District Receives Grant to Review and Improve Student Assessment

Wynantskill UFSD is part of a consortium of local school districts led by Questar III BOCES that received a $399,314 “Teaching is the Core” grant from the New York State Education Department to review and improve student assessment practices this school year. Wynantskill UFSD will work with Brunswick CSD, Cairo-Durham CSD, Catskill CSD, Coxsackie-Athens CSD, Hoosick Falls SD, Hudson City CSD, New Lebanon CSD, North Greenbush CSD, Questar III BOCES, Rensselaer City CSD, and, Tech Valley High School.

As part of this grant, each district has organized a review team comprised of teachers and administrators to identify and improve assessments. Through the assessment review process, a total of 453 teacher created assessments were collected and reviewed throughout the Questar III region. Wynantskill UFSD submitted 14 assessments for review. The recommendations given to Wynantskill UFSD as a result of the 14 assessments reviewed were to keep/maintain 0 assessments, revise 14 assessments and eliminate or significantly revise 0 assessments.

As the process continues, districts will now develop an action plan to address the results of the assessment review including identifying and implementing performance-based assessments that can be used to measure student learning and school and educator effectiveness. This may include essay writing, completion of projects, real-world problem solving skills and experiments where students demonstrate knowledge and skills.

Districts will also establish a parent engagement program to share information concerning how parents can support learning at home and how assessments inform instruction and help children learn.

“Ultimately, high-quality assessments – and the feedback they provide to teachers, students and parents – are an integral part of excellent teaching and advancing student achievement,” said former Questar III District Superintendent James N. Baldwin.