Granby " New East Grand School District administrative team begins to gel
February 10, 2009
East Grand School District principals recently presented the Board of Education with reports about their schools at the half-way point of the school year.
The new administrative team has been together for five and a half months.
“My impressions are very strong around programs that we brought in this year,” said James Chamberlin, director of student achievement.
A majority of teachers were trained in the National Literacy Coalition, a researched-based writing technique program. This should improve student test results on the C-SAP tests they will take in March, Chamberlin said.
“We, as an administrative team, are starting to learn each other’s styles,” Chamberlin said.
The district is still focusing on its goals, he said.
The principals had to build trust inside the school community and with parents, students and staff, said Superintendent Nancy Karas.
“This administrative staff has been able to get their staff behind them,” she said. “So there seems to be a high level of trust, and they ‘re looking at them to be the leaders.
So, I think that is going to help us make change quickly and be very efficient at it.
“Our goal together is to be the strongest team this district’s had within the next couple years; we plan on being the best team you’ve ever seen.”
Fraser Valley Elementary
– Three specialist teachers provide intensive reading interventions at Fraser Valley Elementary at the beginning of the school day. The Parent Advisory Committee (PAC) also hired a part-time reading tutor to help to help struggling students.
– Teachers also are incorporating International Baccalaureate’s philosophy and Reading Street into the curriculum.
– School officials began a new process to identify students with academic challenges.
– Teachers also are implementing the National Literacy Coalition program. The writing committee began a district writing assessment. The implementation of Scot Foresman and Investigations Math has begun with the PAC fundraising and purchasing of the materials needed in each of the classrooms.
∞ The PAC also began the Parents Encouraging Supporting Teachers and Staff Program. They also provide food for all the teachers’ staff meetings. A new school Web site was completed and is updated bi-weekly.
∞ “We really have been trying to implement some things where students are teaching students,” Principal Penny Sauzo said.
– Granby Elementary is continuing its commitment to Reading Street curriculum and integration of the International Baccalaureate themes into the reading, math and writing programs.
– The school may consider scheduling a Family Reading Night to promote literacy at home. Staff is focusing on increasing math vocabulary in the third and fourth grades.
∞ Math classes continue to incorporate the Scot Foresman and Investigations curriculum. Teachers also are implementing the National Literacy Coalition strategies.
– The school’s building discipline committee is developing a discipline plan. “Our safety committee has been very busy,” Principal Andrea Verosky said. The committee has met with members of the Granby Town Council to improve school safety. “There’s just a lot of kids, and a not a lot of sidewalks, and the speed limit’s even lower at the Middle School than it is around our school,” she said. The speed limit is 15 MPH at EGMS, and 20 MPH at the Elementary School.
Grand Lake Elementary
– Grand Lake Elementary is taking steps to ensure that at-risk students receive additional instruction in the My Sidewalks portion of the series.
– All staff received Reading Streets curriculum training and it has been implemented in all classrooms.
∞ Students who were below level in reading are receiving Title I instruction from either Principal Phyllis Price or Mary Simondsen on a daily basis.
– All classroom and special education Staff received National Literacy Coalition training of Every Child Writer. Every classroom has implemented the National Literacy Coalition method for instruction in writing.
– In addition, math curriculum materials have been introduced in each classroom, and supplemental materials are used to give students a “deeper understanding of math concepts introduced using curriculum materials,” said Price’s report to the school board.
East Grand Middle School
– A during school/after-school mentoring program was developed at East Grand Middle, and community members and high school students have volunteered.
– Staff is continuing development of its International Baccalaureate plans.
– Gifted and Talented Program continues with separate classes per-grade level “for that extra level of attention and high-level thinking skills that these students need,” said Principal Jeff Verosky’s report.
– All math staff at the middle school volunteered to participate on the district math committee to help find and choose a new secondary math curriculum.
– Response to Intervention continues to be developed on campus.
– The National Literacy Coalition model of teaching has been implemented.
Middle Park High School
– Twenty freshmen have been identified as at-risk for school completion ” staff is working to develop interventions. “The RTI team has identified 20 of our freshmen who are underachieving,” said Principal Jane Harmon. The team is targeting those 20 students with individual intervention. “We chose to do freshmen because it is very difficult to make change with our juniors and seniors,” she said. “Even as a freshman those kind of behaviors are often very difficult to change.”
– Ongoing projects include: IB intervention; community service and senior projects; development of student government;
– Student government is becoming more involved in decision-making.
– Attendance also is improving, she said. She and Superintendent Karas worked with the parents of students they were concerned about. “And I’m pleased to tell you those young men have been in school with the exception of one day combined (since) the start of this semester,” Harmon said. “That’s exciting to me.”