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February 11 PTA Meeting A Plan for Greatness. Brent 2015-2020 Strategic Plan Brent will become a highly effective, inclusive, field experience school.

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Presentation on theme: "February 11 PTA Meeting A Plan for Greatness. Brent 2015-2020 Strategic Plan Brent will become a highly effective, inclusive, field experience school."— Presentation transcript:

1 February 11 PTA Meeting A Plan for Greatness

2 Brent 2015-2020 Strategic Plan Brent will become a highly effective, inclusive, field experience school where all students grow and advance through productive struggles in a whole-child approach that promotes academic, social, and emotional development in order to produce confident, self-reliant, and self- motivated students ready for any opportunity. 2

3 Strategic Plan Objective and Scope Objective: To take Brent from very good to indisputably great, by building on areas of strength and addressing areas of challenge in four main categories: 1.Our core curricular approaches: Responsive Classroom, Reggio-inspired EC, Readers/Writers Workshop, Investigations Math 2.Advancing the potential of every student: differentiated learning and individualized attention for all students 3.Strengthening our flagship “specials” program: World language, art, music, science, and physical education 4.Becoming a field experience school Scope: 1.Understand Brent’s current approaches in the four areas 2.Evaluate Brent’s current performance/results 3.Identify strengths, gaps, and areas for improvement 4.Examine best practices, including those at comparable schools 5.Develop options/recommendations, short- medium- and long-term actions, and resource needs 3

4 Findings: Strengths – Highly integrated, mutually reinforcing curricular approaches drawing from the best in education research and experience – “Whole child” philosophy—Brent’s range of full-time specials and field experiences are distinguishing characteristics – Small class sizes and curricular choices allow for easier differentiation among students requiring more support or more challenge – Well-defined school-wide system to identify needs for extra support – Specials program highly valued and highly rated – Field experience widely valued, most field trips aligned with curriculum to offer opportunities for greater learning depth/motivation – High-quality, dedicated teachers and staff – Variety of best practices in deepening curricular approaches, incorporating field experiences, and parent communication Brent has made strong investments in best education practices and is early on its path to greatness—can learn lessons from more mature schools and be the best 4

5 Findings: Challenges – School-wide progress has been inconsistent: Brent has fewer advanced students and more below-grade level students than comparable schools. Nearly a quarter of Brent students are below grade level in reading and math and 33% below grade level in writing, compared to an average of 12.5%, 10% and 11.5% in reading, math and writing at comps – Behavior is the #1 challenge identified by teachers but there are no consistent staffing resources dedicated to responding to acute behavioral challenges – No formal program to identify/serve advanced students (except above-grade level math for grades 3&4); no staffing resources dedicated to enrichment, no curricular enhancements – Brent’s curricula are best when fully articulated K-5 th grade, but Brent lacks sufficient resources or curricular adjustments to mitigate effects of late entry/early departure – General education and specials teachers and staff filling gaps that detract from academic support without adding value: lunchtime duty, recess duty – Insufficient parent knowledge about curricula means parents have not been fully engaged in extending their child’s education – Professional development for teachers or specialists’ time inconsistently prioritized, requires more acute focus – Teachers ultimately responsible for delivering majority of academic and behavioral interventions with limited time and support 5

6 Why? We Work With Limited Resources 6 Brent is significantly under resourced (people, funding) versus comparison schools – Given current academic and behavior needs, Brent has just 1 full time reading specialist, 1 full time literacy support person, and 30% of the science teacher’s time for math support; and only a half-time social worker and half-time psychologist for behavior support – In contrast, Stoddert has 7.5 specialists for academic support; plus a full time social worker, full time counselor, and half-time psychologist for behavior needs – Mann has 3.5 full time academic support staff and a high-quality instructional aide (PTA funded) in every class to ensure teacher/student support At Brent: Bulk of academic interventions and behavior management is the responsibility of teachers in the classroom with very limited support

7 Also, Brent’s prioritization of its limited resources (time, money) differs Brent prioritizes “whole child” with music, arts, science, language, and physical education – Comparable schools choose.5 language, and/or.5 arts, and/ or.5 music, and/or no explicit science or field experience program – We will continue to prioritize student experiences in all five specials classes Comp schools have explicit strategies for prioritizing specialists’, teacher and student time: e.g. getting students to grade level by 2 nd grade as gap accelerates thereafter PTA funds at other schools highly prioritized for academic support and enrichment: e.g. high-quality teaching aide in every class; enrichment personnel Professional development for teachers closely monitored and aligned with performance priorities/gaps 7

8 What Are We Going to Do About It? & How Are We Going to Get There? 8

9 Short-Term Recommendations: Building Brent’s Support Team ($150k)* Reprioritize PTA funds to hire a behavior tech ASAP to address SY 2014-15 challenges—already in progress Redirect school budget and PTA funds to hire as many high quality teacher partners as possible for SY 2015-2016, ideally four – Most flexible staffing resource to address wide range of needs – Behavior, academic intervention and enrichment support; – Frees up teacher time for academic support/enrichment planning with more staff available for lunch/recess duty – Frees up “specials” teacher time to enhance specials offerings instead of delivering academic support *Conservative Estimate 9

10 Short-Term Recommendations: New Approaches Academic support and enrichment Develop prioritization strategy for intervention and use of specialists’ time Audit and prioritize professional development resources to address critical gaps Put system in place to identify above grade level students Analyze and determine possibility of enrichment modules such as Jr. Great Books or other curricular extensions to provide enrichment opportunities for all students—plan for launch of pilot in SY 2015-16* Create Matriculation Committee (staff) to develop curricular interventions for students who enter or leave Brent at non-standard points Communication and best practices Identify a Communications Coordinator* (staff member) to develop additional and improved communication channels with parents – New parent orientation and redesign of Back to School Night – Curricular and assessment information – Amplify grade/class communications Create a systematic mechanism for staff to identify and share best practices (around communication, field experiences, math fluency, reading skills, etc.) *May require additional funding beyond initial $150K 10

11 Short-Term Recommendations: New Approaches Specials Shift language instruction to grades 2-5; move to.5 world language with focus on broad applicability to follow-on language acquisition* – Shift to 0.5 language allows for greater emphasis on academic support, arts, music and physical activity exposure for younger grades Determine ways to incorporate greater opportunities for physical movement and organized play throughout the school day Field experiences Rebrand and integrate field experience approach versus museum magnet Identify a Field Trip Coordinator* (staff member) to develop vertically articulated field experience program Create Communication Protocols for field experiences Establish formal partnerships Create a database of parent contacts Design plans for Field Trip Journey Brent Journal Identify a Field Experience Lead Teacher for each grade; parent field experience lead in each class *Requires DCPS approval 11

12 Medium- to Long-term Recommendations (2-5 years, additional $250K) Increase and prioritize PTA and DCPS budget to support a high-quality teacher partner in every class With enrollment growth, integrate a full-time social worker and counselor to build out behavior support team Develop Individualized Professional Development Plan for all staff members (aligned with foundational approaches) Hire an enrichment coordinator to expand school-wide enrichment approaches; become a Schoolwide Enrichment Model (SEM) school With enrollment growth, integrate a Dean of Students to manage support, enrichment, and behavior strategies 12

13 What’s the Vision? Brent achieves (SY 16/17) and retains DCPS “reward” status based upon a combination of test scores and rate of improvement (primarily achievement gap) Brent reduces by 50% the proportion of students below grade level and increases by 50% the proportion of advanced students All classrooms have a full-time aide. Aides in grades 1-5 are graduate students completing their Masters in Education degrees Brent has a behavior management team in place to support daily intervention and long-term behavior change All GenEd teachers have received professional development training/are credentialed in RC, Investigations, RW workshop, behavior management and differentiated instruction within 3 years of joining Brent Brent has a robust and resourced support program for struggling students; majority of students at grade level by end of grade 2 Brent has a robust and resourced schoolwide enrichment program to deepen learning and challenge all students Brent has a well developed and integrated specials program that gives students meaningful engagement and exposure to art, music, science, and language; incorporates rigorous physical activity into the school day Brent has a well-developed field studies program that is curricularly aligned and takes advantage of DC’s offerings, with dedicated staff, parent volunteers, and established relationships with key institutions 13

14 What does it take to get there? An additional $350,000 to $450,000, with about $150,000 in hand at current PTA and DCPS enrollment/funding levels Measured student growth and increased fundraising Focus, prioritization and increased effort on the part of teachers and staff Focus, prioritization and increased effort on the part of parents 14

15 Enrollment & Configuration Update: SY 2015-2016 Brent will grow to 382 students, not 400 DCPS has committed to funding: – The creation of an additional classroom (converting current staff lounge) 4 th grade classroom – The conversion of our four, end of hallway spaces to useable, adult/student spaces – Beautifying our student bathroom spaces 15

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