ALASKA WEEK OF CODE December 4th – 8th

AK week of code

What is coding?

Simply put, ‘coding’ is giving instructions to computers to do something. It is what makes it possible for us to create computer software, apps and websites. Your internet browser, the apps on your phone, Facebook, and this website – they’re all made with code, by people who code.

Why learn coding?

Computer science informs almost every aspect of our lives, from communications to shopping to national security and government.  Coding is the basic foundation of computer science, and an area that every public school can benefit from teaching.  And the best thing is that ANYONE can learn to code.

Learn from the Experts

How to participate in The Alaska Week of Code

Our goal is simple: Introduce more Alaskan students to coding! Check out the following links for fast and easy ways to get you or your students coding today:

Going beyond The Alaska Week of Code

Register your school’s participation!  Let’s fill up the Alaska map!

Show your work!

Let us know on social media how your class, school, district is participating with the hashtags #AlaskaWeekOfCode and #aklearns.

2016 – 2017 Common Quarterly Writing Assessment/Narrative Q1


2016 Common Quarterly Narrative Writing Prompts, Rubrics, and Directions have been updated.

Quarter 1 Narrative Common Assessments

Please check to be sure you have the most recent rubrics and prompts.  Note: Some prompts have remained the same and others have changed. There are some grade levels that overlap – for example, Grade 6 teachers may choose the elementary prompt or the middle school prompt. Please choose the best prompt for your students and collaboration teams.

The Middle School ELA CQA Committee met, and since the AMP is no longer, the committee decided to reinstate the Narrative Writing Prompt for first Quarter! Please note this change.  The grade 7 and 8 grade Narrative Rubric has been added to the Quarter 1.

The ELA Writing Committee encourages all teachers to use the standard-reference rubrics throughout the school year, not just for the common assessments.

Click here for Quarter 1 Scoring Guides

If you have any questions, please contact Melissa Linton at ext. 8861


CQA K-8 Math Assessments discontinued


Welcome to the 2016-2017 school year!   After reviewing assessment calendars and requirements for students, the district instructional team decided that administering KPBSD Common Quarterly Math Assessments in grades K-8 were no longer a requirement.  We encourage teachers to work at the school level to develop common assessments that meet the needs of your students and your PLC goals.

If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact Melissa Linton at x8861.

Common Quarterly Math Assessment Memo

Elementary Standards Referenced Reporting Committee

The SRR Committee met on 1/14/16 and saw that while there is still a need to support the growth of our teachers in their ability to understand and use SRR to the fullest benefit of our students, overall, the results show dramatic changes in teacher knowledge and practices.  As has been typical, approximately 33% of elementary teachers responded to the survey.  Among other celebrations, committee members noted that for the first time in our district, almost 95% of responding teachers indicated they “know how to help students use standards-referenced rubrics and scores to advance their learning.”  This reflects huge growth over the last three years, and the committee sincerely appreciates the time and effort everyone has dedicated to learning how to use this approach successfully.  This information, along with a copy of each site’s survey results, were sent to principals in late January, 2016.

Additional important points the Committee wanted to convey to all teachers include:

  • The Standards Referenced Reporting Committee carefully reviewed the survey results from the December 2015 survey, and extends their appreciation to everyone who took the time to respond.
  • With a response rate of 33%, the committee noted that while a quarter of teachers supported adding the science standards to the report card, 20% or less supported adding social studies, health, or fine arts standards.
  • Comments from survey respondents indicated there is still a need for strengthening understanding and use of standards based grading practices across elementary schools in the district, but that overall, teachers indicated they are both confident and skilled in the use of standards and standards referenced reporting.
  • In light of the input provided through the survey, the limited professional development resources likely available with declining budgets, and the other topics demanding the attention of teachers and parents, the committee decided not to add any other standards to the elementary report card or make further modifications to the report card.  We are working on adding the NGSS standards into PowerTeacher so that teachers can attach them to assignments if they wish (but they will not show up on the report card.)  We are also working on adding a summary of science units by grade that teachers could attach as a quarterly comment to the report card, if they wish.
  • The committee did want to make sure that all elementary teachers were aware that a change in the language on the report card (and on all tools in the ‘S’ drive) was implemented near the start of this school year in response to teacher feedback.  Specifically, the language of the 0-4 scale was edited to indicate the score applies to the “expected” or “taught” parts of the standard, rather than “all” of the standard to resolve concerns of teachers that use of the word “all” caused confusion.

The district is also currently developing summary statements of each elementary science unit that will be loaded into PowerTeacher as an option for teachers to use when adding comments on the report card.  Also, as a result of requests from high school science teachers, the Next Generation Science Standards will also be loaded into PowerTeacher so teachers can link standards to assignments or record observations of the standards, if they wish.  It is important that elementary teachers note that the NGSS standards will not show up on the report card, though.  Questions regarding this information may be directed to a site principal, an Effective Instruction coach, or Christine Ermold, Ed.D., Director of Elementary Education and Professional Development.


2015 Quarter 1, Common Quarterly Writing Assessment Prompts and Directions

Please click HERE to view the 2015 Common Quarterly Writing Assessment Prompts, Directions and K-6 Scoring Guides.

Our common writing assessments have changed to an on-demand performance task so that our students can have experiences similar to those they will encounter on the State AMP Assessment.


This information will also be posted to the KPBSD Common Assessment Webpage at:

Please email Melissa Linton if you have questions or need assistance.


Assessment Literacy Course Opportunity

The KPBSD Curriculum and Assessment Department is offering certified teachers the opportunity to participate in a 3 credit graduate course to enhance professional practice in the area of assessment design.  Teachers will learn how the assessment experts from AAI (our AMP developers) create high-quality, standards-based, common assessments.  Teachers are encouraged to work in teams to build our bank of common assessments.  All content areas are invited and teachers should seek approval from their school administrator before applying.

Click HERE for more information or contact Melissa Linton at extension x8861 or email


Reminder: How to find online Pearson Products

Good Morning!  I hope everyone is having an amazing first day of school!  I just wanted to send out a friendly reminder that if you are looking for instructions on how to access online Pearson Products such as Successnet, Successnet Plus, and Realize you can find everything you would want to know on our district website at:

Have a wonderful school year!

Melissa Linton

Curriculum and Assessment Coordinator




Updated Narrative Standard Referenced Writing Rubrics – 2015

Good afternoon!

The Narrative Standards Referenced Writing Rubrics have been updated.  There has been a slight change for grades 7 and 8 in the quarterly writing assessment sequence. The ELA Standards shift their emphasis from narrative to informative writing and to support this shift, we will assess informative writing in both first and second quarter.

Click here for Narrative Rubrics

Click here for 7/8 Informative Rubrics

Argument Opinion Writing will remain in place for all grade levels for the third quarter.

Quarter 1: K-6 – Narrative, 7/8 Informative, 9-12 Narrative

Quarter 2: K-12 – Informative

Quarter 3: K-12 Argument/Opinion

*Research – W.4 is assessed when it makes best sense for the teacher to do so.

Prompts, directions and scoring guides will be updated shortly. Information regarding the quarterly writing assessments will be posted on the Instruction Blog, the web page and emailed directly to principals, PD Liaisons, and School Assessment Coordinators.

If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact Melissa Linton, ext. 8861 or

NEW Middle School Science Units and Resources

This summer, a cadre of dedicated KPBSD Middle School Science Teachers collaborated to design coherent units of instruction to support our middle school science curriculum.  This is the District’s first attempt to create and purposefully share teacher made materials that will be utilized as the core material for our curriculum. EXCITING!!!

Below are draft unit resources we have developed and we invite you to use them. The science teachers will continue to add and revise these units, so please send feedback and suggestions to Melissa Linton.  Finally, we hope to add formative and summative assessments starting this fall.

GRADE 6 MS Science Units

GRADE 7 MS Science Units

GRADE 8 MS Science Units

Additional resources can be found in the KPBSD Shared (S:) – District-wide staff shared – Middle School Science Folder

We hope these materials and resources are helpful! Have a wondering school year.