1,691 third- through eighth-grade classes at 114 schools in 98 districts using Alpha Plus Online. Of those:
153 classes have completed all formative quizzes for their grade/subject.
104 of those classes had Running Proficiency Rates of 70% or higher (average was 75%)
Classes completing all quizzes with rates above 70% proficient were led by 84 teachers in 46 schools statewide.
If they can do it, you can do it, too! If not this year, next year. It’s called a “Continuous Improvement Cycle” by state and federal officials for a reason. Our focus is growth, not perfection!
Next steps after administering the spring (A2) summative assessment?
Teachers in classes with proficiency well below the Alpha Plus benchmark of 70% of students need to:
Use reports on student growth to determine re-teaching and intervention needs by OAS Objective
Classroom Summative Report shows OAS Objectives needing most attention between now and April 20.
Summative Test Log (download file under Management tab) compares student performance on each benchmark and calculates true growth.
Summative Objective Analysis can be accessed by administrators for Data Team Meetings, the SOA aggregate data by grade level and spotlight OAS Objectives at risk of failure.
Compare data to last state test scores of each student to evaluate expectations and monitor progress.
Find additional teaching resources to use in intervention activities.
How ‘bout those formative quizzes?
When students have scored 60% on a formative assessment (3 of 5 questions correct), remediation is necessary.
Most students who are not proficient have not learned the vocabulary in the standards.
Students scoring 40% or lower lack the foundation to reach mastery in a skill and may need to work at a lower grade-level.
One way to differentiate is to find content that is vertically aligned in Success with OAS at the grade level below (e.g., 3.2.R.1 rather than 4.2.R.1) and teach the Guided Practice to those students. [Fillable PDFs by lesson are under Classroom tab in the Resources section.]
Be sure you are sharing Standard Based Report Cards with parents so they are aware of what their students are required to learn by the state of Oklahoma.
Looking forward to 2023-24:
Software development for next year is underway and in an upcoming email we will ask for your evaluation of Alpha Plus Online 3.0.
We need your feedback and recommendations - though we have collected many through support tickets, THANKS! - to help us ensure you have the tools you need to improve the results of teaching and learning in every class.
Let us know how we can help you more! – CEO Jan Barrick and the Alpha Plus Team
Copyright © 2023 Alpha Plus Systems, Inc. All rights reserved.
ALPHA PLUS EDUCATIONAL SYSTEMS
3315 N.W. 63rd St., Oklahoma City, OK 73116