Environmental Scan and Action Plan

Glade Creek Elementary School

Local and Relevant Context of the Glade Creek Community and School

Community Context

  • Alleghany County, NC
  • Population: 10,939 (~2% decline in the last four years)
  • Loss of industrial factories and businesses (as a result of NAFTA) has led to declining local economy
  • 76.2% of adults have a high school diploma
  • 14.9% have a Bachelor's degree or higher
  • 20.9% of total population lives below the poverty line
  • Unemployment rate: 11.2%
  • 14% of residents are enrolled in government food stamps program
  • Glade Creek Community relies on agriculture (livestock, pumpkins, corn, Christmas Trees, cabbage...)
  • Alleghany County Schools is the largest employer followed closely by Bottomley Evergreens
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Learning Context of Glade Creek School

  • Title I
  • Pre-K through 8th Grade
  • 273 students
  • 75%-Caucasian; 24% Hispanic; <1% African-American
  • 75% of students receive free/reduced lunch
  • 10% identified as EC
  • 8% are ELL
  • 11% identified as AIG
  • 21 highly qualified teachers; one administrator
  • 30% have advanced degrees
  • 11.5% are NBC
  • Support Staff: 5 Pre-K-2 full time teaching assistants, media specialist, part-time IT, part-time tutors, part-time speech/language assistant and office assistants
  • 5 teachers currently enrolled in IT cohort

Targeted Student Group and Justification

Academically and Intellectually Gifted Students

  • 11% of total student population
  • Budget Restraints and Faculty Shifts cut full-time AIG teacher position
  • GCS shares one AIG coordinator position with three other schools in the county
  • In past years, AIG students received pull-out instruction on a regular basis
  • AIG requirements met by classroom teachers
  • Rarely exhibits a large amount of growth on EOG/EOC scores
  • Limited enrichment elective opportunities
  • No current online subscriptions or programs that allow students to work beyond grade-level
  • Students are not receiving the services/instruction needed to meet maximum levels of growth and achievement

Characteristics of this Student Group and Implications for Learning

  • AIG students at GCS typically achieve high scores on formative/summative assessments including EOGs and EOCs
  • EOG data show that approximately 87% of AIG students do not experience growth in EOG scores, many even experience slight declines
  • Content needs to be differentiated so that AIG students can learn state mandated curricula while being enriched an pushed to excel and grow in all academic and interest areas
  • With so many opportunities offered online and in virtual environments, it is senseless to limit students to resources contained within the walls of their school
  • Many AIG students exhibit leadership qualities and are self-driven, but have become accustomed to reaping large academic gains/rewards from small amounts of effort and work

Action Plan

Overview

  • This plan will allow AIG students at the middle school level to enroll in courses offered by the NC Virtual Public School.
  • Regular curriculum will be “compacted”
  • Students will be expected to complete regular coursework, but will also be given time during the day to explore more advanced topics of study with greater depth and complexity.
  • The plan will begin by offering high school level math courses to AIG students in the 8th grade. During the second year, students in both 7th and 8th grades will be allowed to enroll in advanced math courses.
  • During the third year, students will be able to enroll in any appropriate course offered at the middle-grades level (languages, history, sciences and civic/economics).

The successful implementation of NCVPS courses will rely upon continual support and review in core, grade-level courses and a series of steps beginning at the Central Office:

  1. CO Staff will determine the amount of enrollment reserve funds currently offered to our LEA by NCVPS. Any remaining balance will be paid for by Golden Leaf or similar grant monies.
  2. Identify teachers who will be serving as E-Learning Advisors
  3. E-Learning advisors will complete required training provided through NCVPS materials and support resources.
  4. Identify participating students (8th Graders who excel in math in the initial year) and courses of interest (other courses to follow in subsequent years) and assign students to E-Learning advisors.
  5. Initial parent/teacher/student meeting to document goals and individual semester plans.
  6. Student enrollment and orientation.
  7. Maintain student progress monitoring data folder with results from formative/summative assessments.
  8. Conduct quarterly meetings with parents, students and invested staff members to discuss progress, achievement levels and concerns. Record any anecdotal evidence of struggle, success, concerns, questions or suggestions.
  9. Year-End review (teachers and administrators): ability of E-Learning advisor to serve as liaison and continue to fulfill classroom duties, ability of students to complete work in allotted time, financial constraints, possible changes, etc.

Professional Development

  • All teachers will need continual training on instructional differentiation, specifically aimed at reaching higher level students. Teachers indicated this as a weak area on the Working Conditions Survey in 2012. This will be provided by CO funds and can be led by instructional specialists or outside vendors.
  • The county AIG Coordinator will offer ongoing training for all teachers which will review AIG guidelines, strategies and expectations. This will be important because GCS has lost its on-site AIG teaching position.
  • Teachers Identified as E-Learning Advisors will receive training from NCVPS, which will include.
  • Teachers will also continue to meet in subject level and grade level PLCs to discuss student progress monitoring data.

Reflection

Benefits of Conducting the Environmental Scan and Action Plan

  • As a non-native resident of Alleghany County, I learned a great deal about our history now see how events in the past have shaped the current social, economic and political climate of our area.
  • I have learned that there is much more red-tape involved in making school/district decisions than I ever imagined.
  • I better understand how important it is for every teacher and staff member to work together as a team for the benefit of our students.
  • I have a great deal of respect for people who do these types of studies for a living....this was hard work!
  • I have also developed relationships and contacts with people in the county that I would have never had the opportunity to learn from if I were not researching our school and area.
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I look foward to using the information I have gathered this summer to help me and my colleagues work together to identify challenges and develop solutions.