Alice Drive Elementary Narrative
What were the areas of strength noted in the self-assessment?
Over the past few years, our school’s knowledge of STEAM has shown tremendous growth. After our last self-assessment, our overall strengths are in the choices students have in their learning, one-to-one technology, and the use of technology as a tool to extend learning and communicate with others. All of our students have the opportunity to participate in STEAM related field trips and have numerous choices available outside of the regular school day. In addition, all students participate in the STEAM Lab once every six days as part of the Related Arts rotation schedule. Teachers have opportunities to plan and collaborate in and outside of the school day in order to meet the needs of our students and develop a deeper understanding of STEAM. We are continuously finding new and innovative ways to communicate with parents and the community. We offer a wide variety of opportunities for participation. Our standardized test scores are higher than the district average in all areas and higher than the state averages in most. We use data to determine school wide, grade level, classroom, and individual strengths and weaknesses. We use a variety of other forms of both summative and formative assessments to design targeted instruction for our students.
What actions are being implemented to sustain the areas of strength?
We continue to monitor the needs of our students and staff through surveys, rubrics, and performance based assessments. We use this data to plan for professional development. We will continue to use district support to supplement our efforts. Time is provided for our teachers to develop more inquiry based units with a focus on the Engineering Design Process. Parent workshops and family nights will also continue to provide opportunities for family and community partnerships. We continue to value time set aside to collaborate with our colleagues for the specific purpose of discussing student data and STEAM literacies. We will continue to meet in small professional learning groups and large group forums. Field trips, clubs, and other activities outside of school will be maintained and supported by our teachers and stakeholders.
What were the areas in need of improvement?
We still have a large number of underrepresented students who do not participate in our clubs. Our African American boys continue to be less involved and when they do participate tend to lose interest. We will continue to work toward immersion in real world events as our focus instead of just including real world events in our learning. We are weak in mentorship and internship programs that highlight our underrepresented group of students. Student led goal setting needs to develop into a normal occurrence in the classroom with emphasis on tracking and documenting progress. We still need to work on the rigor of our presentations and the degree to which our students are able to defend their thinking. More work needs to be done in creating opportunities in our classrooms for this to occur. Focusing on developing more units of study that cross disciplines and are grounded in real world application will increase rigor and relevance for our students. We need to do a better job of being reflective and using our formative data in daily STEAM instruction. Due to scheduling, our Related Arts teachers are not given the same opportunity for professional development as other teachers during the school day.
What plans are being made to improve the areas of need?
As we build a stronger and more inquiry based curriculum we will see the reciprocity of our disciplines with each other and the ease with which learning occurs in this process. We will build units of study that effortlessly integrate the Engineering Design Process. Working towards the creation of a standards based report card across all grade levels will allow us to move more towards performance based assessments. To strengthen STEAM at Alice Drive Elementary, we must collect data to support the effectiveness of student learning and continuously reflect on the structures and practices in place in the classrooms. The outcome from the data demonstrates the extent to which students’ have acquired the literacies necessary for the next level of STEAM learning and for postsecondary and workforce readiness. Providing more choice and times available for activities before and after school will address the lack of participation of our underrepresented students. While we have a great deal of community involvement, we continue to seek community members that would be appealing to our underrepresented group of students. There are many more occupations in the arts and industry that need to be explored to spark their interest so all of our students can see a successful career in their future. We must continue to seek ways in which all of our students will proactively seek to participate in the opportunities available to them outside of school and outside the school day.