Leisa Morton-Standish, PhD
Director of Elementary Education
Dr. Leisa Morton-Standish is the Director of Elementary Education at the North American Division.
She has taught in small rural schools as well as in large urban schools. She has taught on the east and west coasts of the U.S, both in and out of the Adventist education system, and overseas. She has also spent a considerable part of her career teaching at universities, including the University of Maryland, Washington Adventist University and Macquarie University.
Leisa holds a PhD in Curriculum and Instruction from the University of Maryland, an MA in Education from California State University and a Diploma in Education from Avondale College.
Leisa is committed to Christ and the ideals of the Seventh-day Adventist Church. Her first love is the classroom where she can share her passion for learning and her love for Jesus.
s schools open this fall there is a lot of variety in how classrooms will operate. In a time of uncertainty, one thing we do know is that it is critical to establish the best way to meet our students’ instructional, social, emotional, and spiritual needs. One important way to establish students’ instructional needs is to measure students’ academic loss or gains due to COVID-19 school closures and the varied learning experiences of students while at home. We need to determine what specific instructional units need to be prioritized. Teachers will need reliable data to make these informed decisions. One tool teachers can use this year to obtain that data is Measures of Academic Progress (MAP) Growth testing.
Many schools will need to test remotely. This may be a new and unfamiliar experience for some teachers. The key is to plan and be prepared for the test administration. The NAD has resources on testing remotely. We are making the following available:
It is important to consider that each student will have a different testing environment, so good communication with parents will be vital. Schools will need to ensure that parents know this isn’t a high-stakes test, but rather an assessment to help teachers give their students the best instruction possible. Parents can help by giving students a quiet space to take the assessment and letting their child complete the assessment on their own. To get these messages across, schools can communicate directly with parents via email or other established communication tools.
In addition to keeping good communication with parents, schools can help students by:
• Supporting students emotionally – this has been a difficult time for students, and it will be important to alleviate test anxiety and other possible emotional barriers to success. Building relationships and trust with your students and helping them to understand the purpose of growth testing will aid in supporting a successful assessment experience.
• Utilizing the practice tests - teachers can use MAP Growth practice tests to resolve any technical challenges and get comfortable with the remote testing process.
• Establishing technology protocols - Do students have good internet access? Are their devices updated and ready? Do parents know what is expected?
Our hope and prayer is that MAP Growth testing will enhance your students’ learning experience this school year. Remember, NWEA has provided each conference with an implementation specialist at no cost to you to help make this a smooth transition.
with MAP Growth
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