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Teachers Network Leadership Institute:
Wyoming Teacher Policy Institute
Carol Lynch, Hot Springs County High School, Thermopolis, WY

WHO KNOWS WHAT ABOUT BODY OF EVIDENCE?

Problem  Graduation from Hot Springs County High School will require students to demonstrate proficiency of the common core of knowledge and skills to complete the traditional Carnegie units and credits required by the state of Wyoming and Hot Springs County School District #1. This is the "Body of Evidence" needed to meet requirements for graduation beginning with the Class of 2005.
Research Question As I began to work on Hot Springs County School District’s Body of Evidence plan, I wondered:
§ Who knows what in relation to the district’s Body of Evidence. 
§ Who is involved in the Body of Evidence planning and what are their roles?
§ Is there a difference in the perceptions and understandings of Body of Evidence for teachers at the different levels? 
Methods  § Questionnaires administered to K-12 teachers in Hot Springs County School District.
§ 35 questionnaires returned out of 75 questionnaires distributed, a 47% return rate.
§ 7 questionnaires returned by elementary teachers, 11 by middle school teachers, and 17 by high school teachers
Findings  General Knowledge of Body of Evidence:
§ All teachers, elementary through high school, rated their “general knowledge of Body of Evidence as average (5-7/10).

Content of Hot Springs County School District's Body of Evidence Plan:
§ The elementary teachers rated themselves a "5" or below in most cases.
§ Middle school teachers ranked their knowledge of the district plan as average (4-6/10).
§ The high school teachers ranked themselves from a 2 - 8.

What Should be in the district Body of Evidence?
Elementary: 

§ Test Results,
§ Work Samples,
§ Demonstrations of Skills at Master level for each grade level,
§ IEP Info, and
§ Manageable Evidence 

Middle School: 
§ Samples of Assessments-Providing Met Standards,
§ Assessments in General
§ Test Scores
§ Projects
§ Writings
§ Record of Community Service
§ Grades
§ WyCAS
§ Terra Nova
§ Portfolio Work
§ EmploymentHigh School: 
§ Individual Teacher Assessment of Student Achievement according to Standards§ Wide Variety of Assessments that Reflect Our Mission Statement
§ 6 Traits Writing Sample
§ Portfolio of Information§ Evidence of Student Learning
§ WyCAS
§ Terra Nova
§ Alignment Materials§ Standards Met Grid
§ A Variety of Assessments that Demonstrate Proficiency in the Standards

Teachers' perceptions of "their role" in the development of the Hot Springs County School District's Body of Evidence

Elementary:
§ Not Sure What My Role Is.
§ Nothing.
§ Only input with high school staff.
§ Develop the Body of Evidence with the elementary in mind.

Middle School: 
§ When all criteria are in place, I would help guide the student.
§ Active participation.
§ Design effective/consistent/authentic assessments.
§ Reporting of assessment results only.
§ Work with district team.
§ Develop reading and writing skills.

High School: 
§ Input at every level as we develop the Body of Evidence.
§ All departments should contribute equally.
§ The teacher should have input, but don't lay it all on the teacher--they have a huge workload as it is.
§ Contribute.
§ Submit rubrics and examples.
§ An active role since we are responsible for teaching standards.
§ Help in developing standards check-off sheets.
§ Serve on a team of teachers who are familiar with subject and grade level standards.

Policy Recommendations To help ensure that all teachers feel that they are a part of the Body of Evidence Plan and to enhance the creditability of the Body of Evidence. 

Recommendation # 1: Hold all teachers accountable for their part in the development of the Body of Evidence. Some of the knowledge and skills assessed as part of the Body of Evidence are taught throughout a student's entire education. As teachers collaborate on the Body of Evidence, a sense of ownership should develop as every grade level teacher knows what is going to be expected for Body of Evidence which should impact student achievement.

Recommendation # 2: Make the BOE highly visible for every teacher. Make sure that every teacher knows what the Body of Evidence is and have it available to every teacher.

Recommendation # 3: Make sure the Body of Evidence uses valid measures of student achievement and includes authentic student work. 

Recommendation # 4: Have teachers network with each other regarding the Body of Evidence and engage teachers in designing and implementing effective professional development that will promote understanding of the BOE. A collaborative community of teachers working together would certainly enhance education for both students and adults in Hot Springs County School District.

 

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