The extensive supervisory and consultative experience of InterPrep’s principal, Greg Duncan, leads many schools and school districts to secure his services to evaluate their language programs. Whether as a part of a required cycle of evaluation or as a one-time occurrence, many schools want to know how they “stack up” against today’s standards for foreign language learning and today’s best practice. The thorough and extensive approach used by InterPrep to review existing instructional documents, visit classrooms of teachers, speak with teachers, students, administrators, counselors, parents and board members allows for a complete examination of the program and builds a solid foundation from which to make recommendations for the future.
Frequently, schools maintain a relationship with InterPrep following the program evaluation to facilitate the development and implementation of a long-range plan for program improvement.
Two examples of InterPrep’s involvement in program evaluation follow.
Trevor Day School (New York City)
Housed in buildings on both sides of Central Park, the Trevor Day School is one of New York City’s finest independent schools. Taking pride in its experiential and constructivist approach to learning, the school seeks to educate the total child toward the goal of independent learning. A respected component of the Trevor fabric has been its foreign language program, and when leadership changes prompted the school to take a closer look at the language program’s effectiveness, they turned to InterPrep to conduct the program audit.
Following a review of all available curriculum and instructional documentation, InterPrep’s principal, Greg Duncan, visited classrooms; met with teachers in groups and individually; consulted with division directors (lower, middle and high schools); and, had extensive conversations with the Head of School and her assistant. The result was the development of a suggested plan for program growth that included the designation of proficiency targets for 5th, 8th and 12th Grades; the use of external assessments to determine if benchmark goals were being achieved; development of a PK-12 standards-based curriculum; continued professional development of staff; and a modification of program direction in the lower school.
InterPrep was asked to continue in a consultative capacity to assist the school in further refinement and implementation of its growth plan.
West Windsor-Plainsboro (NJ) Regional School District
The West Windsor-Plainsboro schools serve a suburban community in central New Jersey, located about one hour from New York City. Rapid and extensive growth in the district’s well-respected world language program prompted the district to want a review of its program in terms of articulation and language offering.
InterPrep was engaged to perform the program review, but the district chose a more unconventional path to achieve its goal: the consultant was asked to facilitate a review that would partially be carried out by a representative group of program teachers. Honoring this wish, InterPrep (1) worked with the teacher group to identify all paper documentation that needed to be reviewed and to create rubrics for evaluating it; (2) assisted the teacher group in development of online surveys to be completed by all program teachers, students, counselors, administrators, parents, central office staff and board members; and (3) created, with the teachers and supervisors, a schedule for classroom observations to be carried out by the consultant. The teacher group conducted the documentation review, completed associated rubrics and posted and analyzed results of the online surveys. The consultant observed all teachers; wrote reflections of the observations; conducted focus groups with teachers, students, administrators, counselors, parents, central office staff and board members; and, completed reflections of these meetings.
Following collection of all the above data, meetings with the consultant, the teacher group and language supervisors were conducted to review all findings and to make collaborative recommendations to the board of education for program growth.