Student achievement plans presented to school board

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Photo by Todd Cutler New teachers were welcomed and introduced at the Aug. 16 WJUSD Board meeting.

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Winters school administrators shared plans and current actions for student achievement with the Board of Trustees at the Aug. 16 Winters Joint Unified School Board meeting. Winters Elementary schools Principal Greg Moffitt said, “Failing to plan is planning to fail.” Moffitt said staff at Waggoner Elementary and Shirley Rominger Intermediate schools decided they wanted to update their student achievement goals to reflect that all students must be reading, writing and understanding math at or above grade level. WES staff came together to create new activities for their students and has already started to make changes in their approach to this year’s goals. “We need to believe all of them can achieve, and we need to believe that we can and will help them,” Moffitt said. Winters Middle School Principal John Barsotti presented they are making better connections between support and interventions for students. Some WMS staff attended the National MTSS (Multi-Tiered System of Supports) Conference in Sacramento in July and took away the idea that it’s better to over support than to undersupport. Currently 134 WMS students are receiving support in intervention classes. “That’s 40 percent of our student body,” said Barsotti. “That is a significant number of our population of students who are under grade level.” Actions include dedicating time on Wednesdays to give access to support and interventions and to implement universal terms and phrases, determined by grade level, for all WMS teachers to utilize in classes. “What was going to benefit a specific group of students will now support all students,” said Barsotti. He also presented actions in ELD will focus on reteaching and pre-teaching content in the Amplify curriculum. The goal is to help groups of students who aren’t at grade level to get to grade level, and to reclassify these students and expose them to what they’ll be learning at the next step so they’re better prepared. Barsotti said WMS staff will also be making changes to their college and career readiness opportunities by being the role models and adjusting how they say things to convey that college is a real opportunity and inspiring students. “It’s not just about events. It’s what we do and how we behave on a daily basis,” said Barsotti. “ We want to role model and show students things they can do. Something that can be done daily and embedded into lessons.” Winters High School Principal Nicole Reyherme said the high school’s School Improvement Plan for Student Achievement (SIPSA) is intertwined with their ACS WASC (Accrediting Commission for Schools, Western Association of Schools and Colleges) accreditation assessment this year. Every six years WASC does a school wide study. Through the WASC process they’ll collect data on programs to find strengths and to provide ways to fix deficiencies. “At the last meeting it (WASC) points out what is glaring and what needs to be changed.” said Reyherme. She presented their  first goal is to continue to improve student achievement in English and math. Some of the actions are aligned in creating access to the new Springboard curriculum and digital math resources. Reyherme said all four of the WHS English teachers will attend a conference to learn how to use the new curriculum because it is how the Cal State universities expect students to write. Their second goal is to continue to grow their Explore program and bring college and career readiness opportunities to students. The third goal is to continue to support student socially, emotionally and academically. Matt Moran, Wolfskill high school teacher in charge, said WASC will be the site’s driver as this upcoming February is Wolfskill’s three year WASC review. Moran said actions they’re continuing with include identifying and posting content objectives and skills goals so students can see what they are expected learn and presented so they will be able to understand. When we look at a student’s achievement and there’s a deficiency there’s an issue with our curriculum and/or how we present it,” said Moran. A concern is some Wolfskill students aren’t retaining skills from not just over summer, but also from month to month. Moran said they’re putting an assessment plan in place and will provide EL support in classroom to assist students who are struggling. Action items they’re taking this year include a weekly article reading and writing program and a shift to having students execute projects they can learn from during the process. “English and social studies are combined. Literature is being used to teach social studies, and social studies is being used to look at English standards,” said Moran. “It’s an exciting time to work at the new Wolfskill.” District Job Classification and Compensation Study WJUSD Superintendent Todd Cutler presented that a district-wide job classification and compensation analysis was being performed for the current 65 job classifications in the school district. There’s a potential to work up to 75 with other positions as they are added. The superintendent position is the only one not included in the analysis. Cutler said the district has continued working with the Winters Area Education Association and that WJUSD jobs are some of the lowest incomes in the area. “There’s need to create more competitive and comparable jobs. [We] need to be able to compete with other district salaries,” said Cutler. Veronica Moreno, WJUSD Chief Business Officer, added the staffing challenges they have faced have impacted the district. “We take our staff concerns very seriously,” said Moreno. New Staff Introduction and Site Highlights Winters school principals shared highlights from the first week of school and new staff members were introduced to the Board of Trustees. In all, 14 new staff members were welcomed to WJUSD so far this school year. Bea Jordan, the Winters State Preschool Center Director, said their program has 34 children enrolled and had two more currently in the process. Jordan said they have been working on creating more visibility for the new joint site for the preschool program and Head Start by hanging new signs. The new name of the joint site is the WJUSD Early Childhood Education Center. Moffitt shared Winters Elementary school highlights include embracing literacy with a free book giveaway at the beginning of school and Facebook Live Read-Alouds. “We don’t want them to just learn how to read, but we want them to love reading,” said Moffitt. “We also want them to love school.” WES is also working to create a positive environment for students and staff with the start of the Winters Elementary Good News Call Home every day for one student to brag about what a great person he/she is, and a “Praise while you Print” stations where staff can send notes to each other. Moffitt said being able to celebrate staff helps to support students. Barsotti introduced the addition of eight new staff members and said their energy has really helped to make the start of the year a positive one. He shared that WMS veteran teachers are mentoring new ones and the partnership dynamics has been valuable. “It’s great when new people aren’t afraid to ask questions,” said Barsotti. Moran shared that the 21 students enrolled this year have embraced the new instructional and cultural changes. “The new approach is allowing us to reach students in new ways,” said Moran. The Link Crew orientation was a success at WHS. “Both freshman students and parents have mentioned it’s a powerful program,” said Reyherme. She also shared that the new student leadership this year as an all male team. “They’re doing awesome and bringing new ideas,” said Reyherme. “It’s a new and innovative way to get our school culture on campus.” The high school is engaging staff and students with class competition and staff team competitions year-long. Other Items – The Board unanimously approved to accept a $31,000 donation from Autos for Autism for the districts special education department and a $1,000 donation from EPI LLC. to use on supplies for staff training and teacher incentives. – JoAnn May, WAEA President, shared updated of Winters teachers who attended staff development opportunities from over the summer.]]>

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