Elementary schools lay out improvement plans

Jun 15, 2017 by

Published in the June 15, 2017 edition

By BILL LAFORME

NORTH READING – The town’s three elementary principals presented their respective school improvement plans to School Committee members on Monday night.

All three of the elementary schools will place an emphasis on cutting student proficient gaps in half.

Hood School Principal Glen McKay cited his school’s 100% score on a recent state accountability report, noting it was an improvement from last year’s score – 99%. He added that one of the school’s priorities is to continue building up its maker space area – a priority also shared by the other elementary schools in town. Some of the items in the Hood School’s list of goals for 2017-2018 include all-faculty math assessment workshops to review reports and test results, with other priorities including identification of students in need of Individual Student Success Plans, as well as more collaboration time to allow teachers to analyze data. The same priorities are also shared for the school’s English/Language Arts (ELA) classes. This year the school also reportedly plans to improve its science instruction with help from analysis of MCAS data as well as classroom projects and assessments.

Another part of the Hood School plan focuses on safety, with steps including the ongoing implementation of the district’s bullying intervention plan, maintaining all security cameras in the school, ID badges for all staff and visitors, and other priorities.

The school also hopes to increase involvement from parents, with increased communication, efforts to increase PTO membership, as well as more engagement with the broader North Reading community.

For the E.E. Little School’s efforts to reduce the student proficiency gap, Principal Christine Molle reported that uninterrupted 90-minute ELA classes will be scheduled for grades 1-5, with co-teaching strategies expected to be incorporated in classrooms with high needs or high enrollments. Test data will also be analyzed with an eye on assessing program strengths and weaknesses. Teachers will also be assessing students’ progress in writing, and the plan also calls for cross-curriculum work activities, such as those with a reading and writing component, as well as ongoing displays of student work throughout the building. Efforts to close the math achievement gap will include more technology in the classroom for test taking and instruction, as well as more co-teaching opportunities in classes with high needs students. In the area of improving learning and growth for all students, the Little School’s plan includes implementing Sheltered English Immersion strategies as needed for English Language Learners, expansion of the maker space, and incorporation of social/emotional programs for the students. For safety, the school plans a building needs assessment and the identification and training of an incident management team.

Batchelder School Principal Sean Killeen noted that implementation of the Eureka math curriculum is in its second year there now. The coming school year will also reportedly see school data teams reporting to faculty three times next school year on grade level reports. School officiais will also be working to better familiarize themselves with the scoring process for the MCAS 2.0 exam, and will also be focusing more on student written performance. A maker space at the school is also a priority, as is a review of the digital learning model for the elementary level.

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