Value-Added Achievement Awards, 2009Second Place, East Division, K-8/Middle Schools

Sandra Burchette, Principal
301 College Street
Newport, TN 37821
Newport Schools

Recipe For Success:

Newport Grammar School is a PreK through eighth grade school with approximately 800 students. Being a one-school system is an advantage due to having a director and school board focused on the needs of a single school. Our administrative team meets regularly in an effort to review and assess existing programs.

A very important aspect of a school is hiring personnel who will be effective in taking ownership of the school’s goals in adhering to the state’s standards. Mentoring is provided for new teachers on a regular basis. Teachers collaborate monthly on grade level and cross-curriculum meetings. Several new teaching strategies have been shared during these meetings and utilized by other teachers.

Teachers are given TCAP scores at the beginning of the school year to assess the upcoming students and areas of non-mastery. These students are monitored closely by the Princeton Review Benchmark Test. The teachers adapt and modify the curriculum as needed. Lesson plans are checked monthly to ensure the SPI’s are included in planning. Many supplemental programs have been purchased to assist teachers in reinforcing the standards. A few of these programs are United Streaming, Brain Pop, and Skills Tutor. The science lab teacher coordinates experiments with the classroom units. Kindergarten through eighth grade have computer lab weekly.

Our school has Title I pull-out and teacher pairing which allows more time in a smaller group setting. Special Ed. inclusion in grades kindergarten through eighth has been a positive advancement. It has helped the students to have a better self-esteem and provide the opportunity to hear the subjects taught on their grade level. Test scores have risen since we began inclusion. Our school has a Reading Coach who administers the DIBELS and works with students who do not qualify for Title I or Special Ed. We have seen a huge improvement in test scores of these students. Kindergarten Readiness and Transitional First classes are ways to screen students who need more concentration in reading and math at a young age.

Communication with parents and the community is very important to success as a school. A principal’s monthly newsletter is sent home to parents and teachers. There is an open door policy at all times for parents to communicate with the principal. Our school’s website is very informative and helpful to parents. Each teacher has a web page with homework assignments, skills being covered and upcoming events. We have an automated phone system to alert parents of weather related schedule changes, parent meetings, programs and upcoming events. Parents pick their children up; Newport Grammar School has no buses. This offers a great opportunity to share concerns with parents.

Rewarding teachers is as important as rewarding students. Our school board gave an extra personal day to faculty and staff for the last two years due to the school receiving all A’s. Newport Grammar School has a great faculty and staff who put the students first. What more could a principal need to have a productive school?