MADISON, NJ – Director of Curriculum and Instruction, Diane Schulthes, provided an update on the PARCC assessment program to the Board of Education and the public at the Tuesday, Oct. 18, meeting.

“The information will be on the website,” Schulthes said and noted that later comparisons to the previous year would contain a more specific numbers when reviewed again in December.

She introduced participants Andy Brandon, Director of Special Education; Mark DeBiasse, Supervisor of Humanities; Janine Loconsolo, Supervisor of Elementary Education and Kelly Bosworth, Supervisor of Mathematics and Business.

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Courses covered included English Language Arts and Literary Assessments; Algebra I and Algebra II and modeling and reasoning   Schulthes said she was pleased that for Grade Five, 75% of students are meeting or exceeding expectations.

DeBiasse said that some areas to improve are the focus on reading and informational text.  More attention is also being paid to Common Core skills. At the junior school, evidence based writing has been expanded, using historical texts. Teachers are also working more closely with parents in this area. “It’s evident to me that we need to get the kids to work harder,” DeBiasse said.

Schulthes noted that in comparison to the state overall, Madison students exceed in all areas, including math. “We are helping those struggling learners,” math supervisor Bosworth said.

Brandon said that special services are multi-tiered with a system of support for a range of students. “We’re looking at student data over time,” he said.

Schulthes said that on the web, parents can compare their child to other students.  “Our responsibility is to reach out to peer schools,” she said. Referring to the involvement of parents, teachers and students, she said, “It definitely takes a village.”