“Our goal for meeting the Common Core state standards is to provide teachers with training, resource, and curriculum guides to support instruction as Tennessee prepares for the PARCC assessments,” Bradley County Schools Director Johnny McDaniel said.
The PARRC assessment will be used in the 2014-2015 school year in lieu of the existing TCAP tests. PARCC will include more challenging reading materials and more complex real-world tasks. The PARCC assessment, an online test, will be able to determine the college readiness of a student in the areas of Mathematics and English/Language Arts.
“We recognize as a school system our mission is to prepare our students to be college and career ready upon graduation,” McDaniel said. This year’s kindergarten students will graduate high school in 2026 and college in 2030 and beyond. Teachers today are preparing students for jobs that do not yet exist.”
Dana Yost was selected as the English/Language Arts Curriculum coordinator. Yost previously served as the Instructional Coach at Michigan Avenue Elementary School. During her tenure, Michigan Avenue was named a National Blue Ribbon School and a Distinguished Title I School.
Amber Caldwell was selected as the Mathematics Curriculum coordinator. Caldwell was previously the Mathematics Department Chair at Walker Valley High School. She was also chosen as the Southeast Region Teacher of the Year for grades 9-12. Curriculum Coordinators will work with teachers in kindergarten through 12th grade.
The Common Core ELA standards provide a vision of what it means to be a literate person in the 21st century. The mathematics standards focus on conceptual understanding, procedural skills and fluency, and application. Common Core standards challenge teachers to teach in ways they themselves were not taught.
“Making this transition will require effective leadership focused on student growth,” explained McDaniel. “Ms. Yost and Ms. Caldwell will provide this leadership for our teachers in their respective areas of expertise.”
Bradley County Schools is currently updating technology to meet the demands of online testing. Bradley County received $619,196 in state funds earmarked by Governor Haslam specifically to upgrade the infrastructure.
The system allocated an additional $350,000 in the 2013-2014 general purpose school fund budget for technology refresh.