Document 255559

2012-­‐2013 AEF A+ SCHOOL OF EXCELLENCE™ RENEWAL APPLICATION – COVER SHEET Official School Name Patterson Elementary School District Name Gilbert Unified School District Level (circle all grades that apply): Pre-­‐K K 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 Previous A+ School? X Yes _____No If Yes, Year(s) 2009 Name of Principal: Mr. Nonda Chomokos School Mailing Address 1211 E. Guadalupe Road City: Gilbert Zip: 85234 Primary Phone (480) 892-­‐2803 Principal Phone or ext. extension 302 Principal Email address [email protected] Name of Superintendent: Dr. Dave Allison District Mailing Address 140 South Gilbert Road City: Gilbert Zip: 85234 Primary Phone (480) 497 – 3342 Superintendent Phone (480) 497 – 3342 Superintendent Email address [email protected] If your school is selected to receive a site visit, the review panel members will need directions to your school and will need to know dates that will present potential conflicts. Please complete the following: Street Address City & Zip of school (if different from mailing address): Same as above. Detailed travel directions indicating surface streets that lead to your school: Patterson is located on the south side of Guadalupe Road between Val Visa Drive and Lindsay Road in Gilbert. If traveling east on the US 60, exit at Gilbert Road. Drive south to Guadalupe and turn left (east). Travel 1 ½ miles east on Guadalupe past Lindsay Road. Patterson will be on the right just past the Freestone Recreation Center. Enter through the first driveway and exit through the second. 1 Calendar information: Best days of week, and times, to observe Monday – Friday, 8:00 am– 4:00 pm Time school buses begin arriving in the morning: 8:20 am Time classes begin: 8:38 am Time classes dismiss: 3:25 pm Spring Break dates: March 11 – 15, 2013 Standardized testing dates: April 15 – 19, 2013 Early release, overnight or all-­‐day field trips or other out-­‐of-­‐the-­‐ordinary activities planned that might interfere with a site visit for the period February 4 – April 19, 2013; indicate grade level(s) affected: Wednesday, February 13: Early dismissal, 12:25 Monday, February 18: No School, Presidents’ Day Thursday, February 21: 3rd Grade Musical, performances at 10 am (primary) and 2 pm (upper grades) Join us! Friday, February 22: Pride Day assembly – all grades, 8:45 – 10:00 am (You are welcome to attend!) Wednesday, March 6: Spring pictures – all grades Friday, March 8: Field Day, grades K – 2, 9 – 10:30 am AND early dismissal, 12:25 March 11 – 15: Spring Break Friday, March 22: Pride Day assembly – all grades, 8:45 – 10:am (You are welcome to attend!) Friday, March 29: No School, Good Friday Wednesday, April 3: Early dismissal, 12:25 April 15 – 19: AIMS testing SIGNATURES: I have reviewed the information in this package, including the eligibility requirements, and certify that to the best of my knowledge it is accurate. If my school is recognized as an A+ School of Excellence, the contents of this application may be made available to the public. ________________________________________________________________Date__________________________ Principal’s signature I have reviewed the information in this package, including the eligibility requirements, and certify that to the best of my knowledge it is accurate. ________________________________________________________________Date__________________________ Superintendent’s signature I have reviewed the information in this package, including the eligibility requirements, and certify that to the best of my knowledge it is accurate. ________________________________________________________________Date__________________________ School Board Member’s signature Printed name of School Board Member _____________________________________________________________ 2 Preparation of A+ School of Excellence Application Representatives of all relevant stakeholder groups, i.e. administrators, teachers, other school staff, students, parents, and community representatives, should be involved in the preparation of the application. List the individuals actively involved in preparation. Insert additional pages if needed. Name (list primary author(s) first) Karen Reynolds Nonda Chomokos Michelle Haney Nancy Boothe Kerry Wright Lisa Hart Penny Sedlak Cindy Ward Pam Loose Tammara Ritter Andree Stahl Bonnie Hickman Karen Frederick Sandy Hausman Sue Noel Christine Hill Kim Mesa Brenda Strom Position/Title PTO President Principal Parent Volunteer Administrative Assistant Attendance Specialist Kindergarten Teacher Rep. 1st Grade Teacher Representative 2nd Grade Teacher Representative 3rd Grade Teacher Representative 4th Grade Teacher Representative 5th Grade Teacher Representative 6th Grade Teacher Representative Teacher/Student Council Rep. ALP Teacher Representative Reading Specialist Reading Coach Math Specialist Nurse/Health Education Rep. 3 Martha Jacobs Amanda Beda David Armenta Gail Powell Kristen McLaren Suzy Horvath Claudine Cole Michelle Warring Char and Gary Fujino Ann Skipper Autumn Ellsworth Stacy Arthur Sarah Johnson Susan Baca Shellie Gibson David and Susan Spafford Nancy Clark Julie and Rien Funk David Mitchell & Robin Zarelli Brandi Kraxberger Leanne Josey Renee Decker Carole Bell School Psychologist Social Worker ELL Specialist Grandparent Volunteer Emeritus Parent Volunteer Emeritus Art Masterpiece Director Parent Volunteer Parent Volunteer Parent Volunteers Parent Volunteer Parent Volunteer Parent Volunteer Parent Volunteer Parent Volunteer Parent Volunteer Parent Volunteers Parent Volunteer Parent Volunteers Parent Volunteers Parent Volunteer Parent Volunteer Parent Volunteer PTO Treasurer 4 PART I: DEMOGRAPHIC DATA Re-­‐application instructions: Please draw attention to significant changes in demographic data since 2009. Describe and explain changes. DISTRICT INFORMATION: 1.
Total number of Pre K-­‐12 students enrolled in the district: 38,442 2.
Number of schools in the district: 27 Elementary 6 Middle/Junior High Schools 0 K-­‐8 5 High schools 3 Magnet TOTAL SCHOOLS: 41 SCHOOL INFORMATION: 3.
Category that best describes the area where the school is located: _____Urban or large central city X Suburban _____Suburban w/characteristics of urban areas _____small city/town in rural area _____rural 4.
Number of years the principal has been in her/his position at this school? 22 (see Eligibility Requirements) If less than three years, how long was the previous principal at this school? N/A 5.
Number of students enrolled at each grade level or its equivalent in the school: Pre-­‐K 19 4th 84 9th -­‐-­‐ th
K 84 5 80 10 -­‐-­‐ 1st 94 6th 80 11th -­‐-­‐ nd
th 2 101 7 -­‐-­‐ 12 -­‐-­‐ 3rd 85 8th -­‐-­‐ TOTAL: 639 6.
Racial/ethnic composition of students in the school: 1 % American Indian or Alaska Native 2 % Asian, Native Hawaiian or Other Pacific Islander 3 % Black or African American 22 % Hispanic or Latino 68 % White 4 % Other; specify: two or more races 5 7.
Student turnover, or mobility rate, during the past year: .9 % (Calculate this rate by taking the total number of students who transferred to or from your school between October 1 and the end of the school year, divided by the total number of students in school as of October 1, and multiplying by 100.) Limited English proficient students in the school: Total number: 6 As a % of total student population: 1% a.
Total Number of languages represented: One b. Specify languages: Spanish (other languages spoken at home among those students NOT in the ELL program are Cambodian, Hungarian, Italian, Mandarin, Polish, Romanian, Russian, Vietnamese, Samoan, Tamil, Somali, and Tagalog) Students who participate in free/reduced-­‐priced meals: Total number: 205 As a % of total student population: 32% If this method is not a reasonably accurate estimate of the percentage of students from low-­‐income families or the school does not participate in the federally-­‐supported lunch program, specify a more accurate estimate, tell why the school chose it, and explain how it arrived at this estimate. Students receiving special education services: Total number: 109 As a % of total student population: 17%__ 32 Specific Learning Disability 12 DD/Health Impaired/Autistic 14 Other Severe (specify): MDSSI, SID, PSD, OI Indicate if your school is the district site for any specific special education magnet program(s); if so, include student enrollment for program(s). Life SCILLS (Structured Classroom for Intensive Learning of Language Skills) – Students are integrated into mainstream grade level classes and all school activities such as music time and assemblies whenever appropriate. 12 students Amanecer Integrated Language-­‐Based Preschool – Sixty to seventy percent of each class are children that have been identified as having special education needs. The remaining thirty to forty percent of the children served have no handicapping condition and participate on a tuition basis. 19 students (two classes, one meeting in the morning and the other in the afternoon) 6 11.
Indicate number of full-­‐time and part-­‐time staff members in each of the categories below: Number of Staff Full-­‐time Part-­‐time Administrators 1 0 Classroom teachers 27 0 Specials: Therapists 2.5 0 Resource teachers 2.5 0 Other specialists 3 0 Paraprofessionals 4 14 Other Support Staff 10 5 TOTAL FTE: 50 7 Part II – VISION/MISSION STATEMENTS Mission Patterson’s mission statement is the following: “Patterson Elementary School exists for the intellectual, social, and physical development of each child. With the fundamental premise that all students can learn, instruction is focused on the acquisition of skills and building a lifelong desire for learning.” Vision Patterson stated in its original application that it is “committed to provide an exceptional academic experience for all of its learners and to create an environment in which all students are valued and can be successful.” This vision aligns with both the district’s mission, “Ensure exemplary education that inspires excellence and success within every learner,” and with the goals stated in our previous document. To summarize those goals, Patterson is dedicated to creating an atmosphere conducive to high academic achievement in a safe, creative, active environment, where positive character traits, open communication, and the value of individuals are emphasized and needs are met. These are core values of our school. Yearly goals, such as raising Math AIMS scores by 3% and all students showing one year or more of growth, reflect educational research, test results, and formula calculations. But the general climate of our school is constant. It is seen in our traditions and in the demeanor of everyone who works here. A genuine love for students prevails. “Each person at Patterson has left my children feeling empowered, cared for, and prepared. Truly, the education one gets at Patterson is not just academic, but lifelong learning.” (Suzy Horvath, parent) Part III – SCHOOL SUMMARY Patterson Elementary School, a district and neighborhood anchor for thirty-­‐
six years, is a home away from home for many families in and around Gilbert, Arizona. Our school exists in the seventh largest community in Arizona, a town with approximately 212,000 people. Gilbert’s mayor, John Lewis, is quoted as saying, “To still have a small-­‐town feel in a very large municipality is a positive. We should be proud.” (The Republic, July 2012) Patterson feeds that small-­‐town feel. We are a close-­‐knit community of teachers, staff, students, and families that know and support each other. “I can sum up all my moments at Patterson in one word – family. Every event I attend, no matter what it is, feels like everyone is family. I love everything about Patterson!!!” (Claudine Cole, parent) “You can feel the sense of family or community just walking through the campus. We wanted our children to feel that sense of belonging.” (Michelle Warring, parent) Patterson was designated a Title I school in the fall of 2009. Thirty-­‐two percent of students qualify for free or reduced lunch. The diversity of our population is seen economically and academically, with students in multiple handicapped, special, regular, and gifted education classes. And while all of these varied needs are met on an individual basis, the community as a whole comes together with regularity. Our monthly Pride Day assemblies celebrate the unity and uniqueness found among our students, highlighting examples of good character, talents, and success in our school and beyond. Community events such as the 8 annual fall barbecue, holiday social, spring carnival, and ice cream social bring families together. The Halloween costume parade, heroes’ lunches, fun runs, food drives, and PALS afterschool classes add dimensions of camaraderie that cross classroom lines. In 2007, Patterson was listed as #16 on the “Best Places to Work in the Valley.” In 2009, we were acknowledged as an A+ school by the Arizona Education Foundation. Two years later, our Responsibility Center was recognized as an Exemplary Program by the same organization. In 2012, Patterson was identified by the state as a Title I Highly Performing Reward School. Patterson Elementary School is a remarkable assembly of positive, hardworking people who go the extra mile to afford the best possible education and opportunities for their students. “Patterson is our school of choice because it is a good mixture of strong leadership and strong faculty. They have not lost focus of teaching the entire student while maintaining high academic standards.” (Char and Gary Fujino, parents) Part IV – SCHOOL CRITERIA A. School Organization and Culture -­‐ This section is largely unchanged from our last application (see section B in the 2008-­‐9 application). Please note the following updates and additional details since then: A.1 School Climate – Our cafeteria now boasts the newest in equipment and décor after our extensive school remodel. The “diner” décor no longer graces our walls, but has been replaced by a climbing wall for PE, an easily accessible new stage, as well as student displays and open viewing of our lost & found cabinets. We partner not with Arizona Federal Credit Union, but with Tempe Schools Credit Union for donations of water, gift cards, and prizes for our staff during our monthly Pride Day assemblies. The Steven Louis Pearson Leukemia Foundation “Pillar of Character” Award recipients now receive t-­‐shirts to acknowledge their demonstrations of good character. A.2 Community Input/Collective Inquiry -­‐ While many teachers still send home weekly progress reports, this method of communication is now largely supplemented by parental access to the district’s use of Infinite Campus software, which allows parents to log-­‐in at any time to see up-­‐to-­‐date grades and even individual scores on assignments. A smart phone app is also available. The parent satisfaction survey that was analyzed in 2008 has been re-­‐
administered. Its results, quotes, and anecdotes are referenced throughout this application. Two hundred six respondents answered the survey. One hundred fifty-­‐
three of them took extra time to write narrative responses, which were overwhelmingly positive. The PTO continues to be a home-­‐school connection for parents. Everyone who works at Patterson and/or has a child enrolled at our school is considered a member. Weekly e-­‐blasts to 301 individuals who have provided their e-­‐mail addresses and more frequent Facebook posts, visible to 201 individuals who “like” us, provide members with reminders of PTO and other school events and an opportunity to comment and ask questions. We utilize a website called VolunteerSpot to organize donations of food and supplies for hospitality events and 9 to share information with those who are volunteering their time for community events such as the Holiday Social, BBQ, and Ice Cream Social. A link to our Google calendar is provided in each e-­‐blast and on the district website within Patterson’s page to provide another means of staying informed. A.3 Campus Safety – Because Patterson has two cooperative neighbors, Freestone Recreation Center and Wonderful Mercy Church, who allow parents to use their parking lots, we close our own parking lot during drop-­‐off and pick-­‐up times to minimize traffic. Bob Miles, the grandfather of several former Patterson students, an Army veteran, and an involved member of the Kiwanis Club, has voluntarily stood at the entrance to our parking lot each morning and afternoon for the past three years to discourage its use for the protection of our students. Monthly fire drills and one lockdown drill per semester, each per district requirement, are practiced with great success. Exterior gates are locked at 8:35am and reopened at 3:15 for parents to pick up their children. Visitors sign-­‐in and obtain a badge before continuing from the office to the inner campus. B. Student Focus and Support B.1 Student Population – Patterson’s enrollment has increased from just shy of 600 students to 643 since our last application. This number still reflects a broad spectrum of socioeconomic backgrounds, cultures, and needs. In the fall of 2009, our school was designated as Title I. The resulting funding now provides us with a highly qualified math specialist, full time social worker, two full time highly qualified paraprofessionals, before and after school tutoring, and intervention programs. (See section E of this document.) Patterson remains a school of choice, with 47.7% of our enrollment coming from outside our attendance area, an increase from 40% three years ago. In-­‐district transfers account for 29.2% of our population, compared to 26% previously. Students from outside our district make up 18.5%, up from 14%. These are the highest numbers among our district’s elementary schools. In response to a survey question asking why Patterson is a school of choice, parent Ann Skipper answered, “We have driven…up to twelve miles each way to have our children at this positive, child-­‐centered, challenging school. Mr. C knows each child and their strengths and weaknesses. This genuine concern for students is evident in every teacher, aide, cafeteria worker, and janitor. We are truly blessed to be Patterson Panthers!” Parent Autumn Ellsworth responded, “I toured about ten different schools and when I toured Patterson I instantly felt different. I felt welcomed. Mr. C gave me the tour himself and he was so very thorough and I could tell he had a real heartfelt investment in the school.” B.2 Identifying and Meeting Academic Needs – Assessment has taken on a new dimension in the past three years. (See section IV of this document, sections C and E). The Terra Nova state testing has been replaced with Stanford 10. Tungsten Learning assessments have been replaced with quarterly ATI benchmark tests. DIBELS, previously used for K – 4 students is now utilized for all students in K – 6 in the fall, and in the winter and spring for those who have not met benchmark goals. Data is maintained by the new reading coach for use by administration and teachers. 10 Our Accelerated Reader (AR) program is now enhanced with its “Home Connect” feature, which allows parents and students to log in to view test scores and progress toward individual goals. This information is relayed to parents who sign up for e-­‐mail updates to be sent each time their child takes a test. In addition to informal classroom assessments and teacher observation, the Response to Intervention (RTI) process is followed to help identify reading challenges. A scientifically researched assessment is given to all K – 6 students. A tier system is followed if a student is shown to be at risk. Our campus said goodbye to one of our three special education magnet programs at the end of last year. MDSSI, which serves physically and severely cognitively impaired students, has moved to another elementary school due to space issues. A second grade class was added to our existing three, due to an increase in the number of students at that level. Two SCILLS classes remain. “My daughter has multiple disabilities and requires specialized care to meet her needs. I feel completely comfortable sending her to school each day – confident that all of her needs will be met. Most importantly, my girl is happy to go to school each day. I feel that her teacher appreciates and values my daughter’s unique abilities and special personality.” (Stacy Arthur, parent) Our ELL population, numbering six, receives daily forty-­‐minute sessions focusing on the use of grammar in the English language. The majority of these lessons are taught in the form of verb tense studies, which also includes exposure to familiar and new vocabulary. The Accelerated Learning Program (ALP) has seen a small shift in services in the past three years. Students in grades K – 3 are now in a cluster-­‐grouping model. Several students with similar exceptional learning needs are placed in the same mixed-­‐ability classrooms in this inclusion model. Currently, twelve students receive these services, which is a decrease from eighteen three years ago. In grades 4 – 6, ALP students attend the gifted program for language arts and/or mathematics during daily instructional blocks. Fifty-­‐one students are enrolled in the intermediate ALP program this school year, which is a decrease from fifty-­‐seven three years ago. SAIL is no longer utilized and those who qualify on only the nonverbal portion of the CogAt are in the same cluster-­‐grouping model mentioned above. B.3 Identifying and Meeting Non-­‐Academic Needs – Much of this section has seen little change since our last application. Please refer to it for a full description of these programs. Changes are noted below. Extended Learning Activities – VIK extended learning still provides options for families before and after school. Club Discovery enrichment courses no longer offer as many courses on our campus, but chess is still enjoyed by eight students after school once per week. Patterson’s PALS classes offer varying classes each semester. In the fall of this school year, thirteen afterschool courses were enjoyed by 193 students, nearly one-­‐third of our enrollment. Activities included Tai Chi, running, tennis, flag choreography, community service, math practice, a book club, and oceanography. A partnership with USTA (United States Tennis Association) allowed us to purchase $1000 in new tennis equipment for use during PALS classes and PE. 11 Co-­‐curricular Activities – Parking needs are still addressed by our partnership with neighboring Freestone Recreation Center, but additionally, Wonderful Mercy Church offers their parking lot to our east as another option for parents who drive their children to school (see section A.3 of this document). Our first graders now benefit from a fire safety program provided in concert with the Gilbert Fire Department. Water safety is still taught to our first graders, but no longer in partnership with outside agencies. The Town of Gilbert helps teach our students about recycling. Support Services and Programs – Our Responsibility Center earned an A+ Exemplary Programs Award in the spring of 2012. It provides a place for students to go when they are making choices contrary to those necessary for a positive classroom/playground atmosphere. The director provides one-­‐on-­‐one coaching through the event that led to a referral there by a teacher or staff member; the student is responsible for making a plan about how to better approach similar circumstances in the future. The program benefits both the child who receives this extra help, the children in the classroom who are no longer distracted by the behavior, and the teacher who can then focus on teaching. “My children are learning so much more than academics. They are learning to be better people.” (Sarah Johnson, parent) We have welcomed a new social worker, Amanda Beda, to Patterson this year. She teaches Character Counts! lessons in the classroom in addition to leading specialized groups, such as Changing Families (which helps students cope with divorce), Grief, Social Skills, and Understanding Feelings. Ms. Beda works directly with teachers, parents, and staff to ensure students receive the best service possible. “Ms. Beda has provided our daughter counseling since her grandma passed away this summer. She is compassionate, kind, and a true reflection of how much the Patterson personnel care about our kids.” (Susan Baca, parent) C. Professional Learning Communities – Patterson embraces the practice of collaboration among its teachers and paraprofessionals. With the adoption of Common Core State Standards and their emphasis on deeper understanding, critical thinking, and complex cognitive skills, our teachers are in a prime position to go beyond the status quo. Our school sets aside time for educators to meet with each other weekly to review current practices, discuss new ways of presenting material, assess the results of student testing, and make changes to best meet student needs as they arise. PAWS – PAWS is the name given to the implementation of this model at Patterson. Teachers meet by grade level once per week for forty minutes while their students are in their specials classes. Eighteen of these meetings per year are mandated by the district, but Patterson exceeds this requirement by 200%. The focus of each meeting is strictly math; together the teachers analyze ATI scores and other formal/informal assessments to determine ability level groups for student placement. From there, decisions are made as to how material will be presented to each group and how successful learning will be assessed. Each teacher is responsible for a new group of students every two weeks. Three times each week the newly-­‐formed group of students is challenged at their level. At the conclusion of 12 their time together, the students are reassessed and regrouped. They rotate to teachers who work with the various leveled groups, ensuring a connection between instructors and every child in that grade. Specialists, such as our ELL teacher and Reading Specialist, assign themselves to a grade level. Adding another teacher to the regrouping process thus lowers the numbers of students in each PAWS class. Teacher/administrator feedback of PAWS has been ongoing throughout the year, both in informal conversations and at staff meetings. Changes are made as necessary; for example, 25 minute blocks have been changed to 45 minute blocks in some grade levels. Scheduling this “untouchable” time is difficult, but useful for the consistency of the program. The master schedule reflects time set aside in each grade level. One of the commendable results of encouraging such a team approach to student outcomes is the desire for change from the teachers. After just three months of implementing PAWS in math, our first grade team of teachers met with Mr. C to discuss the inclusion of reading as an additional subject area focus. The success they witnessed in math led them to realize that a similar approach in reading might have equal results. They now meet during an additional prep period to create this program for reading. D. Active Teaching/Learning – This section remains unchanged from our previous application. Please see section C of this application for more information. E. Challenging Curriculum – In 2009, Patterson’s student population met the qualifications necessary for a Title I designation. We are considered a targeted school due to 32% of students receiving free or reduced lunch. Now in its third year of receiving funds, Patterson has developed programs in reading and math to assist those who are struggling in those subject areas, either at-­‐risk or not meeting AIMS standards. To identify those in need of support, AIMS scores, ATI benchmark testing, DIBELS, and STAR reading and math scores are analyzed. Students who qualify for assistance are offered the services of a full-­‐time social worker as needed, including classes and consultation; parent outreach, such as “Love and Logic” training, Math Night, and monthly newsletters; technology (iPads/iPods) in math and reading pull-­‐
out classrooms; services of a full-­‐time math specialist and highly qualified math paraprofessional (see below); and the services of a full-­‐time reading specialist and highly qualified reading paraprofessional (see below). Title I Math services – Additional math support is provided daily to 109 students. The Kathy Richardson, Kim Sutton, Singapore, and Hands-­‐on-­‐Standards strategies are models used for instruction. Educators can select which approach best suits their students’ needs. Additionally, the program’s success can be attributed to the benefits of small group, hands-­‐on instruction whereby students are able to use five key components to help them master math skills: music, writing/drawing, speaking, active involvement in small groups, and the use of manipulatives. In addition to the Title I program offered during the school day, Patterson is also able to provide math support to students through our extended day program. 13 This program is computer-­‐based and is able to provide practice in math skills on an individual basis with immediate feedback and a daily record of success. The student begins with an initial placement assessment, which identifies the appropriate starting level for instruction. Students are encouraged by a mascot as they move through visual and engaging coursework. Students work at their own pace with full audio support and on-­‐line manipulatives. The course includes real-­‐world contexts for problem solving, guided interactive practice, and assessment to reflect the best practice recommendations of the National Council of Teachers of Mathematics, while aligning to the Common Core State Standards. Each year, Patterson’s teachers are given the freedom to invent new ways to improve and develop the program. Regular contact between students and specialists builds a relationship that fosters confidence and leads to mastery of math skills and higher math scores. Students are excited and motivated to have additional practice and support. A team atmosphere nurtures the positive attitudes of students and ensures they feel respected and comfortable in taking risks. “These attributes are a direct result of a work atmosphere that values the knowledge and experience of its educators.” (Kim Mesa, Math Specialist) The combination of these programs has significantly enhanced the mathematics education of the students at Patterson. In the AYP/AZ LEARNS evaluation for the 2011-­‐2012 school year, the median growth of all students measured 51.5. The growth for the bottom 25% of students went from 45 to 55.75 in just one year. Positive feedback from teachers and students, in addition to the quantifiable increase in standardized testing scores, are a solid testament to the effectiveness and continued success of these Title I offerings. “I’m really getting faster at my math facts. I like my time with Mrs. Mesa.” (Emma Reynolds, student) Title I Reading services – Additional reading support is provided to 31 students in the Tier 2 placement during the school day and to an additional 14 fourth through sixth grade students who did not pass AIMS or have scores that indicate they are at risk on the DIBELS benchmark. Fourteen students receive services in the extended day program. A highly qualified reading paraprofessional assists our reading specialist with instruction and practice for Tier 2 students in grades K – 3. We have five seats for the Lexia reading computer program and our paraprofessional uses it to complement her instruction in phonemic awareness and phonics skills, using Wilson Fundations materials. She also helps students practice high frequency word reading and spelling, and fluency, using Blast Off to Reading. Additionally, she monitors student progress every two weeks, using DIBELS. She has been trained in each of these programs. Our reading specialist sees the fourth through sixth graders, as well as some of the Tier 2 students. With the fourth through sixth graders, she uses the Wilson Reading System, in which she has achieved Level One Certification, and is currently working on the second Certification. With some students she also uses the Wilson Just Words Program, which was written for group teaching of Wilson reading skills. She has Barton training from Susan Barton, author of the Barton Reading and Spelling System, and uses that program for one student this year, in order to work 14 with the student’s private tutor in giving the student one consistent reading program. Additionally, the Tier II students getting intensive intervention use Lexia, as well as phoneme instruction. Three times during the school year, she leads the staff who are trained in administering DIBELS Benchmarks in screening all students in K – 4, as well as those students who have not met end of the year benchmark levels in grades 5 – 6. The students’ results are then discussed, and the data is analyzed and interpreted by the Response to Intervention Team (RTI team) to determine those students requiring levels of intervention, and which intervention is most appropriate. These meetings are coordinated and directed by our Reading Specialist. SuccessMaker, Lexia, and Reading Plus computer programs drive the extended day program with the guidance of our highly qualified teachers before and after school. Ongoing efforts in the reading program have seen results on standardized tests. The median percentile rank of FAY (all students present before the tenth day of school and continually enrolled through AIMS testing) students in the subject of reading was 56 in 2011-­‐2012. Of the students in grade 3 – 6, 84 – 93% passed the reading portion of the AIMS. “After a couple of years of not knowing what my son’s learning problems are…Patterson is helping him by evaluating him constantly and giving him extra help with reading.” (Patterson parent) In our original application, “Challenging Standards and Curriculum” was broken down by subject level and still accurately reflects Patterson’s practices (see section C in our 2008-­‐9 application). Please note the following exceptions: E.1 Language Arts – Daily Oral Language is no longer used as a widespread practice, making room for the implementation of Thinking Maps and Write from the Beginning in grades K – 5. Write to the Future is used in 6th grade. Patterson students no longer participate in the State Oratorical Contest due to time constraints. E.2 Mathematics – The previously adopted math series, by Harcourt, has been replaced by Math Expressions for general education. U SEE Math is now used, rather than Saxon Math, for special education. Bunko and Aerospace PALS classes are not currently offered, as these enrichment classes change rotation frequently depending on staff interest and availability. E.3 Science – Science Camp, a highlight for 6th grade students, now consists of a one-­‐night stay at the Desert Outdoor Center at Lake Pleasant, and is complemented with field trips to the Riparian Preserve and JA Biz Town to enhance workplace skills (see E.8 of this document). Patterson students no longer participate in the Honeywell Fiesta Bowl Aerospace Challenge, due to time constraints. E.4 Social Studies – Students continue to flourish in the social studies curriculum described in our original application. E.5 Technology – There are now ten computers in the mini-­‐lab, rather than eleven, as the addition of a new teacher required its use in the classroom. Through the funding of PTO and the cooperation of Queen Creek High School, each classroom is now equipped with a document camera and projector, or in the case of 15 kindergarten and special education classrooms, a Smart Board. This has opened up options for teachers in both presenting and inviting student interaction with materials. Third grade classrooms are outfitted with neo-­‐boards, allowing students to practice keyboarding and to take AR (Accelerated Reader) tests. SnapGrades, our previous web-­‐based grade book program, has been replaced by Infinite Campus (see section A.2). Our former full-­‐time lab assistant is now on-­‐call as needed, due to budget cuts. E.6 Comprehensive Health and Physical Education – The rotation of specials classes has been changed district-­‐wide. K – 6 students participate in PE once per week for forty minutes. During the months of November and December, weekly Fun Runs are hosted after school. Students run the perimeter of the field twice and, upon completion, earn a chance in a drawing at our monthly Pride Days (see section G) for a free Frisbee, funded by PTO. One of our PALS classes, taught by Ms. Beda, is a running club that continues to meet even though the class is officially over. Two field days are held for each of the primary and intermediate grades. Classes rotate to a variety of fun, interactive stations led by our PE teacher, Mrs. Hoffman, and manned by parent volunteers. Patterson serves as a model program for ASU’s PE department, welcoming their students twice yearly to observe and host two of the field days. E.7 The Arts – Art classes follow a similar rotation schedule as PE, allowing K – 6 students forty minutes every other week. Computer opportunities are offered during non-­‐art weeks. Band and orchestra are offered to fifth and sixth grade students. There are currently 75 students in the school band and 56 students in the orchestra. The Fiddle Club no longer meets. The school chorus, a voluntary program for fourth through sixth graders, entertains our students, parents, and off-­‐
campus communities, such as Leisure World and the state capitol. “The ‘specials’ teachers are especially wonderful. My children have not only done well in their academics, but also have learned so much in library, art, p.e., and especially music.” (Shellie Gibson, parent) The Art Masterpiece program continues to be an enthusiastically received addition to classroom lessons. Parent participation has grown from 30 volunteers in 2008 to 80 in 2012-­‐13. E.8 Workplace Skills – Science competitions and oratorical contests are no longer widely promoted due to time constraints. However, there is a new component to the sixth grade curriculum that promotes job and money skills. Junior Achievement’s JA Biztown provides students with instruction ranging from writing job applications to interviewing skills, check-­‐writing to budgeting. On the field trip to JA Biztown in Tempe, students assume responsibilities for the jobs assigned based on the interviews and work together to make their company succeed among many others. Earning a paycheck and making decisions about how to spend it are immediate results of their hard work. Students think and demonstrate skills outside of the “school” box and shine in the grown-­‐up roles they assume for the day. E.9 Foreign and Native Language – Jeremy and Kim Fass, Patterson parents of three students, provide sign language lessons to their children’s classes each year. 16 E.10 Accelerated Learning Program (ALP) – The ALP program continues to thrive at Patterson and serves as a model for other programs district-­‐wide. See section B.2 of this application for more information. F. Leadership and Educational Vitality Nonda Chomokos, referred to as Mr. C, has been the principal of Patterson for twenty-­‐two years. If you mention Patterson to anyone who has been here in the past three decades, you will invariably be asked, “Is Mr. C is still there?” He is. An instructional leader with an open door policy used by staff and parents alike, he welcomes input and questions. Attending team level meetings, planning PALS classes, and streamlining the implementation of new practices are just a few of the ways he spearheads high quality educational opportunities. To students and families, he is omnipresent, greeting students every morning as they arrive, personally making the morning announcements, acting as a substitute crossing guard, watering plants, bringing an errant lunchbox to its young owner, emceeing Pride Day assemblies, hosting Hero Lunches to sit and chat with a rotating selection of students, and bidding families a good day as they leave in the afternoon. He is the embodiment of Patterson and will likely ask the writer of this document to kindly remove this paragraph. (She will respectfully decline.) “When we were looking for a GPS elementary to place our children, Mr. C took the time out of his day to personally give us a tour of the school.” (David and Susan Spafford, parents) Among those he has hired are Panther alumna. One, Robyn Betts, remembers being a student at Patterson, learning to make good choices, and to reach for her goals. She says, “It was so nice to not be afraid of your principal because even as a small child, you knew he cared about you and had your best interest in mind.” She also credits him for contributing to her success as a teacher and is thankful for what the school has done for her since her childhood. A newcomer to Patterson, Christine Hill, is our reading coach. She was drawn to Patterson due to its reputation in the district and found it to match her values and educational philosophy after interviewing with Mr. C and our reading specialist. Karen Frederick, a kindergarten teacher here since 1988, credits Mr. C with his own broad teaching experience across the grade levels, thus easing communication between educators. His leadership was born from knowing and loving the process of teaching, giving him credibility among those in the classroom. “Patterson is a phenomenal place to be. The teachers we’ve had care about our children and work hard to help them progress academically, socially, and emotionally. They are not just teachers but advocates, mentors, and friends. Our entire family has been blessed through our children’s attendance at Patterson. Mr. Chomokos is at the foundation of all the success. He is hands-­‐down the best administrator I’ve ever known.” (Nancy Clark, parent) Referencing Mr. C, “I saw him hug a student one day and ask how his hospitalized mother was doing, and another time give a high five to a sixth grader, and ask how his birthday party went. He knew my children’s names within the first few 17 weeks of school, and even asked them how they were adjusting.” (Julie and Rien Funk, parents) Administrative leadership partners with collegial leadership to guide and assist teachers. Please see section E of our 2008-­‐9 application for more information. G. School, Family, and Community Partnerships – The atmosphere at Patterson is inclusive and welcoming. One hundred percent of respondents to the 2012 parent survey gave Patterson an A or A+ in response to the statement, “I feel welcome at my child’s school.” Simply the policy of closing the parking lot during pick-­‐up and drop-­‐off times seems to bring parents together, since families walk into the campus together and linger over conversations that might not otherwise happen. Given the nature of our “commuter” population, ties to and within the school community are strong. “Patterson faculty, staff, and parents always make everyone feel welcomed and look out for each other just like a family. “ (David Mitchell & Robin Zarelli, parents) Our PTO is intertwined in the culture of our school. Parents are automatically “members” of PTO and receive e-­‐blasts, Facebook posts, and flyers about activities frequently. Opportunities to get involved at any level are advertised before school begins and continue throughout the year. On the first day of school, PTO hosts a “Tea & Tissues” event for kindergarten parents to welcome them. “The first day my son started kindergarten I attended the Tea & Tissue event and felt very welcome and comfortable with leaving my child all day.” (Brandi Kraxberger, parent) PTO’s hospitality committee gives extensive support to the teachers and staff at Patterson. During parent-­‐teacher conferences, a Hawaiian-­‐themed dinner was provided in the lounge, which was transformed to a tropical paradise. On Halloween, the same room became the spooky source of a chili luncheon for all. Thanksgiving gave parents the chance to appreciate staff with homemade pumpkin bread and caramel sauce. Christmas peppermint bark reminded them again that their hard work and continuous care for our kids does not go unnoticed. The committee welcomes help in planning appreciation events and gifts for all staff and is overwhelmed with responses to any request for donations of food and supplies. Within 24 hours of making an initial request for help on Volunteer Spot, over twenty people had responded and covered 90% of the needs for the conference dinner. Much of PTO’s fundraising is community-­‐based. Partnerships with Barro’s Pizza, Golden Spoon, and many local restaurants are symbiotic: they return up to 25% of the proceeds from events that PTO advertises on their behalf, giving our families a night off from the kitchen and time to be together. A recent Freddy’s Frozen Custard and Steakburger event earned $200; Golden Spoon nights are timed with all musical performances to celebrate our singers’ and musicians’ talents; a future Holly’s Bakery event will advertise a new business close to our school. Everyone wins. Three years ago, we took a chance on a new fundraiser that turned student artwork into greeting cards. Our art teacher, Mrs. Joedicker, incorporates the objectives of her curriculum with marketable student art over the first two months of school. Artwork for Education turns the art into cards, which are purchased by proud parents, grandparents, and friends for correspondence of all kinds. Having 18 one’s own stationery is especially inspiring for kids who have thank you notes to write! We celebrate our students’ talents and earn money to help the school all at once. Events for families are of prime importance at Patterson. An annual BBQ kicks off each year and was attended by over 600 people in November. A DJ (a Patterson parent), bounce houses, free facepainting, free child ID fingerprinting (by police officers who are Patterson parents), a Kiss-­‐the-­‐Pig fundraiser, and a first-­‐ever boutique (25 Patterson-­‐related vendors) provided entertainment for the evening. Over thirty people volunteered their time or donations via VolunteerSpot to help make it happen. A new twist on an old tradition turned a formal sit-­‐down holiday dinner into an informal gathering at the Holiday Social. Families sipped hot chocolate, decorated cookies, assembled reindeer food, took pictures with Santa, and wrote letters to him along Candy Cane Lane, set up with coloring and games. Nearly 300 were in attendance, with volunteers including Patterson alumni currently attending Gilbert High School. “Once a Panther, always a Panther!” is a frequently uttered phrase to those who move on from Patterson. Leanne Josey, parent, says, “Each event is a tradition that even my high school child remembers and looks forward to attending!” Eagle Scout candidates flock to Patterson to perform their Eagle projects. The Project Room, formerly a white-­‐walled catch-­‐all, is now adorned with the six pillars of character and panther paws, making it a handsome, thematic room for any of its occupants. Entranceways have been painted, trees planted, and pathways paved with stone. These improvements, in addition to those in-­‐progress with the help of a $5000 Lowe’s grant (written by a Patterson parent), are making our landscaping more appealing. Our community is an abundant source of support and donations. Monthly Pride Day assemblies end with a PTO giveaway to students and staff alike, fostering excitement and morale. These are solicited by yet another helpful Patterson parent. The Kiwanis offer a bike and helmet to a deserving student each month. The Foresters partner with our reading specialist to reward students who meet their AR reading goals with a Barnes & Noble gift card. Starbucks, Creative Hands Studios, Choice Transmission, Steven Louis Pearson Leukemia Foundation, and Tempe Schools Credit Union are among the many local businesses and organizations that generously support our endeavors. At a Pride Day assembly at the end of October, student council members Nyah Bachman and Jordan Baca gave a speech about gratitude. In addition to naming our “A+” school as something to be thankful for, they also recognized our community: “There are so many businesses that donate items to Patterson to make our school and Pride Days spectacular.” H. Indicators of Success Until the state changed its school grading system, Patterson was consistently labeled, “excelling.” Under the current assessment formula, we are now labeled an “A” school. We are in the top third in growth and one of four elementary schools in our district identified as a Title I “Highly Performing Reward” school. This means that we met Annual Measureable Objectives, earned an “A” letter grade, and had above average achievement and growth among the bottom quartile of students. 19 At a December school board meeting, resource teacher Jennifer Oguma and school nurse Brenda Strom were recognized in a tribute to staff for their dedication to special education students. “My son frequently has emotional issues which interfere with school. Every staff member he has encountered has gone above and beyond to not only help resolve the issues but has taken extra steps and efforts to UNDERSTAND his disabilities. There are no better educators in this state.” (Patterson parent) I. Challenges Challenges in education are constant. November of 2012 gave us our latest reminder of this. The widespread results of education-­‐related elections were seen in Gilbert, as they were throughout the state, giving our district and our school its share of difficult decisions to make in the years to come. The budget override and proposition 204 were both defeated. A new school board will have to think creatively to avoid very noticeable changes to our schools and personnel. Cuts will likely be seen in programs, student-­‐teacher ratios, and staff. The threat of losing the “specials” teachers (art, music, PE, library), our nurse, and/or other people who are so instrumental in who we are and what we offer as a school is disheartening to say the least. Patterson has seen cuts before; those who remain work harder and longer to keep them from being too glaring to students and families. But as fewer are asked to do more, and as time is stretched to meet higher expectations with fewer resources, we run the risk of burnout and turnover. We can only rely on the positive intentions and energy of those in the education profession to keep the student experience as personal and caring as we’ve known it at Patterson thus far. Those at Patterson are committed to this endeavor. Parents are broadly supportive of the efforts of our faculty and staff and show this in many ways (see section G of this document). “It was important to find a school with teachers that stay in their jobs because they are happy. Happy teachers equals happy children. The teachers at Patterson have been there for years.” (Renee Decker, parent) Professionals at Patterson are exactly that…professional. They will pour everything they have into providing the best for their students. The adoption of Common Core State Standards and Professional Learning Communities is and will be challenging, especially with the previous paragraph in mind. While these changes raise the expectations for students and teachers alike, and should show improvements in learning and instruction, they do take time. Previous practices will be analyzed and in some cases eliminated to make room for the new. But we will strive to maintain traditions and the positive environment that define Patterson. Such challenges will bring the opportunity to welcome individuals, both professionals and volunteers, who can commit their time and talents to supporting students and our school. If our past and current success in attracting this type of role model is any indication, our future should be in excellent hands. 20