Crafting Effective Student Assessment
An interview with Grapevine Faith Christian School and Rebecca Craft, ERB Consultant
Improving learning and enhancing teaching are the goals of the personalized relationship between an ERB school and its ERB consultant. As part of our continuing series showcasing these relationships, in this post, we speak with Lisa Pipes, Elementary Assistant Principal at Grapevine Faith Christian School in Grapevine, Texas and Rebecca Craft, M.Ed., an ERB Consultant since 2011 when she retired as an administrator at Rupert Oaks Baptist School and joined ERB.
ERB Member Services Consultant
Grapevine Faith Christian School
Elementary Assistant Principal
Q: When does the relationship begin with ERB?
Rebecca: Of course, relationships develop throughout the time a consultant is working with a prospective school. However, the relationship deepens significantly once the school joins ERB. These conversations are exciting. We are in a learner role, asking a lot of questions to find out what the school needs. Then we can discuss how the ERB tools can support their needs. If we were just selling a product, I would not be an effective consultant. I like the professional development aspect, whether I am walking a school through a webinar or talking with educators one-on-one to read reports and understand the school’s ERB data. And our relationships go deeper than the resources and professional development we provide. Last fall, one of our schools, Beth Yeshurun Day School, was flooded during Hurricane Harvey. They were renting space [after the hurricane] but couldn’t administer online testing in their rented space. I found a school with enough CTP 4 books for the school to test in late October. Trinity Classical School loaned Beth Yeshurun the booklets. Working with schools in this manner demonstrates our relationships as more than “customers.”
Lisa: Rebecca has been a teacher and a principal, so she gets what we’re doing. It’s her personal attention that leads you, models, and makes a difference. ERB gives you so much data. We use the CTP 4 for 3rd through 9th grades, and it’s our first year with Inform for 3rd through 8th grades. Rebecca is helping us pilot the ISEE this year. It’s user-friendly, but it takes someone showing you how to utilize what ERB gives you. I’ve also been to three ERB conferences so far and they are really well done.
Q: Why ERB?
Lisa: This is our third year with ERB. I learned about it at another conference and was impressed with the experience of the consultants and with the assessments. [ERB] has been around for so long that I don’t know how other assessment companies even hold a candle to it. What really sold me was when I was in the inquiry phase, ERB was really attentive. Their customer service was impeccable then, and that’s held true ever since. It’s nice to have someone on the phone at any second. They are so patient with every question I have.
We went straight to online testing when we joined ERB, and we were terrified that our network wasn’t that strong. But [our network] has been fine. If I have an ERB question on testing day, it’s fixed in real time, and I love the instant data from the online testing.
Q: How has ERB helped with a recent assessment challenge?
Lisa: We have been looking at our math curriculum because of the ERB longitudinal studies, which make it easier to dig into our math scores. It’s great to go to the portal and have the data stream ready to go. Rebecca’s training helped show our teachers how to read their own reports and understand what they were looking at. From this, they have really been able to tailor learning.
We created “I Can” bins for Pre-Kindergarten through 2nd grade, which I learned about from an ERB conference. Every child has his or her own bin based on his or her CPAA results. In that bin is a personalization of skill games and worksheets that change every week. This takes differentiation to the next step.
Rebecca: Last August 2017, Grapevine asked that I come for a full day of professional development. At the conclusion, the faculty feedback was quite positive. They saw immediately how they could return to their classrooms and use the information they had received. Theory and information could be put into practice. I love going from theory to practice. Having been both a teacher and administrator, I have “been there.” That experience lends credibility. I can share with confidence how they can use ERB data to impact what they are doing in the classroom.
|This is the sixth and final profile in a series between ERB and its member schools. Read how The Community School of Naples in Naples, FL gets the most out of their relationship with ERB Consultant Jason Lasnetski.|