Annual Report Overviews
Academic Success (ASSET) Annual Overview
ASSET is a five-year science reform effort for all K-8 faculty and administrators in Buchanan, Dickenson, Russell and Tazewell counties.
The goals and objectives are to have all the elementary school faculty become competent in selected FOSS, Insights, and STC materials that encourage the development of problem solving skills that are consistent with Virginia and national science standards of learning; have all the elementary school science faculty improve their instruction; to develop a Materials Resource Center; and to establish a professional development program.
Professional Development sessions were conducted for K-2 faculty in the use of the first module, alternative methods of assessment, and effective teaching strategies necessary for successful implementation. To accommodate the faculty, two (one-week) sessions (August 2-6, and August 9-13) were conducted for each grade level at two different sites (a total of six) within the four divisions. Make-up sessions (one day per week for five weeks) were conducted on the campus of Southwest Virginia Community College for faculty from the four divisions who were unable to attend summer professional development sessions, were newly employed, or who had been unexpectedly transferred to a different grade level. The school divisions graciously provided release time with substitutes to ensure that uniform implementation would occur.
Follow-up sessions are currently being conducted for faculty, by grade level, in each division to discuss the successes and concerns of implementation. In addition to sharing ideas for improvement, additional professional development in the form of inquiry activities is provided to deepen their understanding of science content, provide strategies for improving pedagogy, and establish the need for self- reflection and self-evaluation.
187 K-2 faculty have completed 25 hours of module instruction and are currently scheduled for 5 hours of follow-up activities.
Major findings include:
The Professional Development plan provides for 75 hours of module instruction during summer workshops throughout the tenure of the project. Annual follow-up sessions are being conducted (throughout the five project years) providing the opportunity for elementary faculty to acquire an additional 30 hours of professional development in content, inquiry teaching strategies, cooperative learning strategies, effective questioning skills, and alternative methods of assessment.
Teacher's content knowledge is being deepened as they conduct the hands-on activities of the modules and additional inquiry activities related to the modules during the follow-up sessions.
Effective pedagogy is being modeled by project faculty during module professional development sessions and reinforced in follow-up sessions with videos of exemplary inquiry-based instruction by master teachers.
Teachers become competent in the use of module materials as they conduct the hands-on activities included in the modules during professional development sessions. They become more skilled and confident in using inquiry strategies as their science content is deepened.
Development of a team of science resource teachers who will provide on-site support and professional development for elementary faculty is in early stages.
Follow-up sessions are being conducted to offer extensions beyond module training and provide time for teachers to share successes and concerns of implementation as well as ideas to enhance learning.
One hundred eighty seven (50 Kindergarten, 69 First Grade, 68 Second Grade) K-2 faculty have each completed 25 hours of module instruction with five-hour follow-up sessions being conducted within each division during this school year.
Twenty eight additional faculty will be completing 25 hours of module instruction during weekend sessions before Christmas.
All K-2 faculty who have completed training on the first module have implemented or will implement that module in their classrooms during the 1999-2000 school year. Currently more than 50% of those professionally developed during the summer sessions have implemented the modules in their classrooms.
Education and Outreach:
Outreach activities include: