December 16: Redefining Ready

Spotlight on Schools: Redefining Ready

59443756-300x300. December 16, 2016 –nHello Black River Falls Community, this is Dr. Shelly Severson with the School District of Black River Falls here to share this week’s installment of our Spotlight on Schools!

Most educators agree that schools, administrators, and teachers should be held accountable for the achievement of students in complete partnership with parents and the students themselves. All three play an important and critical role in the success of a child. Yet, I think most people involved in education would also tell you that there needs to be a broader definition of success and that a child, nor an entire school system, should be reduced to or defined by the results of a single test score.

I’d like to share some ideas from the Redefining Ready campaign launched by the School Superintendents Association, which are gaining traction across the United States. These standards have the ability to more accurately represent the potential of our students.

Students learn in a variety of ways, and they should be allowed to demonstrate readiness in a variety of ways. Focusing on college readiness, career readiness and life readiness provides us with an opportunity to focus on the whole child and not attempt to define our student body with the narrow focus of assessment results.

How do we define college readiness? Indicators of being college ready include: A grade-point average of 2.8 out of 4.0 and one or more of the following benchmarks: An Advanced Placement Exam score of 3 or better; receiving an A, B, or C in and Advanced Placement class; receiving an A, B, or C in Algebra II; enrollment in a dual credit college English or math class with a grade of A, B, or C; and ACT benchmarks of 18 in English, 22 in reading, 23 in science, and 22 in math. Additional factors that contribute to college success is enrollment in a career pathway course sequence, college academic advising, participation in college-bound bridge programs, and a four full years of math classes.

How do we define career readiness? Indicators of being career ready include an identified career interest and meeting two of the following behavioral or experiential benchmarks: 90% attendance, 25 hours of community service, workplace learning experience, industry credential, dual-credit pathway course, and involvement in two or more organized co-curricular activities.

How do we define life readiness? Being life ready means students leave high school with the grit and perseverance to tackle and achieve their goals, a growth mindset that empowers them to approach their future with confidence, to dream and achieve big, and the social and emotional skills needed for success in their future.

Check out the Redefining Ready initiative and the research which led to the development of the indicators by going to the website

It is time to portray a comprehensive picture of student potential based on the rigorous academic programs, career-specific learning experiences, and opportunities for social and emotional growth which our schools provide. I encourage you to support the work which demonstrates that our students and our schools are more than one test score.

As always, if you have any questions about this, or anything else within the district, don’t hesitate to contact me. Also, I have another quote for you from American Education Week. This one is from Katie Brew, a first grade teacher at Forrest Street Early Learning Center. She says:

I love working here because it makes me part of something unique and special. It is truly a learning community that is full of support, knowledge, and success for both students and staff.

Thank you so much for your support of the School District of Black River Falls! Go Tigers!


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