Superintendent Report - October

Collaborative Learning
Our K-8 principals and teacher leaders are co-facilitating our District-wide Professional Learning Communities (PLC) which take place on our collaborative Tuesdays. K-5 meets in grade level groups, while our grades 6-8 teachers meet around content areas. The PLCs use the following questions to help frame their collaborative work together:

What do we expect our students to learn?

  • Develop learning targets using the EWSD K-12 proficiencies and indicators

  • Using grade level indicators, define what proficiency looks like at points throughout the year

  • Create common formative assessments around shared questions to inform next instructional steps

  • Share best practices in instruction and assessment

How will we know they are learning?

  • Look at student assessment data and student work

  • Identify gaps in student learning

How will we respond when they don’t learn and how will we respond if they already know it?

  • Plan, implement, reflect, adjust, and share instructional strategies regarding units of study that correlate with the EWSD K-12 proficiencies and indicators

  • Reflect on instruction, assessments, and student work to implement adjustments to ensure success for all students


We are constantly examining our practices, systems, and structures with an eye towards equity for all students. This work is also to help identify areas where students can be further supported and challenged.


Essex High School faculty meets all together and they are currently reading the book - Building Equity. Reed Dyer from Great Schools Partnership is also assisting the high school in professional learning around assessments. EHS faculty will be begin looking at school-wide data soon. At CTE, PLCs are meeting with a focus on literacy.  


ACT for Free
All students at EHS will take the American College Test (ACT) free of charge this year. The ACT measures college readiness and is a standardized test that covers five areas: math, English, reading, writing, and science. EHS will be establishing a testing date and share that with students and families in the near future. The Vermont Agency of Education approved of EWSD using Title IV funds to pay for the ACT for our students this year.


Odds and Ends
Other highlights from the last month include:

  • The Board had developed a K-8 Voluntary School Reassignment Policy and currently 21 families (27 students total) are involved in the process

  • As Co-President of the New England Association of School Superintendents, I facilitated the Annual Conference in September

  • Please know that we are in the process of developing a monthly newsletter from the District that will be distributed via email to each of our families


Beth Cobb
EWSD Superintendent