A Culture of Listening at Meadow Glens
Meadow Glens Elementary School recently presented their School Improvement Plan to the Naperville 203 Board of Education. The plan, presented by Principal Katy Lynch and Assistant Principal Melissa Jankowski, focused on meeting the needs of a diverse school population. With approximately 500 students, Meadow Glens houses two of the District’s unique programs including PI+ and multi-needs classrooms.
“With a focus on all students, all teachers, and all stakeholders, this puts Meadow Glens in a better position to meet the challenging and changing demands of students, teachers, and the community at large,” said Katy Lynch, Principal of Meadow Glens.
The School Improvement Plan was developed with three guiding principles in mind to meet the needs of the diverse student population: continuity, continuous professional learning, and collaborative leadership. With these principles in mind, the school fosters a culture of listening to others before making decisions. “Everyone here listens. We observe before action,” said Mrs. Lynch. “Listening breeds empathy and strengthens our social emotional goals.”
Meadow Glens utilizes professional learning communities to further collaboration and best practices - often pooling their expertise to close the achievement gaps. Value is also placed on the feedback of all stakeholders in the evaluation of instructional programs and school practices in order to develop a plan of action addressing an obstacle that might hinder the engagement of members of the school community.
This professional collaboration is working for the students as evidenced by the number of students who have moved from meeting standards to exceeding standards on the PARCC test. Evaluation is taking place for students on the cusp of growth to determine what that student may need in their own individualized learning to take that step to the next level. Targeted trends are also evaluated to determine where focus needs to be placed at each grade level to meet the overall growth of the school community. Using a shared common language across all levels creates that consistency that fosters growth and development.
The collaboration at Meadow Glens also goes beyond the academic and focuses on the social emotional development of the students within different grade levels and programs. Students in the specialized programs have a unique opportunity to collaborate through adaptive music, art and physical education. Working with their differently-abled peers allows an interaction that is welcomed in the building.
Continuous learning is at the heart of all levels of the Meadow Glens community - from school leadership down to the students.