In the first few weeks of January, the Timberlane Regional School District will offer students an opportunity to participate in the Tripod Project Survey for the fourth year. This academic survey serves as an important tool for improving the teaching and learning at Timberlane and is designed with the developmental age of students in mind. An early elementary paper and pencil academic survey is provided for students in grades K-2, and online upper elementary and secondary academic surveys are provided for students in grades 3-5 and 6-12. Each participating teacher is assigned an identification number, which students use to login and take the academic survey. No personal student information is provided at any time. The academic survey is tied only to the teacher to inform him or her in improving instructional strategies. Academic survey questions speak to students’ classroom and school experiences as they are related to:
• Care: teacher shows concern and commitment
• Clarify: teacher cultivates understanding and helps students to overcome confusion
• Challenge: teacher press for rigor and persistence
• Captivate: teacher inspires curiosity and interest
• Classroom management: teacher sustains order, respect and focus
• Confer: teacher invites ideas and promotes discussion
• Consolidating Knowledge: ideas are connected and integrated
Student Background Items:
A small sampling of student background items is included at the conclusion of the academic survey. These questions allow Tripod to capture trends in school experiences and to compute scores that are normed based on comparable classrooms across the country. They are used for internal purposes only and not included in reports. Questions are general and related to the student’s grade in school, language spoken in the home, ethnicity (at the secondary level), parent level of education, availability of technology and literacy materials in the home. These questions can be skipped by the student if preferred.
We very much value the opinions and input offered by the students. Our commitment to providing the best opportunities and experiences for students is the purpose for the administration of this academic survey, as it is one of the single most valid tools for determining teacher effectiveness and student success. The information gained is valuable to the teacher, the school and the district as we work toward continuous improvement. It is the intent of the District to provide parents with any and all information related to the academic survey. Although publishing of the academic survey is prohibited based on intellectual property rights, all parents have received notification and been invited to review it in its entirety upon request. Additionally, parents have complete latitude to have their children opt out.
Instructional Rounds will be scheduled in January as part of the district’s ongoing commitment to support our building administrators, educators and support staff in best instructional practices.
Timberlane will continue to use valuable tools like academic surveys and instructional rounds to inform on educational best practices and to emphasize the district’s charge to increase the rigor, accountability, evaluation and support that drives student achievement. We will also continue to work at effective communication and collaboration with our communities, as we seek a respectful and productive dialogue based on factual information and the assumption of positive intentions.