PARKERSBURG - A Wood County Schools director says Wednesday's two-hour delay gave teachers valuable time to work on classroom strategies and goals , which will be evaluated on the next delay day in January.'
Judy Johnson, director of curriculum and instruction for Wood County Schools, said Wednesday's collaboration will have a direct impact on the classroom, and teachers and administrators will be tracking and reporting the results Jan. 30 during the next two-hour delay.
"We wanted them to set a focus, to begin using the data they had," Johnson said. "They were asked to set goals, what they want to improve by Jan. 30. They will look at those things, whether it's in test results or student work, and decide if they met their goals."
Johnson said the idea of spacing out the four two-hour delay collaborative times throughout the year was to give teachers more bite-sized periods in which to track achievement and adjust their classroom strategies.
"We didn't want to wait until the end of the year to find out if something wasn't working," she said.
Johnson said the middle schools were able to use recently released test results from the national ACT Explore, administered to all eighth-graders, and the ACT Plan, administered to all 10th-graders.
"The schools were using those test scores to help set their goals. They were asking 'Am I teaching what these students are expected to know to be successful?' " she said. "This is a national exam, so we know how our students are performing nationally. The timing was just perfect because the results had just come in."
Johnson said many schools did "vertical teaming," where they assembled teachers from multiple grades and multiple disciplines to share steps they all can take within their classrooms.
"Then they broke into smaller teams, either based on grade levels or departments, to work on specific classroom strategies," she said.
For example, at Edison Middle School related arts teachers began assembling lists of math and science vocabulary words to work into art and music lessons.
"They can reinforce what students need to know by using a common vocabulary," Johnson said.
Central office administrators visited schools throughout the morning, monitoring the collaboration time.
"The office staff were very pleased with what they saw," Johnson said.
Sue Woodward, assistant superintendent of school services, said the district saw few bus issues even though it still ran gifted routes, something that does not happen on weather delay days.
"The buses ran well. Attendance was good. Collaboration went well," she said. "Overall it was a good day."