The Monroe County Community School Corporation is proposing ways to improve two elementary schools that are failing to meet state standards.
District officials are recommending Fairview and Highland Park Elementary Schools use eight core principals and three intervention strategies that focus on individualized instruction, reduced student-to-teacher ratios, and increased time spent in core subjects as a way to increase student performance.
Fairview sixth grade teacher Robin Johnson says there is a sense of urgency in the school to improve student achievement.
“We know that there is something that needs to happen here,” she says. “And we can’t wait. It has to happen now.”
Principals of both schools presented their proposals for improvement at the MCCSC Board Meeting Tuesday night before opening the meeting for public comment.
Mary Wicker has been a teacher at Fairview for 28 years. She says the new plan is a working document that will be reviewed and tweaked based on what works – and what doesn’t.
“It’s just constantly looking at that to see where do we need to hone in on certain areas and really develop it to where our students need it,” she says.
An initial restructuring plan at Fairview Elementary was thwarted in January after parents protested the rushed implementation and a lack of parental input.
Substitute teacher and Fairview parent Andre Love says he supports the new academic plan and is glad the school asked for parent input this time around.
“Its not about one person, its not about one idea, but its about a whole community, and we need to make sure that not only our children are being taught, but our parents are being educated as well of this problem so our community can be greater.”
The plan is in the final stages of preparation and will be ready to present to staff within the next few weeks.
Here’s a more detailed look at MCCSC’s plan:
Eight Core Principles
- Effective principal with the ability to lead the turn around effort.
- School environment needs to support children.
- Teachers must utilize research-based. Rigorous and effective instruction to meet the needs of all students and align with the state standards.
- Teachers have available foundational documents and instructional materials needed to teach to rigorous college and career ready standards.
- Recruit, retain and develop effective teachers.
- School wide use of data focused on improved teaching and learning.
- Redesign time to better meet the learning needs and collaboration between teachers on student progress.
- Increase academically focused family and community engagement.
- Align schedules, systems, human resources and individualized instruction to deliver an instructional plan focused on students achieving at high levels in English, language arts, and math. Reducing student-to-teacher ratio and increasing time spent on those three subjects. Individualized intervention plans for students, including timelines for student improvement. Decrease number of student transitions during the school day.
- Deliver a highly engaging curriculum delivered at the instructional level of the students and increase communication with parents about students’ academic progress.
- Support students in taking ownership of their learning.