Principal - September/October 2019 - 46

RAISING THE BAR

Building Expectations
How a rural, Title I school achieved its first-ever "A" rating
By Sue Shepard

A

ll children deserve a comprehensive education that prepares
them to succeed. As educational leaders, how can we provide instruction
that helps students learn and grow
and is responsive to their needs?
At Ash Creek Elementary, we have
implemented a number of strategies
and initiatives to promote the success
of every student in pre-kindergarten
through eighth grade-and we're seeing results. In 2018, our small, rural
Title I school received its first-ever "A"
rating from the Arizona Department
of Education in recognition of
year-to-year academic growth and

46

Principal n September/October 2019

proficiency in English language arts,
math, and science.
Here are several strategies that we
have used that have had a positive
impact on students' learning and
growth:
Set the bar high. Effective teachers
and quality instruction are the most
important factors in student achievement. Our teachers are qualified,
dedicated professionals who enjoy
teaching and working with children.
We also have high standards; we
expect students to do their best, just
as we expect every teacher and staff
member to do his or her best. When

we set the bar high and provide the
right supports, students and staff live
up to expectations.
Create a friendly, respectful campus. We make it a priority for every
staff member on our campus to know
each student's name. While this is
easier to do in a small, rural school, it
takes a campuswide commitment to
make it happen. As the school principal, I try to get to know each child as
an individual, and I let every student
and parent know that I am always
available to meet one-on-one.
Organize and prioritize curriculum standards. In years past,
teachers created grade-level curriculum maps over the summer. Now,
our school uses a curriculum framework from Beyond Textbooks, an
organization created by teachers and
district leaders in the Vail Unified
School District, to map the year
based on state standards. The standards are organized to ensure they
have the greatest learning impact,
while giving teachers creative freedom in how they teach.
Create a personalized learning
environment. Our teachers regularly tailor lessons to individual
student needs. We launched a 1:1
initiative so that every child has
a laptop, and we use a variety of
adaptive learning programs in core
academic subjects. For example, we
use a blended learning program
called Odysseyware to provide
teachers with lessons, assessments,
and instructional tools to help
differentiate instruction and allow
students to learn at their own pace.
Foster a schoolwide commitment
to reading intervention. Part of our
school's vision is to inspire literacy
and build strong minds, but teachers
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Principal - September/October 2019

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Principal - September/October 2019

From the Editor
Snapshots
5 Things
Getting to Why
A Brighter Future for Personalized Learning
Models of Voice and Choice
When Rural Gets Personal
Research Roundup: The Personal Touch
New Sensation
The Language of Learning
Giving Back, Together
In the Spotlight
Practitioner’s Corner
Early Career
Raising the Bar
The Reflective Principal
Speaking Out
Parents & Schools
NAESP Partners & Advertiser Index
Principal - September/October 2019 - Cover1
Principal - September/October 2019 - Cover2
Principal - September/October 2019 - 1
Principal - September/October 2019 - 2
Principal - September/October 2019 - 3
Principal - September/October 2019 - From the Editor
Principal - September/October 2019 - 5
Principal - September/October 2019 - Snapshots
Principal - September/October 2019 - 7
Principal - September/October 2019 - 5 Things
Principal - September/October 2019 - 9
Principal - September/October 2019 - Getting to Why
Principal - September/October 2019 - 11
Principal - September/October 2019 - 12
Principal - September/October 2019 - 13
Principal - September/October 2019 - 14
Principal - September/October 2019 - 15
Principal - September/October 2019 - A Brighter Future for Personalized Learning
Principal - September/October 2019 - 17
Principal - September/October 2019 - 18
Principal - September/October 2019 - 19
Principal - September/October 2019 - Models of Voice and Choice
Principal - September/October 2019 - 21
Principal - September/October 2019 - 22
Principal - September/October 2019 - 23
Principal - September/October 2019 - When Rural Gets Personal
Principal - September/October 2019 - 25
Principal - September/October 2019 - 26
Principal - September/October 2019 - 27
Principal - September/October 2019 - Research Roundup: The Personal Touch
Principal - September/October 2019 - 29
Principal - September/October 2019 - New Sensation
Principal - September/October 2019 - 31
Principal - September/October 2019 - The Language of Learning
Principal - September/October 2019 - 33
Principal - September/October 2019 - 34
Principal - September/October 2019 - 35
Principal - September/October 2019 - Giving Back, Together
Principal - September/October 2019 - 37
Principal - September/October 2019 - 38
Principal - September/October 2019 - 39
Principal - September/October 2019 - In the Spotlight
Principal - September/October 2019 - 41
Principal - September/October 2019 - Practitioner’s Corner
Principal - September/October 2019 - 43
Principal - September/October 2019 - Early Career
Principal - September/October 2019 - 45
Principal - September/October 2019 - Raising the Bar
Principal - September/October 2019 - 47
Principal - September/October 2019 - The Reflective Principal
Principal - September/October 2019 - 49
Principal - September/October 2019 - 50
Principal - September/October 2019 - 51
Principal - September/October 2019 - Speaking Out
Principal - September/October 2019 - 53
Principal - September/October 2019 - Parents & Schools
Principal - September/October 2019 - NAESP Partners & Advertiser Index
Principal - September/October 2019 - 56
Principal - September/October 2019 - Cover3
Principal - September/October 2019 - Cover4
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