Scholar Academy will open for the 2014-2015 academic year enrolling students in grades K-6. All courses are designed to meet AdvancED?s Accreditation Standards (previously known as Northwest Accreditation Commission) and the state of Utah graduation requirements. Scholar Academy will align its course work with Tooele School District to allow students a smooth transition to a secondary school within Tooele School District.
Scholar Academy will meet all state requirements for assessment. With the adoption of Smarter Balance the state assessment system (SAGE) will give both formative and summative student achievement data to the Scholar Academy teachers and administrative team. Analyzing student achievement data will be an integral part of the professional learning communities for both grade level and vertical teaming.
Below is a brief description of state and local tests students will take while at Scholar Academy. In the future, school wide results and progress reports will be shared with our school community beginning in the spring of 2015.
Scholar Academy students in grades 3-6 will take the Utah State Criterion- Reference Tests by grade level. They are grade specific tests and students will take the tests that correspond to the grade for which they are enrolled.
ACT Explore Test
Students in grade 6 may take the ACT EXPLORE test. The Explore test helps students identify areas of academic strength and weakness in four areas important for success in college and the workplace?English, math, reading, and science. The Explore, curriculum-based test scores show the knowledge and skills that students are likely to have in each of these areas. The Explore test also includes a career planning component designed to help students consider possible career options.
Dynamic Indicators of Basic Early Literacy Skills
DIBELS NEXT is a set of measures for assessing acquisition of early literacy skills from kindergarten through 6th grade developed at the University of Oregon. Utah currently assesses 1st- 3rd grade reading proficiency with this tool. DIBELS NEXT will be administered to all Scholar Academy students in grades K-6 who perform below grade level. Although research on DIBELS supports use for screening and progress monitoring of reading students, most recently Utah and other states are using the tests as a formative assessment tool to determine if students are reading at grade level. The research is not as clear in this area, but Scholar Academy will follow all USOE testing mandates. Currently the data from the DIBELS test is used to determine the third grade students who are reading on grade level. (For further information on DIBELS go to http://dibels.org/?ourl=/dibels.html and https://dibels.uoregon.edu).
Progress monitoring is included in research-based reading programs. As we select textbooks, one factor to consider in these adoptions will be the programs progress monitoring tools.
Additional Progress Monitoring
A progress-monitoring tool for math will be selected at Scholar Academy that aligns to the core curriculum and provides regular feedback to teachers for instructional and grouping practices. DIBELS CTM Math is one tool currently available that aligns to the common core and state standards. Selection of a math tool will depend on the textbook selected and the progress monitoring tools available with the selected publisher.
Over the next two years the Scholar Academy Board will preview texts for all curriculum areas and adoptions will take place after application approval based on their alignment to our mission and vision, core beliefs and the Utah State standards.
Progress monitoring is included in research-based reading programs such as Pearson?s Reading Street. As we select textbooks, one factor to consider in these adoptions will be the programs progress monitoring tools. Online accessibility, reports and cost will also be factors to consider.