I truly believe that there is no greater profession than that of teaching, molding young minds and spirits. As principal of an elementary school that serves 64.92% of students who are economically disadvantaged, I am extremely proud and honored to receive this award.
Every school has its own story to tell. At Baxter Elementary, we believe students are unique individuals with different learning styles. We believe data driven instruction and small group differentiation leads to academic excellence.
Listed below are the main ingredients attributed to our success:
- We set high, demanding academic expectations for every child – every day – no exceptions!
- We focus on standards based teaching rather than teaching solely from a textbook.
- We have countywide benchmark assessments that are given at regular intervals throughout the school year. Additional data available include: TCAPS, SAT10, Easy CBM’s, STAR, and Compass Learning.
- We consistently disaggregate test data to identify academic strengths and/or weaknesses for students. By dissecting individual test questions we are able to teach test taking strategies to our children.
- We use data to strategically place kids where they can learn best. Our data team meets frequently to discuss and monitor students who are receiving RTI services.
- We are semi-departmentalized in third and fourth grades. Teacher effect data is utilized to strategically place teachers in areas of strong pedagogy.
- We focus heavily on integrating Science and Social Studies standards within RLA and Math.
- We use differentiated instructional methods and small group collaboration to facilitate the learning process.
- We emphasize using academic vocabulary everyday in all subjects.
- We have weekly common planning time for all teachers.
- We have expanded the technology infrastructure within our facility. All classrooms are equipped with smart boards. Additional technology available within our building includes: Document cameras, proximal projectors, COW carts in each grade level, iPad cart, hard wired computer lab, and flash masters that can be used to strengthen basic Math fact fluency.
- We have a school-wide discipline program that focuses on a proactive approach to discipline versus a reactive approach.
- We carefully select mentors for our new teachers.
- We use a TEAM approach when selecting new personnel for our school.
BES students are blessed with an incredible faculty and staff who believe in the old adage, “We will do WHATEVER IT TAKES for our students to learn,” and this award recognizes the fulfillment of this commitment!