Millbury Junior/Senior High School

Executive Summary

Standard 3

Instruction

Presented and Approved (67-0) on April 3, 2018

At Millbury Memorial Junior Senior High School, teachers’ instructional practices are continuously examined to ensure consistency with the school’s Core Values, Beliefs about Learning, and 21st Century Learning Expectations. All departments are responsible for specific learning expectations (academic, civic, and social) and teachers use school-wide rubrics to assess student achievement toward these goals.

Teachers use various methods to evaluate their instruction. Many teachers survey students to gain feedback and revise instruction. Each department uses a formal Data in Action process to allow teachers to examine instructional practices and ensure consistency in learning. Curriculum units in Atlas Rubicon help to guide instruction and ensure consistency within each department; however, the time allocated to develop units and review curriculum is insufficient. There is evidence that teachers make connections across disciplines; however, the overall school curriculum lacks formal cross-disciplinary instruction, and time has not been allocated to devise such instruction.

Based on the examination of instructional evidence, it is clear that teachers’ instructional practices engage students as active participants, regularly emphasizing inquiry; problem solving; and higher order thinking skills. Teachers frequently ask students to apply knowledge and skills to authentic tasks, such as creating and analyzing a budget. In addition, teachers regularly ask students to self-assess and reflect on their learning, as exemplified through the use of peer editing for written work and self-evaluation of both group and individual projects. Many projects are technology-based assignments, illustrating that teachers regularly integrate technology into their instructional practices. With the increase in laptop carts and computer labs, technology-based instruction has become commonplace across all departments at the school. Additionally, in the past few years, students have been given access to their own school-wide email accounts. This has allowed teachers to use Google Classroom as a universal online learning platform.

There is ample evidence demonstrating that teachers use formative and summative assessments as well as strategic differentiation. Many teachers develop different versions of the same activity so that students can choose a project that fits their personal learning style. There are numerous opportunities for students to work collaboratively with their peers through group work and projects. Many assignments utilize rubrics to assess that all students have shown mastery of the material, even as students have learned the material they have mastered in a variety of ways.  

Since the addition of PLC time, teachers have had more time to examine student work. In the time that has been allotted, faculty in and between different departments have collaborated to discuss what has and hasn’t worked well and what is currently happening to address instructional issues. Many teachers have worked collaboratively to compare grading practices on written assignments and to create common assessments. Although PLC time has been given, many teachers do not feel that there is sufficient time to make significant instructional changes.

Teachers receive and use feedback from students, other teachers, supervisors, and parents to improve their instructional practices. Panorama surveys, although confidential, are used by individual teachers to modify teaching practices. Many teachers also use self-designed classroom surveys and/or questionnaires to ask students for feedback about curriculum, instruction, assessment, and general information about a given class.

Teachers, individually and collaboratively, use current research to improve their instructional practices. The majority of teachers at Millbury Memorial Junior Senior High School engage in professional discourse focused on instructional practices. Sharing new information at PLC or faculty meetings is commonplace. Additionally, many department directors have attended the yearly SWCL Department Director Conference comprised of department leaders from area schools. Most teachers work towards gaining new ideas in both instructional practice and expertise in their content area/s by participating in a wide variety of professional development activities such as conferences, membership/s to professional organizations, classes, meetings with staff from other schools, online webinars, etc. Within the school district, several after-school professional development opportunities are offered at no cost to staff to encourage faculty to enhance and improve their instructional practices.


Based on the Rating Guide for the Standard, Millbury Junior Senior High School judges their adherence to the Standard as ACCEPTABLE.

Strengths:

Needs:

Respectfully submitted by the Millbury Woolies NEASC Standard 3 Committee:

Melissa Dabney, Steering Committee Liaison and Foreign Language Teacher

Courtney Moran, Standard 3 Committee Chair and Social Studies Teacher

Marisa Cote, ELA Teacher

Rebecca Cunha, Foreign Language Teacher

Christina Foley, Business Teacher

Anna Gvirtsman, Foreign Language Teacher

John Hillier, Science Teacher

Chelsea McGovern, ELA Teacher

Gregg Przygoda, Special Education Teacher

Kristen Reid, Mathematics Teacher

Chris Settle, Advocacy Program