Back to School —
Schools have new core initiatives

Christine Kelly

The Office of Catholic Schools has several core initiatives for this school year.

Teachers have been attending professional development much of the summer so that they are prepared to meet the needs of students when they return to school in August.

Archdiocese of Louisville Schools are using the data from the NWEA MAP (Measures of Academic Progress) Growth assessment to determine the areas in which students are excelling and the areas for continued improvement.

MAP is a growth-based formative, adaptive assessment that measures student progress in math, reading, and language. MAP will be especially helpful this year to quickly address any learning gaps at the beginning of the school year as students return in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Our schools have implemented a system called Response to Intervention to identify students who need help. Then the schools can apply appropriate intervention strategies, monitor progress and revise supports as needed to ensure that students have mastered the essential standards identified for their grade level.

Analyzing student data and responding to the results of that data are essential for student success.

Additionally, the archdiocese will be evaluating our current English language arts standards and instructional materials. We will assemble a committee for standards review first. Committee members will be leaders in the community — university professors, principals, school administration, teachers and others.

Our goal is to create a document of standards that evolves as the needs of our students change. The committee will study literacy standards documents as well as current research on best practices for literacy curriculum and instruction in order to inform our review.

We will explore grade-level benchmarks in order to encourage strong foundational skills, reading comprehension strategies, writing skills and robust vocabulary.

Students will be exposed to a variety of diverse and varied texts and purposes in order to build those skills. Parents can support their student’s literacy development by engaging them in meaningful conversation, reading with them and sharing a love of reading and writing.

Research shows that parent involvement is a major factor for student achievement in English language arts.

Our schools are committed to engaging with families and adapting curriculum and instruction to effectively educate the whole child — academically, spiritually, socially and emotionally. The Office of Catholic Schools continues to support schools in the process of providing robust, dynamic and responsive curriculum, instruction and assessment.

Christine Kelly is the curriculum, instructional and assessment specialist for the Archdiocese of Louisville Office of Catholic Schools.

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