VALPARAISO | The Valparaiso Community School Board gave verbal approval Monday to a tool said to help teachers better meet individual student learning needs.
Mastery Connect, an online data warehouse for formative assessments, allows teachers to share and discover common assessments and track mastery of state and Common Core standards.
Formative assessments monitor the academic achievement of students so teachers can adjust their instruction accordingly, Valparaiso Schools Superintendent Mike Berta said.
Bill Moran, director of technology with Valparaiso schools, and Beth Krutz, principal of Central Elementary School, presented information about the program, which was recommended by the district's technology committee.
Moran said the next step is to determine how to implement Mastery Connect and provide staff development opportunities to instruct teachers in its use.
Berta said teacher volunteers who are interested in the program initially will be sought to work with it.
Although the board was not required to formally approve the new technology, Berta said board members will need to consider how Mastery Connect fits in with the existing assessment tools in the district and whether some of those tools should be eliminated.
The board also looked at using the Valparaiso Redevelopment Commission's education grant of $265,720 for capital project-based acquisitions which enhance the problem solving, collaboration and analytical skills needed for 21st century global economy-based jobs.
The board's next meeting is 6 p.m. May 15 at the Valparaiso schools administration building, 3801 N. Campbell St.