Superintendent's Advisory Council on Instruction (SACI): Thursday, January 13, 2022, 7 p.m.

Presentations will be available on the SACI website.

Welcome-Mrs. Vanessa Olson, Chair, SACI.

Thank you for your patience. Tonight's meeting is hybrid, some in-person and some virtual. Last night at the School Board meeting there was a discussion of the contributions of Advisory Councils, including SACI and the PACs. The strategic plan is on the PWCS website and has a feedback form. We encourage everyone to read it and provide feedback. November minutes were posted on the website; approved as written. December meeting was canceled. The state of Virginia is on a 7-year curriculum revision cycle. Science just concluded that cycle and is now in the textbook selection process. Math is about to go into the process. Parents are encouraged to stay informed, review information presented, and provide feedback.

Science-Meghan Waymire, Science Professional Development Specialist.

Science is in the process of adopting textbooks based on the revised curriculum. The 2018 curriculum realigned age-appropriate content, provides for 3-dimensional learning, and supports understanding, not just recall. The curriculum crosswalk process was extended from 2 to 3 years due to the pandemic. Science is taught across all grade levels, and looks very different across levels for age-appropriate learning. Challenges at the Elementary level include instructional time, cross-curricular integration, access to hands-on materials, and educator comfort with materials. The county is doing what they can to support teachers and the curriculum, including professional development. There are some centrally created assessments being developed and tested. We are helping students learn to use skills and experience, not rely on recall. We are focusing on relevance and real-world application. This does require a shift in mindset and some retraining. The 8th grade science SOL covers content from grades 6 through 8. While there are no acceleration options for middle school science, there are extension opportunities for motivated and gifted student. There are many science course options at the high school level (see the High School Course Catalog). The standard courses are Biology I, Chemistry I, Earth Science I, Environmental Science, and Physics I. Biology, chemistry, and earth science have advanced options for the first-year course. Electives include many level II and AP science course options, IB and Dual-Enrollment programs, and computer science. Universal Design for Learning is the basis for science education in the county, with focus on research-based best practices. We include inquiry-based learning. As students work through Canvas modules, there are numerous resources available to help them with the content. Interactive alignment resources allow people to see how items will connect to later courses and connect to SOL requirements. There are also resources for unfinished learning. Student choice is important and should be integrated wherever possible to help with student engagement. In high school science courses, there are now student self-check options. There are centrally purchased science resources including Gizmos (grades 3-12), Legends of Learning (K-12), Generation Genius (K-5), and Picture Perfect STEM (K-5). There are also local science field trips and opportunities, including NOVA FabLab, the Smithsonian Zoo, the observatory at Forest Park, iFly STEM programs, Skate N Fun Zone STEM, and local parks including the PW Parks & Recreation Science in the Parks program. In elementary (grades 4-5), there are non-competitive school-based science fairs. Junior and Senior science fairs are all virtual in 2021 and 2022 due to the pandemic. They are judged by STEM professionals and educators. The county is offering grant-funded stipends to encourage middle school science fair coordinators. Categories have expanded from 13 to 16. If anyone has connections that would be willing to help incentivize students or help fund or equip science education, it is greatly appreciated. Students who advance to national level science competitions, the county can help with travel expenses like they would for sports teams. All county HSs offer AP or equivalent (IB, Cambridge) science courses. Not all courses may be offered every year due to resource availability/efficiency and student interest. The course catalog is where you find out what schools are offering for the next school year. Of course, if there are not enough students that sign up, some courses may not actually be taught next year. There are some specialized courses that are only offered at specific schools, but the general science courses are offered at all.

Mathematics-Dr. Justin Maffei, Supervisor of Mathematics.

2021-22 we have a revision committee for the draft 2023 math SOL. In 2022-23, the Board of Education will review the 2023 SOL changes. From the survey, we saw that people want to continue current instructional strategies at the elementary level, including concrete. Conceptual understanding, computational fluency, and problem solving are all necessary bases for mathematical instruction. In Primary (K-2) math the major concept is number sense. Intermediate (3-5) hit the major concepts of multiplication and division, fractions, and decimals. Middle school mathematics work with the relationships between numbers. In Middle School, the general path is Math 6 in 6th grade, taking the Math 6 SOL. Grade 7 takes Math 7 with the Math 7 SOL, and grade 8 take Math 8 and the Math 8 SOL. The accelerated path involves Math 6 extended (covers math 6 and half of math 7), and take the math 6 SOL. Math 7 extended covers the rest of math 7 and all of math 8, taking the math 8 SOL. No content is skipped, it's just covered faster. Then in 8th grade, accelerated students take Algebra I and the Algebra I SOL. Methods for placement determinations have changed over the past few years, and the method for 2022-23 is currently in development. There are a number of progressions at the high school level. Math Quest and Challenge 24 are among the mathematics competitions offered in the county. Dreambox has been purchased centrally for all elementary schools. There are lots of curriculum resources available to all Math K-Algebra II teachers through Canvas. There are VDOE Just-In-Time Quick Checks available. There are uniform assessments for grades K-5 (6 is in progress). There are resources to address unfinished learning. There are many professional development resources available as well. On the MS accelerated path, no, those students will not take the Math 7 SOL. This is part of why the math 7 SOL numbers are always different from the others. The interactive curriculum offers review and extension resources. Yes, there is a double extended middle school path, but only for a very small number of students (7th extended in 6th grade, Algebra in 7th grade, Geometry in 8th-they do wind up skipping some content, hance the severe restriction on putting students on this path). Among the supports offered to schools are data-based instructional decisions and guidance, support during meetings, and walkthroughs/observations. Right now, school administration is having so much challenge covering classes, they are having trouble being able to get into the classrooms to evaluate instruction. We are trying to bake resources into the learning management system so the teachers will see them and not have to go look for them.

Gifted Education- Brenda Bailey, Supervisor, Gifted Education

The survey included a lot of kudos, which was very appreciated. "My child doesn't feel so different in SIGNET" was one that was very touching. What do we mean by gifted? Students that demonstrate high levels of accomplishment or show exceptional academic potential beyond their age peers of similar background or environment in one or more specific areas. Exceptional academic strength may indicate a need for enriched or accelerated curriculum and support. Virginia has regulations mandating gifted support. Things to look for at home include curiosity, learning quickly, strong communication skills, enjoying problem solving, perseverance through tough challenges, exceptional memory, and sophisticated sense of humor. There are pull-out resource services for students whose learning needs cannot be entirely met in the general education classroom. The amount of time varies by grade level. Students are no longer being automatically re-evaluated at the end of 3rd grade, so we are going away from the program names START and SIGNET. The goal of gifted education is to develop advanced skills in critical thinking, creative thinking, communication, collaboration, etc. The general classroom is mixed ability, with gifted services sometimes coming into the room, helping all students. There are also specialty programs such as IBPYP and World Languages. For direct services, students receive services more services time as they get older. Some are cluster-grouped in classrooms with gifted accredited teachers. For independent support, students have choice activities, and independent centers and projects. We are staring an Early Talent Development program for K-2 to help students help develop their potential. The K-2 push-in lessons help expose ALL students to enriching opportunities. Having the gifted resource teachers come into the general classrooms, the classroom teachers are able to observe their students and find their strengths. In 2021 we were able to offer a summer elementary math enrichment camp for the first time. Once a child is identified as gifted, they keep the designation. MS has mixed-ability classes, with interest-based specialty programs available such as IBMYP, World Languages, Math and Science. There are direct services, advanced math and language arts courses, and differentiated classroom services with gifted accredited teachers. Independent centers and projects are available, and academic competitions. There are a lot of interest-based specialty programs in HS, and advanced course options (AP, IB, Cambridge). Direct services include seminar programs, and various cross-curricular seminars and programs. There are also governor's schools (at Innovation Park and TJ), and summer residential Governor's Schools. There are culminating research or technical projects, extended essays, and competitions. The pandemic has helped us figure out to offer asynchronous enrichment opportunities for gifted high school students. To increase access to gifted education, there is universal screening at 2nd, 3rd, 6th, and 9th grade. There is also professional development to help teachers identify gifted students, community outreach, and early exposure to enriching opportunities. There is a multicriteria identification process. There is a webinar available to walk parents through the process. There is no single criterion to determine student eligibility. There are school-level and division-level committees review information and data from multiple sources to determine if a student's learning needs are most appropriately served through the gifted education program. Identification is ongoing throughout the year and throughout their academic career. Referrals can com from professionals, parents/guardians, the students themselves, and from screening. Balanced consideration is given to aptitude testing, academic records, professional and parent reports, and student portfolio or wok. The referral form is available from your school or the county website. For those with highly gifted students that are particularly difficult to challenge, Ms. Bailey can offer links to potential resources; please email her.

Please look out for a survey covering next month's topics: Humanities (history, arts, and English language arts), and Grading.

Adjourned 9:08 p.m. Next Meeting will be February 10, 2022.