McCool team encourages school-wide improvement
The Continuing School Improvement (CSI) Leadership team at Cmdr. William C. McCool Elementary and Middle School (MEMS) takes an active role in improving student achievement.
Currently, the CSI team goals fall under language arts and mathematics. Goal one, under language arts, is to improve performance in writing narrative, informative and persuasive text. Goal two, under mathematics, is to improve student skills in explaining their thinking and solution process.
“We have two goals that we’re working on and in addition to that, there (are) standards and indicators that every teacher is aware of and working on,” said CSI leadership team Co-Chair Jean Tuquero. “(They are) rating and gathering data to guide what we do in the classroom at the school level.”
Data is measured and gathered by TerraNova, Third Edition subtests, which promotes student achievement and learning with research-based standardized achievement tests and reports, along with other system-wide and school-based assessments.
According to MEMS Principal Don Christensen, committees are set up for each goal with representative teachers from each grade level, but everyone is invited to attend all meetings and have a say.
“It’s extremely important because (we) as insiders have a very different perspective of what the students are doing and how they’re doing it and getting a different perspective makes a huge difference,” he said. “It takes everybody being involved with the school and participating to improve the school – because it’s all about the student achievement – and the only way to do that is to have everybody involved.”
Goal two Math Committee Chair Marc Boese said students enjoy having an active role in
“I thought it was really neat in the last faculty meeting when the students really got into analyzing the data,” he said. “And the kids were really into it; the students were into it as much as the parents.”
Tuquero added that aside from the team of teachers, administrative and district stakeholders are also involved to work on Department of Defense Education Activity’s accreditor AdvancED’s standardized cycle of improvement. AdvancED’s The Improvement Life Cycle strategy involves gathering, recording and studying data, setting measurable, achievable goals, planning strategies, resources, actions, implementing benchmark deliverables and evaluating success to be analyzed in a constant effort for improvement.
For those interested in attending, CSI meetings are held every first Tuesday of the month from 7:30–8 p.m. in the MEMS main office conference room.
According to Christensen, teachers regularly send notifications of upcoming meetings and interested attendees can view the school’s Facebook page. For more information, call 339-8676 or visit the school’s Facebook page at http://www.facebook.com/#!/mccool.EMS.
“All (parents) have to do is call the school, talk to the teachers,” Christensen said. “We ask them just to come forward and to help us, help us help their kids.”