Parent University Sessions @ WES

Growing Winterfield and ELL Students

Orchestra 9Winterfield, like other K-8 schools in the state of N.C., recently finished our End of Grade testing and the pressure is on.  You see our school is a struggling school.  We have all the demographics that say we are going to have challenges obtaining high levels of proficiency for our students.  

  • High levels of students from a low-socioeconomic background: check.  
  • High levels of students who are learning English: check.  
  • Large numbers of beginning teachers: check.  
  • Historically low performance: check.  
  • Participation in a district school turnaround effort: check.

Our teachers fight against our demographics every day.  Offering some of the best instruction available in our district, but our numbers, our statistics do not always match our work.  Why?  If you put in at least 20 hours outside of the school day perfecting your craft, shouldn’t it work?  Shouldn’t student proficiency drastically improve? If you have strong interventions and support systems in place, shouldn’t student proficiency improve?   If you read every. single. book on teaching kids living in poverty and implement the “best practices”, shouldn’t student proficiency improve?  Yes.  Student proficiency improves.  It is just not as fast as you would like it to be.  Or as fast as you need it to be for school performance grading in North Carolina.

You see we are working to overcome years of challenging situations in the lives of children.  We are working to overcome deficits that leave students at least 2-3 years below grade level.  The work is hard.  Rewarding, but hard.

I was invited to take leadership of Winterfield at the start of the 2014-2015 school year to help make a difference in the educational lives of our students and and staff as a part of the Beacon Initiative.  In 2015, we were able to increase student achievement to 30.4% proficient and we received a letter grade of D. The formula used to calculate performance grades counts student proficiency at 80% and student growth at 20%. In 2015, 87% of our students met/exceeded growth expectations.  To put this in context, in 2014 our school did not meet growth expectations; we exceeded expectations in 2015.  However, the formula only counted our growth as 20% of the school performance grade.  Either way, we are extremely proud that we moved from a grade of an F to a D in a single year.  Here are a few highlights from Year 1:

  • In 2015, our Kindergarten students grew from 29% to 80% reading at/above grade level as measured by Reading 3D/TRC.
    • Kindergarten growth as measured by EVAAS +7.8 (Exceeds Expected Growth)
    • Highest growth in CMS for Limited English Proficient students
    • Highest growth in CMS for Economically Disadvantaged students
  • In 2015, our 1st grade students grew from 39% to 62% reading at/above grade level as measured by Reading 3D/TRC.
    • 1st grade growth as measured by EVAAS +17.7 (Exceeds Expected Growth)
    • Highest growth in district for Limited English Proficient students
    • Highest growth in district for Economically Disadvantaged students
  • In 2015, our 2nd grade students grew from 40% to 68% reading at/above grade level as measured by Reading 3D/TRC.
    • Kindergarten growth as measured by EVAAS +15.9 (Exceeds Expected Growth)
    • Highest growth in district for Limited English Proficient students
    • Highest growth in district for Economically Disadvantaged students
  • In 2015, our 4th grade math growth as measured by EVAAS +4.2 (Exceeds Expected Growth).  During the 2013-2014 school year, 4th grade students did not meet growth expectations (-4.6)
  • MAP Reading Assessment Results 2014-2015
    • More than 50% of students met/exceeded their projected growth in reading in grades 1st-5th
    • The conditional growth index in grades 1st, 2nd, 3rd and 5th was strong to exceptional
  • MAP Math Assessment Results 2014-2015
    • More than 50% of students met/exceeded their projected growth in reading in grades K-3rd grade.
    • The conditional growth index in grades 1st and  2nd grade was exceptional
  • Our principal was selected as the Northeast Garinger Learning Community Principal of the Year.
    • Our principal earned a conditional growth index of +12.16 (exceeds growth) for the 2014-2015 school year.
  • We have highly effective teachers in our building.
    • In 2014-2015, 68% of teachers exceeded student growth expectations and the remaining 32% met student growth expectations.
    • Ms. Best, 5th grade teacher, was selected as the Northeast Garinger and Vance Learning Community Teacher of the Year.
  • Our school exceeded growth expectations with a growth index of 2.83 as measured by N.C. DPI EVAAS.
    • Our school composite for level 4 and 5 on the End of Grade Assessment grew from 16% to 21%
    • Our state performance grade improved from an F in 2014 to a D in 2015.
    • More than 63% of our 3rd graders met the Read to Achieve expectation. We began the year with only 7% earning a passing score on the Beginning of Grade Assessment of Reading.
    • In 5th grade science, 41.38% of our students scored at/above grade level, and increase of 11.88 percentage points from 2013-2014.
    • In 2013-2014 only 29.5% were on grade level in 5th grade science.
  • Our Instructional Culture Index grew from a 5.9 in the Spring of 2015 to an 8.0 in the Winter of 2015.  We exceeded district performance in three areas: professional development, observation and feedback, and evaluation.

We are pushing for a letter grade of a C for 2016.  I am not able to share our progress during year two of my leadership at this time, but I am proud to say we have made significant gains in both proficiency and growth.  Will it be enough to earn a letter grade of C?  When thinking about schools that typically earn an F or D in North Carolina we have an additional demographic that should be considered; Over 55% of our students are English Language Learners.

Winterfield has students from over 25 countries who speak 21 different languages.  We believe that the richness of our students’ native languages and cultures are an asset to our school community.  Our primary instructional challenge is working with a high population of English learners with limited and interrupted prior schooling resulting from a lack of educational opportunities and/or trauma in their native countries. Many of our English Language Learners come directly from refugee camps.   Some are undocumented students who may have been unable to attend school in their home countries for a variety of reasons.  While others are US born children of undocumented immigrants who have are yet proficient speakers of English.

Currently, 52% of Winterfield’s EOG tested students are Limited English Proficient.  Seventeen percent of our Limited English Proficient 3rd-5th graders have been enrolled in a U.S. school for two years or less.  Yet, the majority of them were required to take and pass the N.C. EOG for reading.

Per State Board of Education policy GCS-C-021 (16NCAC 6G.0312), all students identified as limited English proficient must participate in the statewide testing program (i.e., standard test administration or standard test administration with accommodations) with the exception of students identified as limited English proficient who score below Level 4.0 Expanding on the reading subtest of the WIDA-ACCESS Placement Test (W-APT) and are in their first year in U.S. schools.

We had to test all of our ELLs except those who scored below 4.0 on ACCESS and were in their first year in U.S. schools.  This year, 16 students in grades 3-5 were exempt from End of Grade Assessments based upon board policy GCS-C-021 (16NCAC 6G.0312).   While the one year provision may seem like a fair distinction, it gets muddy depending on when a child enrolls.  For example, if you arrive in the U.S. in May and enroll in school, May to June counts as a full year in school.  You will need to take the End of Grade assessment in reading the following school year.  Students typically do not score a 4.0 during their second year in a U.S. school. A review of our student data shows that roughly 20% of our students have earned a 4.0 on the reading subtest of the WIDE-ACCESS after 2 years of U.S. schooling.   How likely is it that a child who is just learning English will earn a proficient score on an English reading comprehension test with only a single year of English schooling?

This places undue pressure on our school to accelerate the rate at which our students learn and master English far above what research shows.  Research shows that on average, ELL students take between four and seven years to become proficient in “academic English”— the language needed to succeed in the classroom. (source: http://goo.gl/UdiztH)

North Carolina is expecting students to accomplish this task in a single year or in some cases in a few months.  The difference between the state expectation and research places schools like Winterfield in a particularly precarious position, especially in light of school performance grading.  

The burden of school performance grades also ignores research about the ease of learning English based upon language distance, the extent to which languages differ from each other (Chiswick & Miller, 2005, p. 1).  Language distance focuses on the ease of learning of English based upon a person’s native language.  Spanish has a .44 index whereas Burmese and Nepali have an index of .57.  Twenty percent of our LEP students speak a native language other than Spanish and the ease of learning English decreases for Asian languages as well as Arabic.

Winterfield has done a tremendous job making a difference in the English proficiency (listening, speaking, reading and writing) capabilities of our students.  Last year, we were able to exit 11% of our ELLs from direct ESL services.  This year, preliminary ACCESS data shows that 23% will exit.  This includes 56% in 3rd grade, 40% in 4th grade and 24% of our 5th grade students.  Last year, we exceeded state expectations for student proficiency on the Reading 3D/TRC assessment in Kindergarten, 1st grade and 2nd grade.  We also bested our district.

So why am I writing this?  As a school leader I am always paying attention to our data and I am charged with regulating the pressures of outside forces as well as the day to day challenges in teaching and learning in a challenging school.  I need to explain our progress to our community.  I need to motivate our teachers.  I need to provide a compelling vision to move our work forward.  Having a true understanding of our school and our reality is one step in that direction.  So, in essence, Winterfield is being pushed to do something that research says takes more time than we are given.  Our school is up for the challenge; we just need a realistic expectation in terms of our children who are learning English as well as a state grading system that takes growth into consideration.

Chiswick, B.R., & Miller, P.W. (2005).  Linguistic distance: A quantitative measure of the distance between English and other languages.  Journal of Multilingual and Multicultural Development, 26 (1), 1-11.

Before you pass out a single test…

Good super early morning,

I wanted to take a moment this morning before you pick up your materials and before testing begins to tell you thank you.  Yesterday was such a wonderful day.  We celebrated the year of amazing learning that our children have done this year.  They were smiling and you could see a sense of calm on their faces.  They are ready because of you.  I know that we are all nervous and waiting to see how our kids do on a single day on a single test.  A single test.  Let that sink in.  A single test.  No one test should determine what we think about a school, a community, a teacher, or a student.  I wanted you to know before a single test is passed out:  I am proud of you.

You have done a wonderful job this year.  You have taught our students powerfully, without limits.  You have not let their barriers get in the way of your instruction.  You have found gaps and filled them.  You have poured your love and belief into them every day. You have turned red to yellow to green.   They are better people because of the time they have spent with you.  Each of you has made a difference in the life of a child and that is all society should ask of you.

Regardless of the scores.  I am proud of you.

Job well done miracle bear.  Job well done.

It Was a Good Week To Be a Bear!

This past week was a very busy week!  Here is a run down of the great things that happened at Winterfield.

Teacher Appreciation Week (May 2-6, 2016)

This year our Teacher Appreciation Week Theme was “Our Teachers Are Superheroes”.  Education has the power to save the day for children. Teacher superhero capes may be invisible, but the work you do every day makes a big difference.

We were blessed to receive a $2,000 donation from an anonymous Heart Tutoring volunteer to fund our celebration.  And we really celebrated!  The funds were used to purchase gifts for teachers, amazing food, and gift cards for daily raffles.  We also had a ton of parent support.  Many parents sent gifts for their teachers and we were fortunate to receive additional gift cards for our daily raffles.  We were able to raffle off at least $70 per day in gift cards to staff.

  • Monday, May 2nd-Send a thank you card for your child’s teacher and students can dress like a teacher day.

There was tons of great food!

  • Tuesday, May 3rd-Send flowers and candy for your child’s teacher
  • Wednesday, May 4th-Hats off for teachers.  Students can wear a hat in honor of their teachers.

Principal Grant and AP Irby made pancakes for the staff!

  • Thursday, May 5th-Gift Day.  Students can bring a small gift for their teacher.  WES teachers received a lot of gifts this week:
    IMG_3580

    The WES Kindergarten Team wearing their  new “I’am a Teacher!  What’s Your Superpower?” T-Shirts.

    Just a few of the gifts our Teachers received this week in honor of their hard work!

  • Friday, May 5th-Superhero Day.    Super hero creator Stan Lee defines a super hero as a person who does heroic deeds and has the ability to do them in a way that a normal person couldn’t. So in order to be a superhero, you need a power that is more exceptional than any power a normal human being could possess, and you need to use that power to accomplish good deeds. I believe teachers are superheroes!  Some have the power to make a child believe in him or herself even when every person who should love them doesn’t show it. Others have the power to make math make sense. I’ve seen many WES teachers help kids turn symbols into words and stories. Teachers use super powers to accomplish the good deeds of reading, writing, speaking, solving, listening, and thinking in our building every day. Our work is not the work of regular, normal folks.

Here are some photos of Superhero Day at WES

 

 Beacon Rookie of the Year

On Tuesday May 3rd,  I was fortunate to attend the 1st Annual Rookie of the Year Celebration to acknowledge the amazing work of outstanding 1st year teachers  in the Beacon Initiative.  Two of Winterfield’s 1st year teachers, Ms. Fucci and Ms. Trifilo were honored.  Guest speakers included Brian Schultz, CMS Chief Academic Officer and Brigida Mack, of WBTV News Charlotte.

Here is a photo of Ms. Fucci with Brigida Mack and Proud WES Principal, Ms. Grant

The Winterfield Youth Orchestra End of Year Concert

We held our End of Year Concert on Tuesday, May 3rd, 2016.  This program involves second through fifth grade students in a free, after-school instrumental music program at Winterfield Elementary School in east Charlotte. Students learn to play the violin, cello, flute, clarinet, or trumpet through weekly instruction from professional Charlotte Symphony musicians and other local artists. Inspired by the internationally-acclaimed Venezuelan el Sistema model, the program builds community through the collaborative act of music making. The program currently involves over 40 students.

The concert included a number of performances, recognition of the 5th graders, and a community potluck reception.

Audience comment:

“Wow! What a great final concert this evening! The children really turned it on and enjoyed playing for their audience! Congratulations to everyone involved! It is truly a team effort and we have the best! Outstanding!”

 

2nd Annual WES Career Fair

On Wednesday May 4th, 2016 the Student Support Team sponsored the 2nd Annual WES Career Fair.  This amazing event was organized and led by our school Counselor, Carol McCormick.  She did an amazing job bringing together an amazing group of professionals to help our students learn about different careers!

 

 Dancing for Diversity

Forty-four students from Albemarle Road Elementary, Huntingtowne Farms Elementary, Merry Oaks Elementary, and Winterfield Elementary schools came together to perform cultural dances at the 8th Annual Dancing for Diversity on Thursday, May 5th at 6:15 P.M. Padres y Padrinos is made possible with main funding support from Sisters of Mercy, Duke Foundation, Food Lion, and Wells Fargo Foundation. 

IMG_3519

Dancing for Diversity is the cultural component of LAWA Padres y Padrinos, a tutor, parenting, and social development program. Latino students and their non-Latino peers receive 15 weeks of dance classes from teaching artists from El Alma de la Luna Dance Academy. This component of the program enhances the social development of students by promoting appreciation for the arts and cultures, increasing self-esteem, class participation, diversity, and inclusion. Dancing for Diversity marks the culmination of LAWA Padres y Padrinos program for the current school year.

 

It’s Time for A Shout Out!

Congratulations to the 4th grade literacy team!

They earned the 7th highest growth in MAP reading in our district.  The national norm for 4th grade growth was an 8 from fall to spring; Our team earned 9.8.

Remember, 4th grade grew from a conditional growth score of 44 at the start of this year to a whopping 83 on the spring benchmark.  Student performance in 4th grade grew from the 3rd percentile to the 5th percentile and 56% of 4th graders met/exceeded their projected score.

They also exceeded the growth expectation set by MAP!  MAP expected our 4th graders to earn 8.2 growth and they earned 9.8.  Way to go 4th grade!  This especially remarkable because they are working with the children who did not meet the RtA expectation.  Many of those students are well on their way to be proficient 5th grade readers next year!

Please be sure to congratulate the team on their hard work this year!

I am waiting to hear about our MAP math performance. I can tell you that the following math grade levels exceeded the MAP’s projections for student growth, so I think we are going to make the list a few times&#X1f60e

1st grade:  Expected-18.7; Obtained: 23.7

2nd grade: Expected-15.4; Obtained: 19.1

3rd grade: Expected-12.7; Obtained: 14.7

4th grade: Expected-10.6; Obtained: 12.8

5th grade: Expected-8.7; Obtained: 12.0

WES Irreplaceables Honored by BEACON

Shining Lights_Winterfield_Group 1 (1)

Amanda Barrilo, Cheria Funches, Alicia Cummins, Principal Grant, Jennifer Packard, and Margot Cardamone at the Beacon Initiative Celebrating Teaching Excellence Dinner.

Five of WES’s amazing teachers were honored at the Beacon Initiative’s Celebrating Teaching Excellence on March  22, 2016.  Ms. Barrilo was also honored for received the Above and Beyond Award for March 2016.

IMG_3318

Amanda Barrilo and Nancy Brightwell, Beacon Shepherd

Winterfield is blessed to have these five plus another 40 amazing teachers working for our children.  Sadly, I was only able to nominate five folks.  If the invitation had been an open one, Winterfield would have filled the room.  We were honored to listen to the powerful and impactful words of James Ford (Former Garinger Teacher and 2014-2015 North Carolina Teacher of the Year).  He spoke eloquently about the power of great teachers and the importance of the work we are doing in turnaround schools.

Great Things Are Happening @ WES!

Diverse Students_Illustration_Winterfield (1)

Winterfield Elementary School Strengths:

 

  • In 2015, our Kindergarten students grew from 29% to 80% reading at/above grade level as measured by Reading 3D/TRC.

 

      • Kindergarten growth as measured by EVAAS +7.8 (Exceeds Expected Growth)
      • Highest growth in CMS for Limited English Proficient students
      • Highest growth in CMS for Economically Disadvantaged students
    • In 2015, our 1st grade students grew from 39% to 62% reading at/above grade level as measured by Reading 3D/TRC.
      • 1st grade growth as measured by EVAAS +17.7 (Exceeds Expected Growth)
      • Highest growth in district for Limited English Proficient students
      • Highest growth in district for Economically Disadvantaged students

 

  • In 2015, our 2nd grade students grew from 40% to 68% reading at/above grade level as measured by Reading 3D/TRC.

 

      • Kindergarten growth as measured by EVAAS +15.9 (Exceeds Expected Growth)
      • Highest growth in district for Limited English Proficient students
      • Highest growth in district for Economically Disadvantaged students

 

  • In 2015, our 4th grade math growth as measured by EVAAS +4.2 (Exceeds Expected Growth).  During the 2013-2014 school year, 4th grade students did not meet growth expectations (-4.6)
  • MAP Reading Assessment Results 2014-2015

 

      • More than 50% of students met/exceeded their projected growth in reading in grades 1st-5th
      • The conditional growth index in grades 1st, 2nd, 3rd and 5th was strong to exceptional

 

  • MAP Math Assessment Results 2014-2015

 

      • More than 50% of students met/exceeded their projected growth in reading in grades K-3rd grade.
      • The conditional growth index in grades 1st and  2nd grade was exceptional
    • Our principal was selected as the Northeast Garinger Learning Community Principal of the Year.  
      • Our principal earned a conditional growth index of +12.16 (exceeds growth) for the 2014-2015 school year.
    • We have highly effective teachers in our building.  
      • In 2014-2015, 68% of teachers exceeded student growth expectations and the remaining 32% met student growth expectations.
      • Ms. Best, 5th grade teacher, was selected as the Northeast Garinger and Vance Learning Community Teacher of the Year.

 

  • Our school exceeded growth expectations with a growth index of 2.83 as measured by N.C. DPI EVAAS.

 

    • Our school composite for level 4 and 5 on the End of Grade Assessment grew from 16% to 21%
    • Our state performance grade improved from an F in 2014 to a D in 2015.
    • More than 63% of our 3rd graders met the Read to Achieve expectation. We began the year with only 7% earning a passing score on the Beginning of Grade Assessment.
    • In 5th grade science, 41.38% of our students scored at/above grade level, and increase of 11.88 percentage points from 2013-2014. In 2013-2014 only 29.5% were on grade level in 5th grade science.

 

Welcome to 2015 @ WES

Happy New Year!  I am excited and ready to return to school on Monday.  I have truly missed our scholars and Bear staff over this break.  We received some amazing news last week from the office of the Beacon Initiative.  Winterfield Elementary had exemplary growth on the winter MAP assessments!

Highest Overall Growth-Reading and 2nd Place Math

We had the highest overall growth in Reading (8.30) in all Beacon Elementary Schools and the second highest overall growth in Math (8.62).

Highest Overall Growth in Beacon Elementary Schools by Grade Level

  • WES Kindergarten had the highest growth in Math (10.1)
  • WES 1st grade had the highest growth in Math (13.3)
  • WES 2nd grade had the highest growth in Math (11.1)
  • WES 2nd grade had the highest growth in Reading (12.0)

Second Highest Overall Growth in Beacon Elementary Schools by Grade Level

  • WES 1st grade (7.4)-tied
  • WES 3rd grade (8.9)
  • WES 4th grade (7.7)
  • WES 5th grade (5.9)

We were above the District, Beacon, and National Mean RIT Average Growth in both reading and math!

Reading

  • District: 6.45
  • Beacon: 6.47
  • National: 6.23
  • WES: 8.3

Math

  • District: 7.5
  • Beacon: 7.7
  • National: 6.6
  • WES: 8.62

Beacon initiative elementary schools (Albemarle Road, Briarwood, Nations Ford, Reid Park, and Westerly Hills).

It is wonderful feeling to know that the hard work and dedication of our staff is paying off in student results.  It’s only been four months and we are already making a difference in the lives of our students.  This great news should provide that extra boost of energy needed to keep moving!  I look forward to our continuing success.

Schools by Design Update:

The WES Schools by Design/Opportunity Culture Design Team met on 12/17/2014 at the Leadership Academy to begin planning for the coming school year.  Join me in thanking Ms. Best, Ms. Dumigan, Ms. Packard, Ms. Cade, Ms. Miller, Ms. Slagle and Ms. Cureton for their hard work.  The team developed a wonderful plan to ensure that every WES student has an effective teacher by 2017.  The team will share the plan and get feedback from staff soon.

Wonderful Things Are Happening at W.E.S.

image

 

A lot of wonderful things have happened at Winterfield since we opened our doors on August 25th to welcome our students.

  • Our teachers have been working hard to provide aligned instruction and implement the Common Core Standards to ensure students are successful.  This year, teachers are submitting their lesson plans every week for review and feedback.  We are also conducting weekly observations and feedback conversations to support teacher growth.
  • Another great change can be seen in our students.  One of the biggest concerns teachers shared with me before the start of this year was student behavior and uniforms.  I am pleased to report that our students are meeting the expectations of the Winterfield Way and we have only a few uniform violations each day.  This is a big change from last year.  We are focusing on setting clear expectations and working with students and families to be successful.  Team 100% is the motto we use to encourage all adults to support student success.
  • Have you noticed the large number of beautiful plants that are appearing all over campus?  Ms. Walker, our Head Custodian, has been bringing in plants to help spruce up the building.  So far she has added at least 20 plants to the building.  Please tell her thank you for all of her work in making Winterfield a clean and beautiful place.
  • Technology Upgrades:  WES currently has 150 Chromebooks that will be distributed to our 3rd-5th grade classes by the end of this week.  We are also distributing 5 iPADS to each K-2nd grade classroom.  Our teachers will use these devices to address learning gaps in all core subjects using several education programs and websites.  We also received presentation updates from the district.  All of our classrooms now projection devices!  We are excited to use these devices to enhance student learning.

Last week’s updates:

The Charlotte Hornets and Lowe’s Book Bus Visits WESHugo

On Tuesday, September 23, 2014 Winterfield was visited by The Charlotte Hornets and Lowe’s Book Bus and the Hugo’s Reading Revolution presentation.

The purpose of this program is to demonstrate the importance of reading to elementary school children in an effort to address one of Charlotte’s greatest educational issues – youth literacy. Hugo the Hornet performed an interactive and entertaining program that inspired students to pick up a book and join the Reading Revolution! After the program, every Winterfield student visited the Book Bus and picked out a brand new book to take home.  Smiling student faces were priceless as they showed off their new books.

Winterfield Elementary School Principal, Ms. Grant, is selected as Northeast Learning Community Principal of the Year!

NELC

Congratulations to Winterfield Elementary School Principal Angela Grant who was nominated by her colleagues as the 2014-2015 Northeast Learning Community Principal of the Year.  Angela was recognized by the Northeast Learning Community as well as through the support and help of the Charlotte Hornets Sports & Entertainment, Charles Whitfield with CBS Radio, Hugo and Air Hugo, First Book, and CBS EcoMedia, as our new  Principal of the Year.  We are certainly proud of Angela and honored to have her represent our learning community.  Please join me in congratulating Angela Grant as our new learning community principal of the year.

–Charity Bell, NELC Community Superintendent

 

We Need Your Help to Beautify the WES Media Center

Calling all parents and community partners!  As a part of our plan to dramatically increase student achievement, we know we need to update our media center and create a wonderful place for student reading.  We’ve found a design we want to recreate and now we need your help.   This is a beautiful and serene space for enjoying books!

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We need donations to purchase the paint and stencils.  We also need the donation of your time to help transform the media center.  Please contact Anna Kennington, our Communities in School Coordinator, if you’d like to donate funds or time to give our students the media center they deserve.

 

First Round of Assessments Complete

Our students have completed the first round of MAP and Reading 3D/TRC and Fountas & Pinnell Assessments.  Our teachers will use this data to design targeted instructional and intervention to support high levels of student growth and increase school-wide proficiency in reading and math.  Parents will receive reports of their students’ performance with 1st quarter report cards.

SIOP Training is Coming!

Fourteen of our teachers, Ms. Grant and Ms. Slagle will participate in Sheltered Instruction Observation Protocol (SIOP) training to help improve learning opportunities for our Limited English Proficient students.

 

Beacon Initiative Update

Between October 28-30th, SchoolWorks – an education consulting company based in Beverly, Massachusetts – will be partnering with Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools (CMS) to conduct School Readiness Assessments at Winterfield Elementary School.

The School Readiness Assessment (SRA) is being conducted as a component of the Beacon Initiative, in order to assist the Charlotte-Mecklenburg Board of Education with better serving and improving educational opportunities for children within CMS.

The process will place a team of experienced educators from SchoolWorks and team members from CMS in our school for two-and-a-half-days to collect and analyze data about school performance. The SRA will be used to provide formative feedback that a school can use to consider the effectiveness of its own practices, as well as serve as a catalyst for school and district improvement and action planning purposes.

The SRA utilizes multiple sources of evidence to understand how well a school is working. Evidence collection begins with the review of the key documents that describe the school and its students. These key documents, for example, include curricula and related teaching documents, professional development records, and student assessment results. This provides the team with initial information about the school’s programs and the students it serves. While on site, evidence collection continues through additional document reviews, classroom visits, and interviews with key school stakeholders.

 

Week of September 8, 2014

Quote of the Week:  

 Always, my worry in schools is for the kids who aren’t acting out, but who are suffering greatly and nobody knows it.”

–Mary Walsh, director of City Connects in Boston

 

This Week @ Winterfield

I would like to thank all students, staff and community members for a wonderful opening of the 2014-2015 school year.  Here are the updates for the coming week.

This week will be a busy one at WES!

Independence Day

Parents tomorrow, Monday September 8th, is Independence Day at WES.  All students will walk to class by themselves without a parent/guardian escort.  We have a large number of staff members on duty posts to make sure each child arrives safely.  Thank you for your cooperation.

Assessments:

  • Beginning of Grade Testing: Our 3rd graders will take the Beginning of Grade Test on Tuesday 9/9. The Beginning of Grade Test is given to students between the first eleven to fifteen days of this school year. As part of the Read to Achieve program, this test serves as a pre-test and gives an indication of students who may need additional reading instruction to be proficient on the End-of-Grade 3 Reading Test (EOG) administered at the end of this school year
  • MAP Reading and Math: Our 1st and 3rd graders will take the Beginning of Year MAP-Reading and Math Assessments this week. We give students MAP tests to determine your child’s instructional level and to measure academic growth throughout the school year, and from year to year in the areas of Reading and Math. Your child will take the tests on a computer.
  • CoGAT 7: Our 2nd graders will take the CoGAT7 on 9/10, 9/11, and 9/12: All second grade students who are educated primarily in a CMS general education classroom are screened with a nationally-normed aptitude test (CoGAT7) and theGifted Rating Scales.  The Cognitive Abilities Test (CogAT) measures a student’s learned reasoning abilities in the three areas most linked to academic success in school: Verbal, Quantitative, and Nonverbal.

Student Honors

We are pleased to announce that three of our Bear Scholars have been chosen to represent Winterfield Elementary School in the 2014 Festival in the Park Exhibit.

Here are the student exhibitors

  • Derrick Sawyer grade 1 (Ms. Loftis)
  • Karina Angel Henriquez grade 2 (Ms. Cummins)
  • Cristian Hernandez Sanchez grade 5 (Ms. Best homeroom)

Location:                  Freedom Park, East Boulevard Charlotte

Date:                          Thursday September 18-Sunday September 21

Important info:        Artwork will be hung on Thursday from 2-5pm so viewing will start after that time.

Important Safety News

Please emphasize the following tips to your children as they walk to/from school.  Their safety is of the utmost importance.

Due to the two recent students that have been struck near CMS schools, the Major Crash Investigation Unit is asking that:

  1. Students must cross the street in areas with marked cross walks, pedestrian crossing signals, or intersections controlled with traffic signals.
  2. Students crossing in these areas must still look both ways to ensure vehicles are yielding to them crossing the street.
  3. Students need to be mindful of distractions as they walk to school.  (ie. Cell phones, music, computers, etc).
  4. Students must not cross the street mid-block.  They must walk to the nearest pedestrian crossing.
  5. Students must use sidewalks, where provided, and not walk in the street.