29th Annual Washington State Assessment Conference

Seattle, Washington

The 29th Annual Washington State
Assessment Conference

“Embracing Change: Students at the Core”

WEDNESDAY, December 10 

7:30-8:30 A.M. Registration/Continental Breakfast
8:30 A.M.  Morning Pre-Conference Workshops #1-8
12:00 P.M. Lunch
1:00 P.M.  Afternoon Pre-Conference Workshops #9-16
4:30 P.M.  Workshops Conclude

The Pre-Conference program offers 16 half-day workshops.  You can choose one half-day workshop in the morning and one in the afternoon. Lunch is provided. Pre-registration for specific sessions is required.  Click here for printable version


 8:30 A.M.–12:00 P.M.  1:00 P.M.–4:30 P.M.
#1 - Teacher and Principal Evaluation: Strategies for Success 

Jeanne Harmon, TPEP Project Manager, OSPI

Now that TPEP implementation is happening statewide, it's clear where people are recognizing challenges and seeking solutions: student growth, evidence and artifacts, common understanding of the rubric, time for training. We'll tackle it all!

#2 - Data Coaching: Getting to the Human Side of Data

Tara Richerson, Assessment and CTE Supervisor, Tumwater School District

Data must be presented in a way that encourages inquiry, analysis, and informed decision-making. This interactive session will model strategies for translating data into meaningful action for student outcomes. Join our conversation around effective data use, including how to develop questions, identify problems of practice, and evaluate action plans. 

#3 - Promoting Students' Social, Emotional, and Behavioral Well-being as the Foundation for Academic and Life Success

Clayton Cook, Assistant Professor, School of Psychology, University of Washington

A student's social, emotional, and behavioral (SEB) skills are fundamentally connected to academic performance and have been shown to be the strongest predictor of future academic achievement. In this way, SEB functioning serves as either a facilitator or barrier to students' academic engagement and performance. The purpose of this presentation will be to discuss the scientific research that informs how school leaders can implement a foundation of SEB supports that prevent problems and promotes overall well-being and truly enables students to be college and career ready.

#4 - Meet the Next Generation Science Standards

Ellen K. Ebert, Science Director, OSPI; Philip Bell, Professor of the Learning Sciences, UW; Mark Windschitl, Professor, Science Education, UW;  and Megan Bang, Assistant Professor, Learning Sciences and Human Development, UW

Participants in this pre-session will learn about the Next Generation Science Standards and its guiding document: A Framework for K-12 Science Education. Participants will engage in (a) hands-on activities to experience the performance expectations; (b) consider how the three dimensions of science and engineering practices, disciplinary core ideas, and crosscutting concepts will impact instruction, student learning, assessment, and science resources; (c) discuss equity implications; and (d) view state transition documents.

#5 – Transforming Elementary Mathematics Instruction: Organizing Schools for Meaningful Teacher and Leader Learning

Allison Hintz, Assistant Professor, UW/Bothell; Lynsey Gibbons, Research Associate in Mathematics Education, UW; and Allison Fox, UW

Almost all teachers participate in professional learning communities. What makes collaborative work impactful for teachers and adults in schools? How do you create coherence in mathematics instructional practices across an entire school? This presentation focuses on innovative ways of transforming how teachers work together. Eliciting, responding to, and advancing children’s mathematical thinking lie at the heart of inspired teaching. We show how elementary schools have organized teachers’ professional learning so that they learn a shared set of instructional practices, co-design lessons together, and engage in “teacher time outs” as they co-engineer lessons. Principal-coach teamwork is a vital aspect of the success of this design.

#6 - Program Evaluation 101

Pete Bylsma, Director, Assessment & Program Evaluation, Mukilteo School District; Michael Power, Director of Assessment and Student Learning, Shoreline Public Schools; and Bill Leon, President, Geo Education & Research

This session provides an overview of program evaluation concepts and tasks (a lifetime’s worth of information in a few hours!). It will cover different types of evaluations, steps involved in planning an evaluation (creating logic models, formulating research questions, determining the scope of the work, identifying data sources), types of data and how they can be collected, various data analysis methods, and best practices for reporting the results. Various educational evaluations will be presented as case studies. Practical tips and evaluation standards will also be shared.

#7 - Full-Day Kindergarten: Quality Matters

Kristie Kauerz, UW; Janet Collier, ESD113 and OSPI Full-Day K Consultant; and Bob Butts, OSPI and panel of District Early Learning Directors (TBD)

Expanding access to full-day kindergarten is an exciting change in Washington’s education landscape, but access alone is not enough.  As more districts increase full-day kindergarten, it is important to address issues of quality.  This pre-conference session will explore key factors that matter in implementation of high-quality Full-Day Kindergarten and will share a variety of resources and expertise being fostered across the state of Washington to support successful implementation of Full-Day K.

#8 - Gifted Pedagogy – What is it, Who gets it, How do you implement it?

Nancy Hertzog, Professor, Educational Psychology and Director, Robinson Center for Young Scholars, UW, and Jann H. Leppien, Associate Professor, Margo Long Endowed Chair for the Center of Gifted Education, Whitworth University

Gifted education in the state of Washington is basic education, and not a privilege for identified highly capable students. Therefore, regardless of how many spaces are available in gifted programs, all highly capable students must be challenged. In this pre-conference workshop, participants will have an opportunity to unpack the goals listed by VanTassal Baska (1992)* as essential to gifted education: (1) increasing high-level proficiency in all core subject areas; (2) becoming independent investigators; (3) appreciating the world of ideas; (4) enhancing higher level thinking skills; and (5) encouraging the spirit of inquiry.
   *Van Tassel-Baska, J. (1992). Planning effective curriculum for gifted learners. Denver, CO: Love.
#9 - Let's Get Ready! Applying the Smarter Balanced Three-Part System for Mathematics

Anton Jackson, Mathematics Specialist Grades 6-8; Julie Wagner, Mathematics Specialist Grades 3-5, and Jennifer Judkins, Mathematics Specialist High School, OSPI

This session walks through the Smarter Balanced Assessment system.  Participants will learn about the digital library, its focus on the formative assessment process and the Common Core, and the types of scoring reports that will be available. The interim assessments, their structure, and uses will be explored. Features of the Smarter Balanced summative test for mathematics will be highlighted including computer adaptive testing, and performance tasks. How to access quality tasks and resources will be part of this session.  Return to your districts knowledgeable, informed, and ready to share.

#10 - The Tacoma Whole Child Initiative: A Roadmap for a Sustainable Multi-Tiered System of Supports 

Greg Benner, Professor and Executive Director, UW/Tacoma;
Josh Garcia, Deputy Superintendent, Tacoma Public Schools; Jennifer Kubista, Director of Student Life, Tacoma Public Schools; and Jennifer Traufler, Director of Student Supports, Tacoma Public Schools

The focus on the Tacoma Whole Child Initiative (TWCI) is sustainable, systemic change so every child is a whole child—safe, healthy, understood, engaged, and challenged. The TWCI offers a roadmap for school district transformation that leads to student success. The eight-year TWCI roadmap is built upon implementation science and organizational change processes. The purpose of this presentation is to provide a step-by-step walk through of the TWCI and offer guidance to create sustainable change in your city or district.

#11- Let's Get Ready! Applying the Smarter Balanced Three-Part System for ELA

Nikki Elliott-Schuman, Director, ELA and Literacy, Smarter Balanced Assessment Consortium Writing Assessment Specialist; Cindy Knisely, ELA Assessment Specialist; and Beth Simpson, ELA Assessment Specialist, OSPI

This session walks through the three-part system of the Smarter Balanced Assessment.  Participants will explore features of the English language arts Smarter Balanced summative test including item development, computer adaptive testing, performance tasks, and scoring.  Participants will also learn about resources and materials available beyond the summative test, including the digital library and the interim assessments.  Head back to your buildings and districts knowledgeable, informed, and ready to implement and share.

#12 - Candy is Dandy: A Cross-Curricular Lesson Using Google Apps

Jason Neiffer, Tech Savvy Teacher, NCCEE

Have you wanted to learn about Google Apps, but didn't know where to start? This hands-on workshop will focus on Google Docs, Spreadsheets, Presentations, and Forms. You will get to participate in a model lesson as the tools are being taught and leave with a week’s worth of lessons for you or to share with your staff.
#13 - Primary Sources, Library of Congress, and Common Core 

Becky Firth, Professional Learning Director, NCCEE

The ELA Common Core Standards place a high emphasis on the use of primary sources for the area of informational literacy as well as history and social studies literacy. This workshop will examine how primary sources from the Library of Congress can help meet these standards.  We will also integrate strategies from Stanford’s Reading Like a Historian program and look at how primary sources can support critical thinking and historical competence.

#14 - Psychometrics 101

Shameem Gaj, Senior Psychometrician, and Dr. Hyeonjoo Oh, Psychometric Manager, Educational Testing Services (ETS)

What are scale scores, standard errors of measurement, equating, p-values or differential item functioning? If you have ever wondered what these are, then Psychometrics 101 is the session for you. For the first part of this session we will describe the basics of item analysis (e.g., p-values, point-biserials, DIF) and equating. In doing so we will explain these and other psychometric terms. Then the second part of the session we will answer your statistical/psychometric questions.

#15- P-3 in Action: How are Districts and Communities Implementing P-3 Across Washington? 

Molly Branson Thayer, Program Director of P-3 Leadership and Professional Education, UW, and panel of district administrators or early learning program administrators (TBD)

Districts all across the state of Washington are engaged in innovative efforts to create greater alignment, quality, and coherence across the P-3 continuum.  Through the Washington P-3 Executive Leadership Institute, enrollees have been guided to deepen and extend their P-3 approaches through year-long Action Research Projects. This session will provide an in-depth look at a variety of the 2014 cohort’s P-3 Action Research Projects.

#16 - Educators Working Together: Increasing the Likelihood that Highly Capable Students Needs Will be Met 

Jann H. Leppien, Associate Professor, Margo Long Endowed Chair for the Center of Gifted Education, Whitworth University and Nancy Hertzog, Professor, Educational Psychology and Director, Robinson Center for Young Scholars, UW

Facilitating a continuum of services for high achieving students includes a challenging curriculum, an understanding of the social and emotional traits that may promote or hinder advancement, high quality identification procedures, and other policies that support advanced learning. To achieve these goals, professional development and collaboration among all educators are necessary to create a shared responsibility in recognizing indicators of giftedness and then responding to those characteristics through more comprehensive and personalized programming options. A variety of district level professional development plans will be shared with participants.


Washington Educational Research Association  PO Box 13042 • Olympia, WA 98508

360-529-5818 ext. 101 • weraoffice@gmail.com
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