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Community Seeks Accountability for Learning and Progress

Aug 21, 2019

Frisco ISD is developing a Community-Based Accountability System (CBAS) with the help of community members and staff. Each Wednesday through October 2, the District will provide information about each of the seven CBAS pillars. A catalog of these pillars can be found on the CBAS website as they are published.

CBAS Circle of Seven Pillars.As the Community-Based Accountability System Student Learning and Progress sub-committee sat down together last year, it was immediately clear that they were passionate that students of all ages and abilities have the opportunity to access the best education. 

In order to ensure academic success for all students, the District must continue to focus on the mission of knowing each child by name and need. By providing appropriate support and actions, it will ensure each student has individualized academic success.

Sriram Krishnan served on the Student Learning and Progress sub-committee as a community member.

“Our sub-committee had a good mix of students, parents, teachers and FISD leaders,” Krishnan said. “Everyone was wearing the ‘student’ hat while deliberating and were unequivocally focused on the elements that can make the students meet their GPA - Goals, Priorities and Aspirations.”

The CBAS committee emphasized that when students are judged by their STAAR scores, it leaves out a broader range of learning experiences, both in and out of the classroom. With this in mind, the District encourages all stakeholders to use the #canttestthat hashtag on social media.

Students of all ages and abilities matter and one test or letter grade does not show the individual abilities of students in Frisco ISD. The CBAS report is intended as a comprehensive supplement to the Texas Education Agency A-F rating, not a replacement or additional rating.

Cindy Badon is a parent on the Student Learning and Progress sub-committee and wanted to represent the hopes, dreams and expectations that parents have for their children when they send them to Frisco ISD.

“The District plays an important role in helping children reach their potential and our sub-committee wanted to highlight the programs offered by the District,” Badon said. “While much of my own son’s academic success can be measured in numbers, the social and emotional growth he has experienced in varied programming should be honored in a way that is both authentic and official.”

As the sub-committee considered what data they would like the District to provide regarding how students learn and progress, they considered three key questions:

  • To what degree are we closing the achievement gap for all students?

  • To what degree are students utilizing the skills within the Future-Ready Learner Profile?

  • To what degree are students accessing a variety of academic pathways and programs?

The Student Learning and Progress sub-committee devised dozens of potential data sources for the District to provide in order to demonstrate that students learn and progress year over year. The sub-committee has requested data to answer each question they considered. Evidence samples the sub-committee requested for each question include:

To what degree are we closing the achievement gap for all students?

  • AP/Dual Credit enrollment data

  • Special education programming

  • Attendance rates

  • Acceleration and recovery opportunities

  • Special programs 

To what degree are students utilizing the skills within the Future-Ready Learner Profile?

  • Variety of offerings at CTE, including certifications available

  • Service and volunteer opportunities

  • Student extracurricular enrollment

  • Technology access

  • ISM participation

To what degree are students accessing a variety of academic pathways and programs?

  • CTE participation 

  • World Language participation

  • Diploma pathways

  • Fine arts enrollment

  • Student leadership opportunities

While sub-committee members laid out a foundation for information they would like to receive, the District has gathered preliminary data from the 2018-19 school year and will expand and update the data provided to the community in 2020 based on recommendations from the CBAS committee. The following is a sample of evidence that will be provided in relation to the requested data.

Culinary Students at the Career and Technical Education Center.To what degree are we closing the achievement gap for all students?

  • Frisco ISD has been recognized by the College Board for increasing the number of students participating in AP exams while also increasing or maintaining the percentage of students earning a 3 or higher.

    • The Advanced Placement (AP) program continues to grow in Frisco ISD with 7,620 students taking more than 16,000 AP exams in 2019.

    • In the 2018-19 school year, 664 more students took AP exams and 1,200 more exams were administered than the year before.

  • The District has a new online program, RAIL, at all high schools. Through rigorous online courses and a personalized approach, Frisco ISD students can actively direct their own learning to acquire high school credit through the RAIL program.

    • In the 2018-19 school year, RAIL students earned 555 credits across the District.

    • The District has hired 10 RAIL instructors to support students.

  • Special education programming continues to evolve based on the needs of the students and the community. In 2018-19, special education opportunities at the Career and Technical Education were expanded to help meet the interests of students.

    • In the 2018-19 school year, the program for students age 18 and above had a total of five fully integrated worksites, serving 29 interns full time and nine interns part of their instructional day.

Spears student working on a coding/robotics assignment.To what degree are students utilizing the skills within the Future Ready Learner Profile?

Frisco ISD prepares students for success in futures they create. In addition to academics, students are challenged and supported in developing their ability to embrace challenges, collaborate, innovate, communicate, contribute and respond in new ways.

  • Project Lead the Way programs focus on STEM skills such as robotics, coding and engineering. Originally offered at the CTE Center, Vandeventer Middle School and Bright Academy, the programs are expanding to Lawler and Griffin middle schools for the 2019-20 school year.

  • The District is focusing on a K-6 coding initiative to prepare students for expanded computer science course offerings at the secondary level. 

    • In the 2018-19 school year, more than 1,400 students participated in pre-AP or AP Computer Science.

  • World Languages - The District expanded World Language offerings in 2018-19 through  Avant STAMP 4S (Standards-based Measurement of Proficiency) and Avant WorldSpeak. These language assessments are given to students starting in 7th grade and they engage students in real-world content based on topics generally taught at each level of instruction. They are adaptive tests that allow students to show what they can do with the language. 

    • Avant Assessments are offered in over 32 languages and growing. The District offers exams in all of the top 10 languages in FISD according to home language surveys. 

    • More than 780 Avant Tests were given and more than 1,500 credits earned in the 2018-19 school year.

Brice Chen and Kerry Tu Working on Computer Science.To what degree are students accessing a variety of academic pathways and programs?

Student Mid-Design of an App in Computer Science.What’s Next for Student Learning and Progress?

“The final steps will be determining the metrics that will be used to assess the success of these and many other valuable programs that are not assessed by state standards in hopes of giving a more clear view of what the District offers that is innovative and of great value in helping all students reach their full potential,” Badon said.

In the meantime, the District has plans to expand opportunities for students through programming for a variety of learners.

  • The District wants to encourage enrollment in computer science courses to a more diverse population of students including females and minorities.

  • In alignment with the K-6 coding initiative, the District plans to expand opportunities in computer science at the high school level and is researching an AP Computer Science Principles course for possible implementation in 2020-21.

  • RAIL plans to open up tutorial offerings in the evenings and weekends to provide support for students in their online coursework.

  • World Language opportunities are expanding across the District for heritage speakers. Hunt and Staley middle schools are offering Spanish 2 and PAP Spanish III this school year.  

  • The District is looking to expand STEM participation opportunities for students including a STEM field trip to the National Soccer Hall of Fame for all 6th graders in 2019-20.

  • This school year, post-high school services for special education students will expand  the 18+ Aspire program through additional integrated worksites. 

  • The District is researching the possible implementation of a National Defense Cadet Corps (NDCC) or JROTC program in 2021.

The Student Learning and Progress sub-committee continues to work hard on creating a locally developed accountability system that provides stakeholders data that is important to the community.

Thank you to these 2018-19 Student Learning and Progress sub-committee members for their work.

Community: Cindy Badon, Nancy Billetz, Steve Cone, Kris Gfeller, Tasos Kaiafas, Sriram Krishnan, Sena Naas, Debbie Pasha

Faculty: Megan Conn, Lenee Edwards, Abdulai J. KaiKai, Kori Kinkel, Victoria Moore, Angela Romney, Leah Rumsey, Curtis Schettler, Joel Standford, Wendy Tamney, John Waldrip, Mary Webb, Dea Wheeler

Click here to learn more about the background behind the Frisco ISD CBAS initiative or go to the official CBAS website where you can find information on each of the individual pillars.

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