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(904) 924-3722


October 2012 August 2012

Featured Article:


From “F” to “A” the Woodson Way Page 2


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International Walk to School Day at Enterprise Elementary

Highlands Middle Team at Open House

Northwestern Beautification


Principal Focus: From “F” to “A” the Woodson Way By Carla Taylor, School Improvement Specialist “I know that all parents want the best for their community she was now serving. children, and that many are not willing to place their In 2007, Woodson was identified by the state as an children in schools they believe they are entitled to. I “F” school. Mrs. Quarles-Gaston was brought in also know that those personal choices pose a threat from John Love (a school she had guided from a “C” to public education because increasingly, those with to just 8 points from an “A”) and was charged with resources and privilege are opting out of public turning the school around. She brought with her education, and as they do, they leave the system people she knew shared her work ethic and her more segregated and bereft of those who have the belief, “It’s all about the children.” One of those wherewithal to insist upon quality.” Pedro Noguera people was the head custodian, Mr. Cedric Stroy. The sentiments in this quote echo the beliefs of Mrs. Quarles-Gaston knew that Mr. Stroy would Principal Cheryl Quarles-Gaston of Carter G. embrace the new school, the students and Woodson Elementary and are the basis for the community as whole in a way that would make her change that has occurred since she became job easier. She knew she could count on him to principal at the school. Mrs. Quarles-Gaston and guide and mentor the children and build a positive her leadership team embraced a belief in Equity rapport with the faculty and staff. So with the help that helped move them from Turnaround status to a of the individuals she brought from John Love and Reward school with an “A” grade. Mrs. Quarlesthe dedicated staff at Carter G. Woodson, Mrs. Gaston, upon entering Woodson in 2007, knew Quarles-Gaston set out to create the change she that the students who were “left behind” deserved hoped would make the difference for her school. the same resources and opportunities that were After her first year, Woodson made more than 70 being offered with other choice options. The points in learning gains, moving from an “F” to a survival of public schools rests on their ability to “D,” followed by three consecutive years of earning provide the same level of instruction and a “C.” During that time, Mrs. Quarles-Gaston preparation, not because it was a competition, but implemented policies and procedures that affected because it is what is best for the children. What she the culture of the school, like school uniforms and a didn’t know was how the triage of strategies she dress code for parents/guardians entering the intended to implement was going to make the school. difference for the children, parents and the 2

Principal Focus: From “F” to “A” the Woodson Way By Carla Taylor, School Improvement Specialist She overcame barriers of low attendance to afterschool and Saturday enrichment programs by providing transportation. She addressed the lack of motivation at FCAT testing time by offering cash incentives to those students scoring 3 or higher. The plan was so successful that with the help of business partners, she was able to give away more than $10,000! With the decision to become a Medical Magnet school came a renewed effort to ramp up the school’s curriculum with relevant, rigorous instruction based on inquiry, accountable talk and the Common Core Standards. Although moving her school from an “F” to a “C” was a tremendous accomplishment, Mrs. QuarlesGaston knew her students had the capacity to take their school much farther. Instead of looking outside the school for the latest software or learning strategy, she decided the faculty and staff needed to look within for ways to help their school achieve at their highest level, which leads back to Pedro Noguera. Mrs. Quarles-Gaston had an opportunity to hear Mr. Noguera speak on Equity and the Opportunity Gap and one point stuck with her, “do what you can for the children between 8:00 am and 3:00 pm and stop with the blame game.” Mrs. Quarles-Gaston knew that the students, parents and teachers who remained at Carter G. Woodson Elementary deserved success and it was up to the school staff to help them realize it. With the help of

the leadership team, including assistant principal Katie Adkins, they began facilitating professional learning for the faculty, focused on discovering personal biases and beliefs and how those feelings may affect the way they teach their students. Mrs. Quarles-Gaston got many of her ideas from the book, “Using Equity Audits in the Classroom to Reach and Teach All Students,” by Katherine B. McKenzie and Linda E. Skria. She even used the book as part of a voluntary book study last year with her faculty. The conversations that came from this “look within” strategy have made a huge impact on the “Woodson Way” of reaching and teaching all of their students. The result of this hard work and thoughtful reflection is evident on the 2011-12 FCAT. The students of Carter G. Woodson made 92 learning gain points, with 95% of the students making gains in reading. The students, faculty, and staff have done what Mrs. Quarles-Gaston knew they could do: make Carter G. Woodson an “A” school.


The DA Checklist – Quick Learning Guide By Raymond Carver, School Improvement Specialist The DA Checklist can be quite confusing – Evidence of Compliance, Compliance, Non-Compliance, Strategies to Attain Compliance, Person Responsible, and Expected Date of Completion. What do all of these topics mean? How do you know what constitutes compliance, what evidence is acceptable, which columns should be completed, and when is it due? Please follow these guidelines to find the answers to these questions and ease the task of completing the DA Checklist.


What is the Evidence of Compliance



3 4



dear Dr. Watson?

 The State gives good guidance under DA Requirements and Deliverables 1  The key here is to list actual evidence that you have that illustrates that the school is meeting the expectations as defined under the DA Requirements and Deliverables sections. o The evidence then should go under the respective tab in your DA Notebook or notate in the DA Notebook where the evidence can be found. Compliance Status


to be or not to be – that is the question.

 Select Compliance when you have evidence of the deliverable or requirement following the guidelines stated above. o If compliance is stopped during the year, Non-Compliance will need to be selected.  Mark Non-Compliance when you do not have evidence of the deliverable. 4  Don’t mark anything if the compliance date is in the future (e.g., mid-year Report, mid-year staffing)

The DA Checklist – Quick Learning Guide By Raymond Carver, School Improvement Specialist The formation of Strategies to Obtain Compliance


 This section should be completed when Non-Compliance is checked or if nothing is checked.  Use the DA Requirements and Deliverables as guidance.  Ask yourself – What needs to be done to obtain compliance? Then summarize that into a brief description. Who should be the Person Responsible?  


This section should be completed only when Non-Compliance is checked or nothing is checked. The person responsible should be able to monitor and direct the process to become and maintain compliance.

Predicting the Expected Date of Completion  


This section should be only completed when Non-Compliance is checked or nothing is checked. Usually, the State indicates a due date in the Requirements or Deliverable section. o If not, then it is advisable to use a realistic date when the requirement or deliverable is expected to be completed.

The following is some extra guidance with the DA Checklist:   

If you are Compliant, sections 4 5 6 don’t have to be completed. Make sure you have the Evidence. 2 Please completely fill out the header section of the DA Checklist. The State requires monthly updates to the checklist, and the updates must be uploaded to under the last tab in the SIP template titled Part III: Final Budget & Compliances – Differentiated Accountability. o Updates are due the end of each month -- *remember to update the date in the header. o The Office of School Improvement will periodically check your monthly uploads and DA Notebook  If you do not have a complete DA Notebook, contact the Office of School Improvement. If you have any questions, contact the Office of School Improvement at (904)924-3722.


Does More School Time Result in Increased Student Performance? By Nikesha White, Reporting Specialist Researchers around the nation will insist that extending the school year or school day will result in increased student performance. Some research supports this and some does not. What do you think? Schools across the nation are faced with a crisis in education with students performing lower than students in other global economies. Policymakers are burning the midnight oil trying to fix the state of our educational system. All over the country school districts are researching best practices trying to find a remedy to fix the problem. One strategy that has become widespread is providing students additional instruction by extending the school year or school day. By extending the school day, students are given more instructional time in core content academics such as reading, math or science. In return, schools are hoping for an increase in student performance on district and state assessments. As educators, we want our students to obtain grade level skills in order for them to be successful in school and beyond. Therefore we are in support of strategies or initiatives that promote increasing students’ knowledge. So we have to ask does more school time equal more learning resulting in increased student performance. Research findings suggest extending the school day can be an effective way to support student learning, particularly those students at risk of failing. Currently,

Duval County Public Schools has seventeen schools extending their school day. Thirteen of these schools fall under requirements in the School Improvement Grant (SIG) which requires elementary schools to extend the day for 60 minutes and 45 minutes in middle and high schools, while the remaining four schools are required to do so under the ruling for the 100 lowest performing elementary schools in the state. Their school day has been extended by 60 minutes due to low performance on the state reading assessment. The additional time for SIG schools was determined based on the goals set forth in the grant; however the extra hour for the schools falling under the state’s ruling has to be reading. The Government Accountability Office (GAO) surveyed states on their experience with the implementation of SIG. They found that 26 states said they didn’t think they would be able to sustain the program’s extended learning time reforms after the grant expires. Only 10 said they would be able to keep it. Federal funding is a huge factor in implementing the extended time schools are receiving and a question to ponder is this, if more school time truly resulted in more learning, will the programs continue to be funded? If all stakeholders expect increases in students’ performance, why would we allow a lack of funding to stop students from accelerating? As the research suggests, adequate funding is essential to maintain the additional time.


Does More School Time Result in Increased Student Performance? (cont.) By Nikesha White, Reporting Specialist It also states the instructional time has to be used effectively in order to produce the desired learning outcomes. The time should include focused instruction which should be designed based on students’ need after careful review of their data. Specific goals should be determined and outlined which address the needs of the population of students being targeted. What additional materials or curriculum will be used? How will the time be structured? Are we utilizing our time effectively? Also, are the teachers and administrators committed? Do we have the support of our parents and community? Will the students become burned out by the testing season? These are just a few questions that should be considered. All of our schools have shown some type of increase in student achievement and an outstanding job in utilizing the additional time. Some have even received local accolades for turning around a school in one year. Is it safe to say that the increase in student performance was solely due to an extension of the school day? Could it be that our administrators, coaches and teachers have gotten proficient at targeting our students and instructing them based on the data? All of these are possible factors and no one could possibly say one is not contingent upon the other. There have been reported benefits of providing students more instructional time. More instruction in those targeted core content areas

could possibly result in higher state assessment scores, which results in increased student performance, resulting further in a decrease in the number of lower performing schools. The connection between extending the school day and learning is not forthright and the argument is very compelling. Positive results could be directly related to the extended school day or the fact that educators are fine tuning their craft. However, it may in fact depend on how effective the learning time is being utilized. Are we really focused on student learning? Is it a waste of taxpayers’ dollars? Are we engaging students and making learning fun? Are best practices being utilized or are we doing what we THINK is best? We can conclude that time is necessary for all things and the more time we have the better we become. Since we have been granted additional instructional time for each child that walks through our doors we have to do what is best which is to provide a high quality educational opportunity that will inspire all students to acquire and use the knowledge and skills needed to succeed in a global economy and culturally diverse world; and that is doing what is best for all children.

"Even if you're on the right track, you'll get run over if you just sit there." Will Rogers


Increase Student Achievement with Florida’s Continuous Improvement Model By Teresa Logan, District Level Resource Ever wish there was a guaranteed way to increase student achievement? There is! It’s called the Florida Continuous Improvement Model or FCIM. FCIM is a proven, evidencebased practice that provides schools a process to use assessment results to improve teaching and learning. The evidence base for FCIM incorporates Effective Schools Correlates, Total Quality Management (TQM), Baldrige Core Educational Values, and the Continuous Improvement Model (CIM) developed by Dr. Gerald Anderson and Patricia Davenport based on their experiences in Brazosport, Texas and explained in the book: Closing the Achievement Gap: No Excuses (2002). FCIM guides schools through a series of steps designed to target lowperforming academic areas for the purpose of providing

additional focused instruction and to increase student achievement.

Benchmark, FAIR) to determine strengths and weaknesses of student performance in order to identify the lowest-performing benchmarks or skills that need additional instruction. 2. Instructional Focus Calendar – development of a time frame with specific dates identified to conduct Focus Lessons, Mini-Assessment, and Tutorials/Enrichment activities designed to strengthen the targeted benchmarks. Usually an FCIM cycle is completed in 510 days, but it may vary depending on the academic intensity required.

FCIM is part of the Multi-Tiered System of Support (MTSS) /Response to Instruction/ Intervention (RtI) and is designed to be implemented with Tier I instruction (academic and behavior/social-emotional).Tier 1 instruction includes the district’s Core Curriculum and Standards (i.e., Next Generation Sunshine State/NGSSS, Common Core State Standards) and is designed for “ALL” students. FCIM COMPONENTS FCIM is based on the Plan, Do, Check, Act (PDCA) cycle. PDCA concepts are simplistic, but highly effective. The components of the FCIM process are organized by PDCA in the following manner: PLAN 1. Data Disaggregation – regular analysis of assessment data (e.g.,

DO 3. Instructional Focus Lessons – thoughtfully planned and explicit instruction on targeted benchmarks featured on the Instructional Focus Calendar. Lessons may be conducted daily for 10-15 minutes.


Increase Student Achievement with Florida’s Continuous Improvement Model By Teresa Logan, District Level Resource CHECK 4. Mini-Assessment – short assessment of benchmark or skill featured in Focus Lessons to determine student mastery or nonmastery. Various MiniAssessments may be used (e.g., Pearson’s Insight, 5. Maintenance – periodic activities designed to strengthen previously taught benchmarks to ensure mastery is maintained (e.g., reviews, learning centers, engaging games, warm up, teachable moments). 6. Monitoring – continual oversight of the implementation of FCIM to ensure that all components are implemented with fidelity and that student achievement is increased.

ACT 7. Tutorials and Enrichment – enrichment activities are assigned to students who demonstrate mastery on the Mini-Assessment to fortify their understanding of the targeted benchmark and tutorials are conducted with students who do not demonstrate mastery to ensure they obtain critical understanding of the benchmark and grade level content. Tutorial students are re-assessed to check that mastery is finally met.

For more information on FCIM, please contact your Office of School Improvement at 904-924-3722

Engaging in Problem Solving Entails: 

Accessing and accurately interpreting data

Planning purposeful and data-driven meetings where tasks are systematically assigned and processes followed

Reviewing data to refine and adjust practices

Creating school-based infrastructure to support all learners (e.g., common planning, time for intervention /enrichment, etc.)

Setting goals and monitoring progress towards goals


Customer Service – Helping You Meet Your Goals The Office of School Improvement is dedicated to providing you with excellent customer service. Our goal is to make sure you have the timely support needed to meet each of your goals. Our website is . On the website you will find reference guides to assist you with school improvement processes. If you need a school improvement expert to connect with your school, there is a contact request form on the website as well. Click here to access the form. Anyone in the district can request school improvement services by using the online form or by calling (904)924-3722. Currently there are 12 service categories you can select from:         

DA - Differentiated Accountability requirements Data Analysis - support with all aspects of data analysis FCIM - Florida’s Continuous Improvement Model support and training FLDOE - Support with state compliance Monitoring Plans and Processes - Methods of ensuring that improvement is occurring Professional Development - Face to face or online professional learning opportunities SAC - School Advisory Council support SIG - School Improvement Grant support SIP Implementation - School Improvement Plan

  

development, implementation and monitoring Title I Support Services - Support and enhanced Professional Development Turnaround - Funding and volunteer assistance Other - Support needed in other areas of school improvement

DUE DATES October 1 SIPs due to cluster leader October 19 Final approved SIPs uploaded into the template at October 19 Final SAC rosters, bylaws August/September minutes due to the Office of School Improvement November 5 School Board Meeting including approval of SIPs and SACs 10th of Each Month SAC minutes for the previous month should be emailed to 10

Office of School Improvement Team Lillie B. Granger, Ph.D. Executive Director (904) 924-3728

Niki Micheau Supervisor (904) 924-3722 ext 262

Pat Carley Coordinator (904) 924-3722 ext 264

Raymond Carver, Ed.D. Specialist, Data Analyst (904) 924-3722 ext 251

Patricia Conner Specialist, Data Analyst (904) 924-3722 ext 255

Teresa Logan Specialist, Restructuring (904) 924-3722 ext 246

Vontrena Myers Specialist, Reporting (904) 924-3722 ext 191

Darren Smith Specialist, Data Analyst (904) 924-3722 ext 253

Carla Taylor Specialist, Reporting (904) 924-3722 ext 258


Cheryl Taylor Specialist, Data Analyst (904) 924-3722 ext 254

Nikesha White Specialist, Reporting (904) 924-3722 ext 250

School Improvement Suite Northwestern Middle School School Mail: 3155A – OSI 2100 West 45th Street Jacksonville, Florida 32209 Office: (904)924-3722


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DCPS School Improvement Newsletter – October  
DCPS School Improvement Newsletter – October  

The Duval County Office of School Improvement uses different means of communication to keep principals, school staff, district staff and the...