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Social Studies Department Objectives

 Objective 1: To continue to complete and analyze common benchmarks and assessments in all Social Studies courses to improve student achievement. This will include quarterly benchmarks and a common final to be administered in December 2005 and June 2006 in all Social Studies courses.  

Why Objective was selected: The Social Studies department needs common assessments in order to generate data that can be used to better serve our students and to improve student achievement. These assessments will allow the department to make adjustments to the curriculum and individual teaching choices to improve student achievement. This will include a focus on increasing standardized test scores department-wide.  

How Objective relates to the standards and the school vision/ESLRs/direction: Our common benchmarks and finals will align with district and state standards for each course. All Social Studies courses incorporate the ESLRs on a regular basis. This objective addresses our school vision of being data driven by generating useful data that can be used by the department to make improvements.   

Activities to Meet Objective: (a) The Social Studies Department has met twice monthly and will continue to do so for the remainder of the year. Each meeting includes an update on common benchmarks and finals. Each teacher in the department is responsible for creating benchmarks and collaborating to create common finals; (b) In addition to the above mentioned objective, the Social Studies Department will evaluate one course at a time to improve student achievement. This will include an analysis of benchmarks and finals with the goal of improving teacher cohesion in terms of planning and pacing for the 2006-2007 school year; (c) During department meetings, teachers will cross read benchmarks and finals to assess student achievement on department benchmark assessments and finals; (d) Analyze the data generated from department benchmark assessments and finals to see if students are learning. Additionally, examine prior years assessments and finals to see if more students understand the material; (e) Teachers will continue to refine and assess the effectiveness of department-wide benchmarks and finals. In addition, teachers will refine or change teaching practices to ensure student success.  

How will this objective be monitored and by whom: The Social Studies Department as a whole will monitor this objective, with guidance from the department chair and school administration. The department will analyze data to assess the success of this objective. Findings will exist and be submitted to administration along with recommended next steps to improve curriculum to support student achievement.  

Objective 2: To utilize assessment data from STAR, parents, students, and other appropriate departmental assessments to improve teaching and learning with a focus on revamping the ninth grade social studies course and increasing support for English Language Learners to ensure improved academic achievement.  

Why Objective was selected: This objective was chosen to address the challenges that new students face at San Rafael High School. Ninth graders and English Language Learners are two populations that need to drastically improve achievement.    Appropriate data from standardized tests, rubrics, and informal ongoing assessments will be used to evaluate our success and help us to make curricular adjustments.  

How Objective relates to the standards and the school vision/ESLRs/direction: The State Standards, District Standards, and school site vision wish to ensure student success. Analyzing appropriate data will help the department support students, especially ninth graders and English Language Learners, to achieve success.  

Activities to Meet Objective: (a) As part of regularly scheduled department meetings, staff will analyze the above-mentioned data as it relates to ninth grade and English Language Learner achievement;  (b) Staff will formulate proposals to address these student populations. This will include a proposal for revamping the ninth grade course and addressing language acquisition in all social studies courses.  

How will this objective be monitored and by whom: The Social Studies Department as a whole will monitor this objective, with guidance from the department chair and school administration. During regular meetings and Buy Back time, the department will assess CST and benchmark scores to ensure the success of this action plan.