However, using one tool, and one as limited as a one or two day test doesn't accurately portray schools. Although test scores are important, rarely do you hear about examining all the factors that make a school successful.One paragraph doesn't tell the story of a book. Similarly, one test doesn't tell the tale of a school.
The characteristics that make Laurelville Elementary exceptional include:
1. Students Want to Be Here
Effective schools have a warm climate. Students know they are welcome and know that the staff cares about them. Although there is pressure to perform, it comes in a way that promotes learning, with an expectation that students will excel and the support is provided to make it happen.
2. Highest Expectations For the School, Teachers and Students
Only the best is good enough. Quality is expected, and nothing less is acceptable. Passion for excellence is a driving force each and every day. The staff works together, pushing themselves and their students to be the best. Failure is not an option for the teacher or the students.
3. Dedicated Teachers
Teachers work to improve their ability to teach. They read and explore the techniques used by others in a never-ending effort to better themselves and their skill. Effective teaching demands that the teacher be knowledgeable in the subject area. The teachers have a detailed understanding of what is being taught.
4. Effective Discipline
Discipline is not be an issue. Students respect others and failure to do so is not tolerated. Students understand school and class rules and expectations, and adhere to them. When discipline is necessary, it is not vindictive, but just a consequence when a student does not do what is required.
5. There is a Variety of Instructional Techniques
No two classes, or two students are identical. Laurelville is effective because teachers understand this and differ instruction to best help students be successful. Key concepts are presented in ways to enable visual, auditory, and kinesthetic learners grasp it. Students are actively involved in learning with a variety of opportunities to grasp key concepts.
6. Students Individualized Needs are Met
The staff understands differences in students' abilities and needs and considers this as part of instruction and intervention. The teaching and interactions with students reflect the needs of each, with the understanding of each as an individual.
The building principal, Vicki Scott has the respect of students, parents, and staff with a vision, high expectations, and the ability to help others succeed. The school leader must be a person that can understand people, and motivate them, creating a positive attitude throughout the building. Successful schools have a sense of trust built on the back of an honest and caring leader.
Being a teacher is an amazing career with many rewards. Working in a school like this makes it even better. Each morning when I walk in the building, I am grateful to be part of something so meaningful, working with a dedicated staff, and superb students.
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