Annual Title I Schoolwide Plan

Schoolwide Component 1 - A comprehensive needs assessment

Grade level teams, resource staff, and administrators were involved in systematic data analysis and needs assessment led by administrators at beginning of the year school planning and goal setting meetings. The analysis allowed for a vertical perspective on students' learning needs, with a close look at performance trends among demographic groups and potential factors in and out of the classroom. During the October PTA meeting, staff shared school-wide data with parents and offered parents an opportunity to ask questions and give their perspective.

Data from the following assessments were used to determine areas of strength and needs:

  • Standards of Learning
  • Developmental Reading Assessment
  • Math Reasoning Assessments
  • eCART Testing
  • WIDA
  • VGLA Documentation
  • Fountas and Pinnell Benchmark Assessments

A review of SOL, DRA, and DRA WA data indicates that although reading achievement has been on an upward trend over the last five years, increasing reading achievement continues to be an area of concern. Although Belvedere met the reading AMOs overall and for the various subgroups, there are a significant number of students who ended the school year with a text reading level below the grade level benchmark.

Belvedere’s reading results demonstrate a need to monitor literacy instruction on a regular basis through the use of an identification process for all students at risk of failing or in need of targeted interventions, the implementation of interventions, and the documentation of student progress. To strengthen our Tier 1 instruction, we are also committed to strengthening the school-wide agreed upon workshop model for reading and writing workshop where the literacy teachers implement a coaching model to support reading instruction in the classroom. Additionally, teams meet on a regular basis to collaborate in the area of language arts.

Although in Mathematics we met the Federal AMOs for Gap Group 1, Gap Group 2, and Gap Group 3, our Spring 2017 math SOL assessment results show an achievement gap between White students and other subgroups, particularly Hispanic, Limited English Proficient, Economically Disadvantaged and Students with Disabilities. Based on this data, we are working to strengthen mathematics instruction by refining the Mathematics Workshop and by implementing the following:

  • 60-minute math block with an additional 30 minutes for intervention/enrichment at least three times per week
  • Regularly scheduled collaborative learning meetings around math for each grade level where teachers are given guidance through a math coaching model to support math instruction in the classroom.
  • Strengthening of tier 1 math instruction by implementing an agreed upon mathematic workshop model that includes daily small group mathematics instruction. This also includes a focus on problem-solving.
  • Monitoring of mathematics instruction on a regular basis through the use of an identification process for all students at risk of failing or in need of targeted interventions, the implementation of interventions, and the documentation student progress.
  • On-Site Differentiated Mathematics Professional Development delivered by the mathematics resource teacher.

Schoolwide Component 2 - Strategies to provide opportunities for all children, including each of the subgroups of students

The framework that guides instructional philosophies and decisions at BES is best articulated by the IB-PYP. According to this philosophy, “The PYP transdisciplinary framework focuses on the development of the whole child as an inquirer, both at school and beyond. Informed by research into how students learn, how educators teach, and the principles and practice of effective assessment, the program places a powerful emphasis on inquiry-based learning.” Additionally, inquiry-based learning is an effective tool in allowing children to construct their own understandings and be motivated to learn based on Jean Piaget’s research. Perhaps the most salient words from Piaget closely aligned to Belvedere’s goals for students are, “The principle goal of education in the schools should be creating men and women who are capable of doing new things, not simply repeating what other generations have done; men and women who are creative, inventive and discoverers, who can be critical and verify, and not accept, everything they are offered” (Jervis & Tobier, 1988). The instructional strategies explained below demonstrate the pursuit of this goal and stand on the shoulders of this research.

Research-Based Instructional Strategies: Language Arts

Literacy instruction at BES is integrated within the IB-PYP Units of Inquiry so that students develop reading and writing skills through explicit instruction and then have the opportunity to apply them within the context of authentic, motivating, real-world investigations. BES staff teach reading and writing skills through a workshop model that focuses on adopting the behaviors of lifelong readers and writers. Focus lessons are delivered through a what, why, how structure. Teachers share what students will learn, why it is relevant to their journey as developing readers and writers, and then explicitly model how to execute the skill. Students are then given the space and time to explore these skills on their own and then afforded opportunities to be engaged in teacher conferences and small group instruction where they are provided relevant and immediate feedback.

In reading workshop, students in grades K-5 engage in independent reading, choosing texts of interest from the relevant and updated school library as well as robust classroom library collections. In primary grades, teachers foster reading partnerships and teach students how to talk about the books being read. This sets the foundation for students to work in book clubs in the upper grades, where students independently choose a text to read and discuss within literature circles. While students are reading and talking about books, teachers both confer with students about their reading and meet flexible groupings of students to meet their individual reading needs based on collected formative assessments and summative data. All classes also engage in Interactive Read Alouds that spark whole-class conversation as students co-construct their own understandings of what is being read.

In writing workshop, students starting in Kindergarten explore a wide variety of genres ranging from persuasive writing to poetry to narrative nonfiction. Teachers and students inquire together about the craft moves of an author by exploring the teachers’ own writing in the genre, studying published mentor texts in these genres, and by writing shared texts together. Students are then given choice of topic to try out these craft moves within a piece of writing. Within this structure, teachers confer with individual students or work with flexible small groups to deliver targeted individual instruction based on teacher observation and data.

In addition to receiving targeted development of reading and writing skills, students have the opportunity to apply these skills within their exploration of the big Social Studies and Science concepts that are simultaneously being explored the IB-PYP Units of Inquiry. Belvedere staff acknowledges first that students take away more metacognitive awareness of learning after opportunities to apply skills and knowledge in multiple contexts, across multiple subjects.

Research-Based Instructional Strategies: Mathematics

Teachers at BES use a mathematics workshop structure to plan and implement inquiry-based mathematics units that support students in building deep conceptual understandings of the mathematics content. Emphasis is placed on supporting students in doing the real work of mathematicians--asking questions, making connections, reasoning, and developing proof (Zager, 2017). At the beginning of each math unit classroom teachers, coaches and administrators collaboratively identify Enduring Understandings and Essential Questions that support the standards. Building students’ mathematical agency through talk has been a focus of this work. Using the work Suzanne Chapin’s Classroom Discussions: Using Math Talk to Help Kids Learn (2009) and Elham Kazemi and Allison Hintz’s Intentional Talk: How to Structure and Lead Productive Mathematical Discussions (2014) teachers and coaches at Belvedere have focused on how to engage all students in talk that helps collaboratively investigate and reason about mathematical ideas. BES staff also utilized Sherry Parrish’s Number Talks (2010) to build teachers’ capacity to facilitate productive mathematical discussions that build number sense and computational fluency. In addition to work around the mathematics workshop, BES has created a daily Problem Solving Workshop where all students receive targeted intervention and enrichment based on data reflection and analysis. During this time students cooperatively engage in problem-solving experiences rich with opportunities to ask and investigate student-created mathematical questions and engage playfully with mathematics, providing experiences that real mathematicians frequently engage in but are often glossed over in school mathematics.

Opportunities for All Children to Achieve

IB-PYP is an inclusive program that engages all students, regardless of differences, in meaningful and authentic learning experiences, supporting a school culture of ensuring equity and equality for all. Belvedere staff believes all students have the ability to think, problem-solve, and succeed. Belvedere celebrates diversity by valuing what makes each student unique. Grade level units of inquiry build on students’ prior knowledge and are student driven. The concept-based nature of the units of inquiry allows students to make connections throughout the school day and across disciplines. Additionally, all units of inquiry encourage students to consider ways to take action in order to improve the world around them. The IB-PYP also focuses on the development of the whole child through explicit teaching around the IB Learner Profile. The IB Learner Profile includes twelve attributes describing human capacities and responsibilities of a well-rounded individual.   Students set yearly goals for themselves focused on the development of these attributes and self-assess and reflect on these goals at the middle and end of the year. To support seamless curricular connections across the instructional day, BES grade level team meetings include a broad range of staff, such as general education and advanced academics teachers, ESOL teachers, special education teachers, advanced academics resource teacher, librarian, school-based technology specialist, reading and mathematics coaches, PYP coordinator, and administrators. An integral member of these team meetings is the Advanced Academics Resource Teacher (AART), for which Title I grant funds are allocated. The AART works alongside teams to build capacity through a co-teaching model and during collaborative meetings to consider students’ needs, define specific intervention support, and connect all staff with resources and instructional strategies. This has resulted in BES staff being well versed in a variety of thinking routines that help all students think deeply, gain perspective, and develop global competency

Strategies to increase achievement in underperforming subgroups

Based on the data analysis and needs identified above for literacy and mathematics, Belvedere is committed to implementing the following:

  • Teams will monitor their progress towards the goals through quarterly data discussion meetings and by using in-process measures.
  • Intervention is built into language arts
  • Leveled Literacy Intervention and strategically targeted reading support to strengthen reading skills of struggling readers Title I mathematics resource teacher provide support in mathematics instruction in grade
  • K-5 and leads targeted professional development
  • Both language arts and math are taught collaboratively using classroom teachers, ESOL teachers, special education teachers, the reading teacher, and Title I math teachers to implement this collaborative model.
  • Professional Development aligned with instructional needs is embedded into collaborative learning meetings and delivered through differentiated teacher selected professional development days.
  • Waterford computers are being used by kindergarten students. All grades use MyOn books.
  • Select English Learners use Imagine Learning on a regular basis.
  • Select students in grade 3-5 use Read About.
  • Select fifth-grade students in non-AAP classes use Dreambox to support math skills.
  • There are two Reading Is Fundamental distributions a year.
  • Classroom and resource teachers meet regularly to discuss assessment results and plan timely interventions for students in need of additional support in mathematics and reading. Each teacher also meets on a quarterly basis with the progress monitoring team to discuss the progress of students receiving intervention.
  • Flexible groupings within the classroom are made for reading and mathematics to meet the individual needs of students by offering direct instruction in areas of difficulty.
  • Differentiated instruction is provided based on assessed needs..
  • All students who need additional support are double dipped in reading during the two-hour language arts block.

Methods to evaluate effectiveness

  • Student achievement will be closely monitored in all subject areas in a variety of ways including but not limited to exit tickets, formative assessments, division assessments, DRA2, and student interviews. This data will be analyzed regularly in CLTs to guide instructional decisions. Most student data will be housed in the Education Decision Support Library (EDSL).
  • Grade level teams will document the work done in CLTs to strengthen Tier 1 instruction including unpacking content, lesson plans, the creation of assessments, and an analysis of assessment data.

Schoolwide Component 3 - Strategies to strengthen the academic program

Based on the data analysis and needs identified above for literacy and mathematics, Belvedere is committed to implementing the following to strengthen the academic program, increase amount and quality of learning time, and help provide enriched and accelerated curriculum:

  • The schedule includes two-hour language arts block, 60-minute math block with an additional three 30 minutes intervention blocks per week, and five one-hour common planning times per team per week.
  • Focus mathematics instruction on conceptual understanding and problem solving
  • Professional Development aligned with instructional needs is embedded into collaborative learning meetings and delivered through differentiated teacher selected professional development days.
  • Number Sense Routines are implemented in classrooms, grades K-5.
  • During weekly grade level team meetings, Belvedere staff engages in professional development directly benefitting the implementation of units of inquiry. Belvedere school coaches lead this training and engage staff in hands-on experiences related to specific skills being taught.
  • As an IB school, Belvedere provides enriched learning opportunities for all students

Methods for evaluating effectiveness:

Belvedere staff work as a collaborative team to plan high-quality instruction for all students. Each grade level team develops a viable curriculum through units of inquiry that integrate state and local curricula as the roadmap to educate students. BES staff structure units of inquiry around conceptual central ideas and develop formative and summative assessments to measure understandings of the central idea. Teachers then work backward to write lines of inquiry, essential questions, and learning experiences that result in engaging and authentic student learning. BES teachers assess students’ regularly in reading, writing, and mathematics using common formative assessment data from reading and writing conferences, guided reading and mathematics, and performance-based tasks in mathematics. Teachers use authentic assessments with the most leverage for informing practice and cultivating problem-solving. In addition to ongoing formative and anecdotal data, teacher teams engage in three formal data reflections.

Quarterly Data Reflections. Each quarter, administrators lead data reflection meetings with teams, which include classroom teachers, special education teachers, ESOL teachers, and reading and math coaches to look at grade level data. In these meetings, trends are identified across the grade level using common assessments and conversations are facilitated by asking: What is noticed from the data? What caused these successes/challenges? What commitments can be made for the next quarter to build on strengths and achieve the results desired? These commitments are recorded and reflected upon at the following quarter data reflection meeting.

Progress Monitoring. Within progress monitoring meetings, classroom teachers, special education teachers, ESOL teachers, counselors, and administrators identify the most struggling students by name and need, document what strategies have been implemented to support learning, brainstorm new ideas for moving forward, and agree to come together again the next quarter to review student progress.  The intervention plans are clear and specific, identifying who is providing the additional support on the targeted skill, the number of minutes/times per week the student will receive guided instruction on the skill/strategy, the teacher-to-student ratio of the group and the duration in weeks for support. In addition, the plan includes individual student’s goals and the assessments the teacher will utilize to monitor and measure student progress.

Collaborative Team Meetings. Classroom teachers, special education teachers, ESOL teachers, counselors, reading and math coaches, IB-PYP coordinator, librarians, and administrators come together to review student work and assessment data in order to develop plans for achieving common learning goals. At these meetings teachers follow the established Professional Learning Community collaborative cycle and answers these questions: 1) Which students need additional time and support to demonstrate understanding? 2) What is the plan to enrich and extend the learning for students who are highly proficient? 3) What is an area in which students struggled? This last question helps each teacher look for trends in the data, share successful strategies and resources that were effective for student learning, and refine practices. In addition to broad instructional plans, teacher teams also work together to develop reading and mathematics support plans for students. These plans are also documented, discussed, and modified during progress monitoring meetings.

Schoolwide Component 4 - Strategies that address the needs of all children, but particularly the needs of those at risk of not meeting the challenging state academic standards

Student Social, Emotional, and Mental Health:

  • The Responsive Classroom philosophy and strategies are implemented in K-5 classrooms. We continue to develop essential agreements in each classroom and to use school-wide rules based on Rules in School.
  • Work with School Community Coalitions to implement anti-drug and anti-violence activities.
  • Belvedere Elementary guidance counselors, in cooperation with our school partners, organize a Backpack Friday food program where select students received food for the weekend each Friday.

Behavior and Goal-Directed Learning:

  • Progressive Ongoing Feedback: Teachers will continue to provide parents with feedback on their students’ behavioral and social progress through various modes of communication including home visits, phone calls, conferences, and notes home. Student progress reports will continue to be sent home quarterly to document students’ growth.
  • Professional Development: Belvedere Elementary will implement the following professional development approaches for establishing positive, productive classroom culture to achieve these strategies:
    • Responsive Classroom training for all staff.
    • Cultural Proficiency training for all staff.

School Readiness and Transitions:

Preschool, kindergarten, and primary classroom programs provide important, large-scale opportunities for young children to learn and use their knowledge of literacy and math concepts. The following are ways in which efforts are made to provide seamless transitions from Early Childhood programs into the K-5 program:

  • Family and Early Childhood Education Program (FECEP) and pre-school parents and children are invited to participate in the Partners in Print workshops and other school events.
  • FECEP office staff and the Family Services team assist schools in their effort to inform parents about the kindergarten orientation and encourage their attendance.
  • Staff members visit Higher Horizons and private preschools to observe students who transition to Belvedere for kindergarten.
  • Kindergarten orientation is held in the spring for rising kindergarten students and their parents to get an overview of the kindergarten program in FCPS.
  • Preschool special education teachers meet on a regular basis with the special education team and the procedural support liaison.
  • Targeted Kindergarten students receive additional small group support from a trained Early Intervention Reading Initiative teacher. Leveled Literacy Intervention is also used in kindergarten to help at-risk kindergarteners.

Methods to Evaluate Effectiveness:

Student office referral data will be closely monitored throughout the school year. A school team will analyze the data for trends at the end of the year, identifying what further professional learning and supports might be needed. Kindergarten entry data will be reviewed to help identify the success of school readiness initiatives.