On Feb. 13, 2020, a group composed of the department chairs for math, the assistant principal for curriculum and instruction from Hinsdale South, and the principals from both high schools gave a presentation about some of the work being done in conjunction with Goal 1, Strategy 1 of the strategic plan, which is aimed at "ensuring that course and instructional units include common critical competencies, aligned assessments between the two high schools and multiple measures of success."
The building principals began the presentation with an update on the work the Learning Leadership Team (LLT) has been doing with teachers to align the district’s grading and assessment practices. The update included:
- Information about the purpose of the work - provide consistent communication about the academic standing of students; align course team grading practices; provide parents/guardians with consistent communication regarding student progress; increase equity in grading and reporting practices.
- The names of the people who are serving on the LLT.
- Details about the work the LLT has done or is scheduled to do - met five times to plan each Flex Learning Day, during which the teachers study best practices in grading and assessment through the lens of different researchers (Alex Bowers, Ken O'Connor, Myron Dueck and Thomas Guskey); will decide during its meeting on Feb. 18 which practices it will recommend be included in the District 86 Grading and Reporting Philosophy that all teachers will adhere to at the course team, department and district levels; will establish a timeline and process for designing professional development and creating streamlined procedures for implementing district-level unified practices.
- Pre-decisional questions that have helped guide the work and address topics (e.g., grading summative versus formative assessments, use of zeroes, allowing test retakes, use of factors such as extra credit and attendance to determine a final grade, etc.) that might be considered for inclusion in the District 86 Grading and Reporting Philosophy.
- Next steps - the LLT will use teacher feedback collected during the Flex Learning Days to determine which practices it will recommend for inclusion in the District 86 Grading and Reporting Philosophy (Feb. 18); the LLT will present its recommendations to the district's executive cabinet team on March 2 and members of the Parent-Teacher Advisory Committee on March 6; teachers will receive the LLT's recommendations during the Flex Learning Day on March 18 and begin talking with their department chairs about the plan for fully implementing them by the start of the 2024-25 school year; the LLT will present its recommendations to the board of education on March 26.
After sharing the information about grading and assessment practices, the principals were joined by the department chairs for math and the assistant principal for curriculum and instruction from Hinsdale South for an update on the district's math curriculum alignment work. This update included:
- Information about the purpose of the work, which is to "develop the vision of our District 86 math program and determine what course pathways will allow us to realize that vision."
- The names of the people who are serving on the Math Pathways Team, as well as the list of courses they previously taught or currently teach.
- Details about the communication efforts that have been undertaken in support of the work.
- Information about the meetings that have taken place or are scheduled to occur by the end of the school year.
- Information about the tasks that have been or will be completed in conjunction with the work, including getting feedback from the math teachers, counseling and special education departments, Parent-Teacher Advisory Committee, Principal-Student Advisory Council and the district's feeder schools.
- An overview of the structure that is being used to support the curriculum-building process.
- Information about why the district's math curriculum and courses are being reviewed/examined.
- Examples of the role that math plays in different aspects of society and everyday life.
- Summaries of what the Math Pathways Team discussed during its meetings on Jan. 23 and Feb. 6, which included feedback that the math departments from both schools shared regarding what they want math learners to acquire and experience during their time in District 86.
- A list of the math program's current strengths.
- Information about the math model/pathway currently being used by both high schools.
- Information about how the math department's process will be used to guide the work of other departments going forward.