Summer Planning

Another first, this summer I am planning with our Principal for the upcoming school year. Getting class list together, cleaning and maintenance schedules,and Interviews and hiring new staff.
A couple of staff members have asked, “Mr. Williams, when are you gonna take a break?” I smiled and told them “this isn’t work. I’m having a break right now.” Seriously there is a lot to get done in the few weeks we have until school opens in August. I am learning much about putting the right pieces together at the right time, to ensure a successful and smooth school year. So what worked last year? A collaborative vision of high expectation. This translated into the school working together as a unit to make the vision a reality. Another factor that played a role in our success was the emphasis on the school as a family. There was alot of cooperation between teachers, parents, students and administration. Teachers voiced their concerns and we listened. Same was true for parents and students. There was also a little friendly competition between another elementary school. Add this all together and we were the 3rd highest in our district in terms of proficiency. Next up, preparing for some PD with Staff before school opens.

Preliminary Results….

We received our preliminary results last week , and we are right at 77.8 % proficiency. Our goal was 80 % , and we are hopeful for a few more percentage points. Out of 28 elementary schools we rank 3rd highest in proficiency. We also made High Growth ( 60% of students making a year’s growth). Quite an accomplishment for two rookie admins, as this was Ms. Pugh’s first year as principal, and my first year as assistant principal. Also to mention we are 85% Free & reduced lunch, and a Title I school. Who said economically-disadvantaged students can’t perform academically. I know these standardized exams don’t mean that students have learned anything, but this is the measure we are being held to. Until they change the rules of the game, we are playing this game to win! Next up figuring out what worked well this year , and planning for next school year.

Test results are in…My first war room experience

We received our initial end of grade test results yesterday, and it sure was an eye opener! We had set an ambitious goal of 80% proficiency with 10% growth. Well let’s say we were a little below that, so students are allowed retakes if they are not at proficiency after the first test administration. We have a week to plan and implement remediation, then students who didn’t pass the first time take it again. These retakes count towards our overall proficiency and growth data. We analyzed the data from each class, looking at how close students were to passing. We looked at students who were within 10 or less percentage point from passing and grouped accordingly. The teachers chosen for remediation are our strongest educators. Numbers were crunched and we have a plan in place to achieve our goal, if we re mediate 70 students, 35 in reading 35 in math our goal is within reach. I will keep you posted and let you know our final results in two weeks.
peaceHigh Stakes Testing

4th Qtr Push…

Our last benchmark scores were encouraging, rumor has it our school is leading the district in proficiency! Our remediation plans are in place and we start today. 5 weeks left before testing, the race is on. Our goal is 80% or higher. We have regrouped students, issued double doses of curriculum where our students have shown weaknesses. Study Island, Accelerated Reader, Google docs and plain old fashion teaching with practice and repetition should do the trick. We have several observations to do to finish out the year, in addition to a core knowledge fair next month. Will keep you posted!

3rd Qtr Benchmarking….

Last attempt to know where our students are academically, teachers have been working hard to teach & assess reading,math & science skills. We are optimistic of upward trends. Data has been analyzed and distributed to teachers,parents & students. New tools and strategies are waiting in the wings, if results are not positive. High stakes testing, High expectations or simply a numbers game?

February, the toughest month of the year…

Mid Febuary, The Holidays are a distance memory, Spring is a distance future. The weather is awful,and stress is mounting from students, teachers & administration. Testing and data is being thrown in teachers faces and they in turn are turning to students for more production. Students don’t see the relevance and disipline erupts. Add a layer of bullying and we have the perfect febuary storm. Solutions?

1. De-Stress, students,teachers, and admins. Take time out for yourself to re-group, re-focus, and finish the mission (high student achievement)
2. Plan for disipline, we know who and what the triggers are. Disipline problems are predictable at this time of the year. Plan more hands-on , relevant activites for your students.
3. Recognize when they had enough, incorporate some fun learning activites throughout the day, especially on Mondays and Fridays.
4. Keep communication open with parents and administration, let them know how students are doing academically and socially.
5. Investigate & report all incidents of Bullying. The Bully Box, http://moultrieobserver.com/local/x563628969/Bully-box
6. Feel free to use this form for reporting bullying. https://docs.google.com/viewer?a=v&pid=explorer&chrome=true&srcid...
7. Let admins know if you cannot handle it yourself, & document it.
8. If your feeling too stressed, let your principal know and take a mental health day. You and your students will be better in the long run.

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