The Orchard Park Central School District is pleased to announce it has been selected as a recipient of the Teaching is The Core Grant. By forming a consortium with the Williamsville Central School District and the Lancaster Central School District, the consortium was eligible for the $100,000 grant. The Williamsville Central School District, the lead grant applicant and largest school district in the three school district consortium will be awarded $40,000, while Orchard Park and Lancaster School Districts will be awarded $30,000 each.
With this grant funding, Orchard Park elementary staff will participate in professional development on high quality assessments, and will participate in completing an Assessment Audit. Through the Assessment Audit process the school district will identify gaps and redundancies in the Elementary ELA Assessment program, with the goal of creating an assessment program that minimizes fruitless or meaningless "testing" of students while maximizing the information gathered through assessments. The Assessment Review team anticipates eliminating assessments that are not meaningful, valid, or beneficial to informing our instructional practices or monitoring student progress, and will revise, create or purchase high quality assessments where needed.
Assistant Superintendent for Curriculum, Instruction, and Pupil Services Dr. Lisa Krueger reports, "In an era of high stakes testing and increased school accountability, there is increased concern regarding the appropriate use of assessments. Especially with our youngest learners, it is imperative to create a developmentally appropriate, meaningful assessment program to measure our students' growth and progress in as efficient manner possible. We are fortunate to receive this funding to support our efforts."
This entire process is anticipated to take the entire 2014-15 school year, with recommendations implemented in the 2015-16 school year.