Yorktown Elementary School
School Improvement Plan
Yorktown Elementary School is a comprehensive school of 241 students located in Bowie, Maryland, a suburb of Washington, D.C., offering academic instruction for students in grades PreK-5. Our group of diverse students studies the subjects of reading/language arts, mathematics, social studies, science, health, music, and physical education following the Prince George’s County Curriculum Frameworks, which are aligned with the Maryland Voluntary State Curriculum. Each year, the Yorktown Arts Committee chooses a theme and a particular form of the arts to focus on for the school year. For 2011-12, the theme is “Yorktown Rocks!”. We will focus on visual arts to promote our theme in a manner which reinforces instructional content.
The total school population is 247 students. Of these 53% are male, 47% female, 35.2% white, 47.3% African American, 8.9% Asian, and 8.1% Hispanic. LEP students account for 6.0% of the total student population, SPED students represent 6.9% and students participating in the Free and Reduced Meal Program represent 17.4%.
The staff represents a cross section of age and experience. 92% of the teachers hold Advanced Professional Certificates and 8% have Standard Professional Certificates. All teachers at Yorktown are certified. In addition to our professional staff, Yorktown has a supporting staff of 16 positions represented by secretaries, custodial staff, cafeteria workers, special education aides, Before and After Care personnel, and the school nurse. Our staff works collaboratively to plan and implement a rigorous academic program designed to meet the needs of all of our students.
Yorktown made Annual Yearly Progress (AYP) on the 2011 MSA in the area of Reading. AYP was not met by the FARMs subgroup in the area of Mathematics. Yorktown is not considered a school in improvement. Based on Yorktown Elementary School’s achievement, the school was named an Exemplary School in Prince George’s County in 2008. MSA results are analyzed yearly to determine areas of need. In review of 2011 MSA data, reading appears to be an overall strength for our school. Therefore, in addition to continuing to implement strategies that have been proven successful in both reading and mathematics, additional strategies are being implemented during the 2011-12 school year to improve student performance in mathematics.
B. School Vision
Yorktown Elementary School opens a world of endless possibilities by planting seeds that lead to academic, social, and emotional growth for ALL students. As a result of forming partnerships for success and sustaining an “all for one…one for all” mindset, we resolve to develop college and career ready students who are capable, competent, and cooperative. As lifelong learners, our students will embark upon all endeavors with a relentless attitude…always believing, “Y.E.S. We Can!”
This vision is accomplished by:
· maintaining high expectations with rigorous instruction for all students,
· sustaining a safe, positive and inviting school climate,
· monitoring the progress of students on a frequent basis to provide prescriptive measures when/if necessary, and
· promoting teamwork and effective communication amongst all members of the learning community.
C. Major Strategies for Increased Achievement
- In order to significantly improve Mathematics/Algebra for all subgroups, teachers will provide students with rigorous instruction. In order to accelerate our students’ mathematical skills, teachers will adhere to the county-mandated schedule for mathematics instruction: 75 minutes for grades K-2 and 90 minutes for grades 3-5. Teachers will assess students’ math levels and differentiate instruction based on individual needs. Flexible groups will meet daily for more effective instruction geared towards students’ specific needs. Students will write in their math journals daily, answering various BCRs, and teachers will display math word walls in each classroom to expand students’ knowledge of math vocabulary. Manipulative use, centers, and authentic tasks will be used frequently to attain our goals in the focus areas of each grade level. Student work samples and assessment data will be collected and analyzed during weekly collaborative planning sessions, monthly School Improvement Team meetings and quarterly data utilization meetings. Identified areas of focus for grades 3-5 include:
-3rd Grade – add and subtract numbers using a variety of strategies; calculate area and perimeter; identify and describe polygons
-4th Grade – multiplication of whole numbers; represent proper fractions on a number line; division of whole numbers
-5th Grade – multiplication of whole numbers and decimals; division of whole numbers; addition and subtraction of fractions with unlike denominators; determine the approximate sum and difference of two numbers
- In order to significantly improve Reading /Language Arts for all subgroups, explicit instruction will be provided by teachers at all grade levels. In order to sustain and accelerate our students’ reading skills, teachers will adhere to the county-mandated schedule for reading/language arts instruction: 135 minutes for grades K-2 and 105 minutes for grades 3-5. Teachers will utilize the Comprehensive Reading/Language Arts Program, Standards of Excellence, Curriculum Frameworks, and all components of the Houghton Mifflin Reading Program. Teachers will incorporate components of the Maryland Common Core State Curriculum for the area of Writing at the Kindergarten through 5th grade levels. Daily instruction will include independent reading and writing, directed/guided reading instruction, word study, writing instruction, small group reading instruction, reciprocal teaching, and teacher read aloud. Student work samples and assessment data will be collected and analyzed during weekly collaborative planning sessions, monthly School Improvement Team meetings and quarterly data utilization meetings. Identified areas of focus for each grade level include:
-Pre K through 1st grade- reading comprehension; text features
-2nd grade - informational text; text features
-3rd Grade – summarize; draw conclusions based on the text and prior knowledge; make inferences; text features
-4th Grade – draw conclusions based on the text and prior knowledge; summarize; confirm, refute, or make predictions and form new ideas; text features
-5th Grade – identify and explain author’s opinion; identify and explain how organizational aids contribute to meaning; draw conclusions and make inferences; text features
- In order to significantly improve Science for all subgroups, teachers will provide explicit instruction using the Scott Foresman Science Program. Students in grades K-2 will be engaged in science instruction for 45 minutes daily, while grades 3-5 will receive instruction for 60 minutes each day. Expository texts will be accessed by students within the science lessons as well as integrated into reading and math instruction. A school-wide weekly science vocabulary program will be presented during morning announcements.
-Students will participate in hands-on science experiments weekly.
-All students will participate in the Science Fair. Students in grades 3-5 will work independently to produce a science fair project utilizing proper scientific research procedures. Kindergarten through grade 2 will conduct a class project, each contributing to the outcome, while exploring the investigational procedures.
- In order to significantly improve Parent Engagement/Community Involvement for the school community, staff will focus on increasing communication by
- Implementing a monthly newsletter
- Providing various opportunities/resources to get parents and community members/organizations actively engaged in supporting academic goals
- Encouraging participation at PTA meetings and school events
- Continuing weekly callouts via the School Communication System to keep the community informed
- In order to significantly improve Career Development/Graduation Promotion the staff will expose all students to career development opportunities by
- Building relationships with community liaisons
- Continuing a partnership with environmental outreach educators
- Highlighting higher education
- Relating projects to real world applications
- In order to significantly improve student attendance, and overall climate/culture the staff will involve all stakeholders by
- Empowering students to take the lead with collecting and analyzing attendance data and the effectiveness of initiatives
- Establishing a climate committee to initiate activities that foster a positive, collaborative environment for all stakeholders.
- Keeping parents abreast of attendance data, goals, and initiatives
- Soliciting parent/community volunteers to participate in school events, conduct activities, and/or provide resources to support school goals
- Continuing to provide various activities/interventions to promote positive behavior
- Attendance/Climate and Culture
- Safe and Orderly Environment
- Yorktown students participate in the Yorktown Wildcat Positive Behavioral program. This incentive program provides the opportunity for all students to be rewarded bi-weekly for good behavior. Our positive behavioral program, as well as the school-wide discipline plan implemented during the 2010-11 school year, were successful in decreasing the number of students suspended. The school-wide plan includes training on effective intervention strategies to be implemented at the classroom level prior to resorting to a formal referral. The number of peaceful days were announced and posted each afternoon to remind students of the Yorktown Way of Peace and Respect. Students were able to work collaboratively to attain 130 days of peace for the 2010-11 school year.
In addition to the positive behavioral plan and the implementation of effective intervention strategies, Yorktown has established itself as a Community of Caring school. This character education program, spearheaded by our Guidance Counselor, provides many opportunities for student participation in character building activities. Student Council, Destination Imagination, Peer Mediation, BEST Youth Development group and GOLD committee are only a few of the many activities available for students to become involved in. The guidance counselor will also deliver classroom lessons to assist students in developing positive social, emotional, and behavioral character.
Staff will continue to implement our school-wide discipline program for the 2010-11 school year. Monthly referrals, suspensions and data will be monitored to determine the success of the various programs in place to reinforce positive behavior. Monthly reports of referrals and suspensions will be documented and shared with staff.
- Attendance and tardies will be monitored. The School Communication System and WYES (school television) will be utilized to promote attendance. Students with increasing absences will be referred to the Pupil Personnel Worker (PPW) and/or the School Instructional Team (SIT). Action plans will be written for repeat cases.
- School Governance and Management System
- Decisions will be made during School Leadership Meetings, and School Planning and Management Team Meetings.
- Information will be shared via Weekly Bulletins, Monthly Parent Newsletters, Monthly Staff Meetings, Emails, and Collaborative Planning Meetings.
- Parent representation on the School Planning & Management Team ensures that parents are involved in the decision making process for continued school improvement. Scheduled meetings for the year are: 9/14/11, 10/12/11, 11/9/11, 12/14/11, 1/11/12, 2/8/12, 3/7/12, 4/18/12, and 5/9/12.