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Not making AYP
Old 01-09-2010, 12:10 PM
 
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Our school went in to school choice this year. Although we all know things desperately need to change, everyon seems to have their own ideas on what we should be doing. This question is for anyone out there who has also not made AYP. What did your school do to improve? How supportive was your administration - not just your principal. Our teachers have been told that there are lots of meetings that are mandatory for principals to attend, but to my knowledge whatever is discussed has not been shared with the building staff. Our building will take on a new configuration and I think that many believe this will be the "magic pill" that will fix everything. I'm not so sure. Any thoughts or suggestions would be greatly appreciated. You can either post here or PM me.

Thanks.


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Ayp
Old 01-09-2010, 01:11 PM
 
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My school did not make AYP about 7 years ago for language arts. Interestingly, our school was one of the higher scoring schools in math . We were one of the early birds because we already were a Title 1 school.

What happened was this: We became a Reading First school, where everyone was required to do 2 1/2 hours of language arts daily plus 30 minutes of ELD, with strict adherence to the scripted program. We could only use the materials supplied by the publisher.

You could not deviate one inch. There was constant scrutiny, and critical walkthroughs were the norm. Everything was under attack: from bulletin boards (AKA "learning walls") to seating arrangements, number of minutes of direct instruction and teaching strategies. Math instruction was cut from 90 minutes to 50 minutes daily, which of course was not a very smart decision . No more art, music, phys.ed., field trips, fun assemblies. Everything had to be "purposeful" and there always was a "sense of urgency."

We were required to have 80 hours of professional development a year, which was part of the Reading First requirements. Some teachers succumbed to the pressure, had nervous breakdowns, and had to leave their positions. We were all miserable because we knew what we had to do was not real teaching. There was also a lot of emphasis on "testing strategies," and teaching those strategies as a "genre."

We did make it out of PI status the next year, but had to continue the RF program for 4 years.

What we did get out of that year of PI was a renewed sense of focus. Teachers who until then had been in their own little world were required to collaborate. There were no more pet projects that did not contribute to the move forward. And best of all, those of us who remained developed a special camaraderie (sp?) like vets have during war.
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Program Improvement
Old 01-21-2010, 03:13 PM
 
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We did the following:
1. Prescribed curriculum-fidelity to that curriculum
2. True grade level collaboration
3. Deployment for leveled reading
4. Use of Certificated Tutors, RSP and support staff to keep groups small
5. White Board Math and ELA
6. Test prep using Mountain Math & Mountain Language for skills reinforcement (on white boards...not paper/ pencil...directly taught)
7. Longer school day
8. Math, Reading & writing only (science & social science taught through writing)
9. Student Study teams with interventions that worked
10. Partnership with parents
11. Established a Parent Ed program
12. Curriculum Nights 2 per quarter
13. Curriculum coordinators who gave a weekly focus and followed up
14. Daily focused admin visits

As the previous poster said...we hung in together and formed a tight group of survivors. Made it out of PI
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