ACT Quality Core Curriculum Implementation Plan 2010-2013 Grove City Christian School **Please refer to the Quality Core website at www.act.org/qualitycore/
Purpose: The purpose of choosing Quality Core Curriculum (QC) is to improve the quality, rigor, consistency and permanence of the core high school courses taught at GCCS thereby preparing our students to be college ready when they graduate. QC curriculum was developed as the result of studies done by ACT that showed even students who pass their state graduation tests and attend “blue ribbon” schools were not scoring at or above the “college readiness” standards on the ACT test (see Using Data). In short, students, who have been taught at what are defined by the Dept. of Education as excellent schools, are not ready for college. The mission of GCCS, to cultivate quality Christian leaders in a distinctively Christian atmosphere while providing a solid spiritual and academic foundation, calls us to provide an excellent education for students which should include a curriculum that challenges, motivates and prepares our students for life after high school. QC curriculum is “designed to help ensure that the outcomes of high school preparatory courses are aligned with essential postsecondary skills” and is based on research. Four hundred high schools who have graduates with higher than national average “college readiness” indicators were identified and studied. Course offerings, teaching styles, teaching philosophies, lesson plans, assessment types and level of rigor were observed and studied. The result is a series of core high school classes with high-level standards and consistent rigor. “ These courses include: English 9,10,11,12, Biology, Chemistry, Physics, Algebra 1, Geometry, Algebra 2 and US History. Details of Quality Core Curriculum: QC is a comprehensive curriculum that acts as a guide for teachers to help them assess their current course and work to align that course with the QC standards and rigor. This allows teachers to use their professional training and creativity to meet the needs of all of their students. QC is not a cut and paste curriculum that is one size fits all. Teachers will be provided with a set of Educators Resources that they will have in hard copy and be able to access online. These resources include College Readiness standards, course description and sample syllabus, course outline and instructional units, a model instructional unit, guidelines for development of instructional units and quarterly assessment pool. Quality Core benchmark assessments are to be given after the appropriate set of benchmarks is covered in units throughout the year. These assessments are graded by the teacher and used to guide the direction of the class. Each course also has an end-of-course assessment to help educators assess the level of college readiness of their students and to help guide the development of their course for the next school year. This assessment is given formally and evaluated by the ACT quality core people and reported to GCCS.
Implementation: A. Teaching Staff: QC is designed to promote a team approach to implementation. The keys to effective implementation is to create a supportive environment where teachers are given the time needed to learn about the QC components and are encouraged to think creatively and try new strategies in the classroom. Creating “study teams” helps to develop a deep understanding of the components presented because it relies on collegial collaboration and encourages analysis, discussion, problem solving, and solution sharing. Teachers within a discipline will meet regularly to utilize the Educator Guide “Modules ” created by Quality Core to help implement this program and meet the following goals: YEAR 1: Primary Goal: Teachers will have a strong grasp on the components of quality core and begin to implement changes in their courses. 2010-11 Courses: Biology, Chemistry, English 9, English 10, Algebra1, Geometry, Algebra 2 Objectives: 1) Teachers will analyze their courses by comparing their existing course content to the Quality Core objectives. Teachers within a discipline will complete reflective activities that focus on what is actually taught and help to determine which objectives are the most important to master. The goals of the discussions will be: ● Discuss issues of instructional equity and excellence ● Discuss the scope and sequence of curricular units ● Identify curricular gaps and unintended repetitions ● Identify potential areas for integration of cross-disciplinary connections ● Assess progress toward curricular implementation ● Discuss effective assessment methods that match course objectives ● Share successful teaching strategies 2) Teachers will analyze their courses by comparing and contrasting the Quality Core Course Outlines and Instructional Unit Plans to their present outline and plans. Identify how scope and sequence of present courses could be altered to reflect those of the Quality Core. 3) Throughout the year teachers using quality core will meet to discuss strategies for developing effective quality core units. Teachers will work as a study group to research and discuss how rigorous and relevant instruction is connected with the sections of the quality core
curriculum: Research-Based Strategies, Essential Questions, Suggestions for Assessment, Comments/Tips for Classroom Teachers, and Supplementary Materials. Teachers will thoroughly examine the sample Quality Core unit that is given in the course materials. 4) Teachers will implement one quality core unit during year 1. 5) Teachers will use the Formative Item Pool through out the year to assess their students. 6) Teachers will administer end of course assessments in May. Needs: Time: Professional development time for Quality Core teachers to collaborate and learn. Possibly 4A,B,C time?? Monthly meetings. Professional development hours given. Textbooks need to be evaluated for effectiveness with Quality Core. Resources: Person to lead the transition and be the “go to” person for questions, support and professional development. Quality core curriculum (online) Person to take lead in administrative functions of quality core…scheduling end-of-course tests, creating online rosters for classes, managing testing and schedules. Testing: 8th grade-EXPLORE in Fall; 10th grade PLAN in Fall; 11/12 ACT End-of-course Assessments YEAR 2: Primary Goal: Teachers will implement and evaluate instructional units for their courses based on ACT college readiness standards manifested in the quality core curriculum standards. 2011-12 Courses: Biology, Chemistry, English 9, English 10, **English 11, Algebra1, Geometry, Algebra 2, **US History ** Teachers teaching these courses will begin with the objectives of Year 1 Objectives: 1) Teachers will analyze their course descriptions and syllabi with the model syllabi provided. Teachers within a discipline will work together
to evaluate each otherâ€™s updated course descriptions and syllabi ensuring continuity of content and expectations. The goal is to have course descriptions and syllabi that not only describe the course and identify the content it will cover, but also identify the pedagogical strategies that make a course rigorous and outline the policies for which teachers and students are accountable. 2) Teachers will create and implement instructional units for the school year in accordance with rigorous and relevant instruction as discussed in study groups in year 1. 3) Teachers will meet on a regular basis to evaluate and examine the instructional units for rigor and relevance and present constructive feedback for each other to create the most effective instructional units possible for students. 4) Formative Pool Items will be used throughout the year to assess students and provide feedback for the teacher. 5) Teachers will administer end of course assessments in May. Testing: 8th grade-EXPLORE in Fall; 10th grade PLAN in Fall; 11/12 ACT End-of-course Assessments YEAR 3: Primary goal: Teachers will revise and evaluate their instructional units and clearly document each unit as outlined by GCCS. 2012-13 Courses: Biology, Chemistry, English 9, English 10, **English 11, Algebra1, Geometry, Algebra 2, **US History Objectives: B. Student/ Parent Education: Plan for partnering with students and parents, giving information and setting standards and expectations. It is essential that students and parents understand the importance of being college ready for this program to be implemented effectively. YEAR 1: 1) Beginning of year meeting with students and parents to set expectations and what they can expect through out this year.
2) Support system needs to be in place for students who may need additional help. As of now, teachers will be available through all of 4 th period (lunch periods) for students to utilize. YEAR 2 YEAR 3
C. Use of Test Data: It is imperative that the data collected each year is used as a tool to further evaluate and improve education of GCCS students. In order to do this it is important to provide a distinction between summative and formative assessment “Summative Assessments are given periodically to determine at a particular point in time what students know and do not know. The key is to think of summative assessment as a means to gauge, at a particular point in time, student learning relative to content standards. Although the information that is gleaned from this type of assessment is important, it can only help in evaluating certain aspects of the learning process. Because they are spread out and occur after instruction every few weeks, months, or once a year, summative assessments are tools to help evaluate the effectiveness of programs, school improvement goals, alignment of curriculum, or student placement in specific programs. Summative assessments happen too far down the learning path to provide information at the classroom level and to make instructional adjustments and interventions during the learning process. Formative Assessment is part of the instructional process. When incorporated into classroom practice, it provides the information needed to adjust teaching and learning while they are happening. In this sense, formative assessment informs both teachers and students about student understanding at a point when timely adjustments can be made. These adjustments help to ensure students achieve, targeted standards-based learning goals within a set time frame. “(http://www.nmsa.org/Publications/WebExclusive/Assessment/tabid/11 20/Default.aspx)
Quality Core curriculum integrates both summative and formative assessment. Formative assessment is the responsibility of the classroom teacher and is a continual process that is integrated into day-to-day teaching. End-of-course assessments are to be used to find specific knowledge gaps and provides evidence of mastery of course objectives. This information can then be used to guide teachers in evaluation and changes in their courses. With this said, the College Readiness Standards have been created because of the low number of students who score “college ready” in all areas of the ACT. (23% of
all students taking the ACT are “college ready” in all 4 subject areas- see Rigor at Risk at the ACT Quality Core website) College readiness scores reported by the end-of-course assessments will be monitored yearly to: Identify objectives of the curriculum that may need to be altered and improved. Identify students who may need help in certain areas. PLAN, EXPLORE and ACT test scores will be used to track students progress through out their high school career. It is our goal that the number of students who will be “college ready” will increase throughout high school.
EXPLORE (8th grade)
PLAN (10th grade)
ACT (11th/12th grade)
COLLEGE READINESS GUIDELINES
Initial date from GCCS is attached.