Instruction & Assessment


CBMS stand for Curriculum Based Measure. These are short assessments that students participate in to measure their progress in a given subject area. Typically, these can be a one minute reading of a grade level sample looking for reading fluency, a timed math test looking at computational or problem solving skills, or a writing sample. All students at Pleasant Ridge School participate in Reading and Math CBM’s minimally 3 times per year, including August/September, January, and May.

Class List Process and Input Forms

One of our most important tasks is the placement of students in next year’s classes. The staff of Lyon School and Pleasant Ridge School prepare class lists on an annual basis. Our classroom teachers, fine arts team, special services team, and administrators work closely together to determine an appropriate placement for each child. Our goal is to develop balanced heterogeneous classrooms that promote each child’s opportunity to learn and grow. In doing this, we consider a wide variety of factors including academic achievement, academic needs, interpersonal skills, personalities, behavior, special needs, and class size. Once each of the class groups are developed, then finally we assign the classroom instructor for the upcoming school year.

Each year we offer parents and guardians the opportunity to provide input in the placement process. This input is used in order to place children within an effective peer cohort. We ask parents to use the Parent Input Form to describe your perceptions of the unique characteristics of your child in the areas listed. These factors reflect the type of information we consider in developing classes, and help us to place each child in the class we feel will provide the best opportunity for continued growth.

In fairness to all students, please understand that we cannot honor requests for specific teachers. We ask that everyone remember that our goal is to balance classroom composition.


Homeroom Classrooms, Pods, & TREE

Homeroom Classrooms
Every child at Pleasant Ridge School is assigned to a grade level homeroom classroom. This is a group of students that are the same age who study the core subjects together under the leadership of on classroom teacher. Currently, class sizes are capped at 24 students per classroom. However, at times the Board of Education has changed the class size cap. Prior to the 2008-09 school year, class caps were 26 students for 3rd grade and 28 students for 4th and 5th grades.

Each classroom teacher and student are members of a pod. This is a group of 3-4 classrooms in which the instructors share instructional ideas, collaborate on activities, review data and assessments together. Often the classrooms will share instructional activities and a child may participate in instructional activities in multiple classrooms within the pod.

The TREE stands for Technology Rich Educational Environment. Students in the TREE program are members of a homeroom classroom and a pod. In addition, the stay together as a cohort for 3 school years and participate in multi-age activities with the other homeroom classrooms within the TREE during the 3 year period.


The NWEA stands for Northwest Evaluation Association. This company is the maker of our computerized national assessment called the MAP (Measure of Annual Progress). Students participate in MAP assessments on the computer at Pleasant Ridge School in September, January, and April/May. The information provided allows us to identify the students’ current level of achievement and skills in which each child needs to grow in. The data is returned quickly to teachers, often within 2-3 days and frequently can be reported to parents within the month. We utilize this data as a national measure to guide our instruction and evaluate our programming.


PLC stands for Professional Learning Community. This is an instructional planning process that all instructional staff participate in at Pleasant Ridge School. Teachers meet as either subject area teams, grade level teams, or pods and ask 4 critical questions in this process

What must all children know within this class?
How will we know that they have learned this?
What do we do once they have learned it?
What do we do when they do not learn this? 

This process leads our teams to agree upon and organize “essential outcomes,” clear learning goals for each class that each child must know regardless of instructor or classroom. In order to determine this, the instructors agree upon a “common assessment,” or tool that will show regardless of instructor or classroom that the child has learned the essential outcome. Furthermore, teachers work together to develop enrichment opportunities for children who master essential outcomes quickly and intervention opportunities for children who need additional support. Working together to agree upon learning outcomes, analyze data, and develop enrichment and interventions allows us to create a more effective instructional program for all students.