Adams Elementary: Every Minute is a Learning Opportunity

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Adams Elementary:

Every Minute is a Learning Opportunity

Adams Elementary Demographics

Total Enrollment: 690

Hispanic 88.0%

White

Black

Native American

Free/Reduced Lunch

Special Education

Transitional Bilingual

7.4%

2.7%

1.8%

93.8%

13.8%

53.5%

Adams Elementary has been proud to serve the community of East

Yakima since 1907. Serving this community effectively requires an unshakeable belief that every student is capable of success. This belief, though essential to fulfilling our mission, cannot exist in isolation. In the absence of accountability linked to student achievement, it is a meaningless concept rather than a true indicator of excellence. At this time, given the work our staff has begun and the increased opportunities provided by the

School Improvement Grant, Adams is in a position to become an authentic school of excellence where every minute is a learning opportunity for each child to succeed.

Adams Elementary received broad support when we decided to pursue the School Improvement Grant. Our board of directors adopted a resolution in support of this grant; our teachers’ association has signed a memo of understanding supporting the grant provisions and has agreed to work collaboratively with us on a new teacher evaluation tool; and our school community, while anxious about the unknown, is ready to take the next steps of this journey.

Additionally, our superintendent has directed that a Transformation

Team, a high level, highly skilled district level response team, be formed and available at all times to our three SIG schools. This team will work collaboratively with Adams staff to implement the research-based strategies, outlined below, proven to increase student achievement.

STRATEGY ONE: INTENTIONAL USE OF DATA

 The administration has developed a walkthrough form that provides feedback to teachers about their instructional practices. Reading achievement data is regularly collected on all of our students. Some grade level teams meet to discuss the results of common math assessments. However, conversations around student work and common assessments do not occur consistently across all grade levels. Even when conversations about data take place, follow-up conversations about what to do with that information are often absent. Teachers will be

District Demographics

Total Enrollment 14,562

Hispanic 64.6%

White

Black

Native American

Free/Reduced Lunch

Special Education

Transitional Bilingual

28.2%

3.1%

2.8%

77.6%

12.5%

26.0%

YAKIMA SCHOOL

DISTRICT

Building Community through Education



 trained using a collaborative student assessment model to learn how to effectively collect, analyze and use data to inform their instructional practice.

Adams has been using Response to Intervention model for several years now. However, it has been primarily in the area of reading. Going forward, we will begin to develop a comprehensive RTI program that addresses math concerns with our students.

Our AMAO scores are below level and impacting academic success for our students. Instructional strategies for intentionally developing content academic language proficiency will be taught, implemented and monitored by and with instructional staff.

STRATEGY TWO: STRONG ALIGNMENT BETWEEN PROGRAMS

 Adams is fortunate to house an early learning program. This spring we have studied P-3 alignment strategies and the success other districts with similar challenges have found by creating a seamless transition between the early grades beginning with preschool. Vertical alignment of pre-k through 3 rd

grade curricula and strategies will allow us to develop strong foundational skills in our students, and peer observations will allow us to build upon and share one another’s strengths to avoid a fade out of student achievement in later grades. As part of this program, we will also add a Family Support Specialist who will assist our families in accessing community resources and removing barriers to students’ learning.

Our School District, Our Valley

 Aligning professional development and joint collaboration time with Washington Middle School staff, our partner SIG school who is also housed on the same campus as Adams, will provide a consistent Preschool – 8 th

grade program. Both Adams and

Washington’s Instructional Leadership Teams will plan common and regular professional development designed to meet the needs of students based on the data. We will also engage the families and community from both schools in joint activities so a strong sense of community develops making transitions easier for students and their families. Much like the Harlem Children’s Zone project in New York, we intend to build off the assets of our community, families, and students to strengthen educational opportunities for our students.

STRATEGY THREE: EXPANDED STUDENT LEARNING TIME

 We know by our DIBELS and IDEL data that many of our students do not enter our school kindergarten ready.

With the additional resources made available to us through the School Improvement Grant, we will be able to offer students up to 300 extra hours of instructional time, including extending the regular school year by 20 full days and adding one week of “Jump Start” in the fall to aid in accelerating their learning.

STRATEGY FOUR: EMBEDDED PROFESSIONAL DEVELOPMENT THROUGH TEACHER COLLABORATION

 Teachers will spend an extra two hours per week reviewing student data to determine if instruction has been successful. If the data does not indicate success, teachers will make a plan for how to respond with the help of colleagues, instructional facilitators and appropriate consultants.

“Our 2 nd

grade and preschool teams are currently using assessment information effectively to design small group instruction on a weekly basis. These teachers will serve as teacher leaders in the school.”

The people to whom we are most accountable are the students sitting in our classrooms. We must look honestly at our teaching practices, each student’s work compared to benchmark standards, and take responsibility for the results of that work. The children who walk through our doors every morning are depending on us to take that responsibility. We can say with confidence that Adams Elementary is willing to be accountable to and for their students and is committed to becoming a school where “Every minute is a learning opportunity for each child to succeed” are not merely words, but a guarantee.

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