Janet Yarn SLM 506 Community and School Analysis Laurel Woods Elementary School Howard County area of Laurel, MarylandPart 1: The Community • Socioeconomic Status: The school currently has 43% free and reduced meals (FARM). That would indicate that almost half of the students are receiving some type of welfare services from the government. In addition the school is considered a Title I school due partly to the socioeconomic need of the area. The community area includes apartment complexes with section 8 housing, town home communities and single-family housing. • Cultural Background: The current student population is very diverse with 48% African American, 17% Hispanic, 13% White, 9% Asian and 11% not reported. • Languages Spoken and Read: Currently 8% of the population has limited English proficiency. Those students include Hispanic and Korean students. So the languages spoken are Spanish, Portuguese and Koran. • Changes in Demographics over 5 years: 2009 2008 2007 2006 2005African 48% 49% 50% 50% 51%AmericanHispanic 17% 16% 16 % 17% 19%White 13%% 20% 24% 23% 25%Asian 9% 9% 7% 8% 5%Not 11% 8% 3% 2%Reported • Student Mobility: Student mobility over the past 2 years is an average of 10% turn over of students leaving throughout the year and 12% average of new students coming in. • Homes with Computer Access: Based on the current enrollment 80% of the students have a computer in their home. However many students are not allowed to use the home computer. • Access to Public Library: The closest Howard County library
is the Savage Branch. This branch is not accessible to our students without a car. The library is 3 miles from are closest boundary to 8 miles from our furthest. There is public transit that does stop in front of the library. • Access to Cultural Institutions: The community is located between Washington DC and Baltimore. Both of which have a wide range of museums, theatres, science center, aquarium and zoos. There is public transit available to both cities. There are a few local theatres such as Toby’s that offers children’s productions and the African American museum in Columbia.Part II: The School • Numbers of Students and Teachers: Currently there are 569 students enrolled and 31 classroom and related arts teachers, 2 ESOL, 3.5 Reading Specialists, 2.5 Title I, 2 Math Specialists and 7 Special Education teachers. Teacher turnover rate is an average of 15% per year. • Trends in Test Scores: Laurel Woods has consistently met the MSA standards set by the No Child Left Behind Act. Their reading scores range from 75% to 89% scoring proficient or above average. Their math scores range from 69% to 89% scoring proficient or above average. • Academic Achievement Scores: rd3 Grade 2006 2007 2008Reading 77% 80% 75%Math 75% 69% 69%4th Grade 2006 2007 2008Reading 86% 81% 87%Math 81% 80% 81%5th Grade 2006 2007 2008Reading 72% 74% 86%Math 63% 76% 65% • Subject Areas where Students are Doing Poorly: Math is the subject that has seen the lowest scores however reading skills are also an area of need. Math has been the emphasis of instruction for the past 2 years. Everyday math skills are consistently being
incorporated into all areas of the curriculum. In addition there are consistent programs in place to keep the reading scores on an up trend.• Special School Programs: Academic after school programs include Bridges, a program for low achieving students, and math tutoring for small groups. In addition there is a double dutch jump rope program, cheerleading group, Spanish club, and dance exercise group. During the school day, students can participate in the morning news crew, totally techy group, chorus, band, orchestra, and title I programs (both during school and evening programs).• Access to Media Center: Students have a scheduled weekly 45- minute visit to the media center. This includes class instruction and book check out. In addition, the media is available during indoor recess for book check out and for after school groups.• Primary Users and Non Users of the Media Center: The primary users are the students. Teachers and specialists also use the media to locate resources for class use. Parents do come in before school with students but not very often. The nonusers would be the parents and community.• Recreational Information Needs: The students are involved in a wide range of outside activities including Karate, basketball, football, and cheerleading. Students are also interested in joke or comic books and the almanac (current information).• Personal Information Needs: The students come from a wide range of socio-economic and cultural backgrounds. Many cultures are intermingled together in one home. In addition we have families with foster children, families with grandparents as parents, and multiple families living together. So a variety of literature that portrays different types of families, different living situations, and various cultures is a need for this library. In addition books on self-esteem, self-worth, and fiction that helps to build character can benefit the current students.• Parental Involvement: Currently there is a functioning PTA with 150 members. The PTA sponsors some of the after school programs. They also help to provide a “pod parent” who provide grade level teams with assistance when needed. The PTA also sponsors parent support nights.• Mission Statement: Laurel Woods Elementary School in collaboration with our community develops productive, respectful
and responsible citizens. As a learning community, we appreciate diversity and commonality in a positive and academically rich environment. Laurel Woods accelerates achievement of all students with high expectations and encourages enthusiasm for a lifetime of learning. Reflection on Part I and II- RecommendationsThe strength of Laurel Woods Elementary School lies within its diversity.The school library should reflect the many cultures and diverse familysituations that encompass the school. The school boundaries enfoldapartments, town-homes, a trailer park, hotel residence and single-familyhomes. The collection should try to embrace all these living circumstances.The collection should include authors and characters that portray the variedaspects of African-American lifestyles and Spanish lifestyles. Thecollection should also include Korean and Asian influences along with awide range of white cultural backgrounds that include various economiclevels. Since there is an ongoing need for math and reading support, non-fiction books that help to visually display information and fiction books thatdescribe situations or stories that use reading and math skills would be agood addition. The trends have shown that the African-American populationremains dominant in the community so a good portion of the collection isdedicated towards African American stories, folktales, and culturalbackgrounds. To help support the bilingual and lower reading students,“play aways” and books on tape are a good addition. The “play aways” areself-contained and therefore can be used without needing any additionalequipment. Books on tape help to reinforce the word to text recognitionskills as well as model reading fluency. Computer Access could be providedto all students and community members both before and after school sincecomputer access is not available to all students. Easy access to qualityinformation could be provided through community training seminarsprovided by the PTA and school staff. By providing a website that housesgood sites for students to improve their academic skills, parents may bemore apt to allow students time to work on the computer at home or at thelibrary. In addition providing students with online databases, such as WorldBook Online, as an safer more reliable search option than Google, will helpthem discover the wealth of information available. Many online databases,such as World Book Online, now provide an audio component to read text toyou as well as imbedded movie clips and pictures. They also provide links tomore information on the topic. The face of the school library will changeover time as the digital world continues to bring forth new ideas. We will
see that the reference collection of books will decrease as the trend toprovide interactive informative databases increase. The addition of moreelectronic books may come about. Already we are seeing an increase insites that picture books off the shelf being read to the view. StorybookOnline is a free site currently sponsored by the Screen Actors Guild.Although nothing can replace the joy of reading a book for some this joymay be found through the electronic advances that the future may bring tothe school library.Part III: The Current Collection • Size of Current Collection: The current size of the collection at LWES is 14, 081. Based on the last inventory, 1, 800 books are missing. Since they are missing, they can’t be withdrawn for a certain time period and therefore the collection is slowly being up-dated to accuracy. • Daily Circulation Figures: On average the daily circulation is 200 books per day. Each day 4 to 5 classes of 25-30 students visit the school library and are given time to check books. • Condition of the Collection: The collection is displayed in an inviting way with low shelving which allows for books covers to be displayed along the top. There are also colorful guide markers that show where the next part of collection begins. So on crowded shelves, this feature makes it easier to locate wanted books. There are 4 new Mac computers with large inviting screens to be used by students to locate books using the PAC or access information online. Graphic novels and series books are housed on their own shelves for easy access. Each section of the library is marked with large, colorful wooden letters to easily identify the fiction, non-fiction, reference, and professional library sections. The reference section is very small and not very appealing. The most current books in that section would be the class sets Almanacs. • Comparison with Quantitative State Standards: The LWES library does exceed the state standards for elementary school collections. The state standard is 12,000 and LWES had 14, 081. Even with taking out the 1,800 items that are missing, you still have just over 12,000 items in the collection. • Currency of Collection: The current school librarian at LWES has been working for the last 2 years to improve the currency of the collection. At this point many of the non-fiction books are over 10 years old. In the Dewey section of 600-629 the collection has a total
of 141 items of which 119 items are over 10 years old. In the Dewey section of 630-639 there are a total of 170 items with 100 items being over 10 years old. Newer items have been added to the collection in the past 2 years however there is a limit on how many items can be weeded per year so the process of removing older items will take time. • Collection Goals Set by Media Specialist: The current media specialist’s goal is to produce a good balance in weeding out items so that the collection can continue to be updated. Each year a portion of her weeding numbers goes to eliminating a portion of the missing books from the inventory. Then she looks at the books that are over 20 years old and discards items from current issues first. She is also working on replacing fiction books whose covers are not appealing or are beyond repair. At the current rate, it will take her another 3 years to complete the discard procedure for the missing books. Then she will be able to focus on the collection at hand for a more complete overhaul. It is also a county goal this year to weed the Dewey section of the 900’s. For example in the Biography section of 920-929 the current collection has 748 items of which 217 are 11-15 years, 194 are 16-20 years old and 175 are more than 20 years old. • Yearly Budget/per pupil allotment: The yearly budget is $4951.00 per year, which breaks down to approximately $8.75 per student. Reflection on Part IIIAfter researching the currency of the school library at LWES I becameaware of just how daunting this job is going to be. The collection goes outof date long before the funds are available to update. The school librarianhas to constantly be evaluating the needs of the school to focus the moneyallotted towards the greater good of the school. For LWES the focus of thecollection has been to update the fiction and easy section to meet the currentcultural needs of our building. There is a balance between noted authors,award winning books, and cultural needs. The collection has been updatedin African American and Spanish items. The items are displayed andattractively intermixed with a wide range of topics and cultures. There isstill a need for more Asian based literature. There are novels displayed inboth the written text and “play away” form. The chart below shows some ofthe areas where updates have been focused for non-fiction.
Non-Fiction Updates in the Past 5 YearsDewey Range Heading % added to collection320-329 Political Science 19%370-379 Education 7%510-519 Mathematics 20%560-569 Paleontology 10%600-609 Technology 29%620-629 Engineering 4%630-639 Related Technologies 10%790-799 Recreational 6%920-929 Biography 8%The collection is meeting more of the cultural fiction needs of the school butis still lacking in up-to-date information on non-fiction books relating toholidays, celebrations, and geography. Since there were so many issuesneeding to be addressed in this school library the current librarian choose tofocus on fiction collection meeting the needs of the students. Students in3rd-5th grade appear to be genuinely more interested in checking out bookssince there are is more new literature to choose from. Overall, the collectionis on its way to being updated and is working toward to goal of meeting allthe needs of the school.