Three-Year Academic Improvement Plan
The three-year academic improvement plan being implemented by Winton Woods City Schools concentrates on two goals: increasing student achievement and increasing school pride. By Spring 2017, the district plans to exceed state accountability standards for all students in math and literacy, with a focus on gap closure and with specific monitoring processes in place to measure the results. “This will be complemented by a plan that fosters a positive culture and climate in all our schools so that students’ learning time in class is maximized,” said Dr. Terri Holden, executive director of teaching and learning for Winton Woods City Schools.
The district’s 2014-2017 Academic Improvement Plan is based on the Ohio Improvement Process (OIP), an initiative that shows what educational strategic planning looks like throughout the state. “The Ohio Improvement Process requirements have changed over time, going from a one-year plan to a more comprehensive and strategic three-year plan,” said Winton Woods Superintendent Anthony G. Smith. “It’s a continuous process that aligns all of our work and supports district collaboration around changes in student and adult behaviors.”
Smith said, “This regular collaboration examines a multitude of data points, including student performance data, all designed to lead to improved instruction and achievement for our students. While the OIP is a mandated process, Winton Woods continues to embrace, encourage and support efforts aimed at educational excellence.”
“By using the OIP, we’re taking advantage of what’s already been learned, adding our own research and data, and going forward from there with plans to revise the process on a quarterly basis,” said Steve Denny, the district’s executive director of accountability and business affairs.
According to the three-year plan, the district will continue to implement Ohio’s New Learning Standards with classroom instructional strategies that focus on groups of students who are clustered together on the basis of academic readiness. Teacher-based teams (TBT) throughout the district will continue to receive professional development on core classroom-level instruction and on instruction at each student’s level. “There is a feedback tool template that gives our teachers specific items to look for in the TBT process to reflect upon and improve their teaching strategies,” said Denny. “Having feedback like this empowers our teachers, while collaboration with their peers improves outcomes for students.”
“The new tests our students are taking are so different from the old tests,” said Holden. “They require higher level thinking, evidence-based instruction, and the use of multiple documents in crafting a response.” In the same way, the assessments the district uses for students are changing. “Any assessment you had before last year doesn’t apply anymore,” said Holden. “Implementing new curriculum means implementing new assessments too.” Denny added that the district is always re-evaluating the assessment instruments it uses.
Another place the landscape of education has changed is in the area of technology. “The district will definitely be investing in and employing technology to accelerate and support instructional practices,” said Holden, who noted a shift in the district’s curriculum purchases. “Paper texts now come with online versions and are more financially feasible in the long term. We understand the importance of technology and have put Chromebooks in the hands of all our ninth and tenth graders, knowing this is the way people access the world now. Some of the information acquired from our Academy of Global Studies instructional model was that students and teachers are empowered when you can provide a one-to-one technology environment.”
Holden said the district is also looking at best practices from local school districts, as well those from districts in other parts of the country, to develop its own set of ideas and beliefs that will guide instruction. “This will be a public document created for our parents and community so they can understand what’s available for our students,” said Holden.
The district has also hired English as a Second Language (ESL) tutors to support Pre-K through sixth grade students and is continuing its investment in early childhood education through its all day kindergarten program. Winton Woods City Schools is also investigating all day preschool.
In support of the goal of increasing school pride, Holden said the district will continue to implement the Positive Behavior and Intervention Support (PBIS) system already in place. “We are using the same information in each of our buildings so that we can monitor discipline, collect the data, and understand what is working and what needs to be modified,” she said. The district will also continue to be consistent in its community engagement, communication and interactive opportunities. “We understand that this needs to be a multi-faceted approach,” said Holden. “We will continue to offer our parents and community members face-to-face meetings in order to remain clear and concise about our action plans."
“There are ways for parents to be part of their child’s education that do not involve physical attendance at an event. Looking at ProgressBook, contacting a teacher with concerns, using the district’s new app to stay in touch—all of these are ways for parents to support the success of their child.”
“We understand that people have many educational choices these days, and we’re grateful for those who have chosen Winton Woods City Schools,” said Denny. “Our academic plan is one of continuous growth. We welcome our students, our staff, our parents and our community to grow along with us.”
(This is a flexible document)