By Joani Hartin
Staff Writer Marietta Monitor
Thackerville Elementary School recently achieved the prestigious honor of being named a Great Expectations Model School. The school’s principal, faculty, and staff worked diligently to accomplish this impressive goal.
The Great Expectations Program, founded in 1991, is a scientiﬁcally based research educational reform model that is bringing major change and innovation to PK-12 public and private school classrooms in Oklahoma and beyond.
The program represents an approach to learning that empowers teachers to expect and to get the best from students; it rekindles the ex-citement of discovery among both students and teachers, and it pushes everyone involved to greater heights of achievement.
The basic principles of the program are high expectations for students, a learning climate based on mutual respect between student and teacher, student self-esteem, a belief that all students can learn, positive teacher at-titude, and highly skilled and knowledgeable teachers who inspire and enable students to achieve success. Great Expec-tations schools have a culture of respect and high academic achievement.
“We have been working toward this goal for four years,” said Elementary Prin-cipal Heather Holland. “All teachers attended a four-day workshop to learn implemen-tation of the 17 practices of Great Expectations and have since focused on creating a climate of mutual respect, en-hancing student vocabulary, and teaching and requiring students to speak in complete sentences.”
During the four years, teachers were visited by an in-structional coach to help hone their classroom skills. The school must have 90 percent of staff members implement-ing 100 percent of the 17 classroom practices. Addition-ally, each week a student-led recognition assembly is held.
“Public speaking is a skill to last a lifetime,” Holland said, “and it has been amazing to watch all of our students get in front of their peers and speak.”
Weather permitting, the school will hold a celebration of the honor on Tuesday, May 17 at 8:30 a.m. at the football ﬁeld.