|By Courtney Llewellyn|
Reminder Assistant Editor
EAST LONGMEADOW Principal Carolyn Wallace presented Mountain View School's site-based improvement plan one meeting later than the rest of the East Longmeadow Public Schools because her son was graduating from high school during the School Committee's last meeting.
"She's a mother first," Superintendent Edward Costa noted.
Wallace explained to the committee what her school's three goals were and how the school achieved them during the school year.
The first goal was to focus on differentiated instruction. "We felt it was important for the whole staff ... to help match the skills and abilities of students to the work expected of them," Wallace said. She went on to explain that the staff did this by looking into guided reading and opening up the Renzulli learning software to the entire school.
The Renzulli Web site, which can be accessed at school or at home, provides hundreds of interest-based materials to challenge and engage students, online field trips, critical thinking activities and much more. Parents can take a tour of the Web site by visiting www.renzulli-home.com/home/tour.aspx.
Mountain View also had a goal of maintaining positive attitudes as the school adjusted to a new schedule during the 2007-08 school year. Wallace said most of the time issues have been resolved and that the school now offers relaxation time for adults within the building.
The adjusted schedule that was used for the additional fourth grade classroom this year will also be used for fifth grade classrooms next year.
The third goal is an ongoing one, according to Wallace. The school wants to continue the implementation process of the investigation math program in all three grade levels at Mountain View.
Wallace said the introduction of fractions investigations to the third and fourth graders this year showed that the younger students needed a bit more time to grasp the concept than the fifth graders, but approximately two-thirds of the staff felt more learning occurred in that extended time.
"We will continue to next year with more investigations," Wallace said.
The five schools in town will be meeting with the School Committee again this fall to discuss their goals for the 2008-09 school year.