page tools :
email page print page small type large type

District Blog

This is the official online blog for the Shorewood School District. All content is created and published by Shorewood School District staff. The purpose of the District blog is to disseminate important information to the public in a timely and accurate way. The blog does not publish public comments, but does invite site visitors to submit comments, which are sent by email to District staff. Comments provide the District and the School Board with important feedback from community members regarding the blog posts, and then District staff respond as necessary to the feedback received. While all submitted comments are reviewed, the District does not reply to every comment that is submitted. Thank you for reading our blog.


MAP & RTI Community Forum Q & A

April 8, 2015
6- 8 pm
SIS Commons

MAP Testing

1.Before MAP, the school used running records, class tests, WKCE, etc. Kids set goals for reading and self-assessed. Why do we need MAP? Why is it better than currently used methods? Which ones have been discontinued and why? How much time (in total) do kids spend in being tested? Is it appropriate for kids to be so focused on scores?

Per IDEA law, we are required to have a universal screener. In 2011, the RtI team selected MAP as it is computer adaptive and the results give useful information. The MAP results, in addition to running records, class tests, etc., are still used to make informed decisions about students, which gives us a better read on each student.

Testing times depend on the grade. You can find the breakdown here on the District website:

Students are not focused on scores, but learning and growing. They are focused on learning and how they learn, and the score is one piece of evidence.

2. MAP testing: how is this a better system of testing compared to running records, badger, WKCE? Or, if it is in addition, what more information does it give us? How has the data been used? Do we have a good read of what percentage of students are falling behind vs. students who would benefit from advanced / enrichment programs (a chart you showed us at the School Board meeting in February suggested an exact equal number on both ends of the normal curve)?

MAP is computer adaptive and there is a quick turn around on the results. The reports that are generated are priceless. The MAP results, in addition to running records, class tests, etc., are still used to make informed decisions about students, which gives us a better read on each student.

Yes, we are aware of our students’ learning needs. The chart displayed was the typical student curve, not the actual.

3.How much does MAP cost us vis-a-vis the alternatives - in fact, WHAT ARE THE ALTERNATIVES?

There are a few screeners that are used in other districts. Two of them are AIMS Web and STAR. The elementary teachers did not like STAR, and AIMS web was considered before selecting MAP. If desired, a cost comparison can be arranged.

4.How MAP testing works vis-a-vis other tests - is the information from MAP test additive? Better?

Per IDEA law, we are required to have a universal screener. There are a few screeners that are used in other districts, such as AIMS Web and STAR.

In 2011, the RtI team selected MAP because (1) it is computer adaptive, and (2) the results provide useful information for teachers and parents.

MAP results are used in addition to running records, class tests, etc. to make informed decisions about students growth and progress.

Students are not focused on scores. They are focused on learning and how they learn.

5.Why is it necessary to MAP test 3x a year? What does the district do with the data?

It is not necessary to take the MAP test three times a year, unless the district is interested in “normed” results.

The data is used as a screener and to ensure that students are making the appropriate years’ worth of growth.

6.What assessments or testing has been eliminated because of MAP testing?

None; we were not using a universal screener prior to adoption of MAP.

7.If there is no differentiation of instruction, particularly in math, what is the point of MAP testing? How can you do a 1:1 teaching with such large class sizes?

MAP testing allows for identification, support, intervention, skill recognition, and teacher and student tools as well as differentiation.

1:1 would occur with an interventionist.

8.If you have 5-6 zone proximal development ranges in a class at one time, how can a teacher reach all ranges adequately?

There is ALWAYS differentiation within a classroom.

MAP testing allows for identification, support, intervention, skill recognition, and teacher and student tools as well as differentiation.

1:1 would occur with an interventionist.

9.Are the MAP test questions different as the year progresses?

Yes, there is a huge bank of questions (over 3,000) that are different for students each time that they are tested.

MAP testing and Goal Setting

10. Why is so much time and effort put into improving scores on standardized tests that do not relate to the child’s grade in any curricular area?

The areas that are assessed are math and reading, and when the goal is met there is usually an improvement in the child’s classroom grade(s) as well.

11. What happens when your student has not achieved their goals? What is the impact on specifically student who struggle academically with meticulous “goal tracking”? How is this not “teaching to the test”? When did we start reducing students to a series of test scores?

Students are conferenced with one-on-one, and are encouraged, supported, and the goals and expectations are adjusted.

The MAP assessment is an evaluation of skills. We are not teaching to that.

12. I am concerned about children setting goals to improve scores on standardized tests. What options do you offer parents to remove this element of your testing platform? When are you doing this goal setting and what was taken out of instructional time to accommodate this exercise?

Yes, if you would like to opt out, please inform your school counselor in writing.

Goal setting occurs during guided study time in certain classes at various schools.

13. Why do children fill out forms for improving their MAP scores, and aren’t given a list of best practices to choose from as to how they can improve their score?

When students conference with their teacher after completing their goal form, the teacher shares best practice strategies with the child if they aren’t already listed.

14. Why should children have to be concerned with their assessment and test scores? Can't they just deal with learning?

Goal setting is learning and developing skills is learning.

15. Can parents opt their children out of SMART goals if this approach violates family values? Many of us believe education is about supporting kids in developing a joy for learning and discovery and we don’t want our kids to be “goal oriented.” So could we opt our kids out of not just MAP tests but MAP goals? Very charter school!

Yes, if you would like to opt out, please inform your school counselor in writing.

RtI and Guided Study

16. How does the RIT score or percentage relate to the intervention tier in which the student is placed?

In addition to other assessments and data, we utilize district and nationally normed scores (cut off scores) from NWEA to determine in which Tier a student should be placed.

17. Do you recommend pushing in or utilizing interventionists or teacher coaches to meet the needs of all ranges?

Both strategies are extremely beneficial to our students.

18. Is RtI all about how to improve your MAP/Badger scores?

No, there is really no correlation. RtI is responding to student learning. MAP and the Badger Exam assess what students know.

19. Are RtI tiers II & III always done by interventionists who presumably are aware of symptoms of autism, processing disorders, dyslexia, and the like? Some students need a different approach because of their LD. How can you be certain that RtI is picking up, say Asperger’s? Also, why Tier III weekly assessments? That sounds excessive. If you’re doing it right, you’re making progress and wasting time over–testing, no?

No, the teacher as well as an interventionist can facilitate Tier II. Also, data teams meet to discuss student needs with the interventionist present so various factors, symptoms etc. are discussed.

At Tier III, the frequent assessment is required as it may be leading to a referral and all intervention strategies and progress must be noted.

20. RtI: How are students on either side of the curve (mentioned above) benefiting from the program so far? How many resources / costs have been identified for each group - if they are equal, are you spending equally? What feedback have you got from the teachers on the success of this program? Are there any changes recommended for the coming year?

The benefit to students is that their learning needs are being met, supported, and challenged.

The recommended enhancements would be adding interventionists (so that there is a 1.0 in each school for math and reading), a RtI coordinator and supports for teachers. Each school will evaluate current delivery and make necessary implementation adjustment based on their school needs.

21. How will you handle students whose RIT scores and growth scores are within standard deviation?

We will continue to support their learning and with each unit pre-assessment, respond appropriately to their needs.

22. If parents opt-out of MAP testing, what will the process be for handling RtI for those students?

MAP testing is just one tool used. The outlined process would still occur without that valued piece of information.

23. How is RtI “culturally sensitive” to highly creative children who are “on track” to become artists, entrepreneurs, or spiritual leaders? How is RtI culturally sensitive to children with ADHD? Autism and nonverbal learning disorder?

Before making a decision about a student, all factors are considered about their individual background and talents, vs. treating all students like the teacher’s normal is the normal.

Gifted and Talented

24. Who will be working with the Tier II & Tier III high achievement groups? According to the RtI guidebook, students should have 1:3 or 1:1 help.

At this time, we have an interventionist at Atwater and a teacher at Lake Bluff instructing our high achievement math students in 7th grade acceleration.

25. What specifically is the district doing to support (monetarily, and with staffing) the gifted and talented children during RtI? Are G&T kids in Tier II? Is MAP used to identify them?

MAP is one tool used to identify our students in grades 1-10. There are students on both ends of the spectrum in Tier II; all are supported.

26. How should our district address our gifted and talented students using MAP scores? Let’s say a child is a 6th grader at the 99% with a math score comparable to a 10th grade 99% score. How do you use MAP to address his needs?

We would address that child’s needs by providing a differentiated curriculum for the units he or she has mastered.

27. If, as in the presentations today, all examples given were of “differentiating” and identifying kids who need advanced learning, do we have NO plan to provide this?

Teachers do differentiate. Our goal is to have it happen consistently across the District.

28. The person from CESA #1 stated that tier groups or intervention are evaluated every 4-9 weeks, but placement and evaluation of tier groups are based on MAP scores and goals.

Initial placement is based on MAP and other assessment and factors. Interventionist do evaluate every 4-9 weeks.


29. PBIS: What feedback have you received from teachers? How does this program compare to the character ed programs and restorative justice initiatives? How much does this program cost in comparison to restorative justice (which was singled out as one of the programs that may be cut due to budgetary concerns)?

Teachers asked for and appreciate the PBIS/SPBS philosophy. Character Ed and Restorative Practices are a wonderful blend to the philosophy and are used quite frequently in tandem.

What was singled out was additional training. All three practices will still occur in lieu of budget cuts.

30. When can we discuss PBIS?

You are welcome to contact any school or district administrator at your earliest convenience.


31. Mr. Stanco did not once mention EDM. What curriculum is he using?


32. How is this information used? I believed that it was to tailor instruction to the children (this belief was reinforced by Jason's (forgot his last name) presentation). Yet, Mr. Stanco's presentation was all about how the scores were used by the students to set their goals and build a plan to work towards them. From what I saw, this impacts ONLY the student and not the way we think of curriculum or instruction - i.e. we will continue to use the same curriculum and teach the same way - it's up to you, the student, to recognize the areas in which you are weak and set your goals to improve your scores from 211 to 240 - and use Khan Academy to do it.

To tailor student response to instruction.

33. Why were these initiatives chosen for Shorewood and what benefit have you seen from them? How much have they cost our district / expect to cost in the coming year? What feedback have you received from teachers regarding these initiatives - as they are the ones who implement these measures in practice and have to live them on a day-to-day basis.

The teaching philosophies used are best practice and aren’t new practices to Shorewood. There are many success stories and although we do not have a perfect model, as feedback is communicated updates are executed.

Our business manager is executing a costing for MAP and RtI.

Based on feedback, our teachers are fond of the practices.

34. Your presentation assumes that both LB and AT are doing the same things the same way. They are not. Kirk Juffer is the only LB presenter and you cut him short. Your audience is almost entirely LB parents and all we are learning is what is happening at Atwater. Why?

The RtI Committee is comprised of teachers/administrators from all 4 schools, and decisions made within that committee are for the District as a whole. Because RtI is driven by students and teachers, it will look different at each school, but the basic principles are the same.

Each principal was asked to present 10-15 minutes of the RtI area (behavioral or academic) of their choice with a team and share because it looks a bit different at each school. Dr. Juffer and Mr. Gemignani choose to present alone. Atwater sent a team and they shared what they do during the academic RtI time.

At the beginning of the forum, it was stated that questions would be taken at the end. Dr. Juffer was simply asked to follow protocol when questions were posed after his presentation.

If you have specific questions as to how RtI is being implemented at Lake Bluff, please talk to your student’s teacher or Dr. Juffer.

Posted by kwatson on Thursday April, 23, 2015


Choose groups to clone to:

District Calendar

    • WedApr04 SHS Linkage 7:15 PMSHS Conference Room #116
    • ThuApr05 Shorewood Library, Senior Center, Connects, and Historical Society Linkage 1:00 PMSHS Conference Room #116
    • ThuApr05 SIS Linkage 6:45 PMSHS Conference Room #116
    • TueApr10 Student Linkage 12:00 PMSHS Auditorium
    • TueApr10 School Board Meeting 7:00 PM
    • ThuApr12 Special Education Info Session 6:00 PMSHS Library
    • WedApr18 BID/Realtors Linkage 9:00 AMCommittee Room at Village Hall

powered by finalsite