Volume IV, Issue 2, Winter 2017
A Letter from the Principal
We are well into another great year with our Gators! As you know, each new school year brings a number of opportunities to learn and grow together, and this year has been no exception. Our staff and students have been hard at work and in keeping with our mid-year tradition; I would like to share a few celebrations, and updates on our schoolwide goals.
Each year, we strive to improve the academic progress of all students, and assure that when our Gators take the state mandated assessments in 3rd grade, they are well prepared. To assist with this process, a close examination of each student’s strengths and weaknesses is needed consistently throughout the school year. The educational terminology for this process is called a “Data Team”. Specifically, all students in K5 through 5th grade are participating in small group instruction that is directly aligned to their academic strengths, and areas needing assistance. We are thrilled to offer this instruction on a weekly basis in reading and math to our Gators, as it is the most dynamic instructional setting available. This small group setting allows our teachers to truly analyze how students tackle difficult concepts and provide further instruction based on their observations each week. Additionally, our students find that a small group setting allows them to speak freely and comfortably as a large group can be intimidating for some. One of the best aspects of this grouping is that it occurs in addition to large group instruction within the classroom, and the members of each group change quite often based on the progress of the individual student. To assist in our groupings, the teachers develop a monthly assessment that provides data that is used to form the groups in each classroom. The teachers also use this information to tailor their lesson plans for the month and provide specific instruction on exactly what each student needs. At the end of each cycle, the students are given a post-test to measure their progress! Our fantastic teachers share this information together and with our leadership team. This has been a wonderful tool in measuring school wide trends , grade level and school level strengths, as well as in tracking the data of each and every Gator in an ongoing manner! So far, the results have been very positive!
All the best!