Since the Ohio Department of Education announced plans to administer online assessments, Westerville Schools has been a leader in providing professional development opportunities and disseminating information on the most current material released and available to both Westerville teachers and other Ohio educators throughout our State.
For the past two months in preparation for Ohio’s online Next Generation Assessments, nearly 90 teachers from the Westerville City Schools have attended various professional development sessions held after school. Sessions were facilitated by Jennifer Fry, Educational Technology Integration Specialist, and Dr. Scott Ebbrecht, Director of Assessment and Alternative Education Services.
Fry commented, “It is important that we provide our teachers with targeted professional learning opportunities to learn about the new tests. By giving teachers the opportunity to work through sample test questions together and explore the technology skills required of our students, they are gaining a greater understanding of the skills needed by our students to successfully take the new online assessments.”
In addition, a team of 19 Westerville educators attended a one-day seminar in Columbus in early December that focused on the new English-Language Arts and Mathematics Ohio’s State Tests. Teachers who attended from Westerville will now take what they learned on this day, and are preparing to lead professional development sessions for their colleagues on Waiver Day, which is scheduled for February 6.
Ebbrecht affirmed, “We continue to make a concerted effort to support a cadre of teachers across all subject areas to become the experts so they can then train their colleagues. Some of the best professional development I have received over the years is when a colleague/peer has served as the primary presenter. Having a colleague teach me what they have experienced success doing with their students indeed enhances my professional practice and thus student preparedness and subsequent achievement.”
Westerville City Schools continues to prepare for the new Ohio's State Tests scheduled to begin in mid-February. Students in grades 4, 5 (science only), and 7 will take their assessments online. Paper/pencil tests will be given for students in grades 3, 5 (ELA and math), 6, and 8. At this time, students in graduation cohort 2018 or beyond will take paper/pencil tests in the subject areas of Algebra I, Geometry, English I, English II, and Physical Science. All students taking American History or American Government will take a paper/pencil test in these subjects (Exception: students taking IB or AP exams in American History or American Government are exempt from taking the Ohio's State Tests in these subjects).
For further information on the district’s 2015 assessment calendar, please visit http://tiny.cc/huw0qx.