RSU 73 | Spruce Mountain School District
English / Language Arts (ELA)
Career & Educational Technology
Physical & Health Education
- This section is currently under development.
Maine’s Guiding Principles
- This section is currently under development.
Proficiency-based learning or Proficiency Based education refers to systems of instruction, assessment, grading, and academic reporting that are based on students demonstrating that they have learned the knowledge and skills they are expected to learn as they progress through their education.
Proficiency-based learning is generally seen as a change from traditional educational approaches in which students may or may not acquire proficiency in a given course or academic subject before they earn course credit, get promoted to the next grade level, or graduate.
Example: High school students typically earn academic credit by passing a course, but a passing grade may be an A or it may be a D. With grades ranging from A-D, this suggests that some students learned more than others. While the goal of proficiency-based learning is to ensure that more students learn what they are expected to learn, the approach can also provide educators with more detailed or fine-grained information about student learning progress, which can help them more precisely identify academic strengths and weakness, as well as the specific concepts and skills students have not yet mastered.
Since academic progress is often tracked and reported by learning standard in proficiency-based courses and schools, educators and parents often know more precisely what specific knowledge and skills students have acquired or may be struggling with. For example, instead of receiving a letter grade on an assignment or test, each of which may address a variety of standards, students are graded on specific learning standards, each of which describes the knowledge and skills students are expected to acquire.
Since 1997, Maine has had the Maine Learning Results as its State standards for eight content areas and periodically updates them to ensure they are aligned with the evolving expectations of colleges and careers in the 21st century.
The Maine Learning Results were updated in 2011 to include Common Core as the college and career readiness standards for English (http://www.corestandards.org/ELA-Literacy/language arts) and math (http://www.corestandards.org/Math/), preparing our students for success in college, career and civic life by creating deeper, more rigorous and clearer expectations for learning.
The Common Core State Standards are written to be rigorous, to prepare students for college readiness and to compete in a global economy. The CCSS reflect the knowledge and skills that young people need to succeed in college and their future career. Within each content area, the standards focus on problem solving and critical thinking skills and will assist Spruce Mountain School District in its mission: To ensure success through personalized learning.
Title One in Spruce Mountain School District
Title I is a federally funded program that provides supplemental academic support and extended learning opportunities to low achieving children in high poverty schools.
The purpose of Title I is to ensure that all children have a fair and equal opportunity to obtain a high-quality education and achieve proficiency on Maine’s challenging academic standards.
A Parent’s Guide to Title One
What is Title I?
- The goal of Title I is to provide extra instructional services and activities which support students identified as failing or most at risk of failing the state’s challenging performance standards in mathematics, reading, and writing.
The Spruce Mountain School District Title One Program emphasizes early intervention and prevention through K-8 supplemental instruction in literacy and math. All district schools have trained interventionists on staff.
What will Title I do for my child?
- The Title I program will provide your student with extra educational assistance beyond the regular classroom..
How does our school receive Title I money?
- First, the federal government provides funding to each state. Then, each State Educational Agency sends money to its school districts. How much money each school receives is determined by the number of low-income students attending that school.
Finally, Title I schools:
- Identify the students at their school who need the most educational assistance based on the criteria that school has chosen. Students do NOT have to be from low-income families to receive Title I services.
- Measure student progress to determine the success of the Title I program for each student.
- Develop programs for each individual student in order to support/supplement regular classroom instruction.
What do Title I programs offer?
- Smaller classes or special instructional spaces
- Additional teachers and aides
- Opportunities for professional development for school staff
- Extra time for teaching Title I students the skills they need
- An individualized program for students
How can I get involved?
- Parents, you can influence the success of your student in school more than any teacher or federal program.
Spruce Mountain School District recognizes that a child’s education is a responsibility shared by the school, the student, and the family. Research shows that the involvement of parents in their child’s education increases student achievement. Schools and parents must work as partners if the school system is to meet its goal of educating students effectively.
KBF – Parent Involvement in Title 1 (10/24/13) KBF-R1 – Parent Involvement: District Level Policy (10/24/13) KBF-R2 – Parent Involvement: School Level Procedures (10/24/13)
ESEA Report Cards
The federal Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA) of 2015 is the current iteration of the ESEA (Elementary and Secondary Education Act), the federal government’s primary mechanism for holding public schools accountable, closing achievement gaps, and supporting schools in improvement efforts. Each year the Maine DOE issues a report card for each district. These report cards include Maine Comprehensive Assessment System data, attendance and graduation rates, status of ESEA Accountability, and information on “highly qualified” teachers. Additional information regarding the Elementary and Secondary Education Act, the ESEA report cards for RSU #73 & a parent survey link can be found on the ESEA & ESEA Report Cards page.
In schools, the word “assessment” refers to ways teachers measure student learning and progress. Many people think about traditional tests or final exams, but teachers and administrators use many different tools to measure student learning. Generally, we talk about two types of assessment – “Formative Assessment” and “Summative Assessment”.
“Formative Assessment” refers to many different ways teachers use to measure how a student is growing during a lesson or unit. The teacher will use this type of assessment immediately, Teachers use this information to help adjust their teaching to fill in gaps or add harder skills. Ideally, these results are also shared with students to help them understand how to improve.
“Summative Assessment” refers to many different ways teachers measure how a student performed at the end of a lesson or unit. A summative assessment can be the traditional final exam or standardized testing. Administrators might use the results of summative assessments to review programming or curriculum needs.
Both forms of assessment are used for many reasons. The most important way we use assessment is to adjust teaching and student supports for each individual student to help them progress and succeed. Assessments are also used to help document and communicate student progress to other teachers and to the students’ families.
Another important way these assessments are used is to measure and report how well teachers, administrators, schools, and the district are doing on our job of educating students. When we combine information on assessment from many students, we can use that information to find things that are working well and to fix things that are not.
Spruce Mountain School District uses many different types of both formative and summative assessment. Each teacher and school may have additional ways they assess students. Here is a calendar of district assessments and explanation of our large scale assessments…