High School Textbook Adoption Timeline


Textbooks recommended for the 2017-18 school year will be available for review. March 6, 2017

High school textbooks recommended for adoption in IUSD will be available for public review beginning Monday, March 13.

These would be the instructional materials under consideration for 2017-18, covering the content areas of English/Language Arts, foreign language, mathematics, visual and performing arts, health, science, career/technical education, and history/social science.

The books are set to remain on display at each of IUSD’s five comprehensive high schools and the district office throughout the adoption process, which is expected to conclude with a vote by the Board of Education on May 2.


IUSD Students Accessing Higher Levels of Mathematics Than Ever Before


Since the adoption of Common Core State Standards (CCSS) in 2013, IUSD students are accessing
students-studyinghigher levels of mathematics than ever before in IUSD history.

Background:
Previous state standards adopted in 1997, identified Algebra 1 as the grade level course for 8th grade. The recently adopted CCSS added an additional course in middle school, Math 8, which is now considered the grade level course for 8th grade.  The addition of Math 8 increased the number of secondary math courses in the sequences for ALL students within California.

What this Means for IUSD Students:
Students who successfully complete Enhanced Math 7/8 in 7th grade and progress through our current enhanced math pathway will be prepared for Calculus in 11th grade. This is comparable to students in past years completing Algebra 1 in 7th grade, Honors Geometry in 8th grade, Algebra 2 in the 9th grade, Pre-calculus in the 10th grade and Calculus in 11th grade.

As a result, more IUSD students are on track to reach Calculus than in any previous year in IUSD’s history.

  • Districtwide, approximately 35% of 7th graders are enrolled in Enhanced Math 7/8.
  • In 2014-2015, 13.63% of 7th grade students were enrolled in Algebra 1.
  • In 2015-2016, 29.03% of 7th grade students were enrolled in the equivalent course for acceleration, Enhanced Math 7/8.
  • In 2014-2015, 15.17% of 8th grade students were enrolled in Honors Geometry.
  • In 2015-2016, 24.82% of 8th grade students were enrolled in the equivalent course for acceleration, Enhanced Math 1.

IUSD’s progression of math courses also provides students with multiple opportunities to accelerate.  These opportunities did not exist prior to the transition to our new math courses.  For more information about math pathways, click here.

 


IUSD Ranks Top in State and County for California Assessment Scores


The Irvine Unified School District’s state standardized assessment scores have outperformed both state and county score averages, with IUSD ranking the highest in the state among public school districts of 25,000 or more for students who exceeded the standards in both Math and English Language Arts/Literacy.  IUSD was also the top performing district overall in Orange County.

Last spring, IUSD students in grades three through eight and grade 11 participated in the California Assessment of Student Performance and Progress (CAASPP), which provides information on each student’s progress on state standards.  While the scores are just one of many measures of student performance, they help to enhance our understanding of each student’s needs and inform our educational efforts.

“I am incredibly proud of Irvine Unified students’ outstanding performance.  These results are a testament to our collective efforts and the special partnership between our hardworking students, dedicated families, and talented staff,” said Superintendent Terry Walker.  “As a key driver of excellence, IUSD is guided by our Continuous Improvement Efforts, which are focused on critical thinking, creativity, communication, collaboration and other learning outcomes also found in state standards. These student capacities have been an integral part of IUSD’s educational mission and vision since our inception. As we strive to ensure that the Irvine Unified School District remains one of the highest-performing districts in the country, we will continue to leverage collaboration and connections with our students, parents, staff and community partners.”

California released this statewide aggregate data on Wednesday, August 24, 2016.  IUSD anticipates that individual student score reports will be mailed home in the next few weeks.

In the interim, please keep the following in mind about these assessments.

Scores are One of Many Measures

Assessment scores should be recognized as only one measure when evaluating student learning; they provide some but not all information about a student’s knowledge and skills.  Results from tests should be reviewed in combination with other measures, such as in-class assignments, classroom tests, and teacher input.  For more information about your child’s academic progress, please stay in close contact with your child’s teacher(s) and school.

How Test Scores are Used

IUSD will use these scores to better understand each student’s learning and help us continue to improve upon the high-quality instruction we provide.  The scores will not be used to determine student advancement to the next grade level or as the sole piece of information when making academic decisions about students.

For additional information, please visit the following resources:

iusd.org/statewide-testing
cde.ca.gov/ta/tg/ca/
http://caaspp.cde.ca.gov/


IUSD Ranks Highest in State in Math


The Irvine Unified School District’s state standardized test scores ranked highest in the state in math and second highest in the state in English Language Arts/Literacy, for school districts of 25,000 or more.  This comes on the heels of IUSD being ranked first in Orange County for both math and English Language Arts/Literacy.    Elementary classroom

“I am incredibly proud of Irvine Unified students’ outstanding performance.  These results are a testament to our collective efforts and the special partnership between our hardworking students, dedicated families, and talented staff,” said Superintendent Terry Walker.  “IUSD continues to thrive in a challenging environment, including a new state funding model that will continue to adversely impact our educational resources.  As we strive to ensure that the Irvine Unified School District remains one of the highest-performing districts in the country, we will continue to leverage collaboration and connections with our students, parents, staff and community partners.”

Last spring, IUSD students in grades three thru eight and grade 11 participated in the California Assessment of Student Performance and Progress (CAASPP), which provides information on each student’s progress on the new standards.  While the scores are just one of many measures of student performance, they help to enhance IUSD’s understanding of each student’s needs and inform our educational efforts.

For more information about state standardized testing and IUSD’s perspective, click here or visit iusd.org/statewide-testing.

To read the Orange County Register article, click here.


Message from Superintendent Terry Walker: State Assessment Scores Rank IUSD Highest in Orange County


Dear IUSD Community,

I am proud to announce that Irvine Unified School District’s state standardized assessment scores have outperformed both state and county score averages, with IUSD ranking the highest of all Orange County school districts.  Please click here to view the official rankings for Orange County school districts.

Last spring, IUSD students in grades three thru eight and grade 11 participated in the California Assessment of Student Performance and Progress (CAASPP), which provides information on each student’s progress on the new standards.  While the scores are just one of many measures of student performance, they help to enhance our understanding of each student’s needs and inform our educational efforts.

Irvine Unified’s Continuous Improvement Efforts (CIE) were designed and adopted well before the new state standards. We believe our exemplary score results reflect the CIE alignment with the same critical thinking, creativity, communication, and other learning outcomes in the new state standards. These student capacities have always been an integral part of IUSD’s educational mission and vision. We recognize that there will continue to be opportunities for reflection and growth but these results are a testament to our collective efforts and the special partnership between our hardworking students, dedicated families, and talented staff.

California is in the process of distributing individual student score reports and released this statewide aggregate data on Wednesday, September 9, 2015.  IUSD anticipates that we will receive and then mail home individual student score reports between late September and early October.

In the interim, please keep the following in mind about these new assessments.

New Scores Cannot be Compared to Old Scores
The Smarter Balanced Assessments are aligned with the new state standards and are scored in a completely new way.  Therefore, scores from these new assessments cannot be compared to older state testing scores.  Click here for a sample score report.

The New Assessments Provide a Baseline for Future Progress
The new assessment results will provide a baseline to track student progress over time.  As students and schools become more familiar and proficient with these new standards, we expect the scores to continue to increase.

Scores are One of Many Measures
Assessment scores should be recognized as only one measure when evaluating student learning; they provide some but not all information about a student’s knowledge and skills.  Results from tests should be reviewed in combination with other measures, such as in-class assignments, classroom tests, teacher conferences and other factors.  For more information about your child’s academic progress, please stay in close contact with your child’s teacher(s) and school.

How Test Scores are Used
IUSD will use these baseline scores to better understanding each student’s learning and help the District continue to improve upon the high-quality instruction we provide.  The scores will not be used to determine student advancement to the next grade level or as the sole piece of information when making academic decisions about students.

For additional information, please visit the following resources.

iusd.org/statewide-testing
iusd.org/common-core
cde.ca.gov/ta/tg/ca/

On behalf of our Board of Education and IUSD staff, we deeply appreciate your engagement, partnership and support. Our combined collaborative efforts continue to enable IUSD to deliver on our promise to provide the highest quality educational experience we can envision.  Thank you.

Sincerely,

T-Walker2-smooth-sm

 

 

 

Terry L. Walker
Superintendent of Schools


Standardized Assessment Scores to be Released in September


IUSD students in grades three to eight, 10 and 11, who participated in the California Assessment of Student Performance and Progress (CAASPP), will SBAC Imagereceive their assessment results by mail in late September or early October.  Below is important information about the assessments, score reports and what they mean to you and your child.  For more information, visit iusd.org/statewide-testing.

CAASPP assessments include:

Grades 3-8 & 11

  • Smarter Balanced Summative Assessment in English Language Arts/Literacy and Mathematics
  • California Alternative Assessment Field Test (alternate assessment for students with special needs)*

Grades 5, 8 & 10

  • California Standards Tests Science
  • California Modified Assessment Science (modified for students with special needs)
  • California Alternate Performance Assessment Science (alternate assessments for students with special needs)

New Scores Cannot be Compared to Old Scores

The Smarter Balanced assessments are aligned with the new state standards and are scored in a completely new way.  Therefore, scores from these new assessments cannot be compared to older state testing scores.  Click here for a sample score report.

The New Assessments Provide a Baseline for Future Progress

The new assessment results will provide students with a baseline to track progress over time.  As our students and schools become more familiar with the new assessments, we expect the scores to continue to increase.

Scores are One of Many Measures

Assessment scores should be used as one of many measures when evaluating student learning.  They provide some but not all information about a student’s knowledge and skills.  Results from tests should be reviewed in combination with other measures, such as in-class assignments, classroom tests, teacher conferences and other factors.  For more information about your child’s academic progress, please contact your child’s teacher(s) or school.

How Test Scores Are Used

IUSD will use these baseline scores as one of many measures when looking at individual student learning.  They will also help the District continue to improve upon the high-quality instruction we provide.  The scores will not be used to determine student advancement to the next grade level or as the sole piece of information when making academic decisions about students.

Additional Information and Resources

iusd.org/statewide-testing
iusd.org/common-core
cde.ca.gov/ta/tg/ca/

*Students who participated in the California Alternate Assessment Field Test will not receive results this year.  The 2015 year was a field test, meant to measure the quality of test items, not to measure student performance.

 


IUSD will seek input from local stakeholders during update of accountability plan


Parents, teachers, students, staff and community members are once again being encouraged to weigh in on IUSD’s goals for achievement and school climate as the district begins the months-long process of updating its three-year Local Control and Accountability Plan.

You may recall that the LCAP was introduced last year as a requirement under California’s new funding formula, which increased local control while allocating more resources to schools that serve low-income students, English-learners and foster youth. By law, each district’s accountability plan must be submitted by July 1, outlining annual goals as well as plans for taking action and measuring progress on a number of fronts, including academic achievement, school climate, access to a broad curriculum and parent engagement.

LCAP 111914At Tuesday night’s Board of Education meeting, Alan Schlichting, IUSD’s director of student support services, previewed the process that will be used to update Irvine’s plan. You can scroll through his presentation here, but essentially the timetable begins with community presentations and district communications in November and December, followed by stakeholder meetings to gather input in January and February.

In March and April, the community will get to review a draft of the LCAP and offer additional feedback, both in person and through an online survey. The school board is expected to hold a public hearing and adopt the finalized plan in May or June.

Because districts must annually develop LCAPs that cover three years, Schlichting said the task facing IUSD is to update priorities that were drafted for the 2015-16 and 2016-17 school years, while considering options for 2017-18.

“Remembering that this is a three-year plan, many of the actions that we put into the plan are multi-year steps that will grow in cost over time,” he said, “and those have been budgeted through 2016-17.”

“We may have additional funds that are available,” he added. “We’ll learn about that with the release of the governor’s 2015-16 state budget in January, and at that point we’ll consider additional actions to our LCAP.”

Schlichting noted that IUSD is also moving forward with a number of state and local initiatives, including implementation of Common Core standards, new state assessments, the establishment of Next Generation Science Standards and technology integration. The LCAP, meanwhile, requires progress in eight areas — credentials and instructional materials, academic standards and implementation of the Common Core, parental involvement, pupil achievement, pupil engagement, school climate, access and enrollment, and pupil outcomes.

With those in mind, IUSD identified four goals for its 2014-2017 LCAP. They are: Ensure all students attain proficiency in the current content standards; ensure access to rigorous and relevant learning tools, resources and skills for all staff and students; cultivate a positive school culture and system of supports for student personal and academic growth; and communicate effectively and form strategic alliances to secure the support and resources necessary to deliver our vision.

Progress will be being measured using a number of metrics, including results from the California English Language Development Tests, universal screening assessment data, California High School Exit Exam pass rates, graduation rates, statistics that show completion of UC and CSU requirements, as well as drop-out, attendance, suspension and expulsion data.

“We’ll be sharing with the board data on how we’re progressing in those areas as we move through the year,” Schlichting said.

IUSD NewsFlash will post more LCAP information in the weeks and months ahead to promote opportunities for public input. In the meantime, you may want to peruse Tuesday night’s slide presentation, which includes details about IUSD’s objectives, along with funding information and next steps. You can also learn more by exploring these links:

IUSD’s Local Control and Accountability Plan 2014-2017
IUSD’s LCFF and LCAP informational webpage
California Department of Education LCFF Overview and Frequently Asked Questions
A Vision For IUSD: Irvine Unified School District’s Strategic Initiatives

Also Tuesday night:

  • The Board of Education and staff engaged in a lengthy discussion of dual language immersion programs, with a specific emphasis on Spanish, to understand the pros and cons and to determine if such a program would benefit a significant number of Irvine students. You can scroll through the accompanying slide presentation here.
  • The board also approved a formal request to the Irvine Public Schools Foundation, outlining priorities for the 2014-15 school year. Funding areas will once again focus on class-size support, music in kindergarten through the third grade, instructional assistants for music classes in grades four through six, school nurses, athletic trainers and the Naviance counseling program.

UC, CSU and community colleges affirm their support for Common Core


Implementation of the new Common Core standards “has the potential to dramatically improve college readiness and help close the preparation gap that exists for California students,” say the state’s major systems of higher education.

In a joint letter sent to the California State Board of Education just a few weeks ago, the leaders of the University of California, the California State University system, California Community Colleges and the Association of Independent California Colleges and Universities affirmed their support of the new standards, which outline what students should know and be able to do in reading and mathematics from kindergarten through the 12th grade.

CommonCoreLOGO (1)“The Common Core standards provide teachers and districts a roadmap to developing courses that cultivate the deep understandings required for college preparation,” the Aug. 29 letter says. “In concert with this transition, the a-g requirements for CSU and UC admission, specifically areas ‘b’ (English) and ‘c’ (Mathematics), have been updated to align with the Common Core standards and the message is being transmitted to schools, parents and students.”

Meanwhile, the state’s colleges and universities say they’re also making sure that their teacher preparation programs and administrator leadership academies reflect the new standards. You can read the full letter here.

In 2010, the California Legislature added provisions to the state Education Code that set the stage for adoption of Common Core. Implementation began in 2013-14 and is continuing this year.

Like the University of California, California State University and California Community Colleges, IUSD has also embraced the new standards, in large part because they align with the district’s own Continuous Improvement Efforts.

Under Common Core, hands-on activities and collaborative exercises will be much more prevalent, and there’s been a shift toward nonfiction texts. Media skills will also be integrated into everyday lessons, writing will be shared with outside audiences and next-generation assessments will evaluate higher order processes.

Math classes will teach fewer concepts, but they will reach new depths in exploring those concepts. Students will be challenged with more real-world applications and fewer theoretical equations, and there will be a greater emphasis on learning the process rather than merely providing the correct answer.

For a primer on Common Core math, we recommend this recent column that ran in USA Today. The author is Solomon Friedberg, who chairs the math department at Boston College and is editor of a book series called “Issues in Mathematics Education.”

According to Friedberg, math has often been taught as a set of rules rather than concepts. But that’s changing.

Kids learn in elementary school that you can “add a zero to multiply by ten.” And it’s true, 237 x 10 = 2370. Never mind why. But then when kids learn decimals, the rule fails: 2.37 x 10 is not 2.370. One approach is to simply add another rule. But that’s not the best way.

Common Core saves us from plug-and-chug. In fact, math is based on a collection of ideas that do make sense. The rules come from the ideas. Common Core asks students to learn math this way, with both computational fluency and understanding of the ideas.

 

Again, you can read his column here. And for more information on Common Core in IUSD, check out the district’s Common Core webpage.


IUSD gearing up for field test of modern assessments tied to Common Core standards


IUSD, along with hundreds of school districts throughout California, will be participating in a field test of the state’s brand new student assessment system this year.

You may already be familiar with the old STAR testing program that launched in 1999. Well, that’s being replaced statewide by the California Assessment of Student Performance and Progress – or CASPP – which features modern computer-based exams that are aligned to the Common Core standards for English and math. While these exams won’t be officially administered until 2015, they will be piloted for many students this year.

One of the goals of the “field test” is to determine how well specific questions measure what students know and still need to learn. IUSD is also welcoming the opportunity to see how well its technical capabilities meet the demands of the new computer-based assessments — and whether additional resources may needed for teachers and schools.

Meanwhile, students may want to view this year’s test as an opportunity to try out the new system without consequences, as IUSD won’t be capturing or utilizing their scores. Instead, district officials plan to use what they learn to help ensure a successful launch of the new system during the 2014-15 school year.

In the weeks and months ahead, the field test will be administered to students in grades 3 through 8 at each of the district’s elementary schools, as well as grade 11 at each high school. If you’d like to preview what types of questions students will see, or how the test will be presented, you can access an online practice test by clicking here.

For more information, visit the California Department of Education’s Smarter Balanced webpage. And if you have any questions regarding your child’s participation in Irvine, you may want to check out IUSD’s Common Core webpage.


Bill Gates extols benefits of new Common Core standards in USA Today column


Business magnet, inventor and philanthropist Bill Gates has penned a column for USA Today this week expressing support for the new Common Core instructional standards, ranking them “among the most important education ideas in years.”

Bill Gates“The standards,” writes Gates, “are just that: standards, similar to those that have guided teachers in all states for years, except these standards are inspired by a simple and powerful idea: Every American student should leave high school with the knowledge and skills to succeed in college and in the job market.”

In addition to improving education for millions of students, he says, Common Core will promote consistency, and that’s critical for children who switch schools or districts. He also dispels a number of myths in the column, which can be accessed here.

Speaking of Gates, he’s scheduled to participate in an upcoming education conference that will be attended by IUSD Superintendent Terry Walker.

Walker, who has similarly extolled the benefits of Common Core, will be a guest of Irvine Mayor Steven Choi at the “Mayors in Education Convening” forum, which will be held March 13-14 in Washington, D.C. The event is being hosted by the U.S. Conference of Mayors in Partnership with the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, which is also picking up the tab for travel expenses.