|Ed Smith School Vision
To be the most improved school in the district -
where EVERY child learns and grows.
Happy New Year! As I return to school after being away for some time, I am able to see Ed Smith through a new lens, and I am impressed with all the progress we have made since the opening of school in September. I would like to take this opportunity to share with you the progress and next action steps we are endeavoring to become the “most improved school in the district – where every student learns and grows.” But what does that mean? How do we know if every child is learning and growing? If not, what plans have we put in place to address these needs? How do we know if we are on track to meet our goals? Finally, do we as school communities know our school goals?
In alignment with best practice, it is my intention to communicate these goals and progress towards the goals regularly with Ed Smith families and the community. This information will be shared at PTO monthly meetings, newsletters, our webpage and throughout the building for all guests to see. We will measure our progress towards these goals using STAR assessments, ANET assessments school discipline data, and student attendance data. Lets’ review our goals for the year!
Our school academic goals for the year are:
- Goal #1: To reach a minimum of 32% proficiency in NYS ELA and Math State Tests.
- Goal #2: 90% of students will improve their STAR percentile ranking by 5% or more.
- Goal #3: Students will set their own STAR goals in ELA and Math.
Our first goal is measured by the results of New York State exams; however we monitor student progress by looking at ANET assessments. Throughout the year the SCSD has progress monitored academic achievement using ANET and STAR assessments and we are currently finishing the second cycle. I will also share these results when they are in. Teachers will also be looking at this data and developing re-teaching lesson during the upcoming Superintendent’s Conference day on January 30th. (Reminder, no school for students on that day). Progress towards our second goal can be seen by viewing the graphs below.
These graphs show the progress we’ve made in improving students’ skills in Reading & Math at each grade level. It is encouraging to see the noticeable decrease in the number of students requiring urgent intervention in ELA. While these graphs reflect grade-level progress, I want to highlight that all of our subgroups within each grade also showed growth. By tailoring instruction and holding high expectations for all students we are making our vision – ‘where every student learns and grows’ – into a reality.
Our instructional focus for this year included modifying our schedule to include an Academic Support Block. Every student in grades K-5 are now receiving leveled instruction (intervention, grade-level support or enrichment) for a minimum of 45 minutes a day. Students even wrote their own goals based on our data- and I am happy to inform you that 57% of our students have already met or are on track to meet their goal for the year! I would like to commend the teachers for the commitment to this instructional priority and the leadership of our instructional coach, Mrs. Smith in collaboration with our Vice Principal, Ms. Louis.
Our behavior data continues to improve as well. As you can see from the graph on the following page, referrals have decreased nearly 48% compared to this time last year. We can celebrate such success in large part to our development of a thorough and comprehensive school’s Preventative Strategies Plan. The resulting positive impact on the school climate and community is evident in our halls and classrooms as in the hard data. We are excited to see the effects of our efforts reflected in both academic and behavioral data, and I would like to take the opportunity to recognize our growth as the product of the commitment of our staff and leadership team. Vice Principal Ms. Louis has led the school Discipline Culture and the Climate Team and Vice Principal Ms. Mason has led the efforts on the successful coordination of support from our consultant partner Engaging Schools, the development of the Preventative Strategies Plan, supervision of the School Intervention Team and implementation of the new ‘Advisory’ period in the middle school. Special thanks to our Intern Mr. James Dow for his added support of the advisory team.
During Middle School Advisory, students in grade 6th, 7th and 8th meet weekly with their advisory leader. Each grade level has been divided into small groups, students meet for 30 min on Wednesdays to work on their social emotional and academic growth. Each advisory session has been designed to help students build positive relationships with their peers as well as adults, give them a venue to share with each other, and build their academic self-awareness to set goals.
Each month advisory focuses on a theme that is carried throughout their sessions and incorporated into their activities and discussions. January’s theme is motivation!
The advisory team consists of not only middle school content area teacher but also our support staff, which ranges from guidance counselors, social workers, agency advocates and intervention specialists. The team includes James Dow, Mark Hamernik, Tim Stogsdill, Jennifer Zaborsky, Mel Mariani, Tammy Schuh, Donna Ventresca, Karen Blue, Melinda Bastedo, Greg Carroll, Casey LaBrake, Kevin Mauro, George Savage, Lateashea McNair, John, O’ Leary, Lauren Angelone, Cara Potamianos, Sade Fields, Jeff Petties, Shalanda Graham and Cristina Stevens.
The final area of data represents Attendance trends for Ed Smith School and is again broken down by grade level. This is an area that remains a challenge for us in some ways, and the school is developing an attendance team to improve student attendance.
The district kicked off an attendance matters campaign this year as you may have noticed by the messaging and district signage. This includes the motto – Attendance Matters – Every Child Every Day. In addition to our development of an attendance team, our Art teacher, Ms. Mahan has created a unit in which students will be discussing why attendance matters and conveying their messages on a poster for a school wide poster contest. Ms. Mahan has shared some invaluable insights on students connecting attendance to a success in school.
It’s important to note that satisfactory attendance means students are here 95% of the time. In a typical school year with 180 days, this means that your child is missing no more than 9 days of school.
These goal and efforts were put into place after we conducted a New York State School Review at Ed Smith. The finding and recommendations were prioritized for action planning and were implemented this year. At the end of January, we will be conducting a New York State School-Led Review in which we will review these plans, the impacts supported by data, and take a look at how we are doing and where we need to focus next. This final report will once again be shared with you. Thank you to the parents on our school leadership team who worked on the Family Engagement section of the school improvement plan. PTO President Samantha Pierce and After School Liaison Shalanda Graham have been focusing on parent engagement and have planned activities this year as we try to get more of our families involved. This couldn’t be more evident in our off site Parent Resource Fair held at the University United Methodist Church to make Ed Smith more accessible to the community.
Another way you can comment is to take the district’s climate survey by visiting the following page and following the instructions: http://www.syracusecityschools.com/districtpage.cfm?pageid=7837
Deadline is: January 31, 2017
Finally, we wrap up the month with a special PTO meeting on January 31st to listen and discuss the building renovations plans as presented by the district’s department of facilities. The meeting takes place at 7 p.m. in the cafeteria. I hope to see you there for this important discussion.
It is my intent that you find this report informational without being overwhelming. It is to share the goals, highlights, celebrations and challenges that we face every day at Ed Smith with you so that you are informed of your schools status. As you know, we work hard each and every day to be the best and I am pleased to say we see gains heading in that direction once again this year. Applause to the entire school community who make these efforts become impacts on student achievement.
All the best in 2017!
Danforth & Ed Smith Students Become ‘Teen Book Fanatics’:
“Sometimes, reading makes me emotional,” a Danforth student shared.
“Oh, me too! I laugh… I cry,” an Ed Smith student responded.
“I cry all the time when I read,” another added.
Seventh and eighth graders at Danforth and Ed Smith came together and quickly realized a shared interest: reading!
As part of a grant funded by the SCSD Educational Foundation , the group of ‘Teen Book Fanatics’ started reading ...
Students Learn Emergency Preparedness through Red Cross Pillowcase Project:
Fifth grade students across the SCSD learned about disaster preparedness in a fun way, thanks to the American Red Cross Pillowcase Project!
Students at Bellevue, Dr. King, Dr. Weeks, Delaware, Ed Smith, Franklin, Huntington and Van Duyn heard about what the American Red Cross does to help in emergencies, the importance of fire drills and smoke detectors, how they can be prepared for emergencies and more. Then, they were given a pillowcase to decorate, that will serve as their own go-to ...
Ed Smith Mini Academy Helps Students Become Filmmakers:
“Quiet on set!”
“I need a set decorator over here!”
As part of a four-week mini academy, third through fifth grade students at Ed Smith learned the basics of filmmaking, from script writing and camera work to production roles, editing and even using a green screen.
During week one, they learned filmmaking terms, learned about the various jobs on a film crew, discussed script ideas and practiced using cameras. The next week, they prepared ...
SCSD Students Learn Strategy through Chess Clubs:
For many students, the end of the school day means a chance to let loose—to be loud, to get outside and to run around. But at Ed Smith, HW Smith, ITC and Nottingham, students from kindergarten through high school spend the first of their after school hours sitting quietly in classrooms or libraries, focusing intently on the game of chess. Frazer students spend their enrichment period one to two days a week doing the same.
At Ed Smith, the Chess Club has grown from a 6-8 student ...
SCSD Students Were On a Roll in Syracuse Soap Box Derby:
SCSD students from Danforth, Lincoln, Henninger, Roberts, ITC and Ed Smith took part in the annual Syracuse Soap Box Derby. Congratulations to Danforth student Saleem Febus, sponsored by Carrier, who took first place in the Stock Division, as well as Henninger student Tyler Bonferraro, sponsored by Nick Orso’s Body Shop, for placing first in the Super Stock Division and also winning the 2016 Sportsmanship Award! Lincoln student Kabrey Bonferarro and Danforth students Christian Andaluz ...
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