Blogging Bayport Alameda

June 23, 2020

Learning blended

Filed under: Alameda — Lauren Do @ 6:03 am

Tonight is a big night for the Alameda Unified School District.  This is when the community will get the first look of what AUSD has decided for next school year.   I don’

As an aside, the district has determined that they, presently, will not be offering Algebra as an option for incoming 7th graders and there, apparently, has been no way to make exceptions to this blanket decision.  This has caused much consternation to #2 son, an incoming 7th grader, who has shown an aptitude for accelerated math.  Hopefully, once the decision has been made for how we’re running school next school year these smaller items can be revisited.

From the staff report this is what little we know about the final decision based on all the feedback received:

Tonight, staff seeks Board approval on blended learning schedules for elementary and secondary schools this fall; schedules that will allow AUSD to resume some in-person instruction in accordance with safety and physical distancing requirements currently contained in Alameda County Public Health orders.

Additionally, staff will request approval of a concept for a fully remote education option for students whose situations or needs may be best served by such an option this fall.

One thing I do hope gets consideration moving forward is this idea of competency based instruction, from Ed Source:

[Linda] Darling-Hammond said the state guidance will likely include information about how to use the Smarter Balanced Interim Assessments to gauge where students are. She said one problem with the end-of-year tests has been that they assess students within a grade level, but don’t show gains students have made if they are below or above grade level.

“We are all learning every day,” she said. “We need to say to kids: ‘We need to figure out where you are and accelerate your progress,’ rather than, ‘We’re going to label you as smart or dumb, above or below (grade level), and put you in a class and teach to the average,’ which is going to miss what they need and give them a sense of stigma at the same time.”

To help give students a sense of continuity and better assess them, Darling-Hammond said “some districts are looking at sending kids back to teachers they had last year.”

She also said that some districts are considering a “competency based” model of instruction rather than “grade-level-specific” curriculum, which she compared to swimming lessons, where students progress sequentially as their skills develop. “It’s an opportunity,” she said. “And some places will be able to take advantage of it if we get the resources.”

Anyway, we’ll see what the final iteration is tonight (or sometime today if the presentation is uploaded early).


1 Comment »

  1. Getting placed into 7th grade algebra was a huge deal for me academically. I hope the school district gets all the details right this year and he gets that class.

    Comment by michonnekatana — June 23, 2020 @ 10:30 am

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