Teachers Can Reform the Learning


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  • School climate is a learning climate and, as such, needs to be one that is conducive and appropriate to the needs of the students and teachers who work within it. Our project’s genesis lies in this fundamental principle. Our journey is tracked through the process of initiating community and parental awareness of a problem that our school faced, fighting resistance and inertia, making key connections, researching ways and means, convincing school board members to make life-changing decisions, and finally, experiencing euphoria through tears when success was met. Our final project is in the form of a power point. But the real story will be read in the walls of our new expansion, a by-product of the efforts of three teachers and the supporters that led to its creation.
  • Building Leadership Team and teachers claim building design is too small to house students based on enrollment numbers K-5 building became K-8 Specialists rooms became classrooms
  • This is what our school was designed to look like
  • Two portables are added to house 6 th grade overflow (prior to district transitioning all K-5 buildings to K-8)
  • Our building with the portables which are approximately 25 feet from the main building. Our 7 th and 8 th grade students are currently housed there.
  • Poor Wi-fi connection slow to non-existent on a daily basis - Teachers attended Joint Curriculum meeting of December 3, 2012 to request the consideration of a computer lab to help alleviate problems and were promised assistance Teachers are teaching from carts and do not have planning time in their rooms Neighborhood displeasure with presence of portables
  • I moved this slide up – be cautious of repetitive information this overlaps some of what you already covered. Building Representative and two teachers on the Building Leadership Team have taken it upon themselves to inform the staff, students, and fellow teachers of pressing issues affecting student achievement, based upon surveys and other collected data. These three have formed a school climate committee. District Chief Business Manager is invited to January parent meeting to discuss issues facing our school and upcoming addition School Climate Committee creates informational binders to present to Board members, Superintendent, and principal which included concerns pertaining to the decision making process regarding our expansion
  • Surveys are handed out to parents, students, and staff Attendance Teachers attend several meetings and encourage parent group to take a stand Our three teachers seek assistance from our Board of Education members by delivering binders of information/data that they compiled
  • Temporary portables need to go – increase community approval Intermediate students deserve a place to call their own Specialists need to have their own room to inspire learning in their students Working and effective computer system
  • I recommend choosing one of these slides and this one definitely supports your case. Again, like your pictures – too many quoted slides diminish the effect, but I would put them all in your paper.
  • The entire school community (teachers, students, parents) need to provide input on school climate/environment Teachers need to become school climate coaches in order to procure a more conducive learning environment for students and staff
  • 2007 and 2008 in transition building while new building is built 2009 move into K-5 building (2 portables are added) 2010 district leaders redistrict (we maintain student numbers and continue to grow) 2011 K-5 becomes K-8 … Although many students transferred to neighboring TPS schools (which were built with middle school amenities) our numbers were still growing. 2012 Enrollment is at maximum capacity and overflowing
  • Attendance drop at 5 th Grade is due to students leaving for a local performing arts school. This performing arts school offers a wide array of programs of which, sadly, we are unable to offer in our building because we have specialists on carts and have very limited resources.
  • School Climate Committee meets with previous architect, Chief Business Manager, and Finance Chairperson to present the vision deemed necessary to improve our school climate School Climate Committee recruited parental assistance in our request before the February School Board meeting School Climate Committee attends School Board meeting along with parents and students.
  • 6 additional classrooms Music and Art back in their classrooms Access to Computer Lab Intermediate students have a space of their own
  • I LOVE this picture -
  • Teachers Can Reform the Learning

    1. 1. Teachers Can Reform theTeachers Can Reform the Learning Environment inLearning Environment in Our Schools Today.Our Schools Today. * What role does school* What role does school climate play in studentclimate play in student learning?learning? * How can teachers sustain* How can teachers sustain school reform efforts?school reform efforts? By: Therese Gordon and Kristin Haney Arlington School, Toledo, Ohio
    2. 2. Built for K-5 “Transformed” to K-8
    3. 3. ArlingtonArlington
    4. 4. Un-kept promisesUn-kept promises Keep 6th grade temporarily then convert to K-5th Expansion would be added to building within a year of its opening
    5. 5. RealityReality
    6. 6. Other issues affecting the learning environment Technology Challenges with discipline and student motivation Parental/Community dissatisfaction Art & music on carts  This is where the journey begins.....
    7. 7. “a teacher’s working conditions are a student’s learning conditions” -Mary Catheryn Ricker, President, Saint Paul, MN Federation of Teachers
    8. 8. Exterior conditions…
    9. 9. Interior conditions…
    10. 10. Help is sought……Help is sought…… School Climate Committee ◦Staff ◦Students ◦Community
    11. 11. Steps taken…..Steps taken….. Surveys Attendance data is gathered Parents & Teachers Board Meeting School improvement process begins
    12. 12. What would improve our schoolWhat would improve our school climate/environment?climate/environment? • Eliminate portables • Create intermediate experience • Restore specialists classrooms • Technology
    13. 13. “ A school culture that supports learning includes a building arranged through reflection of students needs and their educational accomplishments, with its administrators, teachers, students, and parents participating in the decision making.” From Best Practice Briefs December 2004 #31
    14. 14. Results of surveys……Results of surveys…… (Random sampling of 7 parents, 14 students, and 13 teachers)(Random sampling of 7 parents, 14 students, and 13 teachers)
    15. 15. Attendance comparisonsAttendance comparisons
    16. 16. School Climate Committee Bringing in experts TPS Officials Board Meeting
    17. 17. Parents and students braved the very snowy NW Ohio elements to express their concerns before the Board of Education Board members were moved by students’ speeches and commented on how impressed they were with their eloquence and presence. Board members thanked our committee for providing them our information binders
    18. 18. What School Climate Coaches areWhat School Climate Coaches are asking for…asking for… 6 Classrooms– Not 4 ◦Music and Art back in their classrooms ◦Access to Computer Lab Intermediate students have a space of their own
    19. 19. March 2013 Board of EducationMarch 2013 Board of Education meetingmeeting  Finance Chairperson makes recommendation for 6 classrooms and additional funding Motion & Voting:  1.8 million dollars, 6 classroom, first section and to add up to 6 classroom, and related space 1.8 million dollars, add two classroom, work with them meet today’s needs and needs of the future. - per Lisa Sobecki Dr. Adams - not formally middle school. They don't have science labs or computer labs. What can we do to kind of make sure there is a dedicated space. Motion by Lisa A Sobecki, second by Brenda Hill. Final Resolution: Motion Carries Yea: Cecelia M Adams, Bob Vasquez, Lisa A Sobecki, Brenda Hill, Larry Sykes
    20. 20. Actual “sign” acknowledging our hard work New construction is to begin June 2013.
    21. 21. Dilemma: Projected completion date is September 2013. What to do with students if project is not completed by start of school, August 27th , 2013?
    22. 22. Close library early Relocate resource teacher Bring 7th and 8th Grade students into the building three weeks before school year ends to allow construction to begin earlier
    23. 23. Transformation begins …Transformation begins … (May 2013)(May 2013)
    24. 24. Transforming playground ….Transforming playground …. (May 2013)(May 2013)
    25. 25. Scenery forever altered …..Scenery forever altered ….. (May 2013)(May 2013)
    26. 26. View not visible since 2008View not visible since 2008
    27. 27. Mixed emotions …..Mixed emotions …..
    28. 28. School Climate Committee
    29. 29. Thank you, Therese Gordon Kristin Haney It is our hope that our new much appreciated and dearly needed addition will motivate our students toward academic excellence and inspire them to take pride and ownership in their school and surrounding community.
    30. 30. AcknowledgementsAcknowledgements Emily Gordon……photos Paula Gladieux… photos Lynn Smith…… Teacher Leaders facilitator Chief Business Officer…… attendance counts from 2007 to current ABA, students, and staff Munger & Munger Lathrop