Scott School - Together We Can
Hugh Boger, Principal at Scott Elementary School recently presented the School Improvement Plan to the Naperville 203 Board of Education. This presentation highlighted the school’s progress towards meeting their school improvement goals.
Scott School has a total enrollment of 445 students, consisting of three classrooms per grade level and two classes of the newest Scott Eagles - 4 year old Pre-kindergartners, as part of the Preschool For All Expansion program. Scott is comprised of a diverse student body with the percentage of low income students outpacing previous years.
To achieve their school improvement goals, Scott School staff is fully committed to positively influencing the trajectory of every student through high impact instruction, social-emotional growth, and collective efficacy among staff, students, and families. Their belief is that an exemplary school ensures Every Child, Every Day, is Successful, and Together We Can!
Two years ago, Scott initially focused their school improvement goals on English Language Arts and high impact strategies associated with the research of John Hattie. In year two, Scott continued to work on high impact strategies with a specific focus on increased rigor and responsive feedback, as well as social emotional focus to be a more trauma sensitive school and to be more proactive in approach to behavior supports.
This year Scott’s direct focus of professional development is math instruction. This includes a focus on a balanced math approach to better support conceptual understanding and to create a context where students engage in problem solving activities collaboratively with peers through the discussion and exploration of math concepts and real world problems. This type of learning is also steeped with the work of Zaretta Hammond’s “Culturally Responsive Teaching and the Brain.” Scott has seen a tremendous positive impact in this approach with our primary grades since the addition of a math specialist two years ago.
Highlights of Scott School’s progress towards their goals include:
In English Language Arts, Scott’s overall proficiency, according to the Illinois Assessment of Readiness (IAR), remained steady at 60% achievement. However, school administration noticed some significant growth in a few student groups.
In math, Scott’s overall proficiency according to IAR dropped from 59% to 53%. With a focus on English Language Arts, this was not unexpected, but staff is seeing gains in student groups including a relatively substantial gain for black/African American students. In fact, the IAR data from the 2018-2019 school year represents a narrowing achievement gap for black/african american subgroup and economically disadvantaged subgroup in math and English Language Arts.
Another area of focus for Scott is attendance and the staff is taking an innovative approach to meet the needs of families. Scott School’s overall attendance has been generally in-line with the District average for the previous 5 years. However, attendance for the low income student population has generally decreased over the last 5 years. Many Scott students do not live outside the minimum distance required to be eligible for bus transportation, so students must either walk or rely on parent provided transportation. As a result, Scott created a ride sharing and a walk together program that has been in place since last year. This year, through the ingenuity of our parent led SUCCESS group, Scott also explored opportunities to get bikes for students whose attendance might improve when provided an option other than walking. Scott administration will continue to focus on ways to remove any barriers that might exist for student attendance.
Innovation is not limited to school attendance at Scott! This past summer, Scott teachers used IPads to conduct weekly “1 on 1” reading conferences, via FaceTime technology with students at risk of “summer slide” and falling even further behind their peers. The teacher and their assigned students each had copies of the same high interest books that were selected by the student through a “shopping opportunity” after school with books purchased through a Nicarico Grant. Teachers were paid with NEF Before/After School Program Funds. Nearly 70% of the students showed NO SUMMER SLIDE or even grew!
Every morning the Scott School community spends one mindfulness minute together - focusing on the present. Scott staff believes that every child can be successful every day and “Together We Can.”