Department of Curriculum and Instruction
The Department of Curriculum, Instruction, and Technology of Holly Area Schools is committed to ensuring that every student is provided access to high quality, rigorous, and effective instruction. This is accomplished through a focus on best instructional practices and differentiated instruction to meet the unique needs of each learner.
Our curriculum is aligned with the State and National Standards. All of our schools follow the same curriculum at each grade level. The district recently earned Systems Accreditation status through the AdvancED Accreditation Commission, a national commission dedicated to improving student performance. This means that Holly Area Schools and all of its schools are accredited. Accreditation also demonstrates to our students, parents, and community that we are focused on raising student achievement, providing a safe and enriching learning environment, and maintaining an efficient and effective operation staffed by highly qualified educators.
Over the past few years, our department in collaboration with principals and teachers has met some very ambitious goals. The following are some of the highlighted efforts to increase teaching and learning across the district.
- Implemented a uniform school improvement process
- Developed a new elementary schedule structure
- Adopted a new and improved teacher evaluation system
- Modernized student computers across the district
- Engaged principals in an administrative professional learning community
- Increased teacher leader capacity through the addition of department and data advisors
- Implemented an aligned and documented curriculum in HAS Atlas Rubicon
- Continued the development of local common assessments in grades Y5 – 12
- Partnered with Battle Creek Math & Science Center to train K – 5 teachers on new NGSS Science Standards and provide students with aligned curriculum resources
- Partnered with Oakland Schools to provide training for 6 – 12 science teachers on the new NGSS Science Standards
- Developed a new universal data protocol to improve the way teachers collect and analyze data
The Holly Area Schools curriculum can be found online. Please go to Holly Area Schools Atlas Curriculum.
This spring, your school district will administer state tests designed to provide important information on student knowledge and their progress toward being career- and college-ready upon graduation. These tests are required by federal and state laws. Schools and districts use these test results for school improvement initiatives that benefit all students. The data gathered from this year’s state assessments will help educators support students when they return to school in the fall and move forward with their education.
Students in grades 3-10 will participate in the following assessments:
- M-STEP English language arts (ELA) and mathematics (grades 3-7)
- PSAT 8/9 (grade 8)
- M-STEP science and social studies (grades 5 and 8)
- PSAT 8/9 (grade 9)•PSAT 10 (grade 10)
Grade 11 students will participate in the Michigan Merit Examination (MME), which has three required components:
- SAT with Essay college entrance exam that also measures student knowledge on Michigan’s ELA and mathematics standards
- ACT WorkKeys work skills assessment
- M-STEP science and social studies
We want your child’s state testing experience to be as stress-free as possible. Your positive outlook will support your child’s experience. State assessment results do not affect your student’s grades in any way.
On average, a student will spend no more than three hours on M-STEP mathematics and ELA tests. Students in grades 5, 8, and 11 will spend an additional two hours on science and social studies testing.
While we support parents in making choices for their children, there is no acceptable way under state or federal law to allow an “opt-out” of state assessments. Last year, requirements for 95 percent participation in state assessments were waived by the U.S. Department of Education due to COVID-19 restrictions. However, this is no longer the case for 2022. Students who are not assessed this year will count against their school’s required 95 percent participation rate, which will create an incomplete picture of their school’s performance.
Annual assessments provide information on how Michigan students perform and how well our schools and districts are teaching students compared to those in other communities, states, and nations. Assessment results help target support and resources to students and schools that need them most. The test results may also inform future state education programs and policies to help Michigan students catch up on learning that was delayed due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
You can find information about Michigan’s state assessment system on our website, www.michigan.gov/oeaa. An excellent place to start is with the handout “Michigan’s State Assessment System: What It Is, What It Means, and What It Offers.” Additional information, including how to help your child prepare for M-STEP testing, is available at www.michigan.gov/mstep.
Michael F. Rice, Ph.D.
State Assessment Results
Positive 2017 State Assessment Results for Holly Area Schools
Each spring, our students participate in Michigan’s statewide summative tests.
- The M-Step - students in grades 3 - 8
- The PSAT - students in grades 9 & 10
- The MME - students in grade 11
- The MME includes the SAT, the ACT WorkKeys, M-Step Science, and M-Step Social Studies.
State assessment results are designed to provide information on student knowledge and ability in relation to grade-level content standards. Schools use the results to help plan curriculum and determine school improvement initiatives.
From this year’s results, we see a number of positive takeaways for Holly Area Schools.
- HAS students scored at or above the state average in 30 different areas among the tested grade levels.
- With the exception of only two areas, HAS students scored above the state average in all grade levels at all four elementary buildings, the middle school, and high school in English Language Arts (ELA)!
- HAS experienced an increase in the percentage of students proficient in Math from the Spring 2016 to Spring 2017 in nearly 75% of the scorable areas among all tested grade levels at the elementary and middle school.
- HAS students scored above the state average at the elementary, middle school, and high school levels in Social Studies.
- HAS students scored above the state average at the middle school and high school in Science.
Overall, we continue to see positive growth with our achievement. This year’s results represent some of our highest scores in years. It should also be noted that our dedication and commitment to our students goes well beyond preparing them for a single statewide standardized assessment. Our passion for continuous improvement of teaching and learning through our aligned school improvement initiatives provide the added benefit of overall achievement gains no matter what assessment or measurement is being administered. One does not need to look much further than our buildings and classrooms to see evidence of the great many things that students are learning and achieving at Holly Area Schools.
Congratulations to our students, parents, teachers, and principals for their hard work. I am very excited about what the coming years will bring with continued progress towards our goals as we further dedicate ourselves to our school improvement initiatives.
Scott M. Roper
Assistant Superintendent of Curriculum, Instruction, Assessment, & Technology