Thursday, January 28, 2016
By Marianne Deal Stephens
In late 2015, Shoreline Schools posted School Improvement Plans (SIPs). In Washington State, every public school must come up with a School Improvement Plan that is “data-driven, promotes a positive impact on student learning, and includes a continuous improvement process” (Washington Administrative Code).
All SIPs generally follow a format of half the plan focused on literacy and half on math. The plans present data from state and local assessments, which vary by grade level. Assessments may include the following:
- Smarter Balanced Assessment
- DIBELS (Dynamic Indicators of Basic Early Literacy Skills)
- SRI (Scholastic Reading Inventory)
- EasyCBM (Curriculum-Based Measurement)
The results from these assessments are detailed by subgroups so that the school and district can identify achievement gaps. After the numbers, the schools present an action plan for student academic growth.
Action plan elements vary by level and location. At Ridgecrest Elementary, teachers will implement new reading curricula, increase the frequency of small group instruction for students not meeting standards, and use close reading strategies across content areas, among other measures.
At Highland Terrace Elementary, students in 3rd-6th grade will have access to additional math practice through IXL, and teachers will provide small group instruction to students who need it following whole group math lessons. In all schools, strategies include both broad measures affecting all students and targeted measures focusing on small groups or individual students.
Middle school strategies reflect the nature of the school structure. Among many other measures, Kellogg will achieve routine use of Cornell Note-taking in all applicable subjects (the note-taking method is an element of the all-school AVID program), and create a new SIOP model for ELL students. Einstein will provide interventions in classes and during support periods like Working Lunch and after-school Tiger Tutoring.
High School plans make it clear that literacy is not limited to English and math to standard math classes. Shorecrest High School involves several departments in the literacy effort: Art, Counseling, English, Social Studies, Leadership, Learning Resource Center, World Language, and Science. In the same way, various departments share the math goals: Directed Studies, Family and Consumer Science, Industrial Tech/ Business, Math, Music, PE/ Health.
Shorewood High School calls on all staff to “delve deeper into course failure rates” and to support students through targeted intervention.
Many School Improvement Plans have a component addressing community and family involvement, which has “a positive impact on student learning (Washington Administrative Code). Parkwood and Briarcrest Elementaries have monthly Cafecitos sessions for Spanish speaking families, and Meridian Park Elementary will host Family Nights for Kindergarten and First Grade to teach content strategies and games to support learning at home.
To support families who speak a language other than English at home, Einstein will train staff to use Language Line to engage families and increase the use of TransAct for sharing documents. Shorecrest will have family outreach to the Ballinger Homes area, including having Student/ Parent Conferences on site.
Parents and community members can access the School Improvement Plans on the District website . Questions about the plans or schools can be directed to the building principals.
- Children’s Center
- Cascade K-8
- Echo Lake
- Highland Terrace
- Lake Forest Park
- Meridian Park