Pennsylvania Department of Education

 






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COMMONWEALTH OF PENNSYLVANIA
DEPARTMENT OF EDUCATION
333 MARKET STREET
HARRISBURG, PA 17126-0333







Academic Standards and Assessment Report
Approved December 11, 2008

Entity: Southern Lehigh SD
Address: 5775 Main St
Center Valley, PA 18034-9703
Phone: (610) 282-3121 Ext: 5110
Contact Name: Leah Christman

 

Organization Description

Southern Lehigh School District provides an educational program known for its excellence and forward-looking perspective, which is sensitive to the changing needs of its students. The community, faculty, parents and students have joined together in striving to maintain and enhance that excellence.

Southern Lehigh School District will educate all students to develop twenty-first century skills required to become life-long learners and productive members of an ever-changing world.

Our Community

Located one hour north of Philadelphia, and two hours west of New York, the Lehigh Valley nestles in the rolling hills of Pennsylvania. A mixture of urban quality and collegiate excellence, surrounded by rural serenity and beauty, the Valley offers residents a wide range of opportunities and life experiences.

The focal point of Lehigh Valley is the mid-sized, dual-city complex of Allentown and Bethlehem, having a population of over 100,000. Bethlehem, originally an 18th century Moravian community, still reflects the historic significance of the area's heritage, as shown in its gothic German architecture. Allentown, rapidly becoming known as one of the country's progressive high-tech centers, also is the home of several outstanding private colleges and universities, which is part of a larger consortium including Muhlenberg, Cedar Crest, Lafayette, Moravian, and Lehigh University. DeSales University, a private four-year liberal arts college, is located in the district. There are also four schools in the state university system within 35 miles of Southern Lehigh.

New shopping malls, growing light industry, nationally recognized art museums and cultural programs, and rambling parks provide an ideal urban setting for area inhabitants. And yet, a five-minute drive in any direction brings a person out into the beautiful rolling countryside of fields and forests. Unspoiled by modern progress, the Valley reflects the purity and benefits of living in a naturalistic setting. Low mountains, forests and verdant fields provide the population with extensive recreational activities, self-contained within the Valley.

Southern Lehigh School District lies on the southern edge of the Lehigh Valley. Its 48 square miles includes the borough of Coopersburg (population 2,400) and the rural townships of Upper Saucon and Lower Milford. The District, made up of three elementary schools, one middle school, and one high school, plays a significant role in the community. The construction of a new intermediate school is underway with a target opening date of September 2009. The schools encourage parents and residents to participate in many diversified ways -- from classroom visitations and open houses to working on community projects. Schools and the community make a concerted effort to work closely together to provide children with multifaceted opportunities. Student enrollment currently stands at approximately 3100.

As the community reflects its values in its strong support of quality education for its children, the school district in turn serves the community in providing the vehicle for this educational excellence.

Southern Lehigh has participated in the Lehigh Valley Career Pathways Consortium since 1998. Students are involved in a career guidance program. By eighth grade, students have explored career clusters - Arts and Humanities; Business/Communication Technology; Engineering/Industrial Technology; or Health Sciences/Human Services and either the Traditional or Technical pathway within the cluster. The District has offered dual enrollment opportunities since 2004 and continues to expand opportunities in dual enrollment each year. Courses delivered through distance learning, dual enrollment, both on our campus and at local colleges and universities, and Independent Study allows our students to pursue their career goals in elective courses that a school of our size could otherwise not offer. Our 2007-08 AYP has been met for the District. Our results show a 95.6% graduation rate, a 95.5% attendance rate,  an average participation rate for grades 3-12 of 99.3% Math and 99.1% in Reading. Results show proficiency rates of 84.1% in Math and 84.2% in Reading, averaged for grades 3-12. In 2007, 191 students took the SAT exams scoring an average of 530 in verbal, 532 in math and 517 in writing. Eighty-six percent of the graduating class of 2008 reported plans to continue in post-secondary education.

The strengths of our school district are:

Our needs include:

Core Purpose

Mission

Educating today’s learner...for tomorrow’s opportunities.

Vision

In the pursuit of excellence, the Southern Lehigh School District has created a culture of innovation and creativity empowering students for a brighter future in a global society.
The Southern Lehigh School District vision is one where:

Shared Values

We believe:

  • Education is a fundamental partnership among individuals, home, school, and the community.
  • All people can learn.
  • High expectations promote high achievement.
  • Environment impacts upon learning.
  • Society benefits when people act responsibly and respectfully.
  • Continuous improvement is achieved by promoting and managing change effectively.
  • The commitment of resources to public education provides long-term benefits to society.

Goals

Southern Lehigh School District strives to meet and exceed the Adequate Yearly progress goals set by No Child Left Behind and also graduate students who are ready to meet the demands of the workplace or higher education. The district has set our “Eye to the Future” by emphasizing relationships, along with a relevant and rigorous curriculum for all students while acknowledging that the success in today’s world demands that students need “different core of knowledge” embodied in the 21st Century Skills. We strive is to provide an appropriately challenging education for all students, not just meet AYP averages. The district continues to analyze student achievement data trends, review the effectiveness of the curriculum through the curriculum cycle, and improve our program and instructional strategies. 

Goal: ACADEMIC PROFICIENCY
Description: As measured by the PSSA, PASA, and/or District assessments students will be proficient in core subject areas (reading, math, science, and social studies) leading the District meeting Annual Yearly Progress (AYP) each year for all students leading to successful academic transitions from elementary, to intermediate, middle level, high school, and beyond.

Goal: HIGHLY QUALIFIED TEACHERS
Description: All students will learn from highly qualified and effective teachers.

Goal: IMPROVED INTERNAL AND EXTERNAL COMMUNICATIONS
Description: A variety of techniques will be used to improve communications within the District and with all stakeholders.

Academic Standards

In order to support high student achievement for all students, the district has developed curricular programs based on the following:

Southern Lehigh School District provides an educational program based on curriculum built around the PA Academic Standards and assessment anchors. Curriculum committees and/or selected teachers build our standards-based curriculum based on the Understanding by Design model (Wiggins and McTighe). Following the Curriculum Cycle, curriculum that includes content, instructional practices, and assessment is written, reviewed, and revised in an on-going fashion. Analysis of student data, stored in our data warehouse, and review of “best practice” literature guide the curriculum committees.

The curriculum follows the Pennsylvania Chapter 4 guidelines and the academic standards of the Southern Lehigh School District are aligned to the PA Academic Standards and Assessment Anchors.

Science and technology. Study of the natural world and facts, principles, theories and laws in the areas of biology, chemistry, physics and earth sciences. Technology is the application of science to enable societal development, including food and fiber production, manufacturing, building, transportation and communication. Science and technology share the use of the senses, science processes, inquiry, investigation, analysis and problem solving strategies.

Environment and ecology. Understanding the components of ecological systems and their interrelationships with social systems and technologies. These components incorporate the disciplines of resource management, agricultural diversity, government and the impact of human actions on natural systems. This interaction leads to the study of watersheds, threatened and endangered species, pest management and the development of laws and regulations.

Social studies.

     History. Study of the record of human experience including important events; interactions of culture, race and ideas; the nature of prejudice; change and continuity in political systems; effects of technology; importance of global-international perspectives; and the integration of geography, economics and civics studies on major developments in the history of the Commonwealth, the United States and the world.

     Geography. Study of relationships among people, places and environments, of geographic tools and methods, characteristics of place, concept of region and physical processes.

     Civics and government. Study of United States constitutional democracy, its values and principles, study of the Constitution of the Commonwealth and government including the study of principles, operations and documents of government, the rights and responsibilities of citizenship, how governments work and international relations.

     Economics. Study of how individuals and societies choose to use resources to produce, distribute and consume goods and services. Knowledge of how economies work, economic reasoning and basic economic concepts, economic decision making, economic systems, the Commonwealth and the United States economy and international trade.

Arts and humanities. Study of dance, theatre, music, visual arts, language and literature including forms of expression, historical and cultural context, critical and aesthetic judgment and production, performance or exhibition of work.

Career education and work. Understanding career options in relationship to individual interests, aptitudes and skills including the relationship between changes in society, technology, government and economy and their effect on individuals and careers. Development of knowledge and skill in job-seeking and job-retaining skills and, for students completing vocational-technical programs, the skills to succeed in the occupation for which they are prepared.

Health, safety and physical education. Study of concepts and skills which affect personal, family and community health and safety, nutrition, physical fitness, movement concepts and strategies, safety in physical activity settings, and leadership and cooperation in physical activities.

Family and consumer science. Understanding the role of consumers as a foundation for managing available resources to provide for personal and family needs and to provide basic knowledge of child health and child care skills.

Reading, writing, speaking and listening.

     Reading. The application of phonemic awareness, phonics and word study, vocabulary, fluency and text comprehension in reading critically across subject areas; the interpretation and analysis of literary expression with analysis of the origins and structures of the English language and learning how to search a variety of texts to conduct research.

     Writing. Narrative, informational and persuasive formal writing for an audience, including spelling and editing skills; and informal writing to capture and organize information for individual use.

     Speaking and listening. Participation in conversation and formal speaking presentations.

   Mathematics. The understanding of fundamental ideas and the development of proficient mathematical skills in numbers, computation, measurement, statistics and data analysis, probability and predictions, algebra and functions, geometry, trigonometry and concepts of calculus. Using this content, students will learn to think, reason and communicate mathematically.

A curriculum development process has been instituted in the District to facilitate continuous curriculum review, analysis, development, coordination, and articulations. This process incorporates a curriculum council comprised of a representative cross-section of the school community that meets on a scheduled basis for the purpose of reviewing and analyzing curriculum by major subject areas. The process used by Southern Lehigh School District includes: research /data gathering, comparison of current practices to best practices, planning, writing or revision of curricula, and implementation/evaluation.

Graduation Requirements

Graduation Requirement

In accordance with the Chapter 4 Regulations (Section 4.24) of the Pennsylvania Department of Education, “Each school district (including charter schools) shall specify requirements for graduation in the strategic plan under 4.13 (relating to strategic planning). " Requirements shall include course completion and grades, completion of a culminating project and results of local assessments aligned with academic standards.  

The Southern Lehigh School District Board of Education recognizes that the successful completion of the requirements for graduation is an accomplishment worthy of recognition.  Diplomas are awarded to each student who successfully completes the district’s graduation requirements.

The regulations instituted by the Pennsylvania Department of Education shall be the minimum requirements for graduation from Southern Lehigh High School. 

Currently, students have an option of choosing a minimum of 4.0 credits of science and/or 4.0 credits of math.  Among the goals for the Southern Lehigh School District is to require 4.0 credits of math for graduation.

Credit units for courses passed during the ninth, tenth, eleventh and twelfth grades shall be counted towards the necessary credits for graduation.  To receive a diploma, each student shall have earned passing grades in all required subjects. 

The requirements are:

4.0 Credits    

English

4.0 Credits

Social Studies

3.0 or 4.0 Credits **    

Mathematics Minimum:  Applied Algebra I, Applied Geometry, Applied Algebra II 

3.0 or 4.0 Credits ** 

Science Minimum:  Biology, Physical Science, Applied Algebra II and Physics 

0.8 Credit 

Physical Education (.2 credits in grades 9, 10, 11, and 12) 

0.4 Credit 

Classroom Instruction in Driver Education Theory (grade 10) 

0.8 Credit

Health

1.0 Credit

Arts / Humanities *

2.0 Credits

Technology Education Required:  Applied Technology/Foundations of Technology and Computer Applications 

6.0 Credits 

Courses from among those approved for credit toward graduation by the School District; including approved Vocational Education Courses 

26.0 Total Credits 

Including successful completion of the Graduation Project 

* Humanities credits include Spanish, French, German, Fine Arts course and Music courses.

**Each student must take either 4.0 credits of mathematics or 4.0 credits of science

Credit may be earned through independent study or through an outside agency with prior approval as outlined.

Students who have not graduated with their class because they need certain credits for a Southern Lehigh diploma may earn those credits at approved summer schools, evening school, correspondence schools, or through the United States Armed Forces Institute program, at the discretion of the principal

Credit units for courses passed during the ninth, tenth, eleventh, and twelfth grades shall be counted towards the necessary credits for graduation. To receive a diploma, each student shall have earned passing grades in all required subjects:

Graduation Project

The Pennsylvania Department of Education requires all students to complete a graduation project. The graduation project at Southern Lehigh High School is a formal paper and an oral presentation. The purpose of this project is to ensure that students are able to apply, analyze, synthesize, and evaluate information and communicate significant knowledge and understanding of a topic. The student's 11th grade English teacher will guide the student through the process. Students will receive a guideline booklet that describes the steps necessary to complete the project, a timeline, and evaluation and remediation procedures.  It is expected that the Graduation Project will be completed in the spring of the junior year.

Summer School

Students failing required subjects are encouraged to make up those course credits in summer school and thus continue in the regular school program. Students may attend summer school during the summer of any year. In other words, a class failed during ninth grade may be made up the following summer or the summer after tenth or eleventh grade at some schools. Summer school is not currently offered at Southern Lehigh High School; however, arrangements may be made for summer school at other high schools offering the same or similar courses. Information concerning summer school can be obtained by contacting the guidance office. Students lacking sufficient credit for graduation will not graduate with their class. Failing grades affect class ranking and grade point average. A failing grade is not removed from the student's record by passing a remedial summer school course; however, successful completion of the remedial course is indicated in the student's and credit is then given.

NOTE: Completion of remedial summer school course does NOT change the original grade, grade point average, and class rank.

 

 

Strategic Planning Process

The purpose of the Strategic Plan is to set and achieve specific goals in order to continue transforming the organization to provide the highest quality learning opportunities for our students as well as strive for an environment in which all employees can be successful. Critical to the planning process is facilitating a shared purpose or alignment. Alignment is the process of reaching mutual understanding about common goals. It gives shared meaning to the work of the School District, thereby enabling successful accomplishment of the goals of the organization.

The steps of the process are to review our mission statement, develop a vision for the future of the District, define our values, and set measurable goals to achieve the mission, vision, and practice the values.

The final product will be a road map of the next six (6) years for Southern Lehigh which revolves around our plan, An Eye to the Future...The Recreation of Southern Lehigh School District. Since the PA Department of Education has now developed an electronic strategic planning tool, we will have much greater flexibility in revising our plan based on future needs as well as truly maintaining our plan as a living document which guides our work.

The process includes the utilization of a Steering Committee made up of Board members, administration, teachers, parents, students, and community members. The Steering Committee serves the purpose of reviewing the entire Strategic Plan to insure all pieces are in alignment with the mission, vision, and shared values of the District. The Steering Committee will serve in an advisory capacity to review the recommendations from the subcommittees and district administration.

Steering Committee Members:

Strategic Planning Structure

1. Steering Committee (Administration, Managers, Board Representatives, Parents, Students, and Staff)

2. Internal Coordinators (Joseph Liberati, Leah Christman, Diane Keister)

3. Six Sub Committees: 

Strategic Planning Committee

Name

Affiliation

Membership Category

Appointed By

Allison Brink

Parent

Parent

School Board

Chris Strobl

MS Teacher

Middle School Teacher

Southern Lehigh Education Association

Christine Siegfried

HS Principal

Administrator

Superintendent

Corrine Gunkle

Community Member

Board Member

School Board

Dawn DelPriore

Parent

Parent

School Board

Diana Millman

Community Representative

Community Representative

School Board

Diane Keister

Director of Elementary Education

Administrator

Superintendent

Edward Donahue

MS Principal

Administrator

Superintendent

Jacquie DeMatos

Student

Other

SLSD Administration

Janet Miltenberger

Early Childhood Teacher

Other

School Board

Joan Takacs

Director of Secondary Education

Administrator

Superintendent

Jody Rennie

School Board Member

Board Member

School Board

Kelly Dougherty

Early Childhood Teacher

Other

School Board

Leah Christman

Assistant Superintendent

Administrator

Superintendent

Mark Covelle

HS Assistant Principal

Administrator

Superintendent

Morag Christie-Churm

Director of Special Education

Administrator

Superintendent

Phyllis Hsu

Parent

Parent

School Board

Randy Bloch

Community and Business Representative

Business Representative

School Board

Rochelle Hufgard

Elementary Teacher

Elementary School Teacher

Southern Lehigh Education Association

Roni Barna

Elementary Instructional Support Teacher

Elementary School Teacher

Southern Lehigh Education Association

Scot Engler

Director of Special Education

Administrator

Superintendent

Tammy Albenzi

Parent

Community Representative

School Board

Yessenia Moreno

Student

Other

SLSD Administration

Zack Pandl

Student

Other

SLSD Administration

Goals, Strategies and Activities

Goal: ACADEMIC PROFICIENCY
Description: As measured by the PSSA, PASA, and/or District assessments students will be proficient in core subject areas (reading, math, science, and social studies) leading the District meeting Annual Yearly Progress (AYP) each year for all students leading to successful academic transitions from elementary, to intermediate, middle level, high school, and beyond.

Strategy: All schools will achieve AYP benchmarks
Description: Southern Lehigh believes that we should set high expectations for all students. Therefore, all students wil achieve benchmarks in core subjects for Adequate Yearly Progress (AYP) as measured by PSSA.
Activities:

Activity

Description

Students will achieve benchmarks in core subject areas for Adequate Yearly Progress (AYP) as measured by the PSSA

All students will achieve or exceed benchmarks for Adequate Yearly Progress (AYP) as measured by the PSSA:
-Promote high quality curriculum, instruction and assessment (Quadrant D Learning)
-Evaluate and revise curriculum and assessments to support Quadrant D learning
-Analyze the student data and create support systems for students who do not score proficient or advanced on the PSSA
-Implement professional development training to support understanding of Quadrant D learning
-Design accountability measures for quality, frequency, and consistency of implementing Quadrant D learning
-Design alternative schedules that support Quadrant D learning
** Quadrant D Learning is defined as high application requiring high level thinking.

Person Responsible

Timeline for Implementation

Resources

Leah Christman

Ongoing

$0.00

Strategy: Build a positive culture at all buildings
Description: A positive school environment or culture built on mutual respect and beneficial interactions impacts student learning. (Culture includes the norms, values, beliefs, rituals, ceremonies, symbols, and stories that make up the “persona” of the school.) The district values a culture that is supportive and focused on high expectations for all students and expects collaboration as the “way we do business".


Activities:

Activity

Description

Create and support the development of a professional culture

At each building, establish a culture built on mutual respect and positive interactions with the understanding that teacher leadership and collegial relationships benefit student learning.
-Focus on the value of high expectations for all students
-Create common planning times for teacher teams to analyze district-wide, classroom, and individual data to make instructional decisions, collaborate on writing high quality lessons (Gold Seal), and share "best practice" instructional strategies to continuously improve teaching and learning.
-Nurture the value that all stake-holders are life-long learners

Person Responsible

Timeline for Implementation

Resources

Leah Christman

Ongoing

$0.00

 

Activity

Description

Develop a system for recognizing and celebrating various student/building successes

Determine ongoing or yearly measurable goals. Develop plans to meet the goals. Create district-wide or building-wide benchmarks that define success at those goals. Create school-wide or district-wide celebrations such as media blitz or student-parent-community events to recognize achievement.

Person Responsible

Timeline for Implementation

Resources

Leah Christman

Ongoing

$6,000.00

 

Activity

Description

Develop programs that promote various positive peer relationships

Explore "best practice" programs and research to create district-wide and school-wide programs and practices that promote a positive learning environment.
-Create a task force to study the programming used in the district K-12
-Implement a K-12 program that includes such dimensions as: Peer counseling, cross-grade activities, school spirit

Person Responsible

Timeline for Implementation

Resources

Kristen Lewis

Ongoing

$5,000.00

 

Activity

Description

Explore opportunities and create a plan for parent involvement at all buildings

Acknowledge our district value that parents and community members are valuable partners in the school learning environment.
-Research "best practice" parent involvement compacts and contracts in the research literature and in model districts.
-Create a Parent-Community Involvement Plan that encourages intentional communication and support to and from parents along with identifying the special role of parents, guardians, and community members in the educational program and the special programs that occur at each school.

Person Responsible

Timeline for Implementation

Resources

Leah Christman

Ongoing

$0.00

 

Activity

Description

Investigate and develop programs and activities that teach good citizenship

Develop "best practice" programs and practices that continuous improve personal skill development for our students. Twenty First Century skill such as respect of others, the ability to communicate effectively, accepting responsibility and the ability to work effectively on a team will establish a positive learning environment.
-Explore research-based programs that effectively promote student personal skill development
-Explore programs that are effectively used by model schools
-Explore research-based programs to address bullying
-Implement programs to address personal skill development from kindergarten to grade 12

Person Responsible

Timeline for Implementation

Resources

Joan Takacs

Ongoing

$10,000.00

Strategy: Design instruction to meet the needs of diverse learners
Description: Success in today’s world demands that students need a “different core of knowledge” embodied in the 21st Century Skills. Observation of model schools reveals that these districts emphasize relationships, along with a relevant and rigorous curriculum for all students. These schools use good data as a necessary ingredient to understand student needs and to identify the essential content in that curriculum. (W.R.Daggett)

Activities:

Activity

Description

Continuously monitor student performance to ensure all students meet benchmarks

Establish and implement an assessment program that monitors student performance in an on-going fashion to ensure student success.
-Continuously review the current assessment plan for appropriate revisions
-Implement Response to Intervention screeners to benchmark student performance at all levels
-Use data to target further assessments or interventions and extensions ensure appropriate programming for all students

Person Responsible

Timeline for Implementation

Resources

Leah Christman

Ongoing

$6,000.00

 

Activity

Description

Create summer learning opportunities for enrichment, remediation, and credit recovery

Explore various options to provide summer learning opportunities for Southern Lehigh students. Ensure that the opportunities address enrichment, remediation, and credit recovery.
-Explore the opportunities offered by model schools
-Review student data to identify areas that need to be addressed in year one of the program
-Expand the opportunities to enrichment areas

Person Responsible

Timeline for Implementation

Resources

Leah Christman

Ongoing

$60,500.00

 

Activity

Description

Differentiate instruction for all learners

Use the district student data as a basis for differentiating instruction for all learners.
-Establish formative assessment procedures for all subject areas
-Provide professional development so that teachers know how to use formative assessments and how to make instructional decisions based on the summary data
-Provide coaching for teachers through district professional development opportunities and the Southern Lehigh Supervision Model

Person Responsible

Timeline for Implementation

Resources

Leah Christman

Ongoing

$12,000.00

 

Activity

Description

Explore and design alternative schedules to support the needs of all learners

Research the variety of schedules that provide adequate time to support “Quadrant D” learning. The research will be done through the lens of enhancing student learning.
-Through district task forces, explore the research that supports alternative scheduling models
-Explore schedules used by model schools to support student learning.
-Create and implement schedules at all levels that enhance rigorous and relevant learning
-Review the student success data and adjust schedules as appropriate

Person Responsible

Timeline for Implementation

Resources

Leah Christman

Ongoing

$7,000.00

 

Activity

Description

Implement Response to Intervention to meet the needs of struggling students

Use a Response to Intervention model to identify students who are at-risk to not succeed in school.
-Expand the RtI program at the elementary schools
-Study the RtI programs that are effective at the middle and high school
-Implement a Response to Intervention program at the middle and high school
-Continuously research assessments and targeted intervention programs to use as an intervention for struggling students

Person Responsible

Timeline for Implementation

Resources

Kristen Lewis

Ongoing

$1,495,000.00

 

Activity

Description

Investigate "best practice" programs to assist parents in supporting their students' academics

Create Southern Lehigh Parent Workshops that assist parents in understanding the standards-based educational programs that are offered by the district and enable them to work with their students at home to complete homework assignments.

Person Responsible

Timeline for Implementation

Resources

Kristen Lewis

Ongoing

$0.00

 

Activity

Description

Plan for appropriate instruction of gifted students

Continually review and revise the program designed for qualifying gifted students to ensure that it meets the rigor and relevance goal for the district as well as state mandates. Ensure that the instructional staff is highly qualified to meet the needs of gifted students.

Person Responsible

Timeline for Implementation

Resources

Leah Christman

Ongoing

$0.00

 

Activity

Description

Research alternative calendars (daily times and calendar year) to support the needs of diverse learners and Quadrant D learning

Research best practices and the practices of model schools to review the daily time and the calendar year and how they affect student performance.
Establish a task force to:
-Consider the advantages and disadvantages of year-round school
-Consider the advantages and disadvantages of various daily schedules
-Consider the virtual school options as part of the schedule of Southern Lehigh students

Person Responsible

Timeline for Implementation

Resources

Joan Takacs

Ongoing

$0.00

Strategy: Explore the opportunity to provide full-day kindergarten for Southern Lehigh students
Description: Research the benefits and feasibility of creating a full-day kindergarten for struggling students and all students
Activities:

Activity

Description

Explore the benefits and feasibility of creating full-day Kindergarten

Research the benefits and feasibility of full-day kindergarten for 5-year old students in Southern Lehigh
-Research best practices in providing full-day kindergarten programs considering the student benefits and costs
-Review the practices of model schools in the area and the nation
-Research programs that provide full-day kindergarten for struggling students. consider the student learning benefits, the successes of other districts, and the cost

Person Responsible

Timeline for Implementation

Resources

Kristen Lewis

Ongoing

$0.00

Strategy: Four Year Graduation Rate
Description: Graduation rates will be maintain at no less than 95% as a threshold and will show improvement over time.
Activities:

Activity

Description

Create rigorous and relevant curriculum to engage 21st century learners and create a learning environment that meets the needs of all students.

- Create programs that differentiate for student learning styles and background knowledge to enable them to succeed.
- Create a school culture built on respect and support.

Person Responsible

Timeline for Implementation

Resources

Joan Takacs

Ongoing

$0.00

Strategy: Integrate technology across the curriculum
Description: Create an educational environment that provides hands-on use of technology as a tool for students to do their own learning and share what they have learned.
Activities:

Activity

Description

Create rigorous, standards-based, integrated technology opportunities to enhance student learning

-Reseach "best practices" in technology integration
-Provide workshops and coaching for teachers
-Provide opportunities for students to use technology in project-based, relevant activities
- Move from teacher-centered use of technology to student-centered engagement using technology as a tool for their own learning

Person Responsible

Timeline for Implementation

Resources

Leah Christman

Ongoing

$0.00

 

Activity

Description

Implement a scaffolding sequence to articulate the integration of technology skills and strategies across the curriculum

-Research models for sequence of technology skills and strategies
-Create a Southern Lehigh technology curriculum

Person Responsible

Timeline for Implementation

Resources

Leah Christman

Ongoing

$0.00

Strategy: Investigate opportunities to broaden career exploration/guidance
Description: Create opportunities and provide guidance for students to explore post high school options and guidance for students to explore post high school college or career options

Activities:

Activity

Description

Investigate ways to broaden career exploration

Investigate opportunities that students might have to explore their career pathways
-Investigate increased opportunities for student mentoring and shadowing programs
-Create a summer training academy to develop job exploration and acquisition skills

Person Responsible

Timeline for Implementation

Resources

Joan Takacs

Ongoing

$0.00

Strategy: Promote high quality curriculum, instruction and assessments (Quadrant D Learning)
Description: Effective school systems create rigorous and relevant curriculum and believe that all students can learn. Students will meet the PSSA criteria to demonstrate student learning.
Activities:

Activity

Description

Design accountability measures for quality, frequency, and consistency of implementing quadrant D learning

-Provide professional development for educational administrators in Quadrant D learning through a consultant from the International Center for Leadership in Education
-Create rubrics to measure quality, frequency, and consistency of Quadrant D learning (Gold Seal lessons)
-Provide professional development for teachers in Quadrant D learning
-Observe and coach teachers as part of the classroom observation process

Person Responsible

Timeline for Implementation

Resources

Leah Christman

Ongoing

$5,000.00

 

Activity

Description

Evaluate and revise curriculum and assessments to support Quadrant D learning

As part of the review process of the curriculum cycle, curriculum team will review the rigor and relevance of their instruction
-All instructional staff will learn how to create "Gold Seal" lessons that are build on Quadrant D learning
-All curricular programs will include high quality lessons based on the rigor and relevance framework
-The district will design accountability measures for the quality, frequency, and consistency of implementing Quadrant D learning
-The curriculum department and building administrators will teach and coach teachers to achieve success

Person Responsible

Timeline for Implementation

Resources

Leah Christman

Ongoing

$0.00

 

Activity

Description

Implement professional development training to support understanding of Quadrant D learning

As part of the review process of the curriculum cycle, curriculum team will review the rigor and relevance of their instruction
-All instructional staff will learn how to create "Gold Seal" lessons that are build on Quadrant D learning
-All curricular programs will include high quality lessons based on the rigor and relevance framework
-The district will design accountability measures for the quality, frequency, and consistency of implementing Quadrant D learning
-The curriculum department and building administrators will teach and coach teachers to achieve success

Person Responsible

Timeline for Implementation

Resources

Leah Christman

Ongoing

$0.00

 

Activity

Description

Promote high quality curriculum

Research the variety of schedules that provide adequate time to support “Quadrant D” learning. The research will be done through the lens of enhancing student learning.
-Through district task forces, explore the research that supports alternative scheduling models
-Explore schedules used by model schools to support student learning.
-Create and implement schedules at all levels that enhance rigorous and relevant learning
-Review the student success data and adjust schedules as appropriate

Person Responsible

Timeline for Implementation

Resources

Leah Christman

Ongoing

$0.00

Strategy: Review and revise high school graduation requirements
Description: Southern Lehigh will meet the PA state graduation requirements to meet AYP

Activities:

Activity

Description

Explore the downward movement of courses for graduation credit

A district committee will explore the district academic program to explore courses that might be moved to the middle school and receive graduation requirement credit
-The district will form a committee to review the current program to explore which courses might be appropriate for middle school completion
-The committee will research how model schools and near-by schools offer these courses
-The committee will make recommendations to the Administrative team, the Board Education Committee, and finally the School Board Directors for final approval.

Person Responsible

Timeline for Implementation

Resources

Leah Christman

Ongoing

$0.00

 

Activity

Description

Revise high school graduation requirements to meet state standards

A district team will research and revise the graduation requirements to meet the rigor and relevance standard.
-A team will be created to review the state standards and compare them to the current district graduation requirements.
-The team will identify the appropriate graduation requirements.
-The requirements will be reviewed by the board and become part of the Southern Lehigh expectation for graduation.

Person Responsible

Timeline for Implementation

Resources

Joan Takacs

Ongoing

$0.00

Strategy: Student Attendance Rates
Description: Student attendance rates will be maintained at a threshold of 95% or better.
Activities:

Activity

Description

Maintain student attendance rates at 95% or better

Create a positive school climate that respects all students and maintains high expectations for all students.
-Continuously improve the culture at each school so that students experience a welcoming and supportive environment that leads to student success
-Develop programs that promote positive peer relationships and strong personal development skills
-Create instructional programs that meet the learning styles of 21st Century learners

Person Responsible

Timeline for Implementation

Resources

Diane Keister

Ongoing

$0.00

Strategy: Student Participation in State Assessments
Description: Student participation rates on PSSA will be maintained at 95% or better.
Activities:

Activity

Description

Maintain high rates of student participation in State Assessments

Create school cultures built on respect and support
-Create a positive learning environment that values high expectations for all students and supports students in reaching success
-Provide appropriate accommodations for students with special needs to create a testing environment that fosters high performance

Person Responsible

Timeline for Implementation

Resources

Leah Christman

Ongoing

$0.00



Goal: HIGHLY QUALIFIED TEACHERS
Description: All students will learn from highly qualified and effective teachers.

Strategy: Enhance the instructional strategies of our teachers
Description: To increase staff knowledge of content and skills, standards, the district curricula, its alignment with standards and articulation through grade levels.


Activities:

Activity

Description

Create a professional development system that sustains change and propels change to a higher level

-Create a long-term professional development plan based on the long-term district goals
-Review the plan within the Act 48 committee
-Communicate the plan to the instructional staff
-Create professional development based on this plan, revisiting the district goals and sustaining ongoing "best practices"

Person Responsible

Timeline for Implementation

Resources

Leah Christman

Ongoing

$0.00

 

Activity

Description

Create and support the development of a professional culture

-Research effective "best practice" professional development models to reinforce the vision and shared values of the district: Environment impacts learning; Professional learning communities provide a means for all stake-holders to become life-long learners; Set high expectations for all learners.
-Plan and implement professional development activities based on these effective models
-Create common planning for teams of teachers to analyze district-wide, classroom, and individual student data to make instructional decisions, collaborate on writing Gold Seal lessons, and share effective instructional practices to continuously improve teaching and learning

Person Responsible

Timeline for Implementation

Resources

Leah Christman

Ongoing

$0.00

 

Activity

Description

Enhance existing opportunities for differentiation of professional development plans among teachers

-Through the work of the Act 48 Committee, use survey data to plan professional development workshops to provide differentiated workshops (Academy System)
-Consider learning styles and background knowledge, when planning district-wide workshops
-Provide opportunities for teachers to attend workshops offered by outside partners

Person Responsible

Timeline for Implementation

Resources

Leah Christman

Ongoing

$0.00

 

Activity

Description

Explore various options for using time more efficiently and effectively to provide professional development opportunities that support team interaction, high levels of collaboration, and communication among teachers to promote student learning

-Research ways that model schools use time to more effectively and efficiently provide professional development opportunites that support team interaction, collaboration that promote student learning
-Create and implement a plan to create common planning time for teacher teams to analyze district-wide, school-wide, classroom, and individual student data to make instructional decisions, collaborate to write Gold Seal lessons, and share effective instructional strategies to continuously improve student learning.

Person Responsible

Timeline for Implementation

Resources

Leah Christman

Ongoing

$0.00

 

Activity

Description

Provide professional development training to support understanding of Quadrant D learning

-Collaborate with the International Center for Leadership in Education to provide professional development in Gold Seal lessons to the curriculum and building level administration leadership
-Building and curriculum leaders will provide professional development for district teachers
-The district will design rubrics to monitor the quality, frequency, and consistency of implementation of Quadrant D learning (Gold Seal lessons)
-The curriculum department and building administrators will teach and coach teachers to achieve success

Person Responsible

Timeline for Implementation

Resources

Leah Christman

Ongoing

$5,000.00



Goal: IMPROVED INTERNAL AND EXTERNAL COMMUNICATIONS
Description: A variety of techniques will be used to improve communications within the District and with all stakeholders.

Strategy: Improve information sharing between various stakeholder groups
Description: Maximize electronic communications systems to inform all stakeholder groups.
Activities:

Activity

Description

Preparation for college and post-secondary

Create parent programs for post-secondary preparation
- Create and plan a college night for 9th graders
- Design a program to address questions/ concerns about college for students planning to attend college (Examples: SAT prep programs, Financial Aid programs, Application procedures, and Question and Answer sessions)
- Design programs to communicate options such as Dual enrollment, College Scholars Programs, Internships, and Shadowing experiences.

Person Responsible

Timeline for Implementation

Resources

Joan Takacs

Ongoing

$0.00

Strategy: Review grading/reporting system for report cards/conferences
Description: Review the current grading abd reporting system for all levels and explore varous ways to communicate with parents through the use of technology.
Activities:

Activity

Description

Revise elementary report card

Review the current report card to reflect the developmental expectations and the grade level benchmarks/ standards
-Create a task force to review the current elementary report card so that it communicates a student's developmental progress and the child's progress towards grade-level standards.
-Review best practice reporting systems and those of model schools
-Consider the timeline for parent conferences at the elementary schools to be more conducive to assisting parents in supporting students. (Consider November and January)
-Explore ways to communicate with parents through the use of technology

Person Responsible

Timeline for Implementation

Resources

Leah Christman

Ongoing

$0.00

 

Activity

Description

Revise the Middle School and High School Reporting Systems

Review and revise the student progress reporting system
-Form a task force to review the current student progress reporting system to better reflect student progress throughout the school year
-Consider feedback on student personal development skills
-Consider more detailed reporting through Power School
-Explore ways to use technology to communicate student performance

Person Responsible

Timeline for Implementation

Resources

Leah Christman

Ongoing

$0.00

Measurable Annual Improvement Targets

Measurable Annual Improvement Targets

Southern Lehigh School District continues to strive to meet or exceed the proficiency targets set by No Child Left Behind (NCLB) that are outlined below.  

School Year

Reading/LA

% of Students who  Score in the Proficient and Advanced Range

Mathematics

% of Students who  Score in the Proficient and Advanced Range

2008-2009

63

56

2009-2010

63

56

2010-2011

72

67

2011-2012

81

78

2012-2013

91

89

2013-2014

100

100

Each year, teachers and administrators analyze the PSSA data to determine student areas of strengths and weaknesses. Based on the analysis, curriculum committees review and revise the district curriculum. The district identifies students who fail to meet the proficient target and offers remediation support.

Curriculum, Instruction and Instructional Materials

Southern Lehigh School District Curriculum Cycle

Each subject area will proceed through these stages with review/oversight from the Curriculum Council.

Research and Data Gathering — Years 1 and 2

Responsibilities

Data gathering: Collect student data (surveys, test results, etc.)
Research and Analysis of Information: Research international studies, national studies, state standards, teacher experiences, best practices of instruction and content; Attend content area conferences                                                
Status of Program K-12:  Analyze effectiveness and best practices of current program (gap/overlap analysis)

Activities

Data gathering:  Subject area leader and team and director of curriculum develop surveys for students/teachers, collect/collate pertinent student performance data.
Research and Analysis of Information:  Subject area leader and team and director of curriculum find/review research, and analyze data. 
Status of Program K-12:  Subject area leader and team and director of curriculum gather and analyze data 

Curriculum Council — Year 3
(Includes Content Area Teachers K-12, Subject Area Teachers, CO and Building Administrators, Students (3-6), Parents (3), Community Members in that field)


Responsibilities

Synthesis of findings: Summarize findings of what is and what should be to present to curriculum council
Curriculum Council: Share with curriculum council for review and feedback
Action Plan Development:  Create action plans based on feedback and recommendations from curriculum council 
Staff Development:  Provide supporting staff development for programs and best practices in instructional strategies
Curriculum writing: Begin preliminary curriculum writing and review of resources

Activities

Synthesis of findings: Subject area leader and team consulting with director of curriculum convert information to presentation format. Curriculum Council: Curriculum council members provide feedback and recommendations on analysis of information (meets several times per year as needed)
Action Plan Development: Subject area leader and team consulting with director of curriculum develop action plans
Staff Development: Subject area leader and team and director of curriculum cooperatively plan the professional education 

Curriculum Development Task Force — Year 4

Responsibilities

Curriculum Writing:  Based on curriculum evaluation and council recommendations, write/rearticulate curricula, develop curriculum maps, and develop assessments
Resource Assessment:  Review, select appropriate materials/resources
Field Test: Field test program if appropriate

Activities

Curriculum Writing: Subject area leader and team write curriculum, reviewed by curriculum director/supervisor
Resource Assessment: Subject area leader and team facilitated by director of curriculum review and select materials
Field Test:  Volunteer teachers try out new program if appropriate 

Implementation — Year 5

Responsibilities

Implementation:  Teach new curriculum using new resources
Evaluation:  Determine effectiveness of implementation
Revisions:  Make appropriate adjustments to course of study/curriculum 

Activities

Implementation: All teachers in that subject area implement the program
Evaluation:  Subject area leader and team with input from all subject area teachers and director of curriculum evaluate the program Leadership:  Curriculum office and building administrators oversee and assist the implementation of the curriculum guides, assessment tools, and instructional practice 


Review/Revise — Years 6 and 7

Responsibilities

Analysis: Check data to determine if curriculum, assessments, instructional strategies, programs, and resources are successful in meeting student goals
Ongoing Research: Read and review best practices in instruction and content                                           

Activities

Analysis: Subject area leaders share data/ information with content area teachers and director of curriculum
Ongoing Research:  Subject area leaders share information with content area teachers and director of curriculum
Leadership: Director/supervisor of curriculum continues, with support of building administrators, to oversee the implementation of curriculum guides, assessment tools and instructional practices. 

*Accommodations in the process will be made for courses/textbooks needed during the transition to this cycle.  Adjustments might also be necessary when subject matter changes due to academic standards, student needs, or technology. 

Mastery of the Academic Standards

Each student must demonstrate mastery of the PA academic standards either on the state system of assessment (PSSA) or the local system of assessment. The state assessment is administered during the junior year of high school and a proficient score is required for mastery. If a student does not demonstrate proficiency, any of the three exams may be retaken once during the senior year. Student proficiency is measured by success in the content of the required course areas that are written to meet the PA standards, outline benchmarks (what students know, understand, and are able to do) for that course, and define assessments to measure student performance towards those benchmarks.

Assessments and Public Reporting

Assessment is the link between teaching and learning.  Well-designed assessment “drives” instruction by enabling teachers to monitor the success of their instruction through the behavior of their students.

Purpose of Assessment

Assessment can have many situational purposes:

  1. District accountability measured by PSSA (Pennsylvania System of School Assessment) and Mid-Year and Year-End Assessments or Common Assessments (elementary)
  2. Curricular improvement through item analysis and curriculum matching on criterion-based assessments and PSSA
  3. Measurement of individual student achievement of content and skill
  4. Reflective goal setting for students and teachers
  5. Diagnostic information about student learning (Example: DIBELS as the universal screener as part of the RtI process)
  6. Formative and summative evaluation of student progress and growth
  7. Day-to-Day instructional decision making
  8. Monitoring growth towards district goals
  9. Student placement
  10. Measure achievement of standards

Current and Proposed Assessment Procedures

Southern Lehigh recognizes that varied methods of assessment are essential.  Student learning is a complex process which requires a variety of assessment methods and procedures matched to the tasks, learning process and purpose.

We will continue to use a number of assessment instruments at each grade level. (See the District-wide assessment plan.)

Assessment Procedures

Title I

Assessments measure student achievement at the elementary and middle school level for the Title I program. We participate in the Title I program as Targeted Assistance Schools operating as a school-wide project.  Through the use of multiple assessment measures such as the Southern Lehigh common or mid-year and year-end assessments, placement tests, 4-Sight, PSSA, teacher recommendation check-list, program-specific instruments, students are identified and progress is frequently monitored (under the guidelines of our Response to Intervention procedures.)

Writing Assessment (K-12)

With the assistance of teachers, elementary students in Southern Lehigh maintain students writing folders.  Training in analytical scoring of writing using rubrics and writing across the curriculum has been a staff education focus.  While all teachers use the traits and rubrics to score writing, a specific emphasis is placed on writing in grades 4, 5, 7 and 10 where anchor papers are selected district wide and teams of teachers score the writing samples as part of a District Assessment initiative.  Scoring is processed into group and individual reports.  Individual reports are shared with parents.

Rubrics

Teachers use rubrics as a measure of students’ performance.  These measures may be general, such as Vicki Spandel's Six Trait Writing Rubrics, or project-specific. Often students use these rubrics to assess the performance level of a class sample or assess their own performance. Rubrics are used for a wide variety of purposes but most notably for scoring or monitoring students in the areas of:

  1. Reading and writing
  2. Oral reports
  3. Presentations and public speaking
  4. Interdisciplinary projects
  5. Behavior management (Instructional Support Teams)

Portfolios

Informal portfolios of students are maintained by teachers at many levels.  More than mere collections of student work, the portfolios focus discussion during conferences between teacher, student and parent at the elementary and middle school levels.  Portfolios are a strong link between the home and school as they provide a glimpse of authentic student work rather than work reduced to grades when presented to parents as evidence of achievement.

Assessment Results

Through varied methods, Southern Lehigh teachers and administrators attempt to create a profile for each student's learning. The district has begun using a data warehouse (Ed Insight) to gather student performance information. Our goal is to review student data on the district and school levels, using the information to review and revise curriculum and the instructional programs that support it. Further, teachers, RtI and IST teams, SAP teams along with grade-level / subject area teacher teams, review individual student profiles to build successful programs and interventions for individual students.

Assessment results are shared with parents, school board, and community members. Testing reports are sent home and discussed in scheduled conferences or personal contacts between teachers and parents. Southern Lehigh staff communicates with parents concerning their child's progress in an on-going manner. Parents of middle school and high school students have on-going access to student grades through a parent portal and parent conferences in November. Parents of elementary school children have parent conferences in November and April. Elementary parents communicate about student progress through phone calls, student work folders, and parent notes/email. The district shares student progress summaries with the community through the District newsletter, the District Report Card, and on the District web pages.

Student Success

Southern Lehigh will continue to support those students who have difficulty in achieving the transitional outcomes.  We have in place numerous support systems to assist students with their learning:

  1. Instructional Support/ Response to Intervention teams at each elementary school
  2. SAP teams at Middle School and High School
  3. Instructional teams that meet regularly at the Middle School to discuss student achievement
  4. Tutors offering instructional assistance at the High School
  5. Title I, LEA and Special Education aides, Special teachers, and Instructional Assistants to provide small group and one-on-one assistance
  6. A system of accommodations which may be used for Special Needs students
  7. Psychologists and guidance counselors to assist with personal problems that interfere with learning.

Student success is a shared venture and requires the commitment of all stakeholders. It is also our belief that we must have high expectations for all students. The District continuously evaluates the usefulness of the data provided by these assessments and reviews newly available instruments to update the assessment plan.

DISTRICT-WIDE ASSESSMENT PLAN

GRADE

TEST OR ASSESSMENT

PURPOSE

MONTH ADMINISTERED

TIME

REPORTING

K

DIBELS

External Measure:  Phonemic Awareness
RtI Universal Screener

September, 
January,
May

One half hour

Results recorded in the Data Warehouse
Shared at parent conferences

K

Southern Lehigh Common Assessments
All subject areas

Internal Measure: assessment of knowledge and skill in all academic areas

January and May

2 days

2-1 hour periods

Must be hand scored
Results collated and used to monitor
progress in achievement of Middle States goals; used internally to assess student progress and curricular consistency

1

DIBELS

External Measure:
Phonemic awareness
RtI Universal Screener

September, 
January, 
May

One half hour

Results recorded in the Data Warehouse
Shared at parent conferences

1

Southern Lehigh Common  
Assessments

All subject areas

Internal Measure: assessment of knowledge and skill in all academic areas

January and May

2 days

2-1 hour periods

Must be hand scored
Results collated and used to monitor
progress in achievement of Middle States goals; used internally to assess student progress and curricular consistency

2

DIBELS

External Measure:
Phonemic awareness  
RtI Universal Screener

September,
January,
May




One half hour

Results recorded in the Data Warehouse
Shared at parent conferences

2

Southern Lehigh Mid-Year and Year-End Assessment

Internal Measure: assessment of knowledge and skill in all academic areas

January and May

2 days

2-1 hour periods

Must be hand scored
Results collated and used to monitor
progress in achievement of Middle States goals; used internally to assess student progress and curricular consistency

3

DIBELS

External Measure:
Phonemic awareness
RtI Universal Screener

September, 
January,
May

One half hour

Results recorded in the Data Warehouse
Shared at parent conferences

GRADE

TEST OR ASSESSMENT

PURPOSE

MONTH ADMINISTERED

TIME

REPORTING

3

Southern Lehigh Common Assessments   All subject areas

Internal Measure: assessment of knowledge and skill in all academic areas

January and May

2 days

2-1 hour periods

Must be hand scored
Results collated and used to monitor progress in achievement of Middle States goals; used internally to assess student progress and curricular consistency

3

PSSA (Reading and Math)

External Measure:
Required by PDE for curriculum review

Window established by the State - March

8-10 hours over 5-6 days

Individual reports given to parents.  Group reports used for curriculum review and district testing report

4

DIBELS

External Measure:
Phonemic awareness
RtI Universal Screener

September,
January,
May

One half hour

Results recorded in the Data Warehouse
Shared at parent conferences

4

Southern Lehigh Common Assessment

Internal Measure:
assessment of knowledge and skill in all academic areas

January and May

2 days

2 1-hour periods

Must be hand scored
Results collated and used to monitor progress in achievement of Middle States goals; used internally to assess student progress and curricular consistency

5

PSSA (Reading, Math, Science)

External Measure:
Required by PDE for curriculum review

Window established by the State -
March (Reading and Math)
April or May (Science)




Reading/Math
6-8 hours
Science
4 hours

Individual reports given to parents. Group reports used for curriculum review and district testing report

5

DIBELS

External Measure:
Phonemic
awareness
RtI Universal Screener

September,
January,
May

One half hour

Results recorded in the Data Warehouse
Shared at parent conferences

5

PSSA (Reading and Math)




Writing

4-Sight Math

External Measure:
Required by PDE for curriculum review

Window established by the State- March



February

September, December,
February

8-10 hours over 5-6 days




1 2-hour period

Individual reports given to parents.
Group reports used for curriculum review and district testing report


Results analyzed to prepare for PSSA math assessment

GRADE

TEST OR ASSESSMENT

PURPOSE

MONTH ADMINISTERED

TIME

REPORTING

5

Southern Lehigh Common Assessment








Math
Placement
Tests

Internal Measure:
assessment of knowledge and skill in all academic areas






Internal Measure:
Math level placement for 6th grade

January and May










April / May

2 days
2 1-hour periods








2 1-hour periods

Must be hand scored
Results collated and used to monitor progress in achievement of Middle States goals; used internally to assess student progress and curricular consistency
Hand scored or scan-troned
Results collated and used to determine math level placement

6

Southern Lehigh Mid-Year and Year-End Assessment 








Math Placement Tests

Internal Measure:
assessment of knowledge and skill in all academic areas

 





Internal Measure:
math level placement for 7th grade 

January and May 










April / May 

2 days
2 1-hour periods 






 

2 1-hour periods

Hand scored or scan-troned
Results collated and used to monitor progress in achievement of Middle States goals; used internally to assess student progress and curricular consistency
Hand scored or scan-troned
Results collated and used to determine math level placement

6

PSSA (Reading and Math) 




4-Sight

External Measure:
Required by PDE for curriculum review

Window established by the State - March

 

September,
December,
February

5 days

Individual reports given to parents. Group reports used for curriculum review and district testing report
Results analyzed to prepare for PSSA Math assessment

7

Southern Lehigh Mid-Year and Year-End Assessment 




Internal Measure: assessment of knowledge and skill in all academic areas

January and May




2 days
2 1-hour periods

Must be hand scored
Results collated and used to monitor progress in achievement of Middle States goals; used internally to assess student progress and curricular consistency

 

GRADE

TEST OR ASSESSMENT

PURPOSE

MONTH ADMINISTERED

TIME

REPORTING

7

PSSA (Reading and Math)




4-Sight

External Measure:
Required by PDE for curriculum review

Window established by the State - March



September,
December,
February

5 days

Individual reports given to parents.  Group reports used for curriculum review and district testing report
Results analyzed to prepare for PSSA Math assessment

8

PSSA (Reading and Math) 

Writing

Science

4-Sight

External Measure:
Required by PDE for curriculum review

Window established by the State - March

February

April or May

September,
December,
February

5 days



2 2-hour periods
5 hours

Individual reports given to parents.  Group reports used for curriculum review and district testing report 

 
Results analyzed to prepare for PSSA Math assessment

8

Southern Lehigh Mid-Year and Year-End Assessment 

Internal Measure:
assessment of knowledge and skill in all academic areas

January and May

2 days

2 1-hour periods 




Must be hand scored
Results collated and used to monitor progress in achievement of Middle States goals; used internally to assess student progress and curricular consistency 

9

Southern Lehigh Mid-Year and Year-End Assessment

Internal Measure: assessment of knowledge and skill in all academic areas

January and May 

2 days
2 1-hour periods

Must be hand scored
Results collated and used to monitor progress in achievement of Middle States goals; used internally to assess student progress and curricular consistency

10

Writing:  Analytical Scoring Sample

Internal Measure: Individual writing ability

January

2 2-hour periods

Shared with parents at conference, stored in the student's writing folder

 


 

 

GRADE

TEST OR ASSESSMENT

PURPOSE

MONTH ADMINISTERED

TIME

REPORTING

10

Southern Lehigh Mid-Year and Year-End Assessment

Internal Measure: assessment of knowledge and skill in academic areas

January and May

2 days
2 1-hour periods

Must be hand scored
Results collated and used to monitor progress in achievement of Middle States goals; used internally to assess student progress and curricular consistency

10

4-Sight 

External Measure:

September,
December,
February

 

Results analyzed to prepare for PSSA Math assessment

11

PSSA (Reading and Math)



Writing


Science

External Measure:
Required by PDE for curriculum review

Window established by the State - March


February


April or May

 




2 days
2 1-hour periods

Individual reports given to parents. Group reports used for curriculum review and district testing report

11

Armed Services Vocational Aptitude Battery

External Measure:  verbal/math score and ranking of aptitudes

September

4 periods and 2-day workshop in November

Results discussed with students and sent to parents 

11

Southern Lehigh Mid-Year and Year-End Assessment

Internal Measure:
assessment of knowledge and skill in all academic areas

January and May

2 days
2 1-hour periods

Must be hand scored 
Results collated and used to monitor progress in achievement of Middle States goals; used internally to assess student progress and curricular consistency 

11

PSAT

External Measure: Verbal and Math achievement score. Qualification for National Merit Scholar

Fall or Spring 

Saturdays as announced

Added to student record.  Used by colleges for admissions.  Used by National Merit Scholarship to determine qualifications

11

SAT

External Measure:  Verbal and Math achievement score

Fall or Spring

Saturdays as announced

Added to student record.  Used by colleges for admissions.

GRADE

TEST OR ASSESSMENT

PURPOSE

MONTH ADMINISTERED

TIME

REPORTING

12

Southern Lehigh Mid-Year and Year-End Assessment

Internal Measure: assessment of knowledge and skill in all academic areas

January and May

2 days
2 1-hour periods

Must be hand scored
Results collated and used to monitor
progress in achievement of Middle States goals; used internally to assess student progress and curricular consistency

12

SAT

External Measure: Verbal and Math achievement score

Fall

Saturdays as announced

Added to student record.  Used by colleges for admissions.

12

AP Exams

External Measure: individual achievement and curriculum match to objectives of the course

Spring

As announced

Added to student record. Students scoring a 3,4,or 5 may qualify for advanced placement in their college program

12

PSSA Retest

External Measure:  final opportunity to prove proficiency on state standards

November

3 days

Individual reports given to parents.
Group reports used for curriculum review and district testing report. Scores placed on transcripts.

 


 

Targeted Assistance For Struggling Students

Plan to Improve Student Achievement 

Each year the school district conducts an analysis of district data from the assessment tools to guide and improve curriculum and instruction. This analysis includes a review of the data from externally-normed, state, district and classroom assessments. Although each assessment instrument yields different data, the general review process is as follows:

--The Directors of Elementary and Secondary Education, building principals, and building data teams review the student data. (This data resides within our data warehouse and may be accessed at the teacher and building level.)

--Teams of subject area teachers, building data teams, and grade level teachers review the data, observe trends, patterns and areas of strength and weakness. Teachers analyze root causes for these patterns.

--The administrative team reviews the data trends and root causes, identifying areas that need further exploration or investigation. The team sets goals based on the information; then the buildings define action plans to address the goals and identify individual students who need additional support.

--The district support staff and subject area curriculum staff assist teachers in finding support materials and research driven instructional techniques to enhance the instructional program in the goal areas. Professional education is planned to provide "best practice" instructional practices and build content knowledge.

--Subject area leaders within their committee meetings review the data that relate to their content area in order to revise their curricula and programs as part of the curriculum cycle and to improve the curriculum or programs used to implement the curriculum. 

-- The curriculum department collaborates with other school districts in state, intermediate unit workshops, professional conferences on standards-based topics to bring information of "best practices" to the district. 

--Teachers provide differentiated instruction within their classroom to meet the instructional needs of their students (Differentiated Instruction has been a Southern Lehigh priority for the last six years)


Furthermore, the district provides other support services and materials to students and parents:

--Content support and tutorials linked to the district website.

--Multiple opportunities for students to engage in open-ended tasks in all content areas

--Multiple opportunities for students to respond to writing prompts in a variety of genre in all curricular areas 

--Programs and student activities utilizing PSSA items

--Parent workshops  to learn about current Southern Lehigh practices and strategies and ways to assist and support their children (Example: First Grade Reading Camp, a summer camp where parents learn how to read simple books with their children, practice those strategies, and take home summer packets for practice.)

Support Services for Students with Needs beyond the Regular Education Program

Students with Disabilities
Students with disabilities are provided with a special education program identified in an Individualized Education Plan under the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act. These identified students who complete their special education program shall be granted and issued a regular high school diploma by Southern Lehigh School District.

The ESL program is part of the core curriculum; it replaces or extends the English planned instruction required under Chapter 4.  The budget includes funding to support the program. The student receives sufficient instructional time from a PA certified teacher with appropriate resource materials.  The teacher uses an assessment system that monitors student progress in learning English, as defined by PDE.  The classroom teacher provides assistance and accommodations so the ELL student has academic success while learning English.  The ESL Program is evaluated annually to determine if the ELL are achieving success in learning English.  If they are not, the program is adapted to meet their needs.

The Gifted Program is designed to serve students whose needs require enrichment, extension, and acceleration beyond the regular, differentiated classroom.  It is created to cultivate interest, capacity, and skills necessary for independent, intellectual inquiry and life-long learning as well as encouraging freedom of thought, creative expression, and educational risk taking.  Those students who participate in the Gifted Program qualify for the Program based on the Chapter 16 regulations.  The Gifted Program is delivered via a pull-out resource setting with intellectual peers, a gifted reading and research seminar, a rigorous language arts programming, accelerated math programming, honors/advanced placement courses, college scholars, and individual independent study and a push-in model where the gifted teachers work with students within the classroom. The budget includes funding to support the Gifted Program throughout the district.  The gifted staff under the direction of the Director of Special Education continues to self-monitor its programs in order to determine that it is meeting the needs of the gifted population.

A full program of identification and supports is available for at-risk and eligible special education students.  Individualized programs are designed for students with learning disability, emotional disturbance, autism, mental retardation, deafness, blindness, hearing impairment, multiple disabilities, visual impairment, orthopedic impairment, traumatic brain injury, and speech or language impairment.  In addition, the resources of the Intermediate Unit 21 are available to our students.  Southern Lehigh serves students in the least restrictive environment and provides numerous inclusionary programs throughout the district.

Support for Struggling Schools

Plan for Additional Opportunities

The district has designed various programs to assist students who are having difficulty achieving the academic standards. The strategic plan outlines additional supports for implementation over the next 6 years. The programs are a multi-leveled approach addressing the various needs of the district students. Each component is listed below with the appropriate grade levels. Building teams of teachers and administrators operate and manage each program modifying procedures and activities as needed. Financial support for the each item has been incorporated into the district budget. Building data on the activities and specific procedures for use of the program is maintained in each building office.

 The programs for additional student instructional opportunities are:

Title I support for additional mathematics intervention instruction for students who qualify through a multiple assessment criteria at qualifying schools. 

Response to Intervention program or Instructional Support
Elementary students who fall below the expected reading performance levels in the universal screener, DIBELS, are identified for further assessment. The team targets appropriate intervention to meet the student's need. Support is provided by an intervention teacher, highly trained instructional assistant, instructional support teacher or reading specialist. Students who do not demonstrate success in mathematics also receive support. This program will be expanded to the middle and high schools.

Reading Buddies, National Honor Society tutors and Literacy volunteers (grades K-5)

Summer school courses and programs (grades 9-12)

Referral to the Instructional Support Team (K-5) or grade-level team (6-8)

Activity period assistance at the middle school/after-school programs

Software tutorial programs for in school and home

On-line homework assistance links

Mathematics learning labs at the high school

Qualified, Effective Teachers and Capable Instructional Leaders

  District Resources

The Southern Lehigh School District ensures the employment of qualified professional employees (administrators and teachers) to deliver the curriculum, instruction, and assessment requirements of state regulations. Thus, personnel who teach and administer the district-planned instruction and assessment programs have the proper credentials.

Presently there are 240 professional employees on staff. There is an average student-teacher ratio of 14 students per teacher. The district also employs 24 administrators in the following positions:

         Superintendent

         Assistant Superintendent

         Director of Elementary Education

         Director of Secondary Education

         Director of Business and Personnel Services

         Finance Manager

         Human Resources Administrator

         Director of Special Education

         Coordinator of Technology

         High School Principal

         Assistant High School Principal (2)

         Middle School Principal

         Assistant Middle School Principal

         Elementary School Principal (3)

         Intermediate School Principal

         Athletic Director

         Director of Support Services

         Assistant Director of Support Services

         Logistics Support Specialist

         Director of Food Services

         Media Specialist

         Accountant

         Payroll & Benefits Specialist

Each school building contains a library with reference resources of various media to supplement the district’s curriculum, instruction, and assessment programs. These resources are provided to support the district's mission, goals, and academic standards. At each level, the library provides instruction for students in all planned courses with reference to information skills, including access to traditional and electronic information sources, and computer use and research. Staff for the district's library-media program includes 2.75 librarians for the elementary schools, one full time middle school librarian, and one full time high school librarian.

The buildings are maintained continuously at a very high standard for cleanliness and comfort and promote achievement of the district’s mission, goals, and academic standards.

Each building is supported by infrastructure for improved technology and communications systems as described in the technology plan. Each classroom is connected to the district network and computer labs support specific content in the Middle School and the High School. A television studio provides school-wide communication in both of those buildings.  

Each school contains facilities for implementation of the curriculum, instruction, and assessment programs as required in Chapter 4. Elementary buildings provide for active learning experiences in art, music, dance, and exploration or “hands-on” experiences in science and environmental education. At the middle school, facilities are provided for active learning experiences in the arts and related areas of study, science, environmental education, technology education, and consumer and family science. In the high school, laboratories are available for all science courses and facilities are provided for the arts, music, dance, and theater. Computer labs ensure uses and applications of computers and software including word processing, databases, spreadsheets, and telecommunications.  Finally, the high school physical plant offers facilities for business education, foreign language, family life education, and technology education.

In addition to the above, other resources are available to assist in student achievement of the district’s mission, goals and academic standards. Presently, these resources include, but are not limited to the following:

Professional libraries in each building

Local, regional, state, and national staff development programs available for all professional personnel

Extracurricular programs

Outdoor recreation facilities and community programs

Intermediate unit programs and services

School/business partnerships, which provide mentoring and school-to-work opportunities for students

Interagency collaborations (for example, MHMR, drug and alcohol single county authorities, etc.)

Options to attend the Lehigh County Career and Technical Institute, local community colleges and private colleges as part of the scholars program.

Parent and Community Participation

Southern Lehigh School District values the importance of building partnerships with families and community members. Parents and guardians are the students’ first teachers and play an important continuing role in the education of their children. Families and community members share a commitment to the educational success of our students. 

Parents are integral partners in our schools. They volunteer to assist with special events, tutor, and chaperone school sponsored events and field trips. Each school is supported by a  parent group such as PTA and Parent Partners. There are numerous “booster” associations that support athletics and music. Concerts, performances, and athletic events bring parents and community into the schools as well. Last, the Southern Lehigh Foundation, supported by parents and community members, sponsors fund-raising activities to provide mini-grants and special projects within the district. The strategic planning process identified several strategies to increase interaction with parents and the community. (Examples: Create mentoring and shadowing experiences with businesses and schools; Investigate “best practice” programs to assist parents in supporting their students’ academics.)

 Our schools sponsor a variety of opportunities for parents and guardians. A sampling of events follows:

Our district partners with many colleges in the area. Students may participate in dual enrollment opportunities with Lehigh Community College. Other students attend local institutions such as Lehigh University and DeSales University. Other community organizations such as the local fire departments, the DaVinci Center, and the Weller Center work with the district to provide support and enrichment for students.

Pre-Kindergarten Transition

No Pre-K Offered

Utilization of Resources and Coordination of Services

Service or Resource

Comment or Reflection

Carbon Lehigh Intermediate Unit

CLIU #21 provides training opportunities, instructional materials support, literacy and numeracy planning and implementation support as well as a great deal of technology support to assist the District with many facets of the curriculum and educational program.

Safety and Security Services

CLIU #21 coordinates a regional Safety and Security Task Force as well as training to assist Districts in crisis preparedness and crisis intervention services.

Southern Lehigh Education Foundation- SLEF

Serves our schools and programs through funding and other types of support.

Partners in Distance Learning - PDL

Provides educational resources via the Internet and Internet 2.

DeSales University

Located within our District, DeSales U. is partnering with the School District in planning for professional development, dual enrollment, and innovative programs.

Southern Lehigh Community Library

Provides additional library services to our students and staff members.

Greater Lehigh Valley Chamber of Commerce- Southern Lehigh Business Organization - SOLEBO

SOLEBO serves as a partner with local community business leaders and organizations.

International Center for Leadership in Education

Consults with the District for continuous academic improvement.

Lehigh Career and Technical Institute

LCTI provides full and half-day programs for District students in grades 9-12. The LCTI programs coordinate with our career guidance and electronic career portfolio process.

Children and Youth Services of Lehigh County

County agency to assist District with keeping
students safe in school and at home.

Lehigh Valley Drug and Alcohol Intake Unit/Adolescent Central Intake Unit

This agency provides services to students who are experiencing substance abuse and mental health concerns and have been identified through the Student Assistance Program (SAP).

Lehigh Learning Academy

An alternative school dedicated to providing a quality education program to children and teens with a history of behavioral problems.

Library Resources

Resources included OPAC Web Access, eLibrary, SIRS Knowledge Source, World Book Online Reference Center.

Title I, II and Title IV

Federally funded programs that provide academic remediation and intervention and safe and drug free school services to students and professional development for teachers.

Lehigh Carbon Community College

Dual enrollment and PA Academy college courses are offered to students at greatly reduced tuition costs.

Safety Security Services

CLIU #21 coordinates a regional Safety and Security Task Force as well as training to assist Districts in crisis preparedness and crisis intervention services.

Upper Saucon Police Department

A full-time School Resource Officer is provided to the school district in partnership with the local police department.

Kidspeace Hospital and

Lehigh Valley Hospital, Muhlenberg

These hospitals provide in-patient psychiatric services for students who have significant mental health issues that require short-term hospitalization. The hospitals also collaborate with the schools to help transition the students back to school.

Carbon Lehigh Intermediate Unit

The IU provides school based partial hospitalization programs for students who have significant mental health needs. The IU also provides psychiatric services to the district in the form of psychiatric evaluations for specific students. These evaluations are critical in allowing staff to meet the needs of specific students.

The IU also provides alternative education at Lehigh Learning and Adjustment School (LLAS). This program is for those identified students who have difficulty in a large public school setting.

The IU also provides an educational component for those students who are placed by the police in to the Detention Center. This may be anywhere from two weeks to three months depending upon the situation. This provides the consistency of an education while the student may be in the Detention Center.

Transitions Adolescent Acute Partial Hospitalization Program

Transitions provides intensive, short-term partial hospitalization programs for those adolescents whose mental health needs are significant, but who do not require hospitalization. Most students who attend here are here for three to six weeks. Many times, students will come out of a psychiatric hospitalization setting to Transitions to help them stabilize prior to returning to school. Transitions collaborates with the school counselors in order to transition the students back to the school program.

Kidspeace Acute Partial Hospitalization Program

This program is for all school age students whose mental health needs are significant, but who do not need hospitalization. Most students who attend here are here for three to six weeks. Many times, students will come out of a psychiatric hospitalization setting to Kidspeace to help them stabilize prior to returning to school. Kidspeace then collaborates with the school counselors in order to transition the students back to the school program.

Mental Health/Mental Retardation of Lehigh County

This is a county agency, which provides many services to those students and families with identified mental health needs as well as to those students who are identified with mental retardation.

Signatures

Date Submitted to PDE ____________________________

 

School District/AVTS/Charter School

Name: ____________________________________________

Address: __________________________________________

__________________________________________________

_________________________ Zip Code: ________________

IU#: ___________

Chief School Administrator:___________________________________________

Telephone (area code):___________ # ___________________

 

We affirm that this Academic Standards and Assessment report was developed in accordance with State Board of Education Chapter 4 Regulations. We also affirm that the contents are true and correct and that the report was placed for public inspection in the school district/AVTS offices and in the nearest public library until the next regularly scheduled meeting of the board or a minimum or 28 days whichever comes first.

 

__________________________________________ ____________________
Signature                                                                      Date
School Board Secretary

 

__________________________________________ ____________________
Signature                                                                      Date
School Board President

 

__________________________________________ ____________________
Signature                                                                      Date
Chief School Administrator