Each year, schools in Michigan are required to complete a School Improvement Plan (SIP). In it, we set goals for ourselves, and choose paths to get there, based on feedback from staff, parents, and students, and our data–what are assessments and observations telling us about what we’re doing?
I continually tell students, no matter where you are in your learning, there’s always room for improvement. I believe that about myself, about teachers, and about students. I also believe that about me as a parent, a wife, a teacher, and any other “role” that I hold. As learners, we can always improve, and always get better. There is so much to learn!
So, what are we working on? In what areas do we want to improve? I have set three main areas for our growth:
*Curriculum: This is what we teach. For the past two years, our staff has been working on updating and improving our curriculum, based on what we are required to teach, and what we want to include, such as character education and fine arts. We are aligning our expectations for each grade level, and making sure they are consistent and clear.
*Student Engagement: This is how we teach. I have always been a “do-er”, and it is important that students have an opportunity to “do” while at school. Students last year reported that they were talking a lot more in class–and we have been focusing on how to hold discussions at different levels. The importance of talk is one that is frequently underestimated! We want more purposeful talk, more “doing”, and better engagement in student learning.
*Communication: In an age where there are so many ways to communicate, we want to make sure we’re meeting your needs. One angle of this goal is parent and community communication; we want people to know what’s happening here, and to be able to communicate our challenges and successes as well. We also want to make sure to communicate what we’re teaching–to parents and students. We are working on making it more clear to students what they need to learn, so they can learn more deeply. If a student understands what is expected, they can begin to take more ownership of their learning, and feel more successful!
I’d like to thank those of you who came to conferences this week, and discussed your child’s learning with teachers. Some of you planned phone conversations instead, or communicate more regularly, and any way you keep in contact is so beneficial for what we’re doing here! We truly believe that parents are a partner in their child’s learning, and appreciate your commitment to education, and our school!
Concord Academy Boyne