First Place, West Division, Elementary Schools
Angela Brown, Principal
1650 Ash Street
Memphis, TN 38108
Recipe For Success:
The transformation that took place at Douglass School began with the search for excellence. In July, 2004, I was appointed principal of Douglass Elementary School. I walked into a quaint, clean building located in a once very prominent neighborhood, not realizing that I was the fifth principal in a seven year period, or that school’s academic achievement scores had declined over the past three years. The teaching staff had remained stable, yet the organizational culture had shifted caused a negative impact on student achievement.
I scheduled individual meetings with the teachers throughout the summer. In the meeting, we had candid conversations about their desires, vision for the school, and their favorite snacks. During the in-service week, the administrative team opened the first meeting with a celebration of new beginnings and the slogan, “From at risk, to off the list” was coined. Every person in the building was given a pom-pon to commemorate our new vision.
With the new vision, our school improvement plan was revised and we learned from the best in the field. Teachers took on researched practices and analyzed the results of the practices, attended specified training sessions, and fostered innovation while the administration provided a nurturing and supportive structure within the school. As a result, the school climate survey results increased from 2.4 to 3.8 on a 4.0 scale, the parental involvement increase by 95%, and student achievement has increased each year at every grade level in reading and math.
Today, Douglass is used as a model school for vocabulary instruction, quality student work and data driven instruction. Our student attendance is 94% and teacher attendance is 98%. At Douglass, we will continue to strive for academic excellence until every student has a success story to tell!