The Learning Services Office is located in the Educational Service Center. Office hours are 8:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m.
The Learning Services Department is responsible for the comprehensive leadership of curriculum, instruction, teacher development and supervision, student testing, and program evaluation and assessment. The unique vibrancy of the Baugo Community Schools is breathing life into the vision, “small school feel, world class education" through the curriculum. Our curricular success is based upon the contribution of our teachers in every classroom who care that every student everyday learns and grows.
In the Learning Services Department of the Baugo Community Schools, our discussion and work revolves continuously around Curriculum, Instruction, and Assessment. These three components are essential in helping our students acquire the knowledge and skills necessary for them to advance positively and progressively throughout their education.
Curriculum refers to what our student must learn, instruction refers to the strategies we will use to help our students learn, and assessment refers to the ways we will test our students to see if our students have learned it.
While each one of these components is immensely important, all three must work together to ensure that we are helping our students acquire the knowledge and skills that are essential for their academic growth.
The word “curriculum” refers to what children are required to learn in specific grades and in specific content areas. For example, during the elementary years, there are standards in the curriculum that identify what important knowledge and skills children must develop in order to read at grade level. Each course at the elementary, middle, and high school levels is based upon curriculum and standards outlining what students need to learn in that course.
For the past several years, all courses in Indiana were based upon the Indiana Academic Standards. In August of 2010, Indiana voted to adopt the Common Core State Standards, which are based on National Standards in English Language Arts and Mathematics. With this in mind, all schools in Indiana are moving from curriculum that is based on the Indiana Academic Standards to Indiana’s Common Core Standards (INCC). These new standards are also based upon the knowledge and skills that students are expected to learn in all grade levels. The INCC have been designed to be rigorous and relevant to the real world and reflect the knowledge and skills our young people will need for success in college and careers.
The word “instruction” refers to the ways that we help students learn what is required in specific grades and in specific content areas. We know that children learn in a variety of ways, and it is important to provide students with different avenues to acquire knowledge and skills so that all students within a classroom can learn effectively.
In order to meet our students’ diverse needs at Baugo Community, we utilize many different strategies in our RtI (Response to Instruction). Teachers are then able to provide acceleration for students with high abilities as well as extra help for those students requiring additional time and additional help with key concepts.
Often we are asked why students are tested so often in school. Schools give children assessments almost daily; some are formal while others are informal. Assessments are given for a multitude of reasons and the results are used in order for us to better instruct your student. The information should be used to benefit your child and help us to tailor the instruction to his/her learning.
Students in Baugo Community will be assessed with a variety of measures to determine the best educational pathway for their learning.
Assessment should be used to identify what children already know, as well as give teachers information as to what the next steps in the child’s learning path need to be. Information about various assessments are communicated to parents so you understand your child’s progress and learning.
In Baugo Community, a wide range of assessments are used in classrooms each day. Many are given orally by the teacher, who then uses the feedback immediately to know what the next step in the child’s learning should be. Others are more standardized (or formal), which generally means feedback will come to parents in a written format. Some examples of standardized assessments you may see are:
- DIBELS: (Dynamic Indicators of Basic Early Literacy Skills) These are a set of procedures and measures for assessing the acquisition of early literacy and math skills. You may also see these results referred to as mClass. These are used in grades K-2.
- Acuity: Acuity is an advanced learning-based assessment system that helps teachers focus on the strategies that most effectively impact student achievement in reading and math. These are used in grades 3-8.
- LAS Links: This assessment is given to English as a New Language Learners to help accurately assess English language literacy.
- CogAT: This is the test of cognitive abilities that measures general reasoning abilities in three areas (verbal, quantitative, and nonverbal). This assessment is given to students who are being considered for high-ability programming.
- IREAD: This assessment was created by the Indiana Department of Education for all 3rd grade students to measure foundational reading standards through grade 3.
- ISTEP: This assessment was created by the Indiana Department of Education to measure student achievement in the subject areas of English/Language Arts and Mathematics in grades 3-8, as well as science (grades 4 and 6) and social studies (grades 5 and 7).
- ECA: These end-of-course assessments were created by the Indiana Department of Education and are criterion-referenced tests administered to students completing their instruction in Algebra 1, Biology 1 and English 10.
- PSAT: This is the preliminary SAT that gives students practice in both the setting and the question format that will be asked on the SAT.
- SAT: This is a globally recognized college admission test that lets you show colleges how well you can apply knowledge.
- AP: These are “advanced placement” tests that allow students to earn college credit while still enrolled in high school.
- ACT: The ACT is a national college admissions examination that consists of subject area tests in English, mathematics, reading and science. These results are accepted by all four-year college and universities in the United States.
This overview gives you a brief summary of some of the assessments used in our schools. This is not a comprehensive list, but it should give you an idea of the varied assessments utilized by our district.