Executive Summary. McWillie Elementary School

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1 Jackson Public School District Ms. Sara Pearson, Principal 4851 McWillie Circle Jackson, MS Document Generated On January 29, 2014

2 TABLE OF CONTENTS Introduction 1 Description of the School 2 School's Purpose 4 Notable Achievements and Areas of Improvement 5 Additional Information 7

3 Introduction Every school has its own story to tell. The context in which teaching and learning takes place influences the processes and procedures by which the school makes decisions around curriculum, instruction, and assessment. The context also impacts the way a school stays faithful to its vision. Many factors contribute to the overall narrative such as an identification of stakeholders, a description of stakeholder engagement, the trends and issues affecting the school, and the kinds of programs and services that a school implements to support student learning. The purpose of the Executive Summary (ES) is to provide a school with an opportunity to describe in narrative form the strengths and challenges it encounters. By doing so, the public and members of the school community will have a more complete picture of how the school perceives itself and the process of self-reflection for continuous improvement. This summary is structured for the school to reflect on how it provides teaching and learning on a day to day basis. Page 1

4 Description of the School Describe the school's size, community/communities, location, and changes it has experienced in the last three years. Include demographic information about the students, staff, and community at large. What unique features and challenges are associated with the community/communities the school serves? is a public, urban Montessori school innovatively designed to serve pre-kindergarten three-year-olds to sixth grade learners. It is located in the Greater Fondren Community of Jackson, Mississippi. The school was initially built in 1955; approximately 450 students in first through sixth grade were enrolled from the Broadmoor, North Meadows, and Briarwood neighborhoods. Original data shows that there were three classes of each grade with a teacher/student ratio of 1: As residential and commercial development in the northeastern part of Jackson increased, so the teacher/student ratio increased to 1: In 1980, neighborhood children began attending Boyd Elementary, a school less than two miles from McWillie, for kindergarten through fifth grade. The Jackson Public School District converted the former McWillie Elementary facility to administrative offices and a teacher resource center for district employees. An upturn in the school-aged population of neighborhoods feeding Boyd Elementary necessitated the "resurrection" of. Construction on the current facility began in 2001 on an unconventional, uniquely designed building structured to "meet the highly specific needs of the Montessori program as well as to fully meet the needs of the traditional classrooms." The building design committee, "energized by the research findings on early childhood education," directed the architect to create an environment to encourage and support "activity-based learning strategies...found to be particularly effective in early childhood education." Since separating from Boyd Elementary School during the school year and moving into a newly constructed building in January 2003, provided education to community children in kindergarten, first grade, and second grade. Upon completion of second grade, these students attend Boyd Elementary School for third, fourth, and fifth grades. was also one of the two sites in the Jackson Public School District that offered the Montessori Curriculum to students in grades Pre-K through 6th grades. Students residing in the northern portion of the city could enroll in the Montessori program. In the school year, the Jackson Public School District implemented a re-zoning plan for its schools that accommodated changing population trends. became the only public Montessori school in the state. The McWillie Montessori School offered Montessori education to all of its students. At the beginning of the school year, McWillie assisted with the overcrowding at Boyd by housing six kindergarten classes offering traditional education. The school is currently in its 10th year of implementation of the Montessori progam serving students from 3 years old to 6th grade and serving kindergarten students in a traditional classroom setting. McWillie has been consistently classified as a high achieving school by the state based on the state wide assessments. The school has very active parent participation. Students and staff benefit from the volunteer work and support of the parents. The school also has a strong partnership with school adopters, specialty partners, and local colleges and universities. Through the dedication of these partners to the school community, students have been provided with mentors, book buddies, tutors, and additional resources. Page 2

5 McWillie Montessori has been fully accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Elementary and Middle Schools and by the Commission on International and Trans-Regional Accreditation since The school is a full member of the American Montessori Society. The school has also maintained an accreditation level of "Superior Performing", "Star School", and "A" statuses with the Mississippi Department of Education. The current enrollment is approximately 412 students. McWillie School also receives Title I funds due to having 57% of students who qualify for free and reduced lunch/breakfast. Our school's make up is, 76% Black, 22% White, and 2% Hispanic. Our students participate in music, library, and counseling at least once a week. Page 3

6 School's Purpose Provide the school's purpose statement and ancillary content such as mission, vision, values, and/or beliefs. Describe how the school embodies its purpose through its program offerings and expectations for students. At McWillie Elementary, the focus is on developing the "whole" child. The mission of, a family of students, parents, community, and faculty, is to provide life skills and a solid academic foundation in an ideal respectful, responsive learning environment. Our vision is to become a top-ranked learning community that graduates productive, caring citizens who are prepared to succeed in a global society. Recognizing that all children can learn, we believe that: student and parents are the primary customers of our schools; parents, students, schools, and the community are joined in a partnership of respect; students deserve quality work that is engaging, challenging, and satisfying; schools, in partnership with a supportive community, must provide a safe environment; students deserve teachers, administrators, and support staff who are caring, competent, and knowledgeable; our success will be mirrored in the success and growth of our community. Page 4

7 Notable Achievements and Areas of Improvement Describe the school's notable achievements and areas of improvement in the last three years. Additionally, describe areas for improvement that the school is striving to achieve in the next three years. NOTABLE ACHIEVEMENTS Mississippi Department of Education Curriculum Tests (Spring/2013): -88% of 3rd grade students scored proficient or advanced in language and 82% scored proficient or advanced in math -91% of 4th grade students scored proficient or above in math and language -86% of 5th grade students scored proficient or above in language and 100% scored proficient or advanced in math -96% of 5th grade students scored proficient or advanced in science -93% of 6th grade students scored proficient or above in language and 100% scored proficient or advanced in math Jackson Public School District Tests: The rate of students passing the Jackson Public School District (JPSD) Nine-Week and Semester assessments has consistently been above the district average in language and math. School-Wide Reform: Decrease in school retention (2006 Retentions - 62 students; 2007 Retentions -18 students; 2008 Retentions - 37 students; 2009 Retentions - 25 students; 2010 Retentions - 31 students; 2011 Retentions - 18 students; 2012 Retentions - 22 students; 2013 Retentions - 2 students). Professional Development: School staff has access to quality professional development sessions at the school level and district level to ensure quality instruction and alignment with Common Core standards and goals. The McWillie staff is comprised of 100% highly qualified teachers. School-Wide Reform Strategies: The Positive Behavior and Interventions Support process has been implemented to maintain discipline and promote learning. McWille Elementary School has been a model PBIS school for the last two years. AREAS OF IMPROVEMENT -Proficiency in fundamental literacy skills -Proficiency of grammar and writing skills -Proficiency in effective interdisciplinary writing -Recognizing and generating an appropriate summarization or paraphrasing -Proficiency in analyzing text -Proficiency in analyzing and evaluating various forms of communication -Proficiency in using reference materials -Consistent use of technology to enhance and extend classroom learning -Proficiency in multiple step problem solving, measurement, and estimation Page 5

8 -Justify addition/subtraction of two- and three-digit problems with and without regrouping -Comparing and estimating -Proficiency in science concepts and skills -Full Implementation of Response to Interventions (RTI) -Support and refinement to successfully implement effective wellness and safety practices -Implementation of state curriculum (Depth of Knowledge) -Implementation of new Common Core standards in grades K-6 Page 6

9 Additional Information Provide any additional information you would like to share with the public and community that were not prompted in the previous sections. McWillie Elementary is the only public Montessori school in the district and state. McWillie Elementary has been fully accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Elementary and Middle Schools and by the Commission on International and Trans-Regional Accreditation since McWillie is a full member of the American Montessori Society. The school has consistently maintained an accreditation level of "Superior Performing", "Star School" and "A" statuses with the Mississippi Department of Education. Montessori education is characterized by multi-age classrooms, a special set of educational materials, student-chosen work in uninterrupted learning blocks, a collaborative environment with student mentors, holistic development, individual and small group instruction, and practical life skills. Along with the implementation of the Montessori Design, mathematics and literacy instruction is expected to take place for a specified uninterrupted amount of time each day (Literacy 90 minutes/ Mathematics 60 minutes minimum). Teachers must follow district-approved curriculum and state & federal mandates. Explicit and systematic research-based mathematical and literacy strategies are provided using direct instruction, concrete & abstract manipulative, projects, small & large group collaboration, Guided Reading, learning centers, etc. Materials for standards-aligned learning activities are well organized and labeled for convenient use. Pre- and post-tests are utilized each term to determine progress toward standards-based objectives. Technology is used to enhance and extend learning. Assessments (diagnostic, formative, and summative) are utilized throughout the teaching and learning process. Differentiated instruction and support is provided to all students. The key components of mathematical instruction involves: number concepts and operations, algebraic concepts, geometric concepts, measurement, data analysis and probability, problem solving, and reasoning and proof. The key components of literacy instruction includes: print concepts, phonemic awareness and alphabetic principles, decoding, automaticity, vocabulary, spelling, oral language, comprehension, and writing. Students who have been served by the RtI/TST process and have not been successful are screened for determination for exceptional education services. In order to provide services in the least restrictive educational environment, the Inclusion Model is implemented to address the needs of exceptional education students. The identified students receive additional support such as: re-teaching and preteaching assistance; supplemental curriculum adapted as appropriate; and tutorial services that are succinctly defined in an Individualized Education Plan. The school also maintains student enrollment in the Gifted Program and sustains two staff members for a 7- day program to provide quality education to the academically gifted children. English Language Learners are held to the same high expectations of learning established for all students. They are expected to develop full receptive and productive proficiencies in English in all domains consistent with expectations for all students, and they are taught challenging content to enable them to meet performance standards in all content areas. These students receive instruction that builds on their previous education and cognitive abilities and that reflects their language proficiency levels. English Language Learners are evaluated with appropriate and valid assessments that are aligned with state and local standards and that take into account the language acquisitions and cultural backgrounds of the students. Their academic success is a responsibility shared by all educators, the family, and the community. Page 7

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