Page 18

Kelso School District

Longview Public Schools

Associate Director Teaching & Learning Lacey DeWeert

Superintendent Dan Zorn

Expanding the reach of AVID As the 2017-18 school year opens, the Kelso School District has taken big steps in regard to the implementation of AVID in some of our schools. AVID, which stands for Advancement Via Individual Determination, is a college readiness program designed to help students develop the skills they need to be successful in college. Students who choose to apply and enroll in the AVID elective class usually take it throughout their middle and high school career, and with the same group of students. AVID’s mission is to close the achievement gap by preparing all students for college readiness and success in a global society. KSD is currently in the next step of AVID implementation, which is AVID school-wide. AVID school-wide is when a strong AVID system transforms the instruction, systems, leadership, and culture of a school, ensuring college readiness for all AVID elective students and improved academic performance for all students based on increased opportunities and strong academic support. Kelso High School – Kelso High School is in its third year of AVID implementation and is leading by example for what it means to implement AVID school-wide. The belief behind taking AVID school-wide is to give every student an opportunity to gain access to rigorous coursework and study skills so every student is college or career ready upon graduation. Kelso High School currently has two AVID elective classes: Class of 2020 (current sophomores) and Class of 2021 (current freshmen). The two AVID elective classes serve 25 freshmen and 25 sophomores and assist them in: Cornell Notes, binder organization, accessing rigorous coursework, college and career planning, SAT/ACT prep, collaborative study/tutorial groups and gaining the necessary study skills to be successful in rigorous high school coursework and in their post-secondary plans. Jennifer Hamilton is the Class of 2021 AVID elective teacher and Darin Gardner is the Class of 2020 AVID elective teacher. AmeriCorps member Keila Messex is back for her second year as the tutor coordinator for Kelso High School. Laura Hiatt is the AVID site coordinator and oversees AVID at the high school. As site coordinator, Laura ensures AVID is being implemented with fidelity throughout KHS and assists in procuring resources for our AVID elective classes. One crucial step in the AVID elective class process is class tutorials. If you are interested in becoming an AVID tutor or would be interested in learning more about AVID, please contact Hamilton, jennifer.hamilton@kelsosd.org or Messex, kmessex@cowlitzamericorps.org to find out more information. Huntington Middle School – Huntington Middle School is in its second year of AVID, with this its first year with an AVID elective class. Mike Birch is the AVID elective teacher for the Class of 2023 (current seventh graders). Zoe Dieter is the AVID site coordinator at HMS. Huntington has set a building goal of every teacher consistently using Cornell Notes. The idea behind implementing Cornell Notes school-wide is to create a consistent format and expectation for how class notes are given at Huntington Middle School. This step For more Kelso Schools, see page 19 18 | Kelso Longview Business Connection | October 2017

Recapping the district's status I greatly appreciated the opportunity to participate in the recent Chamber’s State of Education luncheon. For those who were unable to attend, this month’s column provides a summary of my comments. Student Achievement Longview Public Schools have two goals: 1) Increase student achievement levels and 2) Improve climate and culture. We primarily rely on our end-of-year state assessments in reading and mathematics to measure our student achievement. Results in reading through the past three years remain relatively unchanged and below state averages. However, one exception is sophomore proficiency levels increased 15 percent over the past three years – which places them above the state average. Math performance levels also show frustratingly – little improvement. One exception is our our middle school results show a closing of the gap between our students’ performance and that of the state. To address our student achievement goals, we are working to assure that each of our classrooms, regardless of content area or grade level, provide all students regular reading, writing and discourse opportunities all of the time. We are focused on improving our instructional practices by creating clear and rigorous standards, assuring lessons are delivered to achieve the standards, increasing student engagement in lessons, and providing effective feedback to our students. Our middle and high schools teachers are using new mathematics materials, and our elementary schools are selecting new mathematics materials to be used next year. We are confident that these focused efforts will help us improve our student achievement levels. Climate and Culture To measure climate and culture in our schools, ultimately we look at graduation rates – and here we have much to celebrate. Since 2012, Longview’s graduation rate has risen more than 11 percent. The gap between our graduation rate and the state average has narrowed to within 1 percent. We are focused upon improving student connectedness to schools and are creating more elective classes for our middle and high school students. We believe that more and more-relevant elective classes help students be excited and engaged in school. We are particularly focused on increasing our students’ access to Career Technical Education (CTE/vocational) classes as we develop a seven-period class day for next year. We added to the counseling services at our middle schools, our five highest-poverty elementary schools now have “climate and culture” specialists who help with the social and emotional needs of our students, and we’ve partnered with local mental health providers to have therapists in a number of our schools. While our efforts have improved the perceptions of our teachers and students about the climate and culture in our schools, the perceptions of our parents have remained stagnant. It clear to us that we have work to do to improve our communication with the parents of the students For more Longview Schools, see page 19

October 2017 Business Connections  
October 2017 Business Connections  

Newsletter of the Kelso Longview Chamber of Commerce