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
Closing the Gap for Students with Disabilities
Highland Park put emphasis this past year on improving collaboration between our general education and special education teachers to serve the needs of our students with disabilities. * We improved our PLC meetings using data to determine the effectiveness of instruction and to make a plan for addressing gaps. Teachers looked at students as a grade level and then set aside an intervention/enrichment block of time to address the specific needs of students based on exit ticket and interim assessments. * We piloted a push-in model for instruction in our fifth grade. The general and special education teacher co-taught part of the language arts and math block. This close collaboration resulted in the special education teacher being able to see the Tier 1 instruction and support students in meaningful ways. It also allowed the general education teachers see how to scaffold and accommodate students. * We provided opportunities to collaborate with the coaches in our monthly faculty professional development meetings to help our teachers effectively implement programs and know how to adjust for students with disabilities. * We improved our protocols for our Student Services Committee meetings. We created a form to help the teacher identify specific areas of need, as well as student strengths. We planned interventions including naming the point person for each student. As a result, we had greater collaboration between members of the team and better documentation of interventions.
Highland Park Arts Focus
Our community and staff have demonstrated a strong commitment towards providing the arts for students at Highland Park. As a result of funds raised by our Highland Park Arts Foundation and our PTA, students had multiple opportunities to learn through the Arts. Students in first through fourth-grade were able to participate in a semester of Tanner Dance. Students learned creative movement tied to Core content they were learning within their grade level. Students in kindergarten through sixth-grade, along with two of our special needs classrooms had access to a music teacher who worked collaboratively with grade level teachers to teach the Core through music. They participated in “informances” and performances throughout the year. We were able to put on an amazing school musical that involved 70 fourth through sixth grade students. Teachers, staff, and parents donated their time to make this possible. Our parents have expressed their desire to have this be a yearly event. The students talk about it all year long. All of our students participated in a semester-long Visual Arts class through the Beverly Taylor Sorenson Program for a semester. The artwork is also tied to the Core curriculum and displayed throughout the school. We have seen how students can thrive in an environment that allows them to express their creativity through the Arts especially when supported by the community, district, and school staff.