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William P. Gorman Fort Banks
Elementary School
Improvement Plan
 
 
 
Winthrop Public Schools
Winthrop, Massachusetts
June 2011




 
TABLE OF CONTENTS
 
 
 
Mission Statement                                                                                            Page 2
 
 
Background of Council and Its Operations                                                        Page 2
 
 
Demographic Breakdown and Enrollment Data                                                 Page 3
 
 
Summary/Status of 2009-2010 Goals and Objectives                                        Page 4
 
 
2010-2011 School Site Council Survey                                                             Page 10
 
 
Goals for 2011-2012                                                                                       Page 10
 
 
 
Addendum:                                                                                          School Site Council
                                                                                                            Request for Input Responses
 
Because these items have been posted throughout the year on our school website, the following addendum items are available upon request but have not been attached to this document.     
  • Gorman Fort Bank School Site Council Calendar of Meeting Dates
  • Site Council Meeting Agendas 
  • Site Council Meeting Minutes
                                  
MISSION STATEMENT
 
The Gorman Fort Banks Elementary School will provide a student-centered educational experience that fosters the development of knowledge, skills and principles necessary for individuals to attain their highest level of potential.
 
 
BACKGROUND OF COUNCIL AND ITS OPERATIONS
 
The Gorman Fort Banks Elementary School Council was formed in accordance with Massachusetts General Law, Section 59C of the Education Reform Act of 1993, which states that:
 
At each public elementary, secondary and independent vocational school in the commonwealth there shall be a school council consisting of the school principal, who shall co-chair the council; parents of students attending such school, who will be chosen in elections held by the recognized parent-teacher organization under the direction of the principal…teachers who shall be selected by the teachers in the school; other persons, not parents or teachers of students in the school.
 
The school council shall meet regularly with the principal of the school and assist in adopting educational goals for the school that are consistent with local educational policies and statewide student performance standards, the identification of the educational needs of the students attending the school, review of the annual school building budget, and in the formulation of a school improvement plan.
 
The following individuals comprised the Gorman Fort Banks School 2009-2010 School Site Council:
 
Ilene Pearson, Principal/Co-Chair                 Debbie Chavis, Parent
Carolyn Gagnon, Parent/Co-Chair                Carolyn Forsyth, Parent
Norah Grimes, Teacher                                Karin Chavis, Community Rep.
Todd Sacco, School Committee Rep.
         
The Site Council met on a regular pre-determined monthly schedule. In the spirit of communication and with the intention of keeping our school community informed, our school’s website has a designated link to our School Site Council. A listing of site council meetings, agendas for each meeting and meeting minutes are included in this School Improvement Plan. 
 
The School Improvement Plan, as described in the legislation, is to include the following:
·        an assessment of the impact of class size on student performance, student-to-teacher ratios, ratios of students to other supportive adult resources
·        a scheduled plan for reducing class size if deemed necessary
·        professional development for the school’s staff and the allocation of any professional development funds in the school budget
·        enhancement of parental involvement in the life of the school
·        school safety and discipline
·        establishment of a school environment characterized by tolerance and respect for all groups
·        extra curricular activities
·        means for meeting, with the regular education programs at the school, the diverse learning needs of as many children as possible, including children with special needs currently assigned to separate programs
·        any further subjects the principal, in consultation with the school council shall consider appropriate
 
The School Improvement Plan submitted will include these elements within the School District’s Goals and Objectives.
 
 
GORMAN FORT BANKS SCHOOL 2010-2011
DEMOGRAPHIC BREAKDOWN AND ENROLLMENT DATA
 
The following information is provided based on SIMS (student information management system) data dated March 1, 2011:
 
Enrollment by Gender*
Males
256
51% of school
Females
244
49% of school
Total
500
 
* Total student population as of May, 2011=512
 
Enrollment by Grade
Pre-K
52
Kindergarten (all full time)
137
Grade 1
149
Grade 2
162
 

Enrollment by Race/Ethnicity
White
456
91% of school
Black or African American
4
.008 % of school
Asian
3
.006% of school
White & Black or African American
5
.01% of school
White & Asian
1
.002% of school
White (Hispanic/Latino)
28
5.6% of school
Black or African American (Hispanic/Latino)
1
.002% of school
White & Black or African American (Hispanic/Latino)
1
.002% of school
White & Asian (Hispanic/Latino)
1
.002% of school
 
Selected Populations
Limited English Proficiency
41
8.2% of school
Low Income-Free/Reduced Lunch
113
23 % of school
Students Receiving Title I Services
173
34% of school
Students on IEP*
93
18% of school
*Special Education Enrollment Summary
PK – 24 students
PDD – 20
PK-2students
K – 17
students
Grade 1 – 11
students
Grade 2 – 15
students
Grade 1 / 2 –9
(language based)
 
 
SUMMARY/STATUS OF 2010-2011 GOALS AND OBJECTIVES
 
Having paid special attention to the areas of curriculum, instruction and assessment with an eye toward improving student learning and performance outcomes, this year the Gorman Fort Banks School can boast improvement in our AYP accountability status. If you were to compare our current data to that of 2009, you would see our ELA performance rating move from moderate to high and our improvement rating from being declined to above target. Similarly in mathematics our performance rating moved from low to high and the improvement rating, which was declined in 2009, is now above target. Indeed we are on track to moving ourselves into the Adequate Yearly Progress (AYP) positive no status category.
 
While there are a variety of factors that contribute to our upward momentum, we must give credit to several Site Council goals and objectives that have finally been realized. Due to the district’s adoption of new programs, the curriculums in both English language arts and math have changed resulting in am accelerated pace of learning and increased depth of coverage. Our relatively new (implemented in September, 2009) English language arts curriculum known as StoryTown is now firmly in place in both first and second grades. This comprehensive curriculum provides explicit instruction in reading, writing, written and oral language conventions, listening and speaking.  Plans are currently in place to expand this curriculum into our kindergartens.  Brand new to all grade levels is our math curriculum known as Go Math. This program is heavily influenced by the Common Core Curriculum Standards (those standards which are expected to be implemented by 2014) and is therefore considered progressive. The instruction in both programs is explicit and allows for modeling, practice and application. For the first time our school is enjoying curriculums in two content areas that feature a definitive scope and sequence, articulated pacing guide and chapter and unit assessments. As importantly the students will benefit from curriculum programs that are consistent between and extend to the Cummings School. The Gorman Fort Banks School staff should be commended for the time they have dedicated to learning these challenging curriculums and innovative instructional approaches. 
 
One of the most outstanding features of these two programs is the tiered curriculum/instruction component; each program features a below grade level, on grade level and advanced components of curriculum. Not only does this assist staff in differentiating instruction, these programs support our efforts in implementing the systematic reform process for instruction known as RtI (Response to Intervention).
 
To further bolster our efforts to improve curriculum, instruction and assessment, Title I funds were allocated to support before and after school supplemental learning programs. A morning Lexia lab was created to assist struggling readers while an afternoon program serviced students who demonstrated deficiencies in both math and reading. With information gleaned from various program assessments and the chapter and unit assessments of our English language arts and math programs, we have been able to document the efficacy of these efforts. 
 
With the implementation of our new programs, the use of assessments (and the regularity with which they are administered) has increased this year. Of course the use of assessments is only as good as the ability to apply the data it yields. To that end, Title I funds have also provided for the ability to input data results and generate meaningful information that is driving instruction in mathematics. Our assessment data has helped us have a keener eye in identifying students most in need of supplemental academic services. The data has also been used to help hone in on those instructional skills that may be weak among staff thus requiring additional professional development. To that end, professional development this year focused exclusively on yielding improved academic gains in our students. Thus all professional development was dedicated to further knowledge in and the use of StoryTown, Go Math, John Collins Writing Program and improving instructional strategies in math.
 
The Site Council recognizes and would like to acknowledge the considerable contribution made by the school’s PTO. This organization is responsible for providing hundreds of hours of volunteer classroom coverage that has made more professional development and more common planning time possible this year than in any year prior. As a result, these opportunities are meaningful and translate into our staff’s ability to exercise skill at delivering best educational practice.
 
The following summarizes our status in achieving this year’s goals. (Note: The following is a key to the letter codes used—ELA=English Language Arts; RtI=Response to Intervention; ESP=Educational Support Personnel)
 
DISTRICT GOAL #1TO IMPROVE AND INCREASE CURRICULUM, INSTRUCTION AND
   ASSESSMENT.
                                                                                                                      
Activity                                               Result/Evidence                                 Comments
Examine student to teacher ratio and if warranted, develop plan for class size reduction
Scheduled plan for reducing class size is in place for the 2011-2012 academic year
Research suggests student achievement will improve
Realign conference and report card schedule
Not implemented
Attention to this goal calls for participation by various School Department personnel. The Site Council sent correspondence requesting attention to this goal to the Superintendent, Town Manager and School Committee January 6, 2011. This need is more significant than ever given our new math curriculum and the expected implementation of the common core standards. The Curriculum Coach has indicated plans to address this goal.
Select/implement math curriculum
Implemented—Go Math has been implemented k-5
Enhanced instruction and improved student achievement as evidenced in assessments
Increase amount of books and materials in library
Implemented—PTO inventory data
Improved resources for students
Staff development on (John Collins) Writing Program
Implemented—professional development occurred and included lesson modeling in classrooms; student work samples
Student work samples suggest improved writing skills are being developed
Explore feasibility of adding physical education to kindergarten curriculum
Scheduled plan for addressing this goal has been established by the school committee for the 2011-2012 academic year
This is mandated by the DESE.
Explore team teaching as an efficient instructional approach in kindergarten
Professional development for the entire kindergarten staff has occurred. Kindergarten teacher teams have met with Principal to present their refined instructional plans for the 2011-2012 academic year. Focus group was established to examine various team teaching models and their suitability for other grades in our school.
First steps toward putting this approach in place include implementation in kindergarten and examining models which will dovetail with our RtI initiatives. Attention to this goal will continue to ensure maintenance of effort.
Define placement and responsibilities of ESPs
No action has been taken.
Attention to this goal calls for association, administrative and legal representation.
Explore implementation of RtI model to meet diverse learning needs of regular education students and assist in early identification of student needs.
Implemented—The services of a consultant have been secured and professional development has occurred.
Successful implementation of the RtI model occurs over time, likely 3-5 years. All teaching (except ESP) staff have been acquainted with the model and the plan for implementation.
Explore supplemental after school programs for at risk students via Title I funding
Implemented—Lexia morning lab offered and
Title I after school ELA/Math support program offered
2 sessions of each program have been offered servicing more than 100 students. Based on pre and post assessment data, the program has resulted in improved student achievement.
Explore supplemental curriculum for academically advanced students
No action has been taken.
Although this goal has not been addressed to create the intended curriculum experience, the advanced tier component of our ELA and Math programs help address this goal.
 
 
DISTRICT GOAL #2TO CONTINUE TO PROVIDE SAFE AND DRUG FREE SCHOOLS.
                                       
  Activity                                            Result/Evidence                                 Comments
Examine anti-bullying legislation and if warranted create anti-bullying school based policy
Implemented—District policy and protocol is in place.
Staff training has been completed in part with plans for full training to be complete by the close of the 2010-2011 academic year.
Expand Second Step Program Training to ensure all education personnel are trained
Implemented—Opportunities for all staff to be trained occurred.
The school adjustment counselors have held family information nights to further partner and educate.
Establish visitor protocol to enhance school security and safety
Implemented—A monthly grid of scheduled classroom volunteers is submitted by each teacher. Office staff check volunteers against the grid.
 
Develop lock down and off site evacuation plans
No action has been taken.
Attention to this goal calls for participation by various Town Departments. The Site Council sent correspondence requesting attention to this goal to the Superintendent, Town Manager and School Committee January 6, 2011.
Education in tolerance and respect for all groups
Implemented—School held peaceful solutions week
Program focused on conflict resolution and character development
Expand playground (equipment) to better accommodate school population
Implemented—PTO has a dedicated playground committee that has organized this plan.
Revisions to playground to enhance safety have already occurred. Additional plans include expansion. Projected timelines are available from the PTO.
 
 
DISTRICT GOAL #3TO IMPROVE AND INCREASE THE USE OF TECNOLOGY
                       
   Activity                                            Result/Evidence                                 Comments                 
Expand availability of technology based education program in classrooms
Partially implemented—availability of some programs.
Attention to standardizing the software available in all classes is still warranted. The Site Council submitted a letter to the Superintendent in the fall calling attention to the need for additional technology support. This need is still significant as many computers remain in disrepair and inaccessible for learning.
Create classroom based web pages
Implemented—Schoolfusion
The majority of staff have not developed their web pages. Additional training should be made available.
Increase parent involvement in promoting use of technology based supplemental education by students at home
Implemented—information was sent home to families regarding accessing such programs; additional instructional links for families were added to our school website
 
 
 
DISTRICT GOAL #4: TO IMPROVE PARENT/GUARDIAN INVOLVEMENT &
 COMMUNICATION
 
    Activity                                           Result/Evidence                                 Comments       
Increase activities geared toward student and parent participation
Implemented—Title I, Principal and PTO offered a variety of parent workshops to enhance home-school partnership. In addition the WHS, DPW and MWRA have provided additional student activities/programs
New Title I parent activities include: workshop to assist parents in supporting math education at home, behavior management parenting series; Principal hosted workshop on homework, transitioning incoming kindergarten students, incoming kindergarten student tour; representative of Go Math program held evening workshop for parents
Enhance parent involvement in the life of the school
Implemented— Began monthly evening principal coffee hours. PTO actively solicits the involvement of families in a wide range of activities. Teachers also solicit and encourage parent involvement.
Menu of programs/activities offered is greatly expanded.
 
 
DISTRICT GOAL #5: TO PROVIDE MEANINGFUL AND PRODUCTIVE PROFESSIONAL
              DEVELOPMENT
                       
        Activity                                       Result/Evidence                                 Comments                 
Provide professional development in areas that support site council goals and curriculum initiatives
Implemented—The following professional development activities were offered: focused training in StoryTown, overview and focused training in Go Math, math consultant support to assist in targeted instruction areas, follow up training and classroom lesson modeling in John Collins, overview training of RtI,  overview of kindergarten team teaching model, staff training in interpreting assessment data, behavior management workshop, intensive summer course on literacy and reading instruction, overview training in bullying legislation and reporting
Improved teaching capacity among our staff is directly linked to these efforts.
 
 

2010-2011 SCHOOL SITE COUNCIL SURVEY
 
To help the School Site Council identify the educational needs of its students, their families and staff, it created and administered a Request for Input. This document solicited feedback from both teaching staff and families which in turn is used to formulate our School Improvement Plan. The document, along with tabulated responses and comments, is attached as an appendix. The survey responses themselves are available upon request. Eighty-five (or 17%) of the surveys from families were returned, sixty of which were completed by families whose children are in first and second grade. Forty-five (or 57%) teachers/specialists responses were received. 
 
There are a variety of areas where the sentiments of both parents/guardians and teachers converge. In general most stakeholders agree that our curriculum appropriately challenges our students, the school environment is professional and conducive to learning, parent support programs have been beneficial, and effective communication is in place to keep families informed. Particularly noteworthy are the positive responses regarding the quality of curriculum.
 
In summary our school families are generally pleased with most aspects of our school. Parents/guardians find the curriculum, teachers, principal, communication, environment and safety among the most positive aspects of our school. The caliber of staff, variety of programs and parent involvement are among the most positive aspects of our school according to staff.
 
Not surprisingly, the staff and families came together in identifying class size as the one aspect of our students’ academic experience that needs improvement. Families also included the playground as a top need of improvement. Again, as in previous years, families have noted the ineffectiveness of our current report card and the distribution schedule. Like last year, staff overwhelmingly identified insufficient technology support/resources as an aspect of academic life that is negatively impacting our students’ learning.
 
GOALS FOR 2011-2012
 
The Gorman Fort Banks School Site Council will continue to champion the goals of this past school year and capitalize on our achievements. In addition and based on the results of the School Site Council’s 2011-2012 Survey & Request for Input, the Gorman Fort Banks School Site Council submits the following goals for 2011-2012. 
 

DISTRICT GOAL #1TO IMPROVE AND INCREASE CURRICULUM, INSTRUCTION AND
   ASSESSMENT.
 
                              Person(s)                                                                                                   Evaluation/
Activity                 Responsible               Resources            Timeline           Result              Evidence
increase use of tiered aspects of StoryTown and GoMath
Principal
Teachers
 
additional training from publishers
September, 2011
improved ability to differentiate and tailor instruction
improved student achievement; survey responses
increase proficiency and familiarity with curriculum programs by expanding professional development
Principal
Superintendent
School Committee
funds
school calendar provisions
academic year
improved coverage of curriculum;
enhanced caliber of instruction
improved student achievement; survey responses
increase technology support/materials to support student learning, delivery of curriculum and enhanced instruction
Superintendent
School Committee
potentially funding for additional staff
September, 2011
improved learning opportunities
improved student achievement; survey responses
 
 
DISTRICT GOAL #2TO CONTINUE TO PROVIDE SAFE AND DRUG FREE SCHOOLS.
 
                              Person(s)                                                                                                   Evaluation/
Activity                 Responsible               Resources            Timeline           Result              Evidence
enhance school visitor protocols
Principal
School Staff
none needed
September, 2011
improved student and staff safety
articulated plan
increase and improve lunch recess supervision
Principal
 
potentially funding for additional staff
September, 2011
improved student safety, reduced discipline issues
articulated plan
enhance pro-social skill development and further develop positive school climate
Principal
School Adjustment Counselor
none needed
September, 2011
improved student safety, reduced discipline issues
schedule of School Adjustment Counselor, lesson plans
improved snow removal
Principal
Custodian
Superintendent
Town Manager
DPW
 
none needed
November, 2011
improved student and staff safety
articulated plan
increase attention to grounds, building exterior, building interior including attention to large scale and preventative needs
Principal
Superintendent
School Committee
potentially funding for materials, staff and/or vendors
September, 2011
improved student safety; increased longevity of facility; enhanced learning environment
survey responses, work orders
 
 
DISTRICT GOAL #3TO IMPROVE AND INCREASE THE USE OF TECHNOLOGY.
 
                              Person(s)                                                                                                   Evaluation/
Activity                 Responsible               Resources            Timeline           Result              Evidence
increase availability of tech support 
Superintendent
School Committee
potentially funding for additional staff
September, 2011
maximum use
of technology; enhanced learning opportunities; increased longevity of equipment
survey responses
explore elimination of paper communication in favor of electronic transmissions
Principal
Staff
Parents
none needed
September, 2011
reduced use of paper, toner
data tracking electronic communications
Increase number of student computers in classrooms
School Committee
funding
academic year
improved learning opportunities
inventory tracking sheet
 
 
DISTRICT GOAL #4TO IMPROVE PARENT/GUARDIAN INVOLVEMENT &
                                       COMMUNICATION
 
                              Person(s)                                                                                                   Evaluation/
Activity                 Responsible               Resources            Timeline           Result              Evidence
examine and revise content, format and frequency of distribution of report cards
Principal
Teachers
Curriculum Coach
Superintendent
 
potentially funding for staff stipends, printing
 
September, 2011
improved communication regarding student status
report card, schedule of distribution
 
 
DISTRICT GOAL #5: TO PROVIDE MEANINGFUL AND PRODUCTIVE PROFESSIONAL
              DEVELOPMENT
                       
                                Person(s)                                                                                                           Evaluation/
Activity                   Responsible        Resources         Timeline       Result                       Evidence
provide professional development in areas that support site council goals and curriculum initiatives
School District Personnel
Principal
budget
academic year
enhanced instruction
improved student performance
 
This William P. Gorman Fort Banks Elementary School Improvement Plan dated June, 2011 has been approved by the Site Council members.
 
_______________________
Carolyn Gagnon, Co-Chair  
_______________________                                 
Debbie Chavis, Parent
 
_______________________
Ilene Pearson, Co-Chair   
_______________________                                     
Carolyn Forsyth, Parent
 
_______________________
Norah Grimes, Teacher  
_______________________                                       
Karin Chavis, Community Rep.
 _______________________
Todd Sacco, School Committee Rep.

Winthrop Public School District does not discriminate on the basis of race, sex, color, religion, national origin, sexual orientation, disability, or homelessness.

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