Schools may choose to describe up to two additional pieces of information about how their school is supporting students. These self-reported indicators are not factored into school accountability calculations but provide the opportunity for schools to highlight successful programs or practices in addition to the indicators included in school accountability.
EQUITABLE EDUCATIONAL OPPORTUNITIES
Focused Strategies-Reciprocal Teaching K-6
During the 2017-18 school year we began implementing reciprocal teaching as a means to increase student talk by instituting collaborative norms during team talk in reading groups to enhance reading comprehension. Our goal has been to increase student talk and reduce teacher talk in grades K-6. Data was collected from each teacher’s classroom by the University of Utah Education Policy Center (UEPC) staff on multiple occasions beginning in November 2017 and continuing through the 2018-19 school year. UEPC reported that on November 30, 2017 teacher talk was significantly higher than student talk. Teacher talk was 62% and student talk was 38%. As of our last reporting by UEPC, October 30, 2018, 47% of students were talking in complete sentences and having extended conversations during their reading block. We will continue to raise the bar until we have 70% of students doing the majority of the talking in the classroom. Using reciprocal teaching as a strategy during reading instruction as an inclusive and equitable process has given each student an opportunity to participate in collaborative discussion that improves comprehension. During the reciprocal teaching process, students have opportunities to make predictions; ask questions if they struggle understanding the text; clarify and address the questions asked and summarize what they read.
Improving School Climate and Safety
During the 2017-18 academic school year one of our school improvement goals was a culture goal. As a faculty we focused on practices to improve school climate, student behavior and safety at our school. Some of the school wide practices we used during the past school year and continue to use include the following: restorative practices, weekly character traits, community circles, building relationships with students and families by doing home visits as well as providing anti- bullying assembly programs that provide students with the tools of empowerment to take a stand against bullying in our school. Staff have completed professional development opportunities that support them in the implementation of each of the areas of focus. A student climate survey was developed and will be administered to students during the 2018-19 school year. Community circles continue to be an avenue students can use to share their feelings and concerns. In addition to the activities noted above, our school counselor has used Two-Steps curriculum when doing classroom presentations that support weekly character traits we have focused on as a school. In addition, the school’s Positive Behavior Intervention Support team meets monthly to discuss the impact the activities we have done school wide are affecting student behavior and improving school climate. Teachers indicate that student behavior has improved and referrals to the office for disciplinary reasons have decreased.