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.