Anderson Mill Elementary School
Annual Report to the Community 2019-2020
The History of Anderson Mill
Students & Staff
Our teachers continuously participate in yearlong professional development sessions to increase their knowledge of integrating content area and technology in literacy. In addition, our teachers have embraced innovative practices for increasing student engagement, fostering critical thinking, and expanding depth of knowledge. Our school also continues to offer a variety of intervention programs for both reading and math, as well as various enrichment opportunities for students. This year we received funding for the Distinguished Art Program Grant to provide all students with hand-on, engaging visual and performing arts experiences, as well received the honor of becoming a TransformSC School. The implementation of these programs, in conjunction with a rigorous curriculum and an individualized approach to instruction, have increased student achievement on standardized and classroom assessments. By creating a more individualized approach to teaching and learning, we are working to meet the needs of learners from every subgroup in our diverse student population.
Academic Success and Challenges
On our most recent standardized testing, the students at Anderson Mill continued to excel in the areas of ELA, Reading, Math, and Social Studies. Students in grades three through five took the SC Ready Assessment in the spring of last year. In the area of ELA, 79% of 3rd grade students, 77% of fourth grade students, and 78% of fifth grades students scored in the "Exceeds, Meets, or Approaching" range for the assessment. In the area of Math, 85% of third grade students, 83% of fourth grade students, and 69% of fifth grade students scored in the "Exceeds, Meets, or Approaching" range for the assessment. Students in fourth grade took the SC PASS assessment for Science with 77% scoring "Meets and Exceeds." Students in fifth grade took the SC PASS assessment for Social Studies with 69% scoring "Meets and Exceeds."
The results of these assessments are being used to help drive our instructional practices toward a more rigorous approach to curriculum and assessments. The incorporation of assessment items that require a greater depth of knowledge have been added to our formative and summative assessment tools. Teachers are adding more project based learning experiences that allow students to engage in critical thinking and creative problem solving. Our professional development has been centered on taking a closer look at the whole child, increasing rigor in the classroom, and initiating engaging, hands-on learning experiences, such as LittleBits, Lego Robotics, Bloxels, Mars Mapping, and Sphero Robots. In addition, our full-time literacy coach works with teachers, our five reading interventionists, and our administrative team in professional learning communities to refine instructional strategies and analyze student data. Anderson Mill Elementary is committed to providing a high quality educational experience for students of unique backgrounds, talents, and interests.
Student social and emotional health are important components to our instructional program, as well. Our faculty completed Compassionate Schools training to understand how to best serve children who have experienced a wide variety of adverse childhood experiences. Guidance counselors teach monthly guidance lessons to students in grades one through five and weekly guidance lessons to students in kindergarten. The lessons are designed around several key character traits: a positive mental attitude, compassion, perseverance, respect, cooperation, initiative, and integrity. These character traits are also connected to our school discipline policy and students are taught to reflect on their infractions through the lens of our six character traits. Incentives for good character such as our Terrific Kid program, Good School Citizen Award, and You Had Me at ROAR (Anti-Bully Prevention) reinforce positive behavior and recognize students who display good character.
Our school embraces activities designed to improve student nutrition, physical fitness, and overall health. Students have the opportunity to participate in activities such as Walk at School Day, First Tee Golf, Youth Advisory Council, Early Bird Gym, Garden Club, Soccer Club, Boys on the Run, and Girls on the Run. These activities, in conjunction with our physical fitness initiatives, generate enthusiasm for maintaining a healthy lifestyle. Each morning our Youth Advisory Council sells healthy snack options for students at our Grab and Go Snack Cart. An additional playground was added to our campus this year to provide students with additional opportunities to build social and emotional skills while engaging in physical fitness. At Anderson Mill, our intent is to educate the whole child while upholding the ideals in our mission statement and supporting our students on their journey toward college or career readiness.
We also have a wonderful group of parents and community members who serve on our School Improvement Council. This group of dedicated individuals meet on a monthly basis to discuss the direction of our school improvement plan. Through parent surveys and teacher forums, the SIC works to determine the needs of our stakeholders and implement strategies and action steps to meet those needs. Because of SIC's support of our free school-wide events, desire to build new relationships with local business and community members, and dedication to the overall school community, our school is able to continue our endeavor to improve in all facets of education.
In addition, we have many parents and community members that volunteer to serve the students and teachers at Anderson Mill. School Board member and parent, Reverend Kevin Harrison, and Mrs. Audrey Hailstock, author and community member, selflessly volunteer their time each week to mentor a group of fifth grade boys and girls. Mrs. Diane Throneburg, community member, tirelessly works in our media center every week to shelve books, help with checkout, and assist children with finding that "just right book." We have many parents who make photocopies, read with children, help with bulletin boards, volunteer at our Book Fair, and participate in our Career Day event. For these and many others, we are extremely grateful that they invest their time in our school and with our children!
School Improvement Council Members
Jennifer Lypps-Eckerich - PTO Co-President
Kari Lillis - Nurse
Natasha Pitts - Parent
Samuel Benson - Parent
Courtney Giles - Parent
Chunsta Miller - Parent
James Tobias - Parent
Scott Bryant - Community Member
Eric Chastain - Parent
Beth Foster - Principal
April Timms - Assistant Principal
Kerrie Kish - Assistant Principal
Beth Sullivan - Teacher
Tiffany Nicholson - Teacher
Meg Rousseau - Student Council President
Karen Gregory - Guidance Counselor