A NEW EXTREME SCHOOL:
HOW MIRACLES HAPPEN EVERY DAY
This month our featured “Extreme School” is one that struggled to stay out of the lower ranks on state testing. They were talked about as the school “on the other side of the tracks”. It was a Title 1 school going nowhere in the eyes of most of the community members. They were given a new principal and in the next few years, the school lost experienced teachers to other sites and other districts. In fact, they lost 100 years of teacher experience.
HOW DID IT TURN OUT?
What did they do and how did it turn out? Today, they have now arrived in the top 25 percent quartile of the state’s testing scores and they continually receive positive recognition news. Students show increased self-confidence and problem-solving skills. The school was recognized as one of Oklahoma’s top “Reward Schools” based on growth in state test scores. The kids love being at school and the faculty has created another miracle as an “Extreme School”.
THIS SCHOOL IS:
Jefferson Elementary School, located in Ardmore, Oklahoma 73401
HOW DID THEY MAKE MIRACLES HAPPEN?
First, they focused on instruction. They replaced approximately 100 years of teaching experience with enthusiastic but new, inexperienced teachers.
They also focused on attitude. With HUGE staff determination, perseverance, and continued hiring of quality faculty, they fought for every child to prove to them they could succeed.
They focused on trainings. Many of their trainings were funded by state and local grants. Through a grant, which partnered their school with a local arts foundation, their teachers and students received training to enhance classroom instruction in all subject areas. Through other grants, they also received training in classroom instruction. The four programs: 1) Literacy First, 2) Great Expectations, 3) Teaching with Poverty in Mind, and 4) Differentiated Instruction.
They focused on raising support from the community. Now in its second year, and through efforts of the teaching staff and community, funds allowed them to implement a Saturday school during the four weeks prior of state testing. This helps the kids who are on the “edge” and need extra help.
By implementing new programs and through community support, they have shown themselves, the community and the state of Oklahoma that having a Title 1 designation means nothing. All of their training and hard work have proven them to be a successful Title I school serving all children in the Jefferson Elementary School district. Kudos to this school!
NOTE: The school is currently in the running for being an “Extreme School” Winner for a complimentary day of staff development!
Now that you have read about another “Extreme School” success story, we have a question for you. How many school successes do you need to see and hear about before you BELIEVE that it can happen at your school? And, if there’s anyone on your staff that does not think it can happen, please forward these monthly bulletins to them.
Second, what can you learn from the true story mentioned above? The only good that happens in this world is when you move things from inside your brain to the outside world. What ideas, principles or strategies were either affirmed OR are new to you? Could this be a topic of discussion at your next staff meeting?
Finally, miracles do happen every day. Are you ready to be one of them?
Your partner in learning,
CEO, Jensen Learning