By: Amanda Hayes/Senior Staff Writer
Original Post from The Record Delta
BUCKHANNON — A local school recently gave their Local School Improvement Council and Faculty Senate reports to the Upshur County Board of Education.
Hodgeville Elementary met all of its goals for 2016-2017, according to principal Janet Phillips.
“We wanted our school to score a 45 or higher student growth percentile in math according to the STAR benchmark in second through fifth grade,” she said. “As a school, we were able to meet that average.
“We also met the same goal for reading, language arts and early literacy and once again we were able to meet that average.”
The school’s third goal was to have 95 percent or more students in medium to low risk as measured by Bright Bytes, a program provided by the state.
“We were very excited when we ended our year with 96 percent in that,” she said. “We had a very successful year with meeting our goals.”
LSIC chair and kindergarten teacher Taylor Tenney discussed what the school has been doing regarding academics.
“With academics, we implement a variety of strategies and use a variety of resources to differentiate instruction for the students and meet them on their level,” she said.
All grades use Investigations as the adopted curriculum for math but also supplement that with Eureka Math.
“This is used to help students foster a deeper understanding for mathematical concepts,” she said.
Kindergarten through fourth grade teachers use mathematic assessments to figure out where the math gaps are with the students.
“We use that data to drive our instruction,” she said.
“In grades Kindergarten through fifth grade, Lucy Calkins Units of Study is sued to develop and expand student’s writing skills,” she said.
Students receive extra work through the Daily 5s and Café for reading and language arts skills.
“Collaboration between Title 1 and our general education teachers is really prevalent in this area,” she said.
The kindergarten, first and second grade use the Fundations program and co-teach with Title 1.
“This is a research based program that emphasizes phonetic awareness, phonics, high frequency words, reading fluency, vocabulary comprehension, strategies, handwriting and spelling,” she said. “We have noticed phenomenal gains in our students by using this.”
Another program is also seeing results.
“Our Title 1 teacher implements Level Literacy Learning, a program for struggling readers,” she said.
The students do a diagnostic test which helps identify where gaps are.
Phillips said that a recent test by the first-grade class showed 67 percent of students were at or above mastery.
Leandra Morlan, faculty senate chair, told the board of education Hodgesville is working to become a Positive Behavior Intervention School.
“Over the past few months we have been going to trainings to become a PBIS school and over the course of the next year, we will be implementing that into our school,” she said.
The school has also been using a communication log to go home to parents or guardians that shows if the students are ‘great,’ ‘OK,’ or ‘needs to improve’ with different aspects of their day.
“We decided for the nine weeks that if they got 10 or less needs to improve checks and four or less days signed then they get to attend a reward,” she said.
“It helps us teachers be able to communicate with parents on a daily basis about things going on in the classroom, with behavior and so on.
Teachers are using Love and Logic techniques for discipline.
“We feel that is most important because not only does it show the kids respect but it allows them to save face and keep their dignity whenever they have consequences occur,” Morlan said.
“Another thing we saw with our kiddos is they were tattling a lot. We created a Mindful Monday and a Thoughtful Thursday on morning announcements where we present them a problem and use teachers as an example,” she said.
The students then talk about the scenarios with their classroom teachers and analyze whether it was a big deal or a little deal and what they should do.
“We implemented attendance incentives because we saw that we have habitual attendance issues with some of our kids and we have been really successful with that,” she said.
“We have a monthly activity and at the end of the year, we will have a really big overall incentive if they have five or less absences,” she said.
The school had seen a big spike in behavior issues during lunch and recess times.
“Last year, we implemented something called Zero Heroes,” she said. “If they got zero check marks for lunch and recess, then they got to attend an activity on Friday that the teachers created and put on. That was very successful so we were able to go from weekly to bi-monthly and hopefully we will go to monthly.”