PA News & Announcements

Public news and announcements from Peoples Academy.

Friday, September 23, 2016

Proficiency Based Learning & Progress Reporting

Proficiency Based Learning & Progress Reporting

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'Forensics' students engaged in lab apparatus. 

Hello all,
The start of school is rich with enthusiasm, smiles, and learning. We have some exciting events coming up soon for students and the community. Next week will be Spirit Week at PA which includes our 19 student cross-country team traveling to the annual powerhouse Thetford Invitational, varsity home soccer games on Friday and Saturday afternoons, and culminates with the annual BonFire Celebration on Saturday night from 7-10pm. There will also be the annual Morrisville Youth Soccer Invitational Soccer Tournament occurring throughout the morning of 10/1 on our fields. This is a great chance to spot our future champions and grab a bite to eat in support the annual Euro Soccer Trip. In between events, you can experience lots of fun at the now annual Rocktoberfest events in downtown Morrisville.

Update on Proficiency-Based Learning and Progress Reporting- Many of you may be aware that due to Act 77 and new understandings of how students learn the state and Peoples Academy are transitioning to a more personalized education system. At PA we are in the early stages of this transition. Fortunately, we have been studying and working hard for several years to prepare for this shift. In the past few years we have explored and practiced new ways to assess and track learning.

What to look for:
For parents and guardians of high school students there are two places you can look to see these changes.

First, this year all high school students will have a Personalized Learning Plan (PLP). We are calling the PLP the Wolf Track; a student’s (paw) track to their future. Last week, all students created their Wolf Track and completed a short ‘about me’ section that describes a few things about themselves. Ask your student to share their Wolf Track with you. In October, students will use the Wolf Track to set goals and then document growth or particular habits of learning. We will be calling these habits “Scholarly Habits”. The purpose of this activity is to help students develop as learners.

Second, grading and reporting will look slightly different this year. We are now using a Learning Management System (LMS) called Schoology to track and assess learning.  It is a technology tool designed to help shift from the idea of grades as something that always comes at the end of learning to the idea that grades---or, rather assessment---is part of learning. A change in grading and reporting is one of the shifts we will make as we move toward a proficiency-based learning system (PBL).

Schoology is a new technology tool for us and we are still working on making it capable of sending grades to Parent Portal. Despite our hard work and best intentions, we have not yet perfected our use of this system. By now you may have experienced the fact that your student's grades are not appearing in Parent Portal. Be assured teachers are assessing students and grades are being recorded. If there is no progress reported yet in Parent Portal, you can see your students progress by viewing their Schoology accounts with them. Each student has an account/password. I would advise that you sit down together and talk, not just about grades but about interests, goals, and plans.  Learning is about all these things and more; it should be exciting and relevant. We will be having similar conversations with your students in school when we work with them on their Wolf Track.  We hope that by the end of next week you will be able to view progress seamlessly through Parent Portal.

Ideally, the Wolf Track and proficiency-based learning (PBL) will go hand-in-hand. We are working hard to make this a reality. A great opportunity for you to learn more about PBL and the Wolf Track will be during student-parent-teacher conferences, which will occur on October 20 from 11am to 6pm. There will be more information and Q & A sessions throughout the day with guidance and the principal. Also, soon you will receive the first PAHS Guidance Newsletter. The newsletter will include new information about the Wolf Track, and Schoology. Thanks for your patience and understanding. We are working diligently and creating wonderful opportunities for your students. Thanks for sharing them with us. They bring us joy everyday.

For more information click the ‘blue’ links below or visit: