Goal Achieved 80+ % Proficiency!

Our 4th qtr end of grading testing results indicate 80+ % of our 3rd, 4th and 5th graders are proficient. That may not be a big deal to some school leaders, but it is to us. We are a urban magnet school with 80+ percent of our student receiving free or reduced lunch. What we just accomplished kills the notion that poor students cannot learn. What it took was innovative teaching & learning combined with focused leadership, dedication and high expectations for all. Now we begin a new quest, The Common Core. I am excited as this will include more rigor and relevance. We will also implement a heavy dose of tech integration, to promote and demonstrate those higher order thinking skills. Sorry for the delay in post, but I will try to update more frequently. A lot going on, you know I’m sure. Feel free to leave a comment!

End of 3rd Quarter, where are we?

Spring break is here, and the testing season is upon us. We’ve had several things to celebrate, but now comes the final test. Doesn’t matter how many awards you’ve won, or how many visitors from other schools who’ve came to see what it is your doing. According to our quarterly assessments, we are about 68-70% proficient in our testing grades of 3rd-5th. Our goal started out as 80%, but we recently adjusted that goal higher? We are getting started early in our test prep, and have instituted a new strategy. I will tell you how successful this strategy is, when we get our final results in 7 weeks. On a brighter note we did win a National award for Urban Schools. You can read more about it here. We have a Ipad cart of 20 Ipads, which the students are really excited about. I am researching the effectiveness on student achievement, by how often they are used by teachers, students and the use of certain applications. I am also continuing to strengthen my skills as a Instructional Leader. I attended the ASCD conference in Philly last week, and returned with some new skills and strategies I plan on implementing at RN Harris. Lastly, in whatever free time I have left, I am developing some new mobile applications that hopefully increase student engagement with literacy. I will keep you posted.

Still Winning!

Leadership Excellence Award to R.N. Harris administrative team that achieved the highest percentage of Scorecard Growth Goals for 2010-11. The school received a check from the Business Advisory Council for $2,500 for leadership development.
Pictured:R.N Harris Elementary Integrated Arts and Core Knowledge Magnet Elementary School, with Principal Carolyn Pugh and Assistant Principal Adriese Williams.
Harris surpassed all but one of their growth goals in reading and math, made High Growth on the ABCs and met 100% of their AYP goals. RN Harris’s overall percentage of goals met was 70.8 percent. Read more here

Week 5, Molding & Shaping…

School is in full swing, and teachers and students are settling into routines. Our district is using the AFL framework (Assessment for Learning) which helps helps teachers and administrators monitor & track student achievement. PLC‘s are a big part of AFL, so I decided to share two PLC meetings conducted this week to give some insight and gather some feedback. You will hear our Instructional Facilitator, Catherine Long, our 4th, 3rd Grade Teachers ,EC Teacher and myself. Ms.Pugh is our Principal at RN Harris.

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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.

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?