LOCAL EDUCATIONAL AGENCY PLAN

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Title I LEA Plan
Due: February 1, 2008
REVISED
LOCAL EDUCATIONAL AGENCY PLAN
LEA IMPROVEMENT
LEA NAME
and
MAILING ADDRESS
CONTACT PERSON, TITLE,
TELEPHONE NUMBER,
FAX NUMBER
and
E-MAIL ADDRESS
Rutherford County School
382 East Main Street
Forest City, NC 28043
Janice Baynard
Director of Federal Programs
(828) 245-0252 ext. 157
(828) 245- 2990
[email protected]
LEA
CODE:
810
STATEMENT OF ASSURANCES.
Assurances are hereby provided to the State Education Agency (SEA) that the Local Education Agency (LEA) will:
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review and revise in consultation with parents, school staff, and others;
inform eligible schools and parents of schoolwide program authority and the ability of such schools to consolidate funds from Federal, State,
and local sources;
provide technical assistance and support to schoolwide programs;
work in consultation with schools as the schools develop the schools’ plans pursuant to section 1114 and assist schools implement such
plans or undertake activities pursuant to section 1115 so that each school can make adequate yearly progress toward meeting State student
academic achievement standards;
fulfill school improvement responsibilities under section 1116, including taking actions under paragraphs (7) and (8) of section 1116(b);
provide services to eligible children attending private elementary schools and secondary schools in accordance with section 1120, and timely
and meaningful consultation with private school officials regarding such services;
take into account the experience of model programs for the educationally disadvantaged, and the findings of relevant scientifically based
research indicating that services may be most effective if focused on students in the earliest grades at schools that receive funds under this
part;
(if applicable) ensure that early childhood development services provided to low-income children below the age of compulsory attendance
comply with the performance standards established under section 641A(a) of the Head Start Act;
work in consultation with schools as the schools develop and implement their plans or activities under sections 1118 and 1119;
comply with the requirements of section 1119 regarding the qualifications of teachers and paraprofessionals and professional development;
inform eligible schools of the LEA’s authority to obtain waivers on the school’s behalf under title IX and to obtain waivers under the Education
Flexibility Partnership Act of 1999;
coordinate and collaborate, to the extent feasible and necessary as determined by the LEA, with the SEA and other agencies providing
services to children, youth, and families with respect to a school in school improvement, corrective action, or restructuring under section 1116
if such a school requests assistance in addressing major factors that have significantly affected student achievement at the school;
ensure, through incentives or voluntary transfers, the provision of professional development, recruitment programs, or other effective
strategies, that low-income students and minority students are not taught at higher rates than other students by unqualified, out-of-field, or
inexperienced teachers;
use the results of the student academic assessments required under section 1111(b)(3), and other measures or indicators available to the
agency, to review annually the progress of each school served by the agency and receiving funds under this part to determine whether all of
the schools are making the progress necessary to ensure that all students will meet the State’s proficient level of achievement on the State
academic assessments described in section 1111(b)(3) within 12 years from the baseline year described in section 1111(b)(2)(E)(ii);
ensure that the results from the academic assessments required under section 1111(b)(3) will be provided to parents and teachers as soon
as is practicably possible after the test is taken, in an understandable and uniform format and, to the extent practicable, provided in a
language that the parents can understand; and
assist each school served and assisted under this part in developing or identifying examples of high-quality, effective curricula consistent with
section 1111(b)(8)(D).
participate, if selected, in the State National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP) in 4 th and 8th grade reading and mathematics
carried out under section411(b)(2) of the National Education Statistics Act of 1994.
Dr. John Kinlaw
Name of Superintendent
Signature of Superintendent
Date
Title I LEA Plan
LEA IMPROVEMENT
COMPREHENSIVE NEEDS ASSESSMENT
If in LEA IMPROVEMENT: summarize results from the LEA comprehensive needs assessment, address why the prior plan failed to
bring about student achievement, and describe how parents, school staff, and others are involved in the review and revision of the
LEA plan. Include LEA and SEA responsibilities for the plan.
Rutherford County Schools Superintendent Dr. John Kinlaw meets monthly with all K-12 school administrators,
Curriculum and Instruction (C& I) directors, and the executive team. Members of the executive team include the
Chief Technology Officer, Human Resources Director, Assistant Superintendent of Curriculum and Instruction,
and Chief Financial Officer. The meetings address a variety of issues.
The C&I Team of Rutherford County Schools (RCS) provides direction and support in the areas of curriculum,
instruction and assessment. The team, under the direction of Janet Mason, Assistant Superintendent, assists
school staff in improving instruction by using a variety of strategies. The C&I Team includes directors of
elementary and secondary curriculum, exceptional children, federal programs, career and technical education,
and research and accountability.
An LEA Improvement Task Force was formed for the 07-08 school year. It was restructured for the 08-09
school year to include C&I directors, K-12 administrators and district parent advisory members. The Task
Force has continued to function during the 09-10 school year. At the initial meeting each school year,
AYP results and LEA data are provided for the LEA Task Force. Additional meetings are held to review the data
and discuss goals and strategies. The purpose of the team is to review district data in an effort to:
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identify areas for improvement
establish targeted goals to address identified areas
develop strategies for achieving goals
evaluate effectiveness of strategies
provide professional development in all areas of concern
Analysis of reading test scores revealed:
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The following subgroups made AYP at all three school levels: All Students, Black, Hispanic,
Multi-Racial, White, Economically Disadvantaged, Limited English Proficient.
Students with Disabilities (SWD) failed to make AYP at the high school level. This continues to
be the lowest performing subgroup for the district as well as for individual schools.
Limited English Proficient and Black students are the next lowest performing subgroups.
All elementary and middle school subgroups made AYP.
Analysis of mathematics test scores revealed:
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The following subgroups made AYP at all three school levels: Hispanic, Multi-Racial, White,
Limited English Proficient.
All Students, Black, Economically Disadvantaged, and Students with Disabilities subgroups did
not make AYP at the high school level.
Students with Disabilities subgroup is the lowest performing followed by Black.
All elementary and middle school subgroups made AYP.
Discussions from the LEA Task Force meetings led to the following recommendations:
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Research-based strategies previously addressed by Learning Focused will be addressed in The
QTL Process™ (Quality Teaching and Learning).
The middle school rigor initiative will continue in 09-10.
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Title I LEA Plan
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Instructional coaches will provide support and in-class assistance to teachers throughout the school
year.
Each of the 11-month instructional coaches will offer a variety of professional development opportunities
throughout the year to support district initiatives.
An additional instructional coach is needed for the elementary schools.
A district-wide core instructional reading program is needed to provide consistency in grades
K–5. The program should be research-based and include the five components of reading
identified by the National Reading Panel. There is also the need for a core instructional reading
program in grades 6-8.
To ensure consistency and fidelity, administrators should receive training on monitoring reading
instruction.
The current reading programs used by the elementary schools should be examined to determine their
strengths and weaknesses.
MAP data should be reviewed to determine student performance in the five reading goals for the LEA.
Two of the coaches are certified as Math Foundations trainers. They have been responsible for training every
K-5 teacher in the county in Math Foundations and providing teachers with a variety of activities using the newly
purchased North Carolina math manipulatives kits. The elementary principals' decision to move toward a
district-wide core instructional math program supports a shift to a conceptual instructional emphasis while
enhancing the ability to provide teacher support. Hiring a new elementary coach will: (1) allow the EC-funded
coach to provide additional RtI support as the RtI initiative is expanded to include other schools and (2) ensure
adequate instructional support for classroom teachers.
A comprehensive needs assessment/professional development survey was completed by teachers and schoolbased administrators. Respondents were asked to rate existing instructional strategies and identify professional
development opportunities needed in the district. The results of the surveys were discussed with the elementary
and secondary curriculum directors. Under their direction, meetings were held with the instructional coaches
and school-based administrators.
Additional teachers received Foundations of Reading during the summer of 2008. Plans are to train additional
teachers during the summer of 2009. To date, one hundred twelve (112) K-12 teachers have been trained in
this professional development activity.
The funding for three literacy coaches at each of the middle schools was cut for the 09-10 school year;
therefore, those positions no longer exist due to budget constraints at the county level. RCS does have
the funding through a Math-Science Partnership Grant (MSP) to fund one math/science coach. This
coach serves the three Middle Schools with the intent of increasing achievement in all areas: Math,
Reading, and Writing through Science.
A District Parent Advisory Council was formed in Fall 2008. Principals from each of the 19 schools were asked
to select one parent representative from their current Local Parent Advisory Board. This group meets quarterly
at the district office to discuss issues, programs, and concerns from an LEA perspective. The formation of the
District Parent Advisory Council has been an overwhelming success. In fact, many parents requested
to remain on the committee for an additional year; therefore, a decision was made to offer the option to
all school-based principals to extend the number of parent participants from one to two per school.
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Title I LEA Plan
THE PLAN
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In order to help low-achieving children meet challenging achievement academic standards, the plan shall
include the following:
STUDENT ACADEMIC ASSESSMENTS Describe the high-quality student academic assessments, if any, that
are in addition to the academic assessments described in the State plan. If in LEA IMPROVEMENT, include
specific measurable achievement goals for each subgroup of students identified
Classrooms and support classes will use several periodic and ongoing assessment strategies to track
progress. Multiple objective, academically related criteria are used to assess and evaluate student’s
educational needs and progress toward proficiency. The following are examples used at various Title I and
non-Title I schools:
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Running Record (Rigby PM Benchmark Kit) is an assessment tool that assesses students’
reading behaviors as they read. This assessment tool enables instructors to track reading
levels, monitor fluency, and diagnose problems.
STAR Early Literacy computer software is used with K-2 students. This software assesses
student proficiency in areas including phonemic awareness and early phonics.
Accelerated Reader, Scholastic Reading Inventory (SRI), and Reading Counts are used as
assessments that measure comprehension of books read and monitors number of books read.
STAR tests are ongoing and measure reading level growth.
Literacy Rotations with flexible grouping utilize a variety of active literacy approaches to
enhance student achievement. A variety of leveled materials are used in writing, word
study, and guided reading activities.
K-2 benchmark assessments are conducted by teachers during each six weeks. Benchmark
assessment of skills and the parent grading report (report card) have been developed in
accordance with the State Standard Course of Study for those grade levels. K-2 teachers and
administrators worked with the elementary director and instructional coaches to revise
the K-2 report & assessment during the 2008-2009 school year. Use of the new report card
began with the 2009-2010 school year. An electronic format provides overall assessment
levels in major curriculum areas along with sub-skill assessments directly aligned to the
standard course of study. To enhance district consistency in reporting and assessment,
rubrics and assessment tools designed to complement the new report are being
developed and implemented throughout the year.
Computer diagnostic assessments are selected from a variety of research-based programs.
CompassLearning enables instructors to measure students’ performance toward core goals as
specified in the North Carolina Standard Course of Study. It provides prescriptive lessons based
on goal performance. Progress toward proficiency can be tracked. Rosetta Stone software is
used with LEP and very low performing students to assess and track progress toward reading
proficiency. Orchard Software provides prescriptive lessons which are assigned based on
reading and math assessments. State-released tests and state testlets are also used to assess
progress toward state standards.
Writing (K-10) benchmarks are administered to provide formative assessment data for guiding
instruction.
Quarterly math assessments (K-5) are administered to provide teachers and administrators
with feedback on instructional effectiveness of the new district-wide math program
(enVisionMATH).
The ABC Accountability Model is used in all schools in addition to the above assessments.
Measures of Academic Progress (MAP) is a state-aligned computerized adaptive assessment
tool that measures growth over time, independent of grade level or age, in the areas of Reading,
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Title I LEA Plan
Mathematics, and Language Usage. The K-8 assessment is given three times a year. Staff
development sessions to assist teachers and administrators in interpreting MAP results are
being offered.
Targeted Instructional Emphasis will be on these groups:
Reading
SWD
BLK
LEP
Mathematics
ALL
SWD
ED
BLK
WHT
HISP
Highlighted subgroups
indicate those not met
as an LEA.
Specific Measurable Objectives will be:
Grades 3-5
Reading (% pts.)
Mathematics (%pts.)
SWD
7.6
4.5
BLK
3.8
LEP
0.4
The above data is based on meeting Safe Harbor calculations.
Grades 6-8
Reading (% pts.)
Mathematics (% pts.)
SWD
7.3
5.5
ED
3.6
BLK
5.0
LEP
2.5
3.8
HISP
3.4
The above data is based on meeting Safe Harbor calculations.
Grades 9-12
Reading (% pts.)
Mathematics (% pts.)
ALL
4.0
SWD
9.4
9.0
ED
5.5
BLK
7.9
6.5
WHT
1.5
The above data is based on meeting Safe Harbor calculations.
OTHER INDICATORS At the LEA’s discretion, describe any other indicators that will be used in addition to
the academic indicators described in section 1111 for the uses described in such section.
In addition to the academic assessments listed above, the following indicators are among those that
could be used to determine schools needing additional assistance:
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Title I Schools in Improvement (Cliffside Elementary)
Comprehensive Needs Assessment
Discussions generated by instructional coaches
Input from members of the LEA Task Force
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Title I LEA Plan
PROVISION OF EDUCATIONAL ASSISTANCE Describe how you will provide additional educational
assistance to individual students assessed as needing help in meeting the State’s challenging academic
achievement standards. If in LEA IMPROVEMENT, include actions with greatest likelihood of improving
achievement of participating children in meeting the State’s academic standards. Incorporate scientificallybased research strategies.
In Title I and non-Title I schools, teachers, assistants and/or tutors are used for small group instruction as well
as one-on-one instruction for targeted students needing assistance in reading and math. This assisted
instruction supplements core instruction occurring in the classroom. Computer labs with diagnostic and
prescriptive programs in core subjects provide supplemental assistance to classroom instruction. Summer
programming is offered to all students at selected sites in the form of summer care provided by the YMCA. A
variety of enrichment opportunities are provided for these students. Partnerships with the faith community
involve several church groups providing after-school tutoring for students from nearby schools. Volunteers
provide small-group and one-on-one remediation. These volunteers are under the supervision of a highly
qualified teacher who outlines the instructional activities.
Positive Behavior Support (PBS) and Response to Intervention (RtI) are two growing district initiatives.
These processes incorporate a problem-solving approach to address the needs of all students (including
students with disabilities) with an emphasis on identifying struggling students early with targeted interventions.
Strategies include high-quality instruction, frequent assessment, and data-based decision-making. Response to
Intervention (RtI) utilizes progress monitoring through Curriculum Based Measurement (CBM) which generates
data for identifying specific curriculum deficiencies. Research-based interventions are used to target identified
deficiencies. Student Services Management Teams (SSMT) provide assistance in determining the need for and
level of interventions. The problem-solving model utilized in the RtI process is an approach to developing
interventions and ensuring positive student outcomes, rather than determining failure or deviance.
Balanced Literacy frameworks are in place in Title I schools. Reading and Writing Across the Curriculum
frameworks are used in middle and high schools. These frameworks incorporate research-based instructional
strategies that are consistent and pervasive K-12. The instructional strategies include word study, guided
reading, writing workshop, graphic organizers, essential questions, question stems, prioritized curriculums, and
benchmarking. Rutherford County Schools currently employees three K-5 instructional coaches using federal
funds. Under the direction of the Director of Elementary Education, coaches provide instructional support and
staff development for teachers at all ten Title I Elementary Schools. All instructional coaches (elementary and
middle school), site lead teachers, parent resource rooms, and the district-wide translator emphasize best
practices that ensure monitoring, assessment and communication of needs.
PROFESSIONAL DEVELOPMENT. Describe the strategy to be used to coordinate programs under this part
with programs under Title II to provide professional development for teachers and principals, and, if appropriate,
pupil services personnel, administrators, parents and other staff, including LEA staff in accordance with sections
1118 and 1119. If in LEA IMPROVEMENT, assure that the LEA will spend not less than 10% of the funds
received by the LEA for the professional development needs of the instructional staff serving the agency.
Every K-5 teacher in the county has received Foundations of Mathematics (a forty-hour course on
researched-based mathematics emphasizing concept-driven instruction). The training addressed the
seven basic areas of mathematics identified by the National Math Panel with an emphasis on the
language of mathematics. Under the direction of the K-5 Instructional Coaches, teachers developed
an understanding that teaching conceptual math is necessary to students' comprehension. To
further support this initiative, LEA Improvement funds were used to purchase the North Carolina
Math Manipulative Kits for every K-5 teacher. After determining the need for a district-wide mathematics
program emphasizing conceptual teaching strategies, elementary administrators and teachers selected
research-based enVisionMATH. LEA Improvement funds purchased student and teacher materials for
implementing this program beginning with the 2009-2010 school year. Instructional coaches designed
teacher materials for implementing enVisionMATH which are directly aligned to the standard course of
study and integrated with other DPI resource materials. District pacing guides and quarterly
benchmarks have been developed to enhance program implementation. All K-5 teachers received
training prior to implementation.
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Title I LEA Plan
Reading Foundations cohorts were formed to complete training for all K-2 teachers during the summer
of 2009. Cohorts will be formed to include 3-5 teachers during the summer of 2010. The goal of RCS is
to have all K-5 classroom and EC teachers trained in Reading Foundations by August 2010.
The QTL Process™ is an intensive, sustained professional development process that aims to improve
teaching and raise student performance. The process is composed of a series of collaborative staff
development experiences for teachers, along with a parallel track for administrators and emerging
leaders. The elements of The QTL Process™ are building blocks for a comprehensive and customizable
professional development plan that meets specific school needs. Participants learn to use researchbased teaching strategies along with student data, technology for teaching, and collaboration.
A two-day training was held in August 2009 for ALL school-based administrators, central office
directors, and one designated “data savvy” member from every school in the district to address
revising School Improvement Plans. Rosemary Smith, a retired Title I Consultant, assisted with the
training which focused on the need to implement the new SIP template provided by DPI. During the fall
of 2009, Mrs. Smith was contracted to work closely with each administrator at their prospective schools
at finalizing their SIPs.
In addition to the Foundations of Reading and Mathematics training, a variety of professional development
activities were held during the summer of 2009. Activities included:
Core Areas
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Algebraic Thinking Follow-Up – Teachers in grades 6-8
KEAS - Key Elements of Algebra Skills for all Algebra I teachers
MSP - Math/Science Partnership Training for all 6-8 science teachers
QTL (Quality Teaching and Learning) - Instructional Leadership training for all administrators
QTL (Quality Teaching and Learning) - Teacher-Focused training for teachers
enVisionMATH – All K-5 teachers
Maximizing the Success of Response to Intervention – All K-5 and EC teachers
Technology
 Teach4Learning –
 QTL (Quality Teaching and Learning) – Elementary, middle, and high school teachers
 Promethean Intermediate – Session for more advanced teachers in K-12
 KnowledgeNet – K-12 classroom teachers
 Technology Summer Camps – One for each of the elementary, middle, and high school teachers
 Promethean Board Training – K-12 classroom teachers
Professional development activities planned throughout the 2009-2010 school year will include:
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Comprehension Toolkits – K-2 classroom and EC teachers
Active Literacy Strategies – K-2 teachers
“Get Energy Smart” – K-2 teachers
Technology Fair – K-5 and 6-12 teachers
The Farmer Grows a Rainbow nutrition training - K-5 physical education teachers
Literacy Rubrics for Reporting & Assessment – K-2 teachers
Comprehension Toolkit Sharing – 3-5 teachers
enVisionMATH Sharing – K-5 teachers
Holocaust (ELA) – 6-12 teachers
Reading in the Content Areas
QTL (Quality Teaching and Learning) – Elementary and Middle School teachers
Professional development activities planned for the summer of 2010 will include
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Reading Foundations – Teachers in grades 3-5
QTL (Quality Teaching and Learning) – Teacher-Focused training for teachers
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Title I LEA Plan
RCS will host a Summer Learning Luau, a four-day week of professional development activities for all certified
teachers and teacher assistants in the county. This activity is scheduled for August 9-12, 2010. A wide variety
of sessions will be available for all attendees at no cost. Sessions will include technology, classroom strategies,
subject-specific, and administration. Renewal credits (reading, technology, content, and principal) will be
awarded for attending any of the three-hour or six-hour sessions offered. Presenters will include WRESA,
Teacher Academy, Science House, PIRC, community agencies, and RCS teachers and administrators. A
number of vendors (Scholastic, Lakeshore, Education Express, Fireside Books, Staples, Thinking Maps, and
others) will be on site to offer resources for interested participants. LEA Improvement funds will be used to
cover the cost for several presenters and materials needed for many of the scheduled sessions.
Each of the above professional development activities qualify as "high quality" (i.e. researched-based,
sustained and on-going).
A comprehensive needs assessment was conducted by the staff at each of the elementary, middle,
and high schools to assess current strategies and determine the need for additional professional
development. Needs assessment results, data provided by the Director of Research and
Accountability, and discussions with the Elementary and Secondary Curriculum Directors enabled
School Improvement Teams to develop strategies for meeting school improvement goals.
MAP continues to be a major focus for the district with training provided in the areas of basic MAP and
generating/interpreting reports. The Director of Research and Accountability has offered refresher
training sessions for interested K-8 teachers and all new teachers within the district. A training session was also
held for interested assistant principals during one of the monthly assistant principal’s meeting. During the
sessions, teachers and administrators learn how to generate and interpret both classroom and individual student
reports. Reports assist teachers in identifying strengths and weaknesses for differentiated instruction.
The K-5 Instructional Coaches and Middle School Science and Math Coaches are 11-month employees who
plan, prepare, and conduct professional development activities during the summer months and throughout the
school year. Each of the coaches attends relevant conferences and off-campus professional development
activities. They return with strategies, plans, and ideas that are provided for teachers at the appropriate grade
level and content area. Examples of resulting professional development activities include:
K-5 Instructional Coaches
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Novel Studies
DPI Writing/Scoring Sessions
Comprehension Toolkits
The Active Literacy Classroom
Expository Text Comprehension
Writing Across the Curriculum (DPI training)
Science Coach
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National Science Conference workshops
Professional Learning Communities
K-5 Coaches and Technology Facilitators meet on a regular basis to collaborate on issues such as providing
professional development activities, integrating technology into classroom instruction, writing across the
curriculum, and addressing the transition of students from 5th to 6th grade.
As technology continues to play an essential role in education, our district provides professional development for
technology skills as well as the integration of technology into all areas of curriculum. Rutherford County Schools
now requires all certified employees to earn continuing education units (CEUs) in technology integration. The
number of units will be phased in over a three-year period beginning with the 09-10 school year that requires all
certified employees renewing their licensure in 2012 and beyond to earn 3 CEUs by June 30, 2012. Currently
Rutherford County Schools employs three instructional technology facilitators (one for each school district) who
provide technology instruction and support for each school in the district. Technology assistants are placed at
each of the elementary and middle schools to assist with technology instruction and support. A technology Staff
Development Coordinator organizes a steady increase of technology professional development throughout the
school year and summer months for employees. The following list provides some of the professional
development opportunities available to them:
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Title I LEA Plan
Quality Teaching and Learning (QTL)
School Center Training
Discovery Education
KnowledgeNet
Atomic Learning
Destiny
Intel Teach
Elluminate
Podcasting
Moodle
WebBlender
Kaleidoscope
Quest Atlantis
Smart Board Training
Promethean
Excel
PowerPoint
Web 2.0 Tools
In order to assist certified personnel with seeking additional professional development activities and
obtaining CEUs, RCS has purchased the rights to access Atomic Learning, a web-based online
professional development program. The program offers thousands of tutorials, workshops, and
projects for teachers seeking assistance with a variety of topics.
The revised NC Career and Technical Education Strategic Plan includes specific goals to ensure CTE
instruction is not only relevant but that it provides students with the necessary academic and technical
skills to compete in the 21st century global area. CTE teachers will equip students with the
competencies that postsecondary education and employment require. Instruction will develop and
reinforce the academic standards that are tested on state assessments. During 2009-2010, increased
emphasis will be directed toward supporting activities that focus on improving literacy in CTE. Funding
has been used to train two instructors to attend a workshop designed to provide training on
incorporating literacy skills in the CTE classroom. A district-wide Literacy in CTE staff development
workshop will be conducted in the fall and spring of the 2009-2010 school year. The workshop will
assist teachers in developing an understanding of the rationale and challenges of incorporating literacy
skills and provide them with “hands-on” instruction on how to model and deliver reading and writing
strategies in the CTE classroom.
Individual schools provide on-campus professional development activities throughout the school year
based upon their specific needs. Examples include:
MAP Training
FASTT Math
Diversity Training
Grade Level Planning
K-5 Benchmark Writing Scoring
Using the Promethean Board
Creating Pacing/Curriculum Guides
Writing Across the Curriculum
DIBELS Training
Bullying and Child Abuse
School Crisis Plan
Based on 24 years of research and development, Organizational Health is a three-year evaluation
program that provides an objective and reliable method of focusing organizational energies on continuous
improvement for leaders and members of their school. Under the direction of Superintendent Dr. John Kinlaw,
professional development focused on Organizational Health (OH) was held in August 2008 for each schoolbased administrator and his/her OH committee. Each school committee included 5-6 staff members comprised
of teachers and paraprofessionals. Organizational Health provides assessment results and leadership
improvement strategies which are discussed between the superintendent and each school-based administrator.
All school employees contribute to the data through annual surveys. Additional OH professional development
activities for school-based and district administrators have occurred throughout the school year.
KidSenses, Childrens Interactive Museum, located in Rutherford County provides curriculum and inquirybased professional development opportunities for elementary teachers in the area of science. Innovative
hands-on strategies which enhance classroom instruction and support preparation for End-of-Grade (EOG)
testing is the focus of the professional development.
Paraprofessionals are often included in professional development activities at their individual schools and
participate in select professional development activities initiated at the district level.
K-5 site lead teachers provide on-site, on-going sustained professional development by grade level and
subject area for teachers and teacher assistants. The K-5 Instructional Coaches work closely with the site
lead teachers to ensure that all activities support and align with district initiatives.
Parents are also being given the opportunity to participate in selected professional development such as
Thinking Maps and other learning strategy in-services. Several schools offer technology-focused
professional development opportunities for parents where information is provided on available
internet resources for students and parents. Such internet websites related to academics
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Title I LEA Plan
include Study Island and DPI websites (EOG practice data and writing information). Family Literacy
Night, Math Night, Science Night, EOG Night, Fourth Grade Writing Night, and Fairy-Tale Night are examples
of activities being conducted to support parents as they assist their children with academic needs. Parent
resource rooms at each of the ten elementary schools are available as well.
Individuals wishing to substitute for RCS have been required to attend a one-day training session that was
offered two times a year. Beginning in December 2008, the Substitute Teacher Training for RCS is now offered
online. This course can be accessed anytime of the day or night as opposed to a scheduled training on a
specific day. This flexibility offers perspective substitutes the ability to complete the training at his/her rate and
anytime. As verification for completing the online course, a certificate can be printed and submitted to the
Human Resources Department.
10 % of the Title I allotment was set aside for K-12 professional development as required under LEA
Improvement regulations. This staff development consists of research-based strategies that will enhance the
learning for our targeted population as well as accelerate all students. Core area teachers and ILTs will be
staffing priorities. Staff development will provide training on consistent instructional practices that students will
recognize as they go from grade to grade, class to class, and school to school.
COORDINATION OF SERVICES Describe how you will coordinate and integrate services under this part with
other educational services at the LEA or individual school level. These services could include the following:
 Even Start, Head Start, Reading First, and other preschool programs, including plans for transition of
participants in such programs to elementary school programs
 Services for children with limited English proficiency, children with disabilities, migratory children,
neglected or delinquent youth, homeless children, etc.
The purpose of the LEA Task Force is to analyze data, identify areas for improvement, establish target goals,
and develop strategies for achieving those goals. The task force is comprised of C&I directors, K-12
administrators, and district parent advisory members. C&I directors represent the following departments:
Elementary Education, Secondary Education, Title I, Exceptional Children, Testing and Accountability, ESL, and
Career and Technical Education. Collaboration of all members ensures a commitment to provide services,
assistance, and manpower to ensure the goals of the LEA Improvement Task Force are achieved.
School Improvement Teams, in both Title I and non-Title I schools, in collaboration with the Title I Director and
Curriculum and Instruction Team have identified local, state and federal resources that are being used and are
available to each local school.
Local services include government agencies that assist in health, academic and behavior screenings,
prevention workshops, funding, and volunteer recruitment and training. Local schools provide parent
involvement activities that empower parents with academic assistance as well as parenting skills. Isothermal
Community College (ICC) provides GED classes at many of our schools. ICC also provides academic classes
for high school students that aren’t available at the high schools. They also work with high schools to allow for
dual enrollments. The implementation of the Innovative High School provides further coordination between ICC
and Rutherford County. Elementary Schools also provide kindergarten orientation with some schools offering
Kinder-Camps in the summer for rising kindergarteners. PTA’s, conferencing and open houses also provide
communication between school, parents and the community. Rutherford Opportunity Center provides
alternative programming for students who are at extreme risk of dropping out or are on long-term suspension.
KidSenses Children's InterACTIVE Museum, a non-profit educational resource located in Rutherford County,
provides interactive learning and enhances classroom education with hands-on fun. The museum features 11
interactive educational exhibits aligned with the North Carolina Standard Course of Study and emphasizes
math, science, technology, and health. Elementary classrooms have the opportunity to visit the museum at a
discounted rate throughout the school year.
Head Start, Early Head Start and More at Four work collaboratively with the elementary schools to ensure a
smooth transition through pre-k programs and into kindergarten. Even Start provides GED assistance to
parents while also providing childcare and parenting skills.
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Title I LEA Plan
RCS employs six English as a Second Language (ESL) teachers and one teaching assistant that serve students
in grades K-12. These teachers collaborate closely by meeting monthly to share strategies that address the
needs of Limited English Proficient students. The Director of Research and Accountability works directly with
the ESL teachers to ensure that the proper testing procedures are followed when entering and exiting students
from the program.
RCS uses a combination of Title I and local funds to provide an 11-month instructional translator for the district.
The primary responsibility of the instructional translator is translating the English language into Spanish. Such
translations include classroom assignments, parent letters, official school forms, and other related documents as
needed. Other duties may include assisting with the enrollment of ESL students and parent involvement
activities and attending IEP meetings for ESL students when needed.
The GEAR UP program provides academic support to middle school students through extensive programming.
GEAR UP offers 4 parent nights in the East District for middle and high school parents. The focus of the parent
workshops is to increase awareness of GEAR UP goals which include academic readiness for college. Tutoring
is also offered in reading and math at both the middle and high school as part of the college readiness program.
Federal programs assist in providing services to our teachers and students. Title II, Teacher Quality, provides
assistance in reducing class size and improving teacher quality. IDEA provides special support to those
students requiring instructional accommodations. Exceptional Children teachers also work with regular
education teachers to assist them in inclusion instruction. Safe and Drug Free School funds provide instruction
and support to teachers to educate them in recognizing at-risk behaviors and to help provide support to
identified students so they can succeed academically. In 2008-2009 Rutherford County Schools received Rural
Low Income Schools (RLIS) funds for the first time. The money received from this grant will help support the
focus of technology by hiring additional technology personnel, purchasing promethean boards, and providing
professional development.
POVERTY CRITERIA Describe the poverty criteria that will be used to select school attendance areas under
section 1113.
The poverty criteria that will be used to select school attendance areas will be those areas in which not less than
40% of the children are participating in the free and reduced lunch program (USDA), or not less than 40 percent
of the children enrolled in the school are from such families. K-5 grade span grouping will also be used to
identify eligible school attendance area and schools to be serviced. Homeless children who do not attend Title I
serviced schools will be served at the school of attendance.
STUDENT IDENTIFICATION Describe how teachers, in consultation with parents, administrators, and pupil
services personnel in targeted assistance schools will identify (a) the eligible children most in need of services
and (b) participants served under this part.
At present, Rutherford County Schools does not have targeted assistance schools. All schools are school wide
projects.
PROGRAM DESCRIPTION Provide a general description of the nature of programs to be conducted by
participating schools and, where appropriate, educational services outside such schools for children living in
local institutions for neglected or delinquent children.
Programs and instructional strategies are chosen based on needs identified by state testing, formative
assessments, and demographic data at each eligible school. Each school, with the assistance of Title I
administration, identifies low performing areas and students. Research-based programs and strategies are
selected to address identified needs. Research validating program effectiveness is on file.
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Title I LEA Plan
K-5 Instructional Coach Team
Three K-5 instructional coaches are currently working with the Director of Elementary Education to provide
instructional support to teachers and administrators. The team works to enhance consistency and cohesiveness
of instructional initiatives. Coaches assist teachers with a holistic approach that includes all aspects of the
classroom environment. The coaches are assigned to focus schools to provide differentiated instruction
support across the district. Coaches work as a team to:
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Gather and evaluate information from a variety of sources including journals, conferences, workshops,
NCDPI, etc.
Provide professional development and ongoing support to assist teachers in understanding and
implementing approaches which are identified as worthwhile and effective.
Work with teachers and administrators to identify and address school improvement needs.
Assist teachers and administrators in assessing and enhancing vertical alignment.
Serve as a resource to teachers and administrators in instructional monitoring and fidelity assessment.
Support and encourage teachers in reflective practice and diagnostic/prescriptive teaching.
Assist teachers in identifying and implementing techniques for differentiated instruction and focused
intervention.
Serve as a resource for LEA curriculum initiatives—Reading Foundations, Math Foundations, RtI,
Learning-Focused Instruction, Quality Teaching & Learning (QTL), etc.
K-5 Literacy Instruction
Our LEA Improvement Team and all elementary principals have identified the need to adopt consistent
approaches to literacy instruction across the district. Because funding for a new reading program adoption is
uncertain, we are providing training for teachers on research-based strategies that can be used with existing
resources. Our instructional coach team provides high-quality staff development to support an instructional
framework based on the five areas of effective reading instruction-- phonemic awareness, phonics, vocabulary,
fluency, and comprehension. Sessions include:
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Reading Foundations
Writing Across the Curriculum
Active Literacy Classroom
Expository Text Comprehension
Comprehension Toolkits
Guided Reading & Word Study
Questioning Strategies
Existing programs and materials that are being used within this framework include:
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Reading Street (Scott Foresman)
Saxon Phonics
Sonday Phonics
Corrective Reading
Six-Minute Fluency
Literacy Rotations
Thinking Maps
Reading Renaissance
K-5 Mathematics Instruction
Our LEA Improvement Team and all elementary principals have identified the need to adopt consistent
approaches to mathematics instruction across the district. All K-5 teachers have completed training in Math
Foundations with a resulting emphasis on concept-driven instruction. As with reading instruction, coaches have
been seeking ways to enhance consistency across the district with a variety of research-based programs and
instructional approaches.
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Title I LEA Plan
After determining the need for a district-wide mathematics program emphasizing conceptual teaching
strategies, elementary administrators and teachers selected research-based enVisionMATH. LEA
Improvement funds purchased student and teacher materials for implementing this program beginning
with the 2009-2010 school year. Instructional coaches designed teacher materials for implementing
enVisionMATH which are directly aligned to the standard course of study and integrated with other DPI
resource materials. District pacing guides and quarterly benchmarks have been developed to enhance
program implementation. All K-5 teachers received training prior to implementation.
High-quality staff development sessions provided by our coaches will include:
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Math Foundations (additional cohorts & component reviews)
enVisionMath Implementation
RCS Mathematics Pacing
Problem Solving
Transitioning to Revised Standards
NCTM-based Strategies
Investigations—Enhancing enVisionMath through Inquiry-Based Instruction
6-8 INSTRUCTIONAL COACHES
MSP Science Coach
A Middle School Science Coach is provided through a joint (Three County) Math-Science Partnership Grant.
The Science Coach is full time in Rutherford County and serves the three Middle Schools with the intent of
increasing achievement in all areas to include: Math, Reading, and Writing through Science. Another major
focus of the grant is to increase content knowledge of teachers and increase student engagement in hands-on
learning for students. Professional learning communities for science teachers have been established at each
school with support from the science coach. On-going, extensive Staff Development in content is provided
through the science department at Appalachian State University, a partner in the grant. Plans have been made
to continue the work by writing for an extension of the grant in the spring of 2010.
Middle School Math Coach
Rutherford County Schools now employees a math coach to serve all three Middle Schools. The Math coach
assists teachers by providing professional development and ongoing support to assist teachers in understanding
and implementing the Middle School Math Rigor Program. The coach provides evaluations related to
instructional practices and fidelity of implementation of the math program across schools and grade levels. This
program was expanded by training an on-site coach for each middle school in the summer of 2009. In addition,
the high school Algebra I teachers were trained in the KEAS (Key Elements of Algebra Skills) program that links
Algebraic Thinking at the middle schools to the Algebra I curriculum at the high schools.
OTHER 6-12 ACADEMIC PROGRAMS
GEAR UP
The GEAR UP program promotes college readiness through awareness and academic achievement. The Gear
Up program provides extensive tutoring programs for all subject areas both during school and after school. In
addition, the gear up program fosters academic achievement through high-interest supplemental reading and
math materials such as: Triumph Learning, Weekly Reader, and Electronic News Currents. Tutoring provided
by Gear Up was expanded in 2008-2009 and there are plans for further expansion in the high school in
2009-2010.
Writing Across the Curriculum
Writing across the curriculum has been a focus in RCS for some time. The new expectations set forth
by changes at the state level align well with the existing writing across the curriculum portfolios used in
the middle and high schools. Additionally, some have chosen to use electronic portfolios.
Jumpstart Program
The Jumpstart program for at risk rising 9th graders has been a very successful program. This program was
expanded from one high school to all three traditional high schools in the summer of 2009. The purpose of the
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Title I LEA Plan
three week summer Jumpstart program is to give struggling students an advantage before embarking on their
high school career. Typically students who attend jumpstart are academically at-risk of not completing high
school. The academic focus is on literacy, math, social studies, and science in addition to healthy living and
study habits. After the three-week summer program, students receive support throughout their high
school careers. The Drop-out prevention grant will be a major funding source for expanding the program. This
program will continue into the summer of 2010.
Middle School Rigor
The purpose of the Middle School Rigor program is to challenge all students. It was implemented in 2006.
Students in grades 6-8 are encouraged to take math courses that challenge them to think and work diligently.
The math programs available to middle school students are: Algebraic Thinking, Standard, Honors, and
Scholars curricula. In addition to the challenging math courses, a scholars language arts program was also
implemented at grades 6-8. Several High School courses are also available to middle school students including
Algebra I, Geometry, Spanish I, and Earth Science. The middle school rigor program has been expanded
to include online high school courses offered through NCVPS (North Carolina Virtual Public Schools).
Future Ready Core Curriculum
Since May, 2008 the core curriculum committee has met monthly to plan for the implementation of the Future
Ready Core Curriculum adopted by the North Carolina State Board of Education for freshmen entering high
school in the fall of 2009. The plan includes the implementation of support classes for students who may
struggle in Math, Reading or both. It also includes ongoing professional development for Math Teachers. During
the first year, the math teachers will be trained in a hand-on approach to teaching Algebra 1. The KEAS (Key
Essentials of Algebra Skills) program will be an extension of the Middle School Algebraic Thinking program that
prepares students for successful completion of Algebra 1 in 9th grade. This year the team Is developing the
next steps in the roll-out plan. The Future Ready Core Curriculum requires a more rigorous math course of
study. Appropriate support and instructional services will be developed to assist students as they move through
the curriculum.
Online Learning
Since the fall of 2007, the eLearning community in Rutherford County Schools has served hundreds of students
who have earned both high school and college credits. ELearning has been a large part of reaching the goal of
producing globally competitive students through the use of innovation and 21st century systems. ELeaning can
take many forms in Rutherford County Schools. The three options for eLearning with RCS are:
1. North Carolina Virtual Public School (NCVPS)
High School Courses: AP, honors, and standard level high school courses are available
through NCVPS for students enrolled at any of the Rutherford County School High
Schools. Students are scheduled into the online lab each day for the duration of the high
school course. Students are required to meet the Rutherford County Schools
Accountability Standards for all online courses.
Recovery High School Courses: These courses are for students who have failed a high
school course. Recovery courses are available through NCVPS. Students are scheduled
into the online lab either before school, after school, during the summer, or during the
school day according to need.
2. Learn & Earn Online (LEO)
Community College courses are available through Learn and Earn online (LEO). These
courses are offered through Community Colleges across North Carolina. Students
MUST meet eligibility requirements in order to take online college classes. Eligibility
requirements vary by institution but often include:
 a passing score on a placement test (ACT, SAT, or ASSET).
 approval from the HS Principal, and
 other specific requirements set by the high school such as: attendance, academic
readiness, maturity, etc.
Students, who take LEO courses while in high school, get high school credit as well as
college credit. Many of the LEO courses award honors credit on the high school
transcript.
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Title I LEA Plan
3. ischool
University Level Courses are available through UNC-G ischool. Students MUST:
 be 16 years old,
 take the course in a facilitated lab, and
 meet eligibility requirements.
All university level courses award honors credit on the high school transcript. Any 300
or 400 level courses will award AP credit on the high school transcript.
Alternative School (Rutherford Opportunity Center-ROC)
Rutherford Opportunity Center offers an alternative setting for students in grades 6-12 who have been
unsuccessful in the traditional school. Students may enter the alternative high school for any number of reasons
after being referred through the Student Services Management Team (SSMT). In addition to the alternative
middle and high schools, the Rutherford Opportunity Center offers course recovery for students after the regular
school day. Summer School is traditionally held each summer at the ROC for high school students who wish to
recover courses in which they have been unsuccessful.
Early College High School
Rutherford Early College High School (REaCH) offers a rigorous and accelerated academic program designed
at helping high school students graduate with a high school diploma and two year degree - tuition free. The
school is located on the campus of Isothermal Community College and serves approximately 150 students
grades 9-13. First-generation college students and students who qualify for free/reduced lunch get preference in
the lottery system.
Teaching American History (TAH) and Foundations of American History Grant
The Teaching American History Grant has been a very effective staff development opportunity for high
school history teachers for the past four years. It has resulted in marked improvements in high school
history scores, particularly AP US History. This grant was recently rewritten to include staff
development opportunities for elementary and middle school teachers in 2008-09. A large portion of the
grant focuses on literacy and provides staff participants with content and reading CEUs. A minimum of
thirty hours of the staff development will be devoted to reading instruction with the overall impact
focused on improved reading achievement.
In an effort to offer all students a rigorous and relevant curriculum the following advanced courses &
acceleration opportunities are available for students in Rutherford County Schools:
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Honors courses are taught in core areas, foreign language, and CTE (Career Technical)
AP courses
Community College courses
University Level courses
Summer Acceleration
Middle School students can take high school math, science, social studies, or foreign language
courses while in middle school and receive high school credit.
Concurrent Enrollment courses
Huskins courses
REaCH - Rutherford Early College High School, located on Isothermal Community
College campus.
PARTICIPATION OF MIGRATORY CHILDREN Describe how the LEA will ensure that migratory children and
formerly migratory children who are eligible to receive services under this part are selected to receive such
services on the same basis as other children selected.
Migratory children (children who move from state to state or within the state) are provided with appropriate
educational services that address their special needs in a coordinated and efficient manner. Currently RCS does
not have a large number of migratory students enrolled in the district. However, schools will be continually
monitored for the identification of migratory children. Local school administration, nurses, county agencies will all
be involved to identify these children. Screening will be parallel with other identified children in that needs are
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Title I LEA Plan
based on multiple, objective, academically related criteria. Identified children will be provided with educational
and support services that address their special needs.
PRESCHOOL PROGRAMS If appropriate provide a description of how you will use funds under this part to
support preschool programs for children.
The overall aim of the Title I PreK/Head Start/More At Four Program in Rutherford County is to provide an
intellectually stimulating environment in which children extend their knowledge and skills in an atmosphere that
fosters sense of belonging, self-confidence and social competence. Social awareness, independent thinking,
skillful problem solving, and effective group interaction are the pillars of our curriculum. A love of learning and a
sense of self-confidence and social competence are our goals.
Title I blends with Head Start to support 14 pre-kindergarten classes located at seven sites. Carver Center
houses 3 classes supported by 3 teachers and 4 paraprofessionals. There are an average number of 17 preschoolers per classroom. There are sites at six separate elementary schools (Ellenboro, Forest City-Dunbar,
Forrest Hunt, Mt. Vernon-Ruth, Rutherfordton, and Spindale). Spindale and Ellenboro Elementary each
house two classrooms supported by 2 teachers and 3 paraprofessionals at each site. Mt. Vernon Ruth
Elementary houses one classroom supported by 1 teacher and 1 paraprofessional. Forest City-Dunbar,
Forrest Hunt, and Rutherfordton each house two classrooms supported by 2 teachers and 2
paraprofessionals at each site.
Education (Curriculum) Coordinator, health coordinator and family advocates, give additional assistance at
each site. Title I supports these programs with approximately 8% of the funding. Exceptional Children's
program, Head Start, More at Four, and Smart Start provide the additional funding.
Each classroom of sixteen to nineteen students is staffed with a certified teacher and an assistant. Teachers
are certified in Early Childhood Education and hold or are working toward B-K certification.
In order to be eligible to attend a Title I preschool, the participant must:
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Live in an eligible Title I attendance area
Be four years old on or before August 31st
Indicate a need for preschool as determined by an initial screening using the Brigance.
For the purpose of gaining information concerning the achievement level of each child and documenting
progress, the Brigance Screening will be administered at the beginning and end of the school year.
In addition, each preschool program utilizes anecdotal records in order to maintain information on each child’s
total developmental progress. Parents are encouraged to be active participants in assessing their children’s
progress through a minimum of two teacher/parent conferences, a number of parent workshops, and individual
student portfolios.
Title I PreK/Head Start classrooms provide an environment for young children which encourages active
exploration using concrete materials. The curriculum selected is Creative Curriculum for Preschoolers, 4th
Edition. The Second Step Curriculum is used to support social/emotional development. Nurturing, safe, and
healthy surroundings encourage growth in physical, social, emotional and intellectual areas.
Rutherford County’s Title I PreK/Head Start recognizes each parent as their child’s first and most important
teacher. If children are to reach their full potential, parents must be involved in their child’s preschool
experience. This involvement can include volunteering, helping teachers plan classroom activities, leading
children in planned activities, attending workshops, serving on committees, aiding with program decision making
and program evaluation, and providing enriching experiences at home which support the goals of the preschool
program.
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Title I LEA Plan
Six Family Advocates assist families with their individual needs by referring them to appropriate areas of the
community for support. This support includes but is not limited to literacy assistance, emergency assistance,
specific training, and transportation to and from doctor/dentist appointments when necessary. A Parent
Resource Room at Carver Center welcomes parents to use books, magazines, videotapes, and other materials
concerning issues of interest to parents of preschoolers. Areas of listening, reading, meeting, and conversing
are provided. Parents are encouraged to check out items of interest to themselves and their children.
Incorporated into the Head Start/Title I Program is a transition plan that begins six months prior to entrance into
the elementary school. Early Head Start also has a plan for transitional children into the Head Start program.
Each of the ten elementary schools holds open Kindergarten registration beginning in late February. A parent
orientation, held one day at the end of April for each individual elementary school, is used for transition.
SCHOOL IMPROVEMENT Describe the action the LEA will take, if applicable, to assist its low-achieving
schools identified under section 1116 as in need of improvement.
Rutherford County Schools currently has one school in school improvement (School Choice – Cliffside
Elementary). The identified school receives focused support from the district level as well as individual and
grade level assistance from the K-5 Instructional Coaches. The support includes planning, professional
development activities, on-site monitoring of instruction, "walk-through" visits, teacher evaluations, modeling
lessons, as well as other technical support. District level personnel work directly with the school administration
and their school improvement team. The Title I Schoolwide Plan as well as the state required School
Improvement Plan will be examined for progress in implementation strategies and integrity of needs identified.
The school’s plan will be revised and implementation of strategies and staff development will be monitored at
the district level. (As stated earlier, a School Improvement Plan training was held prior to the 09-10 year
(August 2009) with the school level administration and district personnel to address the schools’
individual School Improvement Plans.)
The district assistance team will continue to work with the school administration and school improvement team
and monitor the compliance of as described in the No Child Left Behind Act of 2001. Parents will be notified of
status, sanctions and their rights according to the legislation. 20% of identified school’s Title I budget will be
reserved for transportation, supplemental services and professional development until the school is out of
school improvement.
A three-member team from Cliffside Elementary attended a three day training in November provided by
DPI. The training focused on assessing the school’s needs and reviewing their individual school
improvement plan.
SCHOOL CHOICE Describe the actions the LEA will take, if applicable, to implement public school choice and
supplemental services, consistent with the requirements of section 1116.
During the 2009-2010 school year, one school (Cliffside Elementary) remains in School Improvement. In
compliance with NCLB, parents of students attending a school entering school improvement are notified of
status, sanctions and their rights according to the legislation. An explanation of measures to correct this status
is communicated as well. Schools in Choice receive assistance from the district by working directly with the
school administration and their school improvement team. The Title I Schoolwide Plan as well as the state
required School Improvement Plan will be examined for progress in implementation strategies and integrity of
needs identified. Plans will be revised and implementation of strategies and staff development will be monitored
at the district level. District assistance will continue to work with the school administration and school
improvement teams while monitoring the compliance of as described in the No Child Left Behind Act of 2001.
Twenty percent of identified school’s Title I budget will be reserved for transportation, supplemental services and
professional development until the school is out of school improvement.
TEACHER AND PARAPROFESSIONAL QUALIFICATIONS Describe how you will meet the requirements of
section 1119.
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Title I LEA Plan
The Human Resource Director and the administrators work collaboratively to ensure that all teachers are highly
qualified in the area(s) in which they are assigned. The HQ and HQ Summary reports assist in identifying
teachers who may be teaching out of field. If exceptions are noted, the system, through the use of Title II funds,
pays for Praxis II testing for these individuals. If coding errors exist, the NC Wise Coordinator and the Licensure
Specialist collaborate to make corrections. Since the 2005-2006 school year, all paraprofessionals must hold an
associate’s degree or have 48 semester hours of coursework. Currently, all paraprofessionals employed with
RCS meet the definition of highly qualified as determined by NCLB.
Rutherford County Schools is currently in the second year of implementation for the new North Carolina
Teacher Evaluation Instrument. This instrument is a growth model which requires both principals and
teachers to stay apprised of the latest best practices, updated technology strategies and continued
monitoring of teachers’ leadership skills. Using this model provides consistent awareness of student
needs and assists in overall increased student achievement.
Beginning Teachers in the Rutherford County School System are provided various means of support during the
first three years of teaching. The Beginning Teacher Induction Program for Teachers in their First Three Years
of Teaching is Rutherford County’s school board approved plan for providing support to beginning teachers.
The plan is facilitated by the Teacher Support Specialist, with support from the Director of Human Resources.
This program includes teachers with a Standard Professional 1, lateral entry, and provisional license. Lateral
entry teachers, required to have 80 hours of training, meet with the Teacher Support Specialist at the beginning
of the year to begin their required training. A formal orientation is provided for new teachers, including lateral
entry teachers, three days at the beginning of the school year.
Parents are notified if their child’s teacher is not recognized as highly qualified. A list of all teachers’
qualifications is given to the principal at the beginning of each school year and may be viewed by parents at the
school site. Currently, all Title I schools are 100% highly qualified, both teachers and paraprofessionals.
Rutherford County Schools’ HQ status is currently 98.92. For middle and high school teachers, the HR Dept
sends a letter to notify the administrators and parents of any personnel who do not meet the requirements of
NCLB. The targeted personnel will be given priority for relevant staff development.
HOMELESS CHILDREN If applicable, describe the services the LEA will provide homeless children, including
services provided with funds reserved under section 1113( c )(3)(A).
Through funds awarded by the McKinney-Vento Grant and the McKinney-Vento ARRA Grant, RCS has
employed three (3) Homeless Outreach Specialists to assist with the documentation of homeless
students and unaccompanied youth throughout the district. One specialist for each of the three
districts will work together as a coordinated team between the schools and agencies to help provide
needed services and resources. Homeless children will be identified through a collaboration of the three
outreach specialists, school administration, school nurses, guidance counselors, and county agencies. Their
needs will be identified based on multiple, objective, and academic- related criteria. Providing additional
services for homeless children includes tutoring or instructional support, referrals for health issues or other
services, counseling, school supplies, and assistance with clothing needs. Professional development for
guidance counselors, outreach specialists, and other key personnel was provided by SERVE. The
homeless liaison provided professional development at each of the elementary and middle schools to
address the McKinney Vento Homeless Assistance Act.
PARENTAL INVOLVEMENT Describe the strategy the LEA will use to implement effective parental
involvement under section 1118. Submit the district parental involvement policy as required by subsection
1118(a)(2). If in LEA IMPROVEMENT, describe how the LEA will increase parental involvement to support the
academic success of the identified subgroups.
District administrators work with school improvement teams in developing the Parent Involvement Policy. School
Improvement Teams have parent representation that serve as liaison between all parents and the school staff.
Each school also has Local School Advisory Council with board approved parents as members.
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Title I LEA Plan
In accordance with the local school wide plan, each school will inform parents about Title I and their right to be
involved during a school orientation meeting and/ or PTO meeting. Information will also be made available at
times when parents come into the school to sign the accountability compact. Information will be provided in the
language used in the home where this effort is reasonable. Parent meetings will be held at varying times for the
convenience of working parents. Teacher workdays will allow a flexible meeting schedule to accompany
customary evening meetings. Parents can also schedule specific meeting times during a teacher’s planning
time, early morning or afternoon.
Rutherford County Schools’ School-Parent-Student Academic Achievement compact was developed by a
committee of parents, teachers, students, administrators and community leaders. This compact invites the
teacher, student and parent(s) to become “Partners in Education" by recognizing expectations of all parties and
signing off on each individual’s specific responsibilities to meet stated expectations. Parents will be informed of
their child’s academic progress through interim reports, open houses, and requested teacher conferences as
well as opportunities provided by other parent involvement activities.
Parent involvement activities are scheduled at most Title I schools that address several academic areas. Such
activities include computer literacy, study and homework skills, as well as parenting skill classes. School sites
conduct specific parent involvement activities that address needs particular to parent requests in their
attendance area. In collaboration with Smart Start and the Rutherford County Literacy Council, a variety of
community and parent involvement literacy events and workshops are scheduled. One percent of each school’s
Title I allotment is reserved for parent involvement activities. The School Improvement Team and district staff
monitors this expenditure.
The Rutherford County Literacy Council collaborates between community agencies, Head Start, Even Start and
Parents as Teachers. An annual literacy celebration is held each year for K-5 children and their families.
Each school will ensure, to the extent possible, that information to the parent is communicated in a format and a
language the parents can understand. Bilingual staff, students and parents work together to accomplish this.
Parent Resource rooms will increase parental involvement and awareness of how parents can support their
child’s academic success. Each elementary school will provide Family Literacy nights for parents and students.
Family Literacy nights provide parents with a variety of reading strategies that can be used at home with their
child(ren).
Recently, RCS acquired SharpSchool—a new web presence. In consultation with the district’s digital
communications manager, directors will work to provide parent-friendly access to a variety of
educational resources.
Parents are invited to participate in the newly accessed Atomic Learning web-based program. A
system-wide call was made to all parents inviting them to a training on this program. They have the
availability to access the same online tutorials, workshops, and projects as do all RCS employees.
The District Parent Advisory Council meets quarterly wherein district directors discuss a variety of
topics ranging from curriculum, policies and procedures, testing, technology, and updates on
educational initiatives.
EXTENDED EDUCATIONALSERVICES. If appropriate, describe how the LEA will use funds under this part to
support after school (including before school and summer school) and school-year extension programs. If in
LEA IMPROVEMENT, describe specific programs and activities that will be offered through extended
educational opportunities for each subgroup identified.
Before and/or after school tutoring and/or homework help is provided at all Title I elementary schools.
Academic needs and gains are assessed with pre and post testing. Computer labs and media centers are
also opened for extended hours at some schools. Every Title I elementary school has after school daycare,
which provides homework assistance as well as computer lab time. The GEAR UP program provides
academic support to middle school students through extension programming. GEAR UP offers 4 parent
nights in the East District for middle and high school parents. The focus of the parent workshops is
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Title I LEA Plan
to increase awareness of GEAR UP goals which include academic readiness for college. Tutoring is
also offered in reading and math at both the middle and high school as part of the college readiness program.
JumpStart provides middle and high school students academic transition support between 8th grade and
9th grade during the summer months.
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