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Notes from the Principal 08/23/2019

Published on 08/23/2019


As you know we regularly collect and analyze data and information about our program. In addition to helping us revise our school vision and mission, we use this data to strategically move forward as a learning community. You will probably notice subtle and not-so-subtle changes to our program. Our three year School Improvement Plan will be given to the ESD School Board in October, and it outlines the analysis and synthesis of the data and the action steps we are taking. The survey, focus group, and other data lift out strengths and challenges:

  • We have a strong sense of community that supports individualized learning.

  • We are a flexible learning environment and students, parents, and staff appreciates this.

  • We have a strong staff that parents appreciate. Staff also experience high levels of professional growth and satisfaction

  • A five-year emphasis on writing instruction has begun to show improvement in writing grades 3-12.

And…

  • We need to deepen our awareness and understanding of how our school is and isn’t meeting the needs of families who identify as two or more races and Asian, and are low income, among other groups.

  • We need to improve our outreach about the importance of testing as part of supporting individualized learning and use a variety of data to inform individualized learning plan creation and assessment.

  • We need to improve our advising and support practices to help families with robust and clear learning plans and interventions. Parents and students have different wants, needs, and expectations of the staff.

We are focusing on efforts in some major areas:

  • Culturally Responsive Teaching and Advising Practices– as a staff we will be examining or advising practices through the lens of the book Culturally Responsive Teaching and the Brain. We will be collecting input from families and trying new, innovative practices to support all of our families.

  • Restorative Justice– The Equity Team has begun to explore Restorative Justice theory and practices for schools in order to change the way we do school discipline, develop peer mediation, promote anti-bullying and harassment, and establish a culture that honors the inherent dignity of all.

  • Communication– We are always trying to find better ways to communicate with families, and we are taking on initiatives such as utilizing our website better, replacing Vesta (by Fall of 2020), and developing more consistent advising practices, especially for transitions (like middle to high school)

I hope you will join us in working to make our program better for our students.

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