The CNMI Public School System’s (CNMI PSS) Project Shift (Strengthening Highly-Effective Instruction for Tomorrow) has two main priorities: (1) To improve the effectiveness of teachers, principals, and administrative leaders through professional development and training, and (2) to improve student academic achievement and teacher effectiveness through the use of high-quality digital tools and materials.
The Program will target three key interventions proven to raise student achievement:
- Teachers, principals and administrative leaders will participate in research-based professional development and training focused on instructional strategies.
- Teachers will increase integration of 21st century technology in their instruction.
- Schools will provide research-based parent literacy activities for parents focused on literacy and language development.
The target population for the trainings will be approximately 500 teachers and leaders to be trained in the SIOP® Model, thirty teachers pursuing an ELL endorsement, ninety (90) teachers who will be pursuing certification in instructional technology, 171 novice teacher mentees and mentor teachers, and forty-five principals, vice principals and administrative leaders who manage change that will be carried out in Saipan, Tinian and Rota. This project will also address parent literacy by providing research-based activities focused on literacy and language development.
In addition to the project objectives, academic achievement results are also monitored. Academic achievement results are reviewing to determine Adequate Yearly Progress (AYP).
As part of the accountability provisions set forth in the No Child Left Behind Act of 2001 (NCLB) and ESEA as amended, the CNMI PSS set academic Assessments (SBA). However, in 2011, the CNMI PSS adopted the Common Core State Standards (Next Generation State Standards) in its entirety and is in the process of transitioning to a Next Generation Assessment.
The Goal of the program is to:
- Teachers, principals and administrative leaders who participated in research-based professional development will improve their instructional strategies.
- Teachers will increase the integration of 21st century technology in their instruction.
Project Objective 1.1 & 1.2: By the end of each year of the Project, at least 90% of the participating CNMI PSS teachers and leaders will complete the training on the Sheltered Instruction Observation Protocol (SIOP), and at least 66% of a sample for Cohort 1 will demonstrate 20 of the 30 features in SIOP (Sheltered Instruction Observation Protocol) and 33% of a sample for Cohort 2 will demonstrate 10 of the 30 features.
Project Objective 2.1, 2.2 & 2.3:
By the end of each year, 75% of the CNMI PSS ELL Teacher cohort will receive certificates of completion for the two courses offered per year; By the end of Year 2, 90% of CNMI PSS teachers enrolled in the ELL training program will complete all six courses and be endorsed; and By the end of Year 2, 90% of the endorsed ELL Teachers who completed all six courses would have applied 90% of the ELL training received to date as measured by a comprehensive survey.
Project Objective 3.1 & 3.2:
In Year 2, 50% of the 6th grade teachers and 50% of the Junior High and High School math teachers (grades 7 to 12) will complete the one year of training provided on Singapore Math and In Year 2, 50% of the 6th grade teachers, Junior High and High School Math Teachers will demonstrate proficiency in content knowledge as measured by an observation tool developed by the training consultant.
INTEGRATION OF 21st TECHNOLOGY IN INSTRUCTION
Project Objective 4.1 & 4.2:
By the end of each year, 75% of the CNMI PSS Instructional Technology cohorts, estimated at 30 per year, will receive certificates of completion; and all of the Instructional Technology Teachers in Cohort 1 would have demonstrated at least 50% of the Instructional Technology applications as measured by the Power Walk Through Reports and teachers in Cohort 2 would have demonstrated at least 30%.
PARENTAL INVOLVEMENT & ENGAGEMENT
Project Objective 5.1 & 5.2:
At least 30% of identified* parents from each school will participate in the Partners in Print Program each year.; At least 30% of the parents from each school who participated in at least 30% of the Partners in Print Workshops would have applied at least 3 of the 13 Partners in Print Activities.
One of the interventions that the T&FASEG Program supports is Parental Engagement. The program recognizes that one of the factors in attributing to high student performance is the partnership between the home and the school. The main focus of this project is consistent with the philosophy of the Public School System to put “Students First” by providing students supplemental support to meet the expected student performance levels through regular and intensive quality instruction in the specified standards and benchmarks.
The objective of the Parent Literacy events is to target parents of struggling students and provide them with strategies, resources and tools to be used at home. It is expected that through this intervention, parents will be able to help their children in the targeted reading and math standards and benchmarks.
All nineteen PSS schools are expected to convene at least four parent literacy events in a school year (two in reading and two in math). Schools have been very active and creative when planning for these events. Such events include MotheRead/FatheRead, Partners in Print, Family Math, Game Night!, Summer Bridging Activities, Mini Conferences, Literacy Fairs, Basic Reading Strategies for Decoding, and Singapore Math.
The Professional Learning Communities (PLCs) are responsible for the parent literacy events for each of the schools. They participate as trainers and also coordinate with trainers and other support groups within and outside of the PSS to provide the training for parents.
For the past two years of funding, over 2,500 parents have benefitted from the program. Parents have responded positively to the activities held at the schools and encourage more to be offered.
Lynette L. Villagomez, M.ED.