With Mathematics and Computer Science identified as an ongoing priority within The Success Effect plan, the teachers and leaders in the Mathematics Department have been quietly going about the business of strengthening instruction, increasing communication, and reaching all students with meaningful learning.
Key Area: Learning
Priority Action Area: Literacy & Early Learning
During the mathematics instructional materials adoption of 2013, the district-wide committees identified three focus areas for instruction that have now become our Pillars for Instructional Excellence in Mathematics. These three Pillars are:
Skills fluency demonstrated through rigorous application
Student discourse through speaking, listening, reading and writing for a variety of… Read More
Friday, December 23, 2016
When you consider the Boulder Valley School District (BVSD) strategic plan, The Success Effect–it is all about kids “winning!” The plan is designed to bring to life the BVSD’s mission, vision, and values. Specifically, our mission states our goal “to create challenging, meaningful, and engaging learning opportunities so that all children thrive and are prepared for successful, civically engaged lives.” Moreover, when we speak of all children, we really do mean all, because “societal inequities and unique learning needs will not be barriers to student success.” These are courageous and challenging words, but are so meaningful because they acknowledge the… Read More
Friday, December 9, 2016
Our first Innovation in Action blog of the year featured the new Innovative Space at Broomfield Heights Middle school. With school underway, students at Boulder High School have had an opportunity to spend some time in their newly remodeled library. The renovated library space is the first component of their larger Innovation Project Plan that also includes converting their current cafeteria into a modern, welcoming cafe and also connects the library space to both the cafe and the beautiful outdoor courtyard in the center of the building. The cafe conversion will take place during the summer of 2017 in time… Read More
Friday, November 25, 2016
When a family is dealing with a crisis situation or struggling to get the bills paid, those hardships have an impact on kids’ learning. For this reason, one of the goals of the Family-School Partnership Initiative is to better equip BVSD staff with the information necessary to connect families with free or low-cost community services that will support them in times of need.
On October 12, BVSD hosted its first community services information event for BVSD staff, a joint effort between BVSD Family-School Partnerships, Early Childhood Education, Special Education and McKinney-Vento services. Our goal with the event was twofold: 1)… Read More
Friday, October 28, 2016
In November 2014, Boulder County taxpayers passed the largest bond in Colorado history. The $576 million package is providing much-needed capital improvements to our district’s buildings with a focus on Educational Innovation. The ultimate goal is to align building improvements with our district’s strategic plan, The Success Effect, so that our learning environments meet the needs of today’s students and students of the future. As stated in the Vision of The Success Effect, the Boulder Valley School District seeks to provide a “comprehensive and innovative approach to education and graduate successful, curious, lifelong learners who confidently confront the great challenges… Read More
Friday, October 14, 2016
BVSD has adopted the CDE definition of Multi Tiered Systems of Support (MTSS): a prevention based framework of team‐driven, data‐based problem solving for improving the outcomes of every student through family, school, and community partnering and a layered continuum of evidence‐based practices applied at the classroom, school, district, region, and state level.
Key to understanding and implementing MTSS is realizing that it is a framework, not a program. A framework is the basic structure underlying a system. In 2016-17, school-based MTSS Leadership Teams will be planning how to implement the district adopted framework for MTSS at their buildings during the… Read More
Friday, September 30, 2016
Data in Education
When you first think about data in education, your thoughts might jump immediately to test scores and grades, however, our students are much more than numbers on a page! Each student brings a unique set of strengths and experiences to our schools, requiring us to adjust and meet their needs in a thoughtful and timely manner. This is the driving force behind VizLab, a visual analytics tool that is designed to help BVSD school administrators and district personnel see and understand student data in a way that impacts student learning, growth, and development. A subset of the Strategic… Read More
Friday, September 16, 2016
As our students head back to school this fall, many of the kids in our Phase 1 Schools are noticing significant changes to their learning environments. In addition to much needed operational and maintenance work, we are excited to kick off our Innovation Projects in these buildings.
In my previous blog post, I provided some of the details about our Innovation Projects and how our schools are engaging in deep thinking about both Innovative Learning Environments and Innovative Teaching and Learning as outlined in BVSD’s Innovation Guiding Principles. We are thrilled to see these previously two dimensional designs on paper come… Read More
Friday, September 2, 2016
The Graduation Guidelines committee continues to advance the vision of the Boulder Valley School District to provide a comprehensive and innovative education for all students so that they are successful, curious, lifelong learners. We are pleased to share that the Successful, Curious, Lifelong Learners priority action team has endorsed the recommendations of both the work from the Capstone and Testing Subcommittees so that all students have the opportunity to meet the new graduation requirements beginning with the Class of 2021. The teams are recommending Graduation requirements that include Capstone and Testing options so that students may identify the path that… Read More
Friday, July 8, 2016
The English Language Development Department is very excited about implementing the World-class Instructional Design and Assessment: (WIDA) MODEL ASSESSMENT this fall. The assessment is a benchmark or a fall check in assessment to assess Language Development for the BVSD students who are learning English. This is a formative or check in assessment for English language development.
WIDA advances academic language development and academic achievement for linguistically diverse students, students who speak another language other than English. This is done through high quality standards, assessments, research, and professional development for educators. WIDA is a non-profit organization whose focus is the advancement of… Read More
Friday, June 24, 2016
The bond measure passed in November 2014 is providing significant funding directed at creating innovative learning environments and includes much needed capital improvements to our district’s buildings. It is an opportunity for us to rethink school design and our approach to education. New innovative environments in BVSD will provide students with a flexible space to support many different kinds of learning. Students will be able to easily work collaboratively together in both smaller and larger groups as well as have the ability to quickly and easily adjust learning environments for more individual tasks when needed. Student ownership of learning can… Read More
Friday, June 10, 2016
Systems of Support are the processes and practices that integrate universal instruction, prevention strategies and intervention components to meet the academic and social-emotional needs of all BVSD learners. These systems include a strong foundation of safe, inclusive learning environments, strong formative assessment practices, and clear processes for instruction and layered interventions that meet students where they are and move them forward. Through these systems, we will personalize learning for all students.
How do we meet every student’s needs?
BVSD is committed to ensuring that each student meets or exceeds appropriate expectations relative to intellectual growth, physical development, and social emotional well-being. A… Read More
Friday, May 13, 2016
As one of its many charges, the Successful, Curious, Lifelong Learners (SCLL) strategic team continues to make great gains to design the new Colorado graduation requirements beginning with the Class of 2021. SCLL has formed a Graduation Guidelines committee that includes both Testing Options and Capstone Options teams. Our mission is to align the new state graduation requirements to the vision of Boulder Valley School District.
Vision: We develop our children’s greatest abilities and make possible the discovery and pursuit of their dreams which, when fulfilled, will benefit us all. We provide a comprehensive and innovative approach to education and… Read More
Thursday, May 5, 2016
The research is clear — when families and schools actively work together to support kids, students are more successful academically, are healthier, and are more likely to thrive (Epstein et al, 2009, Jeynes, 2011, Sheldon & Jung, 2015). At the same time, families and school staff alike are often stretched for time, juggling their many work and family responsibilities. Therefore, as BVSD schools enhance their efforts to welcome, communicate, engage and partner with families, we must avoid slipping into “random acts of family partnership.” When we are strategic and purposeful in our work with families, family partnership can be one… Read More
Friday, April 15, 2016
Boulder Valley School District has developed a dynamic strategic plan, The Success Effect, with an innovative approach to individual learning and instruction. The goal is to maximize every student’s potential to succeed through a personal approach that recognizes and fosters the unique talent of every child.
Our district is redefining what it means to succeed—building on our strengths, elevating the state of our schools and providing all students with the tools and confidence needed to meet the great challenges of their time. That’s The Success Effect in action.
More than 75 teachers, administrators, staff, parents and community members are presently developing implementation… Read More
Wednesday, January 27, 2016
By now, most readers of my blog will know about the Success Effect, but if you do not, it is the strategic plan centered around learning, talent, and partnerships for BVSD. In July of this past year, our superintendent, Dr. Messinger, published a blog detailing the work of six Priority Action Teams for the implementation of the BVSD Success Effect.
The question has come up, where is the technology goal or initiative in the plan? That is a great question which I will explore in this blog.
I look at technology as a tool to enable components of learning, such as student… Read More
Wednesday, January 6, 2016
Welcome back to the 2015-16 school year. I hope everyone had a restful and rejuvenating Winter Break.
As students return to school and begin second semester, school and district staff continue work on numerous initiatives supporting student success. Priority action plans are being implemented supporting the district strategic plan, The Success Effect. Phase one planning is well underway on the new bond construction and innovation work. The Board of Education and administration will begin developing the 2016-17 budget. Information describing the Colorado state student assessment will be distributed later this month.
The 2016 Colorado legislative session will begin January 13. This is… Read More
Friday, January 1, 2016