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26
Feb
0

Rigor

Posted by on in Carroll CSC Blog Posts
Lately, we have had great conversations about grit, rigor, tenacity, and academic stamina and how our students benefit greatly from having these life skills. What exactly does this mean? How do we help our students tackle large tasks and see them through to the end without getting frustrated and giving up? Grit is courage, resolve, strength of character and determination. Encouraging students to be courageous and take risks is key if we expect to make academic gains. Many times students are afraid to take a risk for fear of failure. It is our job as educators to scaffold our students learning and ensure that they are prepared to be risk takers while taking on rigorous tasks. An excellent example of a rigorous task and a challenge for our students to increase their stamina would be to enroll in an Advanced Placement (AP) course. 

Students who are taking an Advanced Placement course at Carroll Jr.-Sr. High School are required to take the AP exam at the end of the course. They must also meet the requirements and standards of an AP course. Due to the rigor of Advanced Placement courses, students get the benefits of these courses being weighted on their transcripts. 

I would encourage students to take a risk and have the tenacity to complete an AP course during their high school career. If we are focused on having our student's college and career ready as they leave Carroll Jr.-Sr. High School, they need to be encouraged to take risks and move outside of their comfort zones. Students will reap great benefits from the challenges of Advanced Placement courses. 


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Tagged in: CJSHS rigor
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09
Feb
0

AHERA Asbestos Management Plan

Posted by on in Carroll CSC Blog Posts
The Federal Asbestos Hazardous Emergency Response Act (AHERA) requires all school facilities to receive an intensive inspection to locate, identify and deal appropriately with the various types of asbestos that may have been used in the construction of the buildings. Only Carroll Junior Senior High and the Central Office ever had any Asbestos.  These areas were remediated previously.  Any existing Asbestos in any of our buildings undergoes an extensive biannual inspection by our Director of Maintenance.   All Asbestos Containing Materials (ACM) were located and documented in a "Management Plan” that is on file at each building. Carroll Elementary has no Asbestos.  


 All buildings are re-inspected by a licensed Asbestos inspector every three years, with the most recent being September 2013. This plan identifies and describes the appropriate methods of handling and maintaining any ACM that was found in the District's buildings. A copy of the Management Plan is located in the main office of each school building. It is available for review by students, staff members and the public.


The mere presence of ACM does not represent a health hazard. Asbestos presents a health hazard only when the fibers become airborne (friable asbestos). Any insulation that contained ACM and was in areas of direct access by students and staff has been removed or encapsulated. Other areas containing asbestos where there is no student or staff exposure is monitored according to code requirements for damage and repaired or removed as necessary. Our maintenance and custodial staff have been trained to identify ACM and are taking special precautions during their work to guard against disturbing the material. Carroll Consolidated School Corporation has maintained an asbestos management plan and is committed to protecting the health and welfare of our students, staff and all those who use our facilities. If you have any questions concerning asbestos, please contact Mr. Jeff Bordner, Director of Maintenance at (574) 967-4113.

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03
Dec
0

Curriculum Maps

Posted by on in Carroll CSC Blog Posts
Dear Parents,

I wanted to update you on a major project our teachers have been working hard on for over a year.   We knew with all the new tests coming from the State we would need to update our curriculum.  The first step to updating and aligning the curriculum to the new tests would be to document the curriculum.  The teachers have been working on producing a product called a curriculum map.  It is a basic roadmap of the major concepts that will be taught each nine weeks of the school year by subject.  It is similar to a syllabus or a pacing guide, but it is less specific about page numbers in a book and more about what standards and concepts will be taught. 

As the State shares more information about the new tests, we will have to change our curriculum maps to align with what the State is pushing down.  The State will tell us what percent of each test will be loosely based on what standards.   The process of changing curriculum and aligning to a new summative test could take two to three years minimum.  

We are in the process of loading these curriculum maps on our school website.   We will load them underneath the teacher’s name on their respective web page. This will take some time.  We started the project first at the CJSHS, so their maps will be loaded first.  As teachers change the curriculum maps to align with the new tests, we’ll load the updated maps to our website.   Our goal here is to document what our curriculum actually is and make it visible for public review.  I have attached a sample copy of a 9th-gradecurriculum map, so you can have an understanding of what a curriculum map looks like.  These will also be helpful to students as they select courses.  It will give them more information about the class.      

Any questions, feel free to ask, 
Sincerely, 
Chris Lagoni

9th-grade-English-Curriculum-Map-CJSHS-2015_20151203-140923_1.pdf Continue reading
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16
Oct
0

Changes to ISTEP

Posted by on in Carroll CSC Blog Posts
The news broke recently there may be another delay to the release of ISTEP scores.  This means local school “grades” will be further delayed and teachers will have to wait longer for the raises in pay they have earned.  The local news outlets have communicated there may have been some statistical difference in the performance of students who took paper tests versus those who took electronic or on-line tests.    

Carroll Consolidated School Corporation switched to all paper pencil tests last spring.  This was after Carroll experienced some technology issues during practice tests.  

The State Board of Education has asked for a study to compare paper and pencil test performance to that of online tests.  The issue may be the technology-enhanced questions.   Last year was the first year Indiana implemented new technology-enhanced questions that had multiple correct answers.  A problem could have two or three correct answers instead of just one.   Carroll teachers practiced and exposed our students to these new College and Career readiness sample questions last winter.  This is an entirely new way to assess students, and it will take time for us to convert our everyday assessments to this new format.   

There were multiple questions on last year’s ISTEP that required students to think and process and respond to large amounts of writing.  There is nothing wrong with that method of assessment. The problem was the students were given eight to twelve minutes to complete some of these sections that had multiple pages.   Teachers commented these sections didn’t seem to be developmentally appropriate for the age of students.   There are limits to how hard you can make a test for 3rd or 4th graders before they just shut down.  

Some of the stress educators feel is simply due to the rate of change the last few years.  Most educators acknowledge the need for accountability and documented progress for students.   The key is all parties have to understand how they are being measured and assessed.  The stress over the past year has been the change in the assessment was a real unknown for parents, students, and teachers.   The Indiana Department of Education has communicated to schools that there is a strand of questions in the 2014 ISTEP and 2015 ISTEP that are similar and these can be used to track student growth.  These student growth scores account for a large part of a teachers’ evaluation.  This is required by state law.  This was further complicated when the state cut the test sessions in half due to the public outcry about the length of the test.   

Educators are taking a wait and see approach.  The State Board of Education understands the importance of their decisions.  That is why they are being careful and reflective.  Early results show a 20% decrease in student performance statewide.   We can expect the same for our results.    The data has not been provided to us yet.  

 For the last ten years, we have had a consistent system of assessment.  People understood the tests and designed their curriculum so students would be successful.    I compare all these changes to running a mile in gym.  For years students knew they had to run the mile in gym class at the end of the term.  The gym teacher communicated to students the expectations to improve their time over the school year.  There may have been a specific cut time for earning a definite grade.   Perhaps, the teacher had a record board which documented the best mile time over the years.   These changes can be compared to changing the assessment to a three-mile run instead of a one-mile run.  You could measure the students' progress at the one-mile mark and compare it to the previous year.   However, the pace of the total race is different.   How you run the first mile of a three-mile race is different than just going out and running a mile.     We definitely have a different race to run now.  The test will be longer.  It will be harder.   I have full confidence in our teachers and students in their ability to adapt to the new system and rigors.   We just need time to understand the assessment, examine results, and change our curriculum.   It took schools about five years to fully understand and adjust to the ISTEP test.   We can anticipate a similar timeline with this change.  

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02
Apr
0

Carroll County 4th Grade Ag Day Celebration!!

Posted by on in Carroll CSC Blog Posts
Our annual Ag Day celebration and field trip is one of the highlights of the year!!!  It is great to see both Delphi and Carroll coming together to celebrate and learn about our deep agriculture roots.  One of the strengths of this annual field trip and learning experience is the high number of parents and community members who contribute to its success.    Many of our 4th graders were amazed at the breadth of career opportunities that exist in all aspects of agriculture!!  A big thank-you to all of the volunteers from both schools who helped with this annual event.  Our students enjoyed it.  

b2ap3_thumbnail_grill-team.jpg b2ap3_thumbnail_Slide1_20150402-205008_1.JPGb2ap3_thumbnail_20150319_110734.jpgb2ap3_thumbnail_20150319_110751.jpgb2ap3_thumbnail_20150319_110803.jpgb2ap3_thumbnail_20150319_110812.jpgb2ap3_thumbnail_20150319_110832.jpgb2ap3_thumbnail_20150319_110851.jpgb2ap3_thumbnail_20150319_110900.jpg Continue reading
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School Safe Zone!

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