Friday, October 31, 2014
As we get ready for a new year, and we look forward to watching a new set of students grow and learn, I once again am reflecting on the processes we utilize to ensure student achievement. If it seems we are a hodge-podge of techniques and initiatives, and we move from one to another each year, then I feel you may be missing the boat on how they all fit together and mesh into a cohesive educational approach. I believe we are based in four major educational approaches: PLC, Curriculum Mapping, Data Analysis, and Relationships.
1. Professional Learning Communities provides the philosophy and platform necessary for teachers to collaborate and
engage in dialogue to improve student achievement.
2. Curriculum Mapping keeps our collaboration and dialogue focused on curricula data and enhances "what" we teach
our students, "when" we teach them, "how" we teach them, and "why" we teach them what we teach.
3. Data Analysis allows us to make sound decisions based on evidence of student performance. Student
assessment data, attendance data, and curriculum data provide direction. The key to remember on data is it must be
used to truly be effective.
4. Building relationships with our students is the first and most important task we are charged with. OUR STUDENTS
are what we are all about. Showing them we care about them as a person is the key to unlocking the potential they
possess inside.
There is one final component to our educational approach. Great Expectations encompasses all of the above. Think of it as the binding or glue that holds all the pieces together. As you review the 17 practices, you will notice how much they fit into the above approaches.

So as we prepare for this new, exciting year, lets focus on creating a wonderful learning environment here at Etta Dale. Our collaborative efforts, focused on curriculum, centered around sound data will set the table for authentic student learning. Our relationships we establish with them will then allow them to engage in learning experiences leading them to acquire those skills they need to succeed in the 21st Century.