SLT Mid-Year Update

Cotswold’s School Leadership Team is comprised of parents, staff members and school administration who work together to monitor the implementation and progress of Cotswold’s School Improvement Plan.  One of our goals this year is to communicate more effectively with the school community and bring about a better understanding of how SLT spends its time.

Over the last few months, SLT has been busy reviewing and approving the School Improvement Plan, as well as identifying our focus areas for the year.  Parent members of SLT have also educated themselves on various initiatives within the school.  At our December meeting, we had breakout sessions to discuss the following:

Achieve 225-This is a federal grant Cotswold received this year to increase physical activity and skill development, while providing more structure during recess.  Staff feedback was overwhelmingly positive due to the increase in activity and participation by students and the decrease in office referrals and injuries.

Class Clustering-This is a method of building classes based on grouping students with similar ability levels.  Traditionally K-5 classes have had 5-7 different ability groups.  This year, 3rd-5th grade has a maximum of 3 ability levels per class.  Staff feedback has been very positive due to the way it has allowed for better planning and differentiation in instruction.  Based on mid-year MAP data, student growth has increased and the rigor of curriculum has been raised at all levels.

Next Steps-This is a new committee established to improve behavior, reduce office referrals and increase school pride and camaraderie.  It is modeled after the Ron Clark Academy in Atlanta, GA.  Staff members feel like Next Steps has helped establish a common language and behavior system, as well as consistent behavioral expectations throughout the school.  House meetings are held monthly to celebrate students, build teamwork and community, and impart character lessons.  And the Essential 20 lines up very well with IB Learner Profiles.  Data shows this new approach has been effective at reducing office referrals.

SLT will continue to work with staff and administration to review and reflect on these initiatives that are new to Cotswold.  Additionally, SLT has:

  • been involved in discussions related to the Publix development project that will be coming to the Colwick Road area and how that will affect our carpool and traffic situation next year, 
  • undertaken a rewriting of the SLT Bylaws to bring us into alignment with other SLTs across CMS,
  • welcomed School Board Member Eric Davis as he addressed issues facing CMS and Cotswold School.

There is still a lot of work to be done and SLT will be involved with staff and administration to ensure the goals of the School Improvement Plan are being met.  Mid-year data showed what we know to be true…good things are happening at Cotswold.  We look forward to continued growth in the second half of the year and invite parents to attend an SLT meeting.  They are open to all and are held on the 4th Tuesday of the month at 6:00pm in the Media Center.  If you have any questions, please contact SLT Chair, Alison Busch at alisonNbusch@gmail.com.

Fifth Grade Exhibition: February 11

Exhibition is the exit project for IB PYP students. It replaces one transdisciplinary unit of study. This year it is replacing the 5th grade Who We Are unit and is focusing on issues that affect systems of of the human body. Families, friend and community partners are welcome to come view projects on 2/11/15 between 10:30-12:30 and between 1:30-2:15. They will be on display in the media center and in the atrium outside of the media center.

Upcoming Middle School Open Houses

Randolph IB Middle School

http://schools.cms.k12.nc.us/randolphMS/Pages/Default.aspx
Open House: Tuesday January 13, 6:30pm
Student Open House: Wednesday, January 21, 9:30am-11:30am

Rising 6th graders and their parents are invited to come experience life as a 6th grader at Randolph! Students will observe 6th grade classrooms, look at student work in all subjects, tour the school and hear from Principal Bambauer about what makes Randolph a great place to be!

Additionally, the school is offering a parent led tour on Friday January 16, at 9:30am. To reserve a space for a tour, please call the office at 980-343-6700.

AG Middle School Open House

http://agpto.cmswiki.wikispaces.net/Prospective+Parents
Thursday, January 15, 7:00pm – 8:00pm
Multi-Purpose Room

Additionally, the school provides tours every other Wednesday at 1pm (1st and 3rd Wednesdays of the month). Rising 6th graders are welcome to join.

Read to Achieve Meeting for Third Grade Parents

Third Grade Parents we will have our Second Read to Achieve Session of the year tomorrow, Tuesday January 27th at 5:30 in the Computer Lab. If you have any questions about the Read to Achieve Legislation and how it impacts your child in this year please attend tomorrow’s session.

At the December PTA Volunteer meeting, Carla Haughton led a workshop on ” How to work with your child at home with reading.” In response to that workshop we have put links to valuable resources for parents on our website. Click here for the Read to Achieve LiveBinder. In addition, NCDPI is pleased to announce that the NCDPI/Test Development Section has created a parent reading portfolio. This portfolio consists of 14 passages that parents can use at home to reinforce the understanding of the standards. The entire parent portfolio is posted on the Read to Achieve Livebinder under 3rd Grade Portfolio. Click here to access these materials.