Oswego Community Unit School District 308 Teaching and Learning Advisory Committee met January 23
Oswego Community Unit School District 308 Teaching and Learning Advisory Committee met January 23.
Here is the minutes as provided by the committee:
I. Meeting called to order at 5:32 p.m. by Board of Education Member and Committee
Co-Chair Heather Moyer.
Members in Attendance: Jared Ploger – Board Member & Co-Chair (entered the
meeting at 6:50pm), Heather Moyer – Board Member & Co-Chair, Dr. Lisa Smith –
Associate Superintendent for Educational Services, Laura Bankowski, Candace Fikis,
Tina Gonzalez, Kelly Hastings (entered after roll call), Toia Jones, Linda Long, Dr. Patti
Marcinko (entered after roll call), Beth Meier, Yanhong Ochs, Eulalia Valdez
Guests in Attendance: Dr. Melissa McDowell, Director of Elementary Education;
Shannon Lueders, Director of Junior High Education; Jamie Max, Director of High
School Education; Dr. Heidi Podjasek, Director of Professional Development; Susan
McDougall, Assistant Director of Advanced Programs
Members Absent: Dr. Debra McDougle
Recording Secretary: Cindi Krachtus
II. Motion was made to approve the November 14, 2017 meeting minutes by Heather
Moyer; seconded by Laura Bankowski; all were in favor.
III. K-5 Trimester Grading Periods – Presented by Dr. Melissa McDowell
Dr. McDowell indicated the committee that reviewed report cards is the same
committee that reviewed elementary grading periods.
Trimester grading periods would allow more instructional days in a grading period
as well as consistency between the various grades.
Early childhood and kindergarten are currently on trimesters; third and fifth graders
receive quarterly grades.
The committee did recommend the move to trimesters?
Correct, they did.
Not necessary to change SIP days for next year; use for instructional purposes.
Beyond next year, discuss changes with the teacher days for the 2019-20 SY.
Junior high and high school staying with semesters.
KIDS – doesn’t interfere with this scheduling.
IV. Social Promotion Guidelines – Presented by Dr. Melissa McDowell, Shannon
Lueders, Jamie Max, Dr. Heidi Podjasek, and Susan McDougall
Dr. Smith indicated this topic has been discussed at various times with this
committee since May of 2017. She also noted that attached to the agendas was an
article from Hanover Research, “Supporting Successful High School Transitions”
for their review.
Elementary Level (Dr. Melissa McDowell, Dr. Heidi Podjasek)
A handout entitled, “Oswego CUSD 308 – Elementary Request for Retention” was
handed out to the committee.
Administrative procedures for requests for retention were discussed:
Criteria for retention varies based on the child and each is reviewed on a
Retention case discussions are not “surprise” discussions.
Currently looking to create recommendation and determination forms for
better record-keeping purposes.
English learners would not be retained students because they need the additional
time to acquire the skill.
How much weight do the core standards play into the decision for
It is definitely a piece of the data review.
For a teacher to make a request, what requirements are needed from the
teacher; such as, from the MTSS, etc?
They would need to bring Mastery Connect sets, STAR data, any
data that they have.
Instead of retention, wouldn’t you do a domain testing meeting?
What is a domain meeting? (Asked by another committee member)
Initiation of a special education meeting.
Most retention conversations we find are being held at the
kindergarten and first grade level.
How many requests are approved?
Last year, less than a handful were received and only one was
Looking at quantitative data and the fact that a student perhaps doesn’t
have a CogAT score, would you administer a CogAT to that student?
We don’t CogAT students for purpose of retention. We look at the
data sets that are available.
Is there anything similar to the Iowa Acceleration Scale, except with regard
to the retention of students?
Dr. Smith indicated she believes there is one that has been in
existence for a while but would need to research the name of it.
One of the problems with retention is that there isn’t a plan for the following
year, should that be part of the plan?
Yes, that should be part of it. They should stay under the MTSS
system for the supports.
Would a request for retention be requested for a student who is faced with
Every situation is different and would be look at through the dual
lens of MTSS both academically and SEL, but it typically does not
end in retention.
Who has the final say on whether a student will be retained?
Legally, according to school code, the school district does.
Whole Grade Level Acceleration (Susan McDougall)
A handout entitled, “Process for Consideration of Whole Grade Level Acceleration”
was handed out to the committee.
Whole grade level acceleration is generally seen at the elementary level, with some
fourth graders accelerating to sixth grade.
Secondary level – students have the opportunity to take honor courses and
Process/procedures for whole grade level acceleration were discussed:
Once student identified as possible consideration for whole grade level
acceleration, curriculum interventions will be instituted for 6-8 weeks.
Iowa Acceleration Scale used as guide to determine if student is to be
considered as “excellent candidate for whole-grade acceleration”
Fewer than a handful a year are considered.
Early Entrance to First Grade/Kindergarten (Susan McDougall)
The district currently has a process for early entrance to first grade:
Parents are required to submit a packet of information regarding where
their child has been attending preschool along with other pertinent
A new law was signed last summer, the Accelerated Placement Act, which will go
into effect on July 1, 2018. It will require districts to have a policy in place for
There currently are discussions that early entrance to kindergarten is to be
considered in that policy, but it is unclear how that would look.
Would there be any costs associated with this?
Possibly assessments to determine if a 4-year-old is accelerated.
Possibly we have to provide some type of home-support program.
Gifted Education Program (Susan McDougall)
Data gathering done for gifted education is by assessments.
The model change to gifted education program is not related to a change in the
number of employees.
The proposed model change is not going to be a “watered down” version of the
current gifted program.
The district has classroom teachers who have taken the gifted education
seminar who are qualified to be gifted education teachers and are working
currently with our cluster students.
Gifted education teacher stays part of the grade level team.
When the gifted education students are redistributed into the gen ed
classrooms during the gifted education math time, are you increasing those
other classroom sizes if you are at schools that are perhaps limited due to
DL classes, etc.?
Looking at different factors and rethinking how we service.
When sample groupings were looked at, there was no indication
that any classroom was going to be overly burdened with students.
Flex grouping used across subjects.
Secondary Level (Jamie Max, Shannon Lueders)
Discussed the need for a clear understanding of what it takes to fail a core course
(ELA, math, science, social studies) and what it means if you fail a core course at
the junior high level.
If a student has a combined overall grade of an “F” (Semester One & Semester
Two), then it would be considered that the student failed that course.
If a student has a combined overall grade of a “D” (Semester One & Semester
Two), then it would be considered that the student has passed that course.
The district’s past practices for students who failed courses at the junior high level
Current district practices were discussed:
Students encouraged to enroll in summer school.
Students are placed into grade-level course the next year.
On occasion, students placed into dynamics elective.
The current model in place at the high schools work.
If student fails one course, a student can either:
Repeat the course in summer school;
Repeat the course the following year using online platform (ELA-single
Pass a comprehensive proficiency assessment for the course.
Mr. Ploger believes the proficiency assessment should be given first to
every student who failed a course regardless, prior to steps one and/or two
Who pays for summer school?
Parents have always had the responsibility for paying for summer
school. If a student is free/reduced, they would still qualify for
Suggested that if a student takes a comprehensive proficiency assessment,
that student needs to go into MTSS for SEL to be sure he/she doesn’t sit
there for a year knowing they can just “test out” at end of the year to pass
into the next grade level.
The district cannot make it mandatory for a student to go to summer school
Scenarios for what a student would need to do if they failed two, three and/or four
courses were touched upon briefly.
Two sessions of summer school will be offered for junior high this summer.
Enrichment courses and most core courses will run during session one. The
second session will run more core courses for those students who might have
failed more than one core course.
Eighth graders who have failed a core course would need to go to summer school
or take that same course in ninth grade as an elective in lieu of enrolling in the next
grade level course. (This will initially put the student behind for graduation
requirements in ELA.)
Promotion/retention committee needs to be formed to meet and discuss/review
various proposals with a projected completion date of March 1, 2018.
In science and social studies, the new scope and sequences need to be finished
so that they can be communicated out to the buildings.
Edgenuity has ability to tailor units for the classes and to the students’ needs.
In following up on the curriculum review cycle from the December 11, 2017 BOE
meeting, the other board members felt it would be best to continue to hold on
curriculum review until the budget was settled. Ms. Moyer indicated she
understands the importance of the curriculum cycle and the need to not be working
VI. Public Comment (3 minutes each)
VII. The meeting was adjourned at 7:36; all were in favor.
Next Meeting: Tuesday, February 20, 2018 (EV-Rm 61/Enter Door #2)
Tuesday, April 17, 2018 (EV-Rm 61/Enter Door #2)
Tuesday, May 15, 2018 (EV-Rm 61/Enter Door #2)