NC School Report Card 2014-2015

Susan Williams- Kensington Elementary

School Performance Grade

Achievement 80

Growth 68.5 Growth Status: Did Not Meet

School Performance 77 Grade B

EOG Reading 76 Grade B

EOG Math 79 Grade B

What happened?

Three big things happened...1) We were redistricted and we lost quite a few of our upper-grade level teachers to that shift in students and personnel, 2) We got a little complacent thinking that what we had always done in the past would continue getting us through, and 3) first and second grades had never had low scores and for these results we realized that we were not consistent with our mClass scoring. Out of eight 5th grade teachers from 2013-2014, we had four of them return to us and one of those was a BT2.

What are we doing to recoup our losses?

  • Monday and Wednesday planning times are set aside for the grade levels to work with the curriculum coordinator and planning reading, writing and math lessons. That time is spent making sure that what we are testing is actually being taught and the questions match up with standards.
  • We have moved back to the basics. Content purpose statements are on the boards in student-friendly terms and they are discussed. When the administration does a walk-through, students are asked what they are doing and why.
  • Teachers have been taken out of their comfort zone and all lessons have to have corresponding standards listed. This is one of the things we had gotten away from, but have now made it a priority. All lessons are shared with the administration as well.
  • Teachers, with the help of the curriculum coordinator, follow the pacing guide on the Content Resource page more closely.
  • Administration sits in on those Monday and Wednesday meetings to show the staff that it is a priority.
  • Each six weeks, the teachers get a half-day planning with their grade level and the curriculum coordinator to plan for the bigger picture, look at benchmark data, and discuss any issues.
  • Teachers meet with students to help them plan their personal goals for each six weeks putting some accountability on the students to look at what they are doing, how well they are doing it and what they can do to improve their own performance.
  • Second grade is switching assessors for the mid-year mClass instead of waiting for the end of year.

Realistically affordable or measurable?

These are realistic solutions that take us back to basics and hold us accountable to teach the standards. I don't think they are particularly innovative, but I do think that they are getting the results we need to improve our scores. It is a plan that can be replicated in other elementary schools with ease. Since there is no cost but subs for three days during a six weeks period, we are making it work within our budget. Looking at benchmark scores and EOG scores that will come in later, the administration believes these are measurable strategies we have put into place at KES. There is data posted in the curriculum room that is revisited at meetings. Everyone is accountable to the group consisting of the curriculum coordinator, the grade level staff and administration when you come to the meeting and are prepared with your piece of the puzzle. The effectiveness of these meetings is constantly reevaluated. Since the staff makes the schedule each year, they decided to have a short planning period each day rather than one day with a longer block of time. They didn't particularly like giving up their Mondays and Wednesdays to meet with the group, but like the dividing of the duties among the group. The morale issue has been with teachers knowing that for the first time since opening KES did not make intended growth and increased inspecting of what we are expecting.