Last updated: January 15. 2014 3:36PM - 1445 Views
David Broyles dbroyles@civitasmedia.com

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The Surry County School School System has completed its preliminary training sessions for principals and staff on a new option to allow students to accelerate their learning.

According to Director of Secondary Curriculum and Instruction Jill Reinhardt, the Credit by Demonstrated Mastery (CDM) program will allow students to personalize learning more by earning course credit without the requirement of specific seat time in class. Students must show they have mastered course material to qualify.

Reinhardt indicated the NC State Board has approved the policy and will begin in the Surry County School System in spring 2014.

“All students taking high school courses in Surry County Schools are eligible to apply. Students will be required to complete a two-phase process in order to demonstrate a deep understanding of the knowledge, skills, and understandings of the course content,” said Reinhardt. ”

The process for CDM includes an application and an assessment in Phase I (state EOCs, post-assessments, or local assessments). Phase II will include student demonstration of content knowledge through artifacts and performance assessments. Students are required to demonstrate command of the content in Phase I and Phase II.

Material supplied by the system indicates all high school courses are eligible except Career and Technical Education (CTE) work-based learning courses (co-op, internship, apprenticeship) CTE courses which have a clinical setting as a requirement of the course, such as ProStart, Early Childhood Education I/II and Nursing Fundamentals, CTE Advanced Studies courses, English Language Learner (ELL) courses, Healthful Living required courses and Advanced Placement/IB courses.

The process for acquiring high school credit through CDM begins when students apply for Credit by Demonstrated Mastery by Feb. 12. The process will take place three times per year: spring, summer, and fall.

Students will take the assessment for the course (Phase I — EOCs, final exams, or post-assessments) in late February and if they meet the requirements, they next develop their artifacts or presentations, developed by Surry County Schools, and present them to a school-level CDM Review Panel. Students and parents will be notified of scores after each phase.

The time line for Surry County Schools calls for parents and students will be informed of the process by Jan. 24 with students taking Phase I assessments the last two weeks of February with results of Phase I reported to students and parents by the first week of March.

The remainder of March will be for Schedule Phase 2 artifact work for students who achieved the required standard on the assessment and the first two weeks of April will be when the school-level artifact reviews are done. Students and their families have an appeals process in April and May before appeal decisions are finalized, results are shared and fall semester schedules are changed.

“We believe customizing educational opportunities for students is our future and is the right thing for our students,” Assistant Superintendent of the Surry County Schools Dr. Terri Mosley. “Students can create their own path for their own learning through multiple avenues as offered by Surry County Schools Credit by Demonstrated Mastery, Career and College Promise, and Surry Virtual Academy, just to name a few.”

Students and their families can learn more about CDM by contacting their school or by accessing the web site https://surry.haikulearning.com/reinhardtj/creditbydemonstratedmastery. Questions may be submitted electronically through this form tinyurl.com/creditbymastery.

Each school will have applications on hand and are prepared to counsel students and their families as they make decisions as to whether or not to pursue CDM.

Reach David Broyles at dbroyles@civitasmedia.com or 336-32501952.

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