How to be an “A” School: Get ready for spring!
by Jan Barrick, Alpha Plus CEO
Watch our newsletter intro video: "Live Breaking News” about this month’s newsletter from Alpha Plus!
Naturally, Oklahoma weather can’t decide if it is winter or summer and, unbelievably, Spring Break is just a month away! Now past the hundredth day of school, we hope most of your instructional days have been in-person. Yet, whatever the weather, it’s time to get ready for spring using the Alpha Plus Model.
Congrats for Success with OAS!
- 77 classes have already completed all OAS objectives
- 45 of those classes have Running Proficiency Rates above 75% of students
- 29 teachers in 14 districts completed all OAS objectives with three-fourths of their students scoring proficient
SOURCE: Data from formative assessments taken by 17,811 students in 2,300 classes in 107 schools (75 districts) using Alpha Plus Online, as of Feb. 18, 2022.
While most teachers are working diligently to teach all priority objectives in the Oklahoma Academic Standards (OAS) and assess by formative, it is important to prepare for Alpha Plus Summative A2, the spring benchmark for reading and math classes.
A2 data is used in Grades 3-8 to determine final intervention needs before state tests, and in Grades 1-2 as an end-of-year evaluation of student performance aligned to the OAS. In some schools, first and second grade students take A2 during the state test window (April 20 – May 17) in a manner like older peers.
For the state-tested grade levels, A2 benchmarks should be taken by Spring Break and should be administered as if they are state tests. In order to get the best data for decision-making, teachers should conduct an in-class review of all content taught before administering A2. One way is to use the “Review” test function under Classroom tab online for summative B, in particular, to discuss questions most students answered incorrectly at midyear.
Let students know it is unlikely they will know everything on A2 or the state test, but this practice will help them do their best work. Educators should:
- Administer A2 in two sessions on the same or consecutive days (except Grades 5 and 8 English language arts, which should be in three sessions) as required by the Oklahoma School Testing Program.
- Students should be expected to use all of the allotted time to answer and check their answers on the test. Monitor by walking around the room with grade book in hand in order to take a grade on procedures.
- Students should be using the plausible/non-plausible analysis and “doing the math” on scratch paper to turn in to the teacher. If you have not taught students how to evaluate test questions, it is time! [Click here for test-taking packet.]
- Use accommodations as defined in IEPs but provide no additional help to individual students during the test.
Next month: How to use the data from the spring benchmark to coordinate remediation.
Let us know how we can help you more!
CEO Jan Barrick and the Alpha Plus Team