Blue Ribbon Parent Newsletter

November 2019

Parents,

We want to thank you for your support thus far in our effort to become a Blue Ribbon Lighthouse School of Excellence. Your input and time are invaluable! We want to share the results of our initial assessment, as well as, our plans to move forward in this process. All of the data below is derived from the surveys that parents, students, staff, and the administrators recently completed.

In order to obtain the status of a Blue Ribbon Lighthouse School, a school must be deemed "eligible" in the following 9 categories:

1. Student Focus and Support

2. School Organization and Culture

3. Challenging Standards and Curriculum

4. Active Teaching and Learning

5. Technology Integration

6. Professional Community

7. Leadership and Educational Vitality

8. School, Family, and Community Partnerships

9. Indicators of Success

BASED ON OUR SURVEY RESULTS, THESE ARE ELHS'S AREAS OF STRENGTH WITHIN THESE 9 CATEGORIES:

1. Student Focus and Support

  • Curriculum matched to student needs
  • Student handbook
  • Range of co-curricular activities
  • Variety of student activities
  • Disabled access

2. School Organization and Culture

  • Staff contributes to school culture
  • Results based practices
  • Use data to improve
  • School improvement
  • Teachers show respect to each other
  • Staff supports and cares for students
  • Safe place
  • Welcoming culture
  • Parents welcome

3. Challenging Standards and Curriculum

  • Technological use
  • Prepared for next level
  • Higher level courses
  • Data drives placement
  • Special education courses
  • Gifted/talented courses
  • Special needs - LRE
  • Data driven differentiation
  • Aligned to standards
  • Curriculum Development
  • Grade level teachers collaborate

4. Active Teaching and Learning

  • High expectations
  • Variety of instructional methods
  • Critical thinking
  • Work in groups
  • Accessing information

5. Technology Integration

  • Web page
  • Technology systems to monitor achievement
  • Technology plan

6. Professional Community

  • Faculty/administration collective responsibility
  • Continuous improvement
  • Reflect and collaborate
  • Professional development

8. School, Family, and Community Partnerships

  • Two way communication
  • Breakfast program
  • Outside learning opportunities

9. Indicators of Success

  • Student growth
  • High student achievement
  • All students assessed

BASED ON OUR SURVEY RESULTS, THESE ARE ELHS'S AREAS NEEDING IMPROVEMENT WITHIN THESE 9 CATEGORIES:

1. Student Focus and Support
  • Clearly stated vision/mission statement
  • Comprehensive way of determining the current need of students
  • Strategies that meet the diverse needs of students
  • Smooth transition from 5th to 6th grade and then from 8th to 9th grade
  • Student voice in planning
  • Financial support for co-curricular activities

2. School Organization and Culture

  • Faculty and administration work together to solve problems
  • Positive school climate
  • Students show respect to one another
  • Drug prevention programs
  • Classroom engagement
  • Decrease in negative student behavior
  • Clean building
  • Student work displayed

3. Challenging Standards and Curriculum

  • Curriculum promotes achievement for all
  • Citizenship
  • Student collaboration
  • EL courses
  • Curriculum renewal
  • Curriculum aligned with vision
  • Fine arts
  • Foreign language
  • Teachers use data to personalize instruction
  • Strategies to meet grade level standards

4. Active Teaching and Learning

  • All students achieve to the required state standards
  • Hands-on learning
  • Independent projects
  • Real-life problem solving
  • Research and projects
  • Library/media center is well-stocked with print, media, and technology resources

5. Technology Integration

  • Technology integrated in instruction
  • Equal access to current technology
  • Technology resources meet the needs of teachers and students
  • Technology policy
  • Data driven decisions
  • Technology training

6. Professional Community

  • Culture recognizes staff who improve
  • Staff identifies professional development needs
  • New teacher mentor
  • Professional development for teachers experiencing difficulties with current teaching assignment
  • Feedback to improve
  • Teacher input - PD

7. Leadership and Educational Vitality

  • All working toward vision
  • Lead by example
  • Collaborating with the community
  • Community understanding of school leaders roles and responsibilities
  • Ongoing self-assessment to gather feedback from the community
  • Improvement process

8. School, Family, and Community Partnerships

  • Parental support
  • School supports parents
  • Volunteers
  • Needs of families
  • Before school programs
  • Referrals for counseling
  • Conferences and meetings
  • After school programs

9.Indicators of Success

  • Student assessment plan
  • Communication regarding assessments
  • Results shared
  • Use of disaggregated data
  • Disparities eliminated

SO, WHAT DOES ALL THIS MEAN??? "YOU HAVE A CHAMPIONSHIP SCHOOL HERE!" - BRSE ASSESSOR / IN THE UPCOMING WEEKS/MONTHS, WE WILL WORK TO RALLY OUR PARENTS, STUDENTS, FACULTY, AND ADMINISTRATORS TO WORK TOGETHER TO MAKE SOME MINOR ADJUSTMENTS IN THE ABOVE MENTIONED AREAS. WITH ALL OF US WORKING TOGETHER TOWARD THE SAME GOAL...MAKING ELHS EVEN BETTER...YOUR STUDENT(S) WILL BE ATTENDING A BLUE RIBBON SCHOOL OF EXCELLENCE LIGHTHOUSE SCHOOL...A SCHOOL THAT RIVALS ANY SCHOOL IN OUR NATION!

IN THE MEANTIME...

THE U.S. DEPARTMENT OF EDUCATION HAS DEFINED EAST LIMESTONE HIGH SCHOOL AS A POINT OF LIGHT SCHOOL. AS A POINT OF LIGHT SCHOOL, ELHS WILL BE ONE OF TWO HIGH SCHOOLS IN THE NATION TO BE OFFICIALLY RECOGNIZED AT THE BLUE RIBBON SCHOOL OF EXCELLENCE NATIONAL CONVENTION ON DECEMBER 14TH, 2019 IN ORLANDO, FLORIDA!

Big picture

CONGRATULATIONS, PARENTS! THIS IS YOUR EAST LIMESTONE HIGH SCHOOL! WITHOUT YOU, NONE OF THIS WOULD/WILL BE POSSIBLE! THANK YOU FOR SUPPORTING ELHS! IT TAKES A TRIBE!!!!