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Northside Elementary 2010-11 Northside Elementary 2010-11 Standard 1 The school establishes and communicates a shared purpose and direction for improving the performance of students and the effectiveness of the school. A committee comprised of staff and parents developed Northside Elementary mission and vision. The committee analyzed the current status of Northside using a needs assessment tool. Many components of our present situation were discussed such as: new administration, new population/ demographics, new stakeholders, less staff/students, and fewer days to achieve our goals. The committee determined that an updated mission and vision were needed that would be relevant and easily accessible to all stakeholders. The committee also reviewed and set goals as to where we want to be at the end of the school year. We would like to see our students: feel a part of the Northside Family, feel successful, feel empowered to achieve, and achieve at grade level and beyond. To reach these goals we feel we will need to have consistency, rituals and routines, provide opportunities to succeed, encourage parental involvement and support, and create a risk-free environment. The mission, vision, and belief statements were sent to all stakeholders for their review and input. Suggestions were compiled by the committee in order to improve and better serve the community of Northside Elementary School. A new vision and mission statement was created. Northside Elementary 2010-11 Standard 2 The school provides governance and leadership that promote student performance and school effectiveness. The School Improvement Team of NES has been involved in the development of a plan that is data–driven rather than based on feelings or beliefs in order to gain momentum in the area of student achievement. As Kaufman, Herman, and Watters (2002) so eloquently assert, “to remain static is to await decay and evolutionary extinction; to react is to risk dissipation of energy without achieving relevancy; to innovate and act to increase our responsiveness to other people is to invite criticism. Practical, functional, justifiable, planned change is a professional responsibility and societal imperative.” Based on the Continuous Improvement Cycle and the Plan-Do-Check-Act (also known as the Deming Cycle), the aim of the NES SIP team is to provide a clear understanding of the definition and benefits of strategic planning, as well as offer an example of how to effectively communicate a plan to all stakeholders by allowing people to focus on areas of responsibility while understanding their personal role in the overall plan. The foundation of Northside’s School Improvement plan is first focused on the betterment of a future society for learners. The plan is results based and results oriented: it identifies where to go and shows how get there while assessing and calibrating progress using measurable goals and objectives. The school improvement team’s goal is for the plan to be idea driven documents that are qualitative in nature, but also based upon analyzed data that provides the backbone for measurement of growth. The focus of the team is to create a successfully implemented process that will become part of the daily rituals and routines at Northside Elementary, so much so in fact, that the language of the plan should be an influential portion of every planned activity. Northside Elementary 2010-11 Standard 3 The school provides research-based curriculum and instructional methods that facilitate achievement for all students. Northside Elementary School teachers use instructional techniques that focus on active learning and are developmentally appropriate. Teachers enable students to develop and apply knowledge in real and meaningful ways. Teachers use a variety of resources to meet the learning needs of all of our students. Instruction and learning are enhanced by employing a full time computer lab teacher. Each classroom in Pre-K to fifth grade use the computer lab once a week as part of the activity schedule to enhance instruction presented in the classroom. A full time art teacher, music teacher, and two physical education teachers complete an activity schedule that supplements our curriculum. A variety of instructional strategies are utilized to help all students learn. Some are modeling, direct instruction, inclusion, graphic organizers, writing rubrics, literature, and manipulatives. The faculty at Northside Elementary School are continuously working to improve curriculum and instruction. Staff development sessions are held to facilitate a variety of topics in academic achievement. Student learning is frequently evaluated through the use of student portfolios and tests. Frequently used tests are STAR, CRCT, GKIDS, OAS and the Accelerated Reading and Math programs. Results of these tests and programs lead to remediation and extension activities. After school tutorial programs for reading and math are planned to meet the needs of our at-risk students. Teachers also schedule tutorial sessions before school, during planning, as well as afterschool. Northside Elementary 2010-11 Standard 4 The school enacts a comprehensive assessment system that monitors and documents performance and uses these results to improve student performance and school effectiveness. Northside Elementary is in the process of training all faculty in effective data analysis and utilization in driving instruction. A data wall that encompasses assessment results in reading math and writing is in the process of being developed for utilization by all faculty and staff. This data analysis tool will identify and provide support for at risk learners in all grade levels. Teachers, staff and parents will also complete training in understanding the components and different levels of achieving AYP. Northside Elementary 2010-11 Standard 5 The school has the resources and services necessary to support its vision and purpose and to ensure achievement for all students. Northside Elementary School is fully staffed with qualified administrators and teachers. The faculty is sufficient to meet the mission, vision, and goals of the school. The faculty is highly professional and adequately trained to serve the students. The size of the student body is 500. Our school is allotted one administrative head, one 49% administrative assistant, one guidance professional, one media specialist, and three support staff for administration. Northside Elementary School employs instructional personnel who have degrees appropriate to their position. A variety of professional learning opportunities are available to the faculty of Northside Elementary School including professional conferences, standards training, local school workshops, and online classes. Teachers at Northside Elementary School are evaluated using the Georgia Teacher Observation Instrument. Each teacher is trained in the instrument and has an understanding of the expectations of each dimension. Results of the evaluation are used to improve instruction and to plan professional learning opportunities. The confidentiality of the evaluation is protected at all costs. Paraprofessionals work under the supervision of professional personnel. Each paraprofessional is certified according to Georgia state standards and participates in appropriate professional learning activities. All professional personnel have one planning period each day. Grade levels have common planning times to allow for grade level collaboration and weekly teacher study group meetings. Class sizes are in compliance with state guidelines. All budgetary resources are used to support the mission, vision, and beliefs of the school. Educational programs are supported through the appropriate funding sources. All financial transactions are carefully monitored and recorded through system mandated accounting methods. Records are Northside Elementary 2010-11 audited annually as part of the system auditing process. The physical resources of the school comply with all federal, state, and local regulations. The building is clean and comfortable. There is adequate space for all school functions and extracurricular activities. A school maintenance and safety plan is updated annually. The media collection is adequate for the student population. There is a balanced collection of books, videotapes, and periodicals that support the curriculum. The open library concept insures that all students and faculty have access to the media center at all times. The electronic circulation system in the media center assures maintenance of the collection. Teachers and students are trained on the process of checking out books and other media materials. A system policy is in place for the use of the internet. An acceptable use policy is distributed and signed by all students at the beginning of each year. Northside Elementary 2010-11 Standard 6 The school fosters effective communications and relationships with and among its stakeholders. Northside Elementary plans for targeted areas of growth in the area of communication and development of stakeholder relationships. Various means of communication and development of increased public relations are considered to be an imperative component in the plan to move Northside into the realm of a school known for producing highly successful students. Northside Elementary has developed a school-parent compact that is a written agreement between teachers and parents due to the mandate that all schools receiving Title I funds must develop a compact. The purpose of this document is to clearly state the roles and responsibilities of the teachers, students, and parents in the learning process. However, the focused outcome of the compact is predicted to be an increase in the student’s academic achievement due to the enhanced level of effective communications between school and home. Northside Elementary has also begun to improve the manner in which information is communicated to all stakeholders. The school website is under constant reconstruction in order to continuously improve the quality of electronic communication. Print based materials are offered in both Spanish and English, in order to reach the families of our Hispanic learners. Northside has also recently joined the Parent Teacher Association (PTA) in order to provide more quality research based materials to assist parents with their child’s education. Northside Elementary 2010-11 Standard 7 The school establishes, implements, and monitors a continuous process of improvement that focuses on student performance. Northside Elementary School will implement the Continuous Improvement Cycle (CIC) ,a five-step model for carrying out change. When utilizing this model, NES has begun to plan for growth and improvement by asking and searching for the answers to five important questions. Within these questions, a framework for educational improvement has emerged. Used in conjunction with the plan- do-check act- model, the desired result is an effective and efficient method of school improvement planning that results in producing increased student achievement and increased school effectiveness. When using this additional model, the following components must be adhered to: plan an improvement initiative and establish a timeline, implement each goal on a small scale, check the results to glean knowledge, act to find out the impact of the plan, repeat the cycle. Using these five steps, it is critical to remember that most failures in using a performance evaluation tool stem from lack of fidelity or execution of the plan, failure to monitor effectively, and a lack of communication between stakeholders. It has been imperative that SIP team start with a focus on student achievement and non-student data. The process began with readily available data and has grown into use of measures that require new systems or processes to develop as follows: Data should be accessed that gives the most accurate and complete view of organizational performance. Ensure that performances and processes are being measured adequately. Work with stakeholders to determine what data is negotiable and non-negotiable, and communicate it up front. Ensure that the balanced scorecard is connected with your entire leadership process. Lastly, a common vocabulary should be developed among stakeholders.
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