Teacher Training

Professional Learning Communities

Terms and Concepts

These terms and concepts are being used by our educators during their collaborative team meetings and increasingly in communications with students and parents. Ask your student’s teacher how the actions associated with these terms and concepts increase learning for your student.

Continuous Improvement Process: the ongoing cycle of planning, doing, checking, and acting designed to improve results—constantly. This process is the heart of the collaborative work time for educators during Tuesday's late-starts or Wednesday early-outs.

Common Formative Assessment (CFA): tool created by teams of teachers in a given grade or class to assess student learning. They are used frequently throughout the school year and the data from the assessments help the collaborative team identify strengths and weaknesses in teaching strategies or curriculum. CFAs also help identify students who need additional time and support for learning.

Summative Assessment: an assessment of learning designed to provide a final measure to determine if learning goals have been met. Summative assessments are generally graded. Essential Learning: The critical skills and knowledge each student must acquire as a result of each course, grade level, and unit of instruction. The Iowa Core along with other national standards are used by educators to determine what district students should be learning.

Guaranteed and Viable Curriculum: a curriculum that gives students access to the same essential learning regardless of who is teaching the class and that it can be taught in the time allotted for the class.

Systematic Intervention: a school wide plan that ensures every student in every course or grade level will receive additional time and support for learning as soon as he or she experiences difficulty. It means what happens when a student does not learn is no longer left to the individual teacher to determine but is addressed according to a systematic building plan.