Baldwin Creek academics
Our school’s culture is defined by our mission statement “Every Bobcat, Every Day!” and is the creed we live by. Our school culture is special! Truly, our staff believes that all students can learn at high levels. We work very hard in our collaborative teams to ensure we have wrap-around services for each student and we focus on the “whole” child. Our high standards of creating a welcoming environment start as you enter our building. Through a series of welcoming cues and positive interactions, we set the stage of belonging to our school community. Our school and district have a shared belief and commitment that through our Professional Learning Community we will answer the four critical PLC questions to the best of our ability. Because of our commitment, our culture has grown into a “whatever it takes” building focused on differentiating our approach to meet the needs of our students. We infuse Social Emotional Learning (SEL) class delivered by our amazing school counselor to each student one hour per week. The SEL curriculum compliments our school’s Positive Behavior Incentives program and Tier I classroom systems to ensure students feel safe and supported while gaining valuable strategies for addressing social and emotional needs. We believe in instilling hope, perseverance, grit, and positivity in order for our students to have the confidence needed to achieve in the 21st Century. We take time to celebrate our staff and students’ successes through assemblies, media, and building celebrations.
According to the 2017 end-of-year MAP data, 72% of our fourth graders and 80% of fifth graders were at or above the 50th percentile in reading. About 64% of fourth graders met their reading fall to spring growth target while about 72% of fifth graders met their reading growth targets. In math, 74% of fourth graders and 73% of fifth graders were at or above the 50th percentile in math. Fall to spring growth targets for math were met by 75% of fourth graders and 65% of fifth graders.
Fourth graders scored 68% Proficient and Advanced in reading on the PAWS test. Data in the subgroups show that 43% of Native Americans, 41% of low socio-economic students, and 30% of special education students were proficient and advanced in reading. Math data shows 70% of fourth graders scored proficient and advanced. Data in the subgroups show that 50% of Native Americans, 46% of low socio-economic students, and 37% of special education students are proficient and advanced in math.
Fifth graders scored 71% proficient and advanced in reading on the PAWS test. Data in the subgroups show that 13% of Native Americans, 54% of low socio-economic students, and 5% of special education students are proficient and advanced in reading. Math data shows 75% of fifth graders scored proficient and advanced. Data in the subgroups show that 27% of Native Americans, 61% of low socio-economic students, and 25% of special education students are proficient and advanced in math.
Our 2018 data is also as encouraging! Attached you will find graphs that display great achievement scores, but more impressively we saw significant growth. According to the Wyoming Accountability Model, Baldwin Creek has greatly closed the “Equity” gap. Our WY-TOPP and STAR data shows significant improvement in those sub groups that create the “Equity” category. We have “Exceeded” expectations in that growth. I believe the systems described in the included documentation have been the foundation for our success. I believe a focal point is the consistent growth we see from 3rd grade cohort growth. For example, in 2017 our 4th grew over 13% points in math in PAWS. This is a consistent trend we are seeing. So, 4th grade achievement status might not be impressive, but the overall growth from 3rd grade should be the focus.
Our efforts in our SEL (Social Emotional Learning) program have provided support for the social and emotional needs of our students. That support has led to students that feel safe in our learning environment. Each of our students receives one hour of SEL instruction per week from our school counselor during a “specials” class. We use the curriculum Second Step. This aligns very well with our schools powerful PBIS school-wide common expectations program that has been featured on K2 News several times.
School improvement efforts are continually being addressed during staff meetings, Wednesday Early Out (WEO) professional development time, PLCs, MTSS and weekly grade level data review team meetings. A master schedule is developed every spring with input from staff that allows for interventions plus enrichment opportunities for students. Baldwin Creek Elementary uses Chromebooks, iPad apps, audio books, engagement strategies, and differentiation to inspire all.
To ensure that classroom instruction and interventions are delivered methodically and systemically, grade level data review meetings are scheduled every week. In the course of the meeting, critical conversations occur around many data points including CFA, CSA, STAR, and WY-TOPP, and other common assessments. Furthermore, the continuity of delivering curriculum and assessment with fidelity, plus best instructional practices are woven into the meeting time. The data review agenda is set at the prior week’s meeting with teacher input and is facilitated by the Instructional Facilitator.
One of our most influential teams is led by our Instructional Facilitator and Title I/Reading specialist called the Academic Intervention Team. This team is comprised of special education teachers, paras, and other certified instructors that progress monitor our students and deliver targeted instruction and intervention during our Tier III time. We have created a schedule that allowed us to embed a Tier II and III time.
We also utilize a BIT (Building Intervention Team) process that uses a data tracking system to track and document a student’s process longitudinally. This team is also led by our Title I teacher. This team consists of classroom teachers, Title I Reading Teacher, Title I, Early Language Specialist, School Counselor, Principal, School Phycologist, Special Education Case Manager, Drop Out Prevention Coordinator, and Native American Liaison. We meet weekly on the caseload and review and strategize on what needs the students have. We then use our wrap around services to come up with solutions to meet those needs both academically and emotionally. We then progress monitor the student periodically.
Tier 1: Initial Instruction
All students, unless receiving instruction on alternate standards through an IEP, will receive initial instruction across grade-level standards based on the expectations and rigor of the Wyoming State English Language Arts Standards. Instructional sequences and pacing will be based on the grade-level team’s decisions about how to provide instruction that allows students to connect their learning across standards.
Grade-level teams have selected priority standards and, through the collective development of proficiency scales, articulated the prerequisite skills for the standard, built shared knowledge about mastery, and are beginning to articulate ways a students can move beyond proficiency towards advanced understanding of the standard. Teams work to ensure learning of the priority standards through differentiation and by providing students with multiple opportunities for mastery. Priority standards are assessed unobtrusively and obtrusively, students are provided feedback about their progress toward/beyond the standard, and parents receive feedback on these standards through formal processes such as quarterly report cards.
When designing instruction, grade-level teachers utilize our core resources, Journeys and Step Up to Writing. In addition, they may supplement instruction with other resources including novels, teacher-developed materials, language-supports, and web-based programs such as Mobymax.
Structures have been set up for teams to meet two times a week to discuss curriculum design and student progress. Teachers reflect on the impact of the instruction by reviewing their data with teammates, sharing effective strategies, and designing intervention/enrichment T2 opportunities.
Tier 2: Intervention/Enrichment
BCE has thirty minutes of intervention/enrichment built into the schedule five days a week. Teams utilize this time to collectively respond to their data by providing targeted interventions to students who have not mastered the focus priority standard and enrichment to students who are ready to move beyond the standard. Tier 2 (referred to as Proficiency Power Up) groups are flexible and students move fluidly between groups based on their mastery of the group’s focus.
Tier 3: Intensive Intervention Focused on Foundational Reading Skills
BCE has thirty minutes, four days/week dedicated to students who are performing below the 40th percentile on our screener, STAR Reading, to receive intensive, targeted instruction on foundational reading skills such as decoding and comprehension. Once students are identified by our screener, a team of interventionists gives each student a decoding-focused diagnostic that combines the Aimsweb Oral Reading Fluency assessment with a Beginning/Advanced Decoding Survey. Based on these diagnostic assessments, students showing a need for instruction in word study (phonological awareness, orthographic knowledge, mental-orthographic imaging, morphological awareness, and/or semantics) are placed in groups with varying levels of intensified instruction using evidence-based programs. If a student does not show a need for instruction in word-study, the student is placed in a group focused on developing comprehension strategies such as identifying main idea/details, inferencing, literal comprehension, and vocabulary. Progress monitoring is completed every 21 calendar days. Once progress monitoring is completed, the team reviews the data and makes decisions for intensification based on the student’s response/lack of response to the intervention.
We also utilize Title I funds to enhance our parent and community engagement through monthly offerings. Our PIE (Parents In Education) group works closely with our staff to create fun, engaging and educational opportunities throughout the year. Our Library Media Specialist also adds in student reading engagement by promoting Accelerated Reader and other book fairs and nights. Our checkout rates and AR points are impressive.
All of this information and documentation combined represents a high performing Title I school at many different levels. Baldwin Creek is a special place for our learning community and ensures that our Bobcats are succeeding both academically and emotionally.