Learning acceleration is an ongoing instructional process by which educators engage in formative practices to improve all students’ access to grade-level standards while strategically building in key concepts from the prior grade level students need to master grade-level work. Stakeholders from across the state provided input on ways that LEAs can best:
- Identify Learning Gaps and Opportunities
- Provide Supports and Resources to Accelerate Instruction and Personalize Learning
- Provide Professional Learning to Ensure High Quality Instruction and Engaged Learning
In response, NJDOE created The Learning Acceleration Guide (PDF), aligned to the Road Forward: Self-Assessment which holistically incorporates strategies for identifying learning gaps and opportunities and to provide educators and students with the supports needed to accelerate learning.
- Are the academic, behavioral, mental health, and social-emotional challenges of students being addressed through a coherent system of supports?
- Has the LEA engaged with family members, students, educators and community partners to identify and address challenges resulting from the pandemic?
- What type of professional learning is needed to meaningfully integrate social and emotional learning within academic coursework?
- Has the LEA considered ways to best engage student athletes (e.g. tutoring sessions embedded in "practice time” slots so that athletes will not have to choose between academic recovery and sports)?
- To further support conditions for learning, please see the Insecurities section.
- Has the LEA put processes in place to review policies, remove barriers and provide instructional supports so all students can access grade-level and/or advanced coursework (e.g., Advanced Placement, Career and Technical Education pathways, dual enrollment, International Baccalaureate)?
- How has the LEA addressed equity within the accelerated learning plan?
- Has the LEA identified what types of supports educators need to engage in culturally responsive teaching practices?
- Has the LEA developed plan to ensure students are on a path to meet all graduation requirements, and has this information been shared with LEA staff, and parents and caregivers?
- Has the LEA reviewed the data of marginalized and/or vulnerable student populations to determine potential gaps or barriers to opportunities (including attendance, grade thresholds, non-credit status, etc.)?
- What curriculum review has the LEA conducted to ensure that the curriculum is standards-based and vertically aligned to K–12?
- What opportunities exist for educators to collaborate with extended learning faculty and staff (e.g., afterschool programs, summer learning experiences) to ensure continuity of efforts towards learning goals?
- In what ways might community partners contribute to the design and implementation of authentic learning experiences (e.g., inform curriculum, serve as authentic audience members, provide real-world contexts)?
- How will professional learning experiences be designed to facilitate interdisciplinary connections and 21st century skills to ensure academic content is engaging for students with diverse needs and interests?
- What resources has the LEA allocated to support enhanced student engagement and to support the learning ecosystem (e.g. promoting a growth mindset among students, parent engagement and professional learning)?
- How will the LEA leverage multiple data measures to guide the selection of resources that support students with diverse learning needs?
- Has the LEA considered alternate scheduling ideas for students and staff to meet the needs of acceleration?
- To inform instructional adjustments for the school year, how is the LEA assessing and analyzing baseline readiness in ELA, Math, and Science as students return to school in Fall 2021?
- Does the LEA local assessment schedule include robust formative assessments that inform instruction and prepare students for larger summative assessments (e.g., unit tests, benchmark assessments, statewide assessments)?
- How will families and community partners become knowledgeable about the LEA’s accelerated learning approach and understand their respective roles in the process?
- Does the LEA provide opportunities for educators to engage in collaborative conversations regarding effective formative practices, assessment and data literacy, scaffolding, and small group instruction?
- During contracted time, do educators collaboratively analyze student achievement data? If so, are all student groups considered? What is the expectation for the development of action plans or instructional adjustments based on data findings?
- In what ways have models such as extending the school day, providing high-dosage tutoring and/or summer learning experiences been considered and integrated to provide students the time they need to master grade-level standards?