February 19, 2018

Templeton presents technology that enhances learning

Templeton Middle School staff members showed School Board members how their school has been using technology to enhance student learning.

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Attendees at the School Board meeting were taken on a virtual reality trip.

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School Board member Jennifer Waltz and Deborah Briggs try out the devices.

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Templeton Grade 7 teachers Ashley Pfeifer and Mary Caucutt describe how the virtual reality glasses are used the enhance learning for students.

School Board members and meeting attendees were able to see what students are experiencing using virtual reality devices. Grade 7 teachers Mary Caucutt and Ashley Pfeifer explained how the virtual reality glasses allowed students to take Google Expeditions to faraway lands with life-like experiences that provide relevance to what they are learning. The devices were provided in large part through a grant from the Hamilton Education Foundation.

Library-media specialist Anita Paque described the TMS Makerspace, a specialized lab for personalized learning projects that extend classroom learning. The Makerspace has stations for 3-D printing, green-screen productions, little bits circuits, arts and crafts design, vinyl stencil cutter, stop-motion animation and podcasting. Paque said the area promotes creativity, critical thinking and problem solving.

Flaherty recognized for Inspire Award

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Shannon Flaherty receives a certificate from School Board President Gabe Kolesari.

Templeton Middle School applied engineering and technology education teacher Shannon Flaherty was recognized for receiving the Wisconsin Technology Education Association (WTEA) Inspire Award. The award recognizes teachers who have inspired a current or future teacher in the field of technology education.

Curriculum review process reported

Three curricular areas being reviewed in the 2017-18 school year are applied engineering and technology, business education and K-8 science. In addition, three Hamilton High School courses will be added. They are oral and interpersonal communication, drama in literature and production, and performance conditioning. Instructional Services Supervisor Katie Little, Ph.D., updated the School Board on the curriculum review process.

Little said the curriculum and courses are in the process of being written and will be presented to the School Board for approval this summer. In addition, staff are piloting K-5 and 6-8 science programs.

Assessment schedule summarized

Instructional Services Supervisor Katherine Little, Ph.D., summarized standardized assessments required by state and federal law. The Wisconsin Student Assessment System (WSAS) is a comprehensive statewide program designed to provide information about what students know and whether they can apply that knowledge in core academic areas. Assessments include:

  • Wisconsin Forward Exam assesses English language arts and mathematics for grades 3-8; science for grades 4 and 8; and social studies for grades 4, 8 and 10. Students take the assessment online.
  • ACT Aspire Early High School is a summative assessment that measures what students have learned in the areas of English, reading, math, science and writing. The ACT Aspire scores predict how a student will perform on both the ACT and the ACT WorkKeys when they reach grade 11. It is administered to students in grades 9 and 10 in an online format.
  • ACT tests include reading, math, English, science and writing. The ACT with writing is a paper and pencil test.
  • ACT WorkKeys assesses applied mathematics, locating information and reading for information. ACT WorkKeys system is a paper and pencil assessment that helps students understand how they can improve their career readiness skills and may help employers to determine whether individuals are qualified for positions.
    All students take these assessments except for 1 percent of students with significant cognitive disabilities who are assessed with an alternate assessment,
  • Dynamic Learning Maps (DLM).
  • ACCESS for ELLs® is designed to measure English language (EL) proficiency. It is a large-scale assessment based on the WIDA Consortium’s ELD Standards that form the core of Wisconsin’s approach to instructing and testing ELs.

In addition to the state-mandated exams, the district implements elementary benchmark assessments in reading, mathematics and writing, along with Measures of Academic Progress (MAP) assessments in grades 1-8. The Phonological Awareness Literacy Screening (PALS) is administered at primary grade levels. Alternative assessments and those for English Language Learners are also given.

Little noted that the district is investigating the potential of using the STAR assessment as a replacement for MAP testing. If sufficient evidence supports a move from MAP to STAR, a recommendation will be presented to the School Board.

Personnel matters

In personnel matters the School Board:

  • accepted the resignation of Special Services administrative assistant Julie Bigley, effective Feb. 23;
  • approved the appointment of associate kitchen employees Diana Butcher at Templeton and Priscilla Rollmann and Beatrice Bell at Woodside; and
  • modified the contract of Willow Springs Special Services teacher Jennifer Orlowski.