2012 SCORE Prize Winners: Embracing High Standards - Page 4

Walkthroughs to assess academic rigor and engagement in classrooms were first conducted in 2010 at Meadowview Middle School, and administrators from throughout the district were trained to provide feedback to the school. During walkthroughs, students were observed as they completed tasks. The observer listened for questions and who was asking the questions or responding. Feedback was later provided to teachers privately on what was observed. To ensure there was agreement and consistency among observers, group walkthroughs were conducted and observers compared their feedback and observation scores. “So That’s What They Mean By Rigor” http://www.tnscore.org/scoreprize/ downloads/2012/So_thats_What_ they_Mean_By_Rigor.pdf “Rigor Walk-Through Research” http://www.tnscore.org/scoreprize/ downloads/2012/Rigor_Walk_ through_Research.pdf “Examples of Activities at Rigor Instructional Levels” http://www.tnscore.org/scoreprize/ downloads/2012/Examples_of_ Activities_at_Rigor_instructional_ Levels.pdf Programs to promote college and career readiness. Hamblen County has embraced the idea that all students should be prepared for college and career upon graduation. They believe that the pathway to college and career readiness begins in pre-kindergarten and is expressed through a culture of rigorous instruction with high expectations for student engagement and instruction. Hamblen County has been very active in implementing a series of initiatives to reach this goal. • Hamblen County is part of a network of districts known as the Northeast Tennessee College and Career Ready Consortium, which serves approximately 26,100 students from 29 high schools in the region. Established by the Niswonger Foundation, the consortium procured a $21 million federal Investing in Innovation (i3) grant in 2010. The goals of the program include expansion of dual enrollment, Advanced Placement (AP), and distance learning and online courses. The program also provides college and career counseling resources to every high school student in the region. The grant has enabled Hamblen County Schools to offer its advanced content courses to students in other districts through videoconferencing and has allowed Hamblen’s students to take advanced courses, like physics, offered in other counties or through universities. The grant has also provided funding for iPad carts for AP and dual enrollment students, textbooks for those students who are economically disadvantaged, and technology to access a wide range of courses from nearby community colleges and technology centers. “Hamblen County Schools Promising Practice: Technology in the Classroom” http://www.tnscore.org/scoreprize/ downloads/2012/Hamblen_County_Schools_ Promising_Practice.pdf “Par F