Woodland PreK-4 (Primary and Intermediate) School Report
TO: Michael Green
FROM: Steven Carney
CC: School Board Members
RE: September Review
Woodland PreK-4 (Primary and Intermediate) School : One School - Two Buildings
A Focus on Learning
On September 1st and 2nd, Woodland PreK-4 started the year out by establishing a vision for the future we wanted to create together. Through the theme of “Dare, Dream, Do”, the PreK-4 faculty and staff committed to establishing a culture where there is a relentless focus on learning with an unwavering belief that all students can learn at high levels. We also developed our PreK-4 Vision and Mission as follows:
● Our vision is to create a PreK-4 system that inspires a passion for learning and guarantees that all our students learn and achieve at high levels.
● Our mission is to provide a superior education by aligning our actions that model a relentless focus on learning with an unwavering belief that all students can learn and achieve at high levels.
The first few late start Mondays in September have been devoted to learning data analysis protocols and setting grade level team norms, roles, and agreements for grade level collaboration. On October 5th, all grade levels started their first of many Collaborative Inquiry (CI) work sessions, aka Professional Learning Community (PLC). Each grade establishes a laser-like focus on student learning and student learning results. Each CI meeting is more than teachers getting together to share data—it is a team of individuals who meet to achieve common goals for their grade level and for the school. Instead of sharing data, they respond to data, which requires a sense of mutual accountability and a willingness to change classroom practices accordingly. Each team focuses their conversations on the following four questions:
● What specifically do we expect all students to learn?
● How will we know when each student has learned it?
● How will we respond when students are having difficulty learning?
● How will we respond when students demonstrate that they have learned?
On October 5th, each grade level set a team SMART goal for student learning in English Language Arts. Each team set a two week SMART goal that will be measured by a common formative assessment.
The following goals were set by each grade level.
2: By 10/16/2015 100% of 2nd graders will correctly use words acquired from the text as measured by completing sentence starters with at least 80% accuracy .
3: By 10/16/2015 100% of 3rd grade students will produce a simple sentence with 80% accuracy measured by their ability to write five sentences.
4: By 10/16/2015 100% of 4th grade students will use the text to write 3 on topic facts / details as measured by a writing assessment.
Kindergarten and 1st are still in the process of collecting and analyzing additional assessment data and will begin their goal setting on Monday, October 12, 2015.
On October 14th and through an analysis of curriculum based baseline and SBA student learning outcome data , the PreK-4 lead team will be making some decisions about school-wide ELA and Math goals.
On September 24th, new teachers (beginning and experienced) engaged in Highly Effective Assessment Practices FOR Learning. The primary objective is to support teams in how to use assessment information formatively and effectively in the classroom and deepen their understanding of research-based, high-impact formative assessment practices. Teachers collaborated on effective ways to develop student understanding of the intended learning, provide descriptive feedback effectively and efficiently, and teach students to self-assess and set goals.
Beginning Educator Support Team (BEST)
We added ten beginning teachers to our school staff this year. A highly qualified teaching workforce is the single greatest leverage point for ensuring that all students achieve at their highest level. Research has found that differences in teacher capability can account for as much as 90% of the variation in student learning in schools with similar student characteristics (Armour-Thomas, Clay, et al., 1989, as cited in What Matters Most: Teaching and America’s Future, 1996). We recognize the critical importance of providing sustained and purposeful
professional support to our teaching force, including — especially — those teachers in the beginning years of their profession.
To support the professional growth of our beginning teachers, we applied for and received a BEST grant through ESD 112.With the BEST grant resources we are able to match beginning teachers with a trained mentor to visit and support them in the classroom. Release time is provided by mentees and mentors, as well as a stipend for first year teachers’ participation in the program. Professional development is focused on knowledge and skills for effective teaching and communicating learning. Mentors have opportunities to participate in OSPI mentor training and regional Mentor Round Tables. To day, beginning teachers have participated in the following professional learning events:
● BEST Mentor/Mentee Roundtable (once a week meeting with mentor focused on beginning teacher reflection and learning)
● TPEP Criteria 1,2,3, & 4 Training
● Assessment FOR Learning: Effective Assessment Practices
● Effective Grading Practices
● Individual Mentee Coaching
In addition, our beginning teachers will participate in professional learning opportunities provided by ESD 112. These include:
● ENVoY: Creating Independence in the Classroom (10 Hours)
● Maximizing Learning AND Engagement through Effective Teaching Practices (6 hours)
● Centering Instruction in HIGH Expectations for Student Achievement (6 hours)
● Ensuring Success for Each Student - Classroom Management – (4 hours)
Bucket Filling Assembly
On September 18, 2015 - We kicked our school year and PBIS program off with an amazing and dynamic assembly for our students and staff. The assembly was put together to...
● Teach the importance of being a bucketfilling parent, teacher, manager and citizen
● Make bucket filling and other-centeredness a daily habit and a way of life
● Preempt and reduce mean, bullying, and bucket-dipping behaviors
● Empower individuals to become more resilient by understanding and learning to overcome bucket-dipping situations
● Create more rewarding and productive lives where people focus on the good and best in others and themselves
It was a fantastic event.
On September 29th, 2015 (Prek-1) and October 1st, 2015 (2-4) we opened our doors to students and families for a night of visiting classrooms, eating hot dogs, purchasing books at the book fair, and community building. The event was well-attended. We had numerous emails that stated this year’s open house experience was one of the best to date.
The Woodland PTSA hosted their annual “Walk for Woodland Kids” fundraiser at the PreK-1 building October 6th and at the 2-4 building on October 8th. With the help of dozens of volunteers this was a huge success. A limousine lunch is planned for mid October for all students whose pledges totaled $100 or more.
It has been an incredibly eventful beginning. We started the year with a large influx of new student enrollments. The kindergarten class is the largest in Woodland history (so I have been
told). We have 8 full day kindergarten classes. 2nd and 3rd grade enrollment numbers have also increased. To date our enrollment is:
● K - 172: 8 classes, 21 students / class (average)
● 1st - 133: 7 classes, 19 students / class (average)
● 2nd - 156: 6 classes, 26 students / class (average)
● 3rd - 177: 7 classes, 25 students / class (average)
● 4th - 139: 5 classes, 28 students / class (average)