CMS’s School Improvement Plan: What You Need to Know

In September, we brought you information about Colchester Middle School’s plan to develop solutions for its identification status based upon the results of the New England Common Assessment Program (NECAP) assessments.

The 2011–2012 School Improvement Plan (SIP) is now written, and as a reminder to parents of CMS students and interested community members, there will be a parent information night about it (and a few other related items) in the CMS cafeteria this evening (Thursday, November 17) from 6:00-7:30 p.m. This is an opportunity for the community to see the SIP, look at reading and math data results, and understand how these efforts are linked to the Colchester School District’s Strategic Plan. Those in attendance will learn about some of the positive shifts in practice CMS is implementing in the interest of student learning and engagement. Superintendent Waters, Director of Curriculum and Instruction Carmolli, and Principal Gruss will lead the discussion, and refreshments will be served.

Additionally, information about the implemented plan’s progress will be sent to parents electronically and will be posted on Colchester Middle School’s website on a quarterly basis.

The high points of what you need to know about the plan are as follows:

* It is currently being implemented;
* It has been designed to use hard data in facilitating decision-making regarding individual students and the entire school community;
* It contains very specific strategies and expected outcomes; and
* It includes built-in time lines for internal assessment and for maintaining accountability.

In addition to improving test scores, another major initiative at the school is to build a much more positive climate for the students, families, and staff. CMS is working with Dr. David Ritter, a psychologist in private practice and in association with the Vermont Association of School Psychologists, to redesign the concept and structure of the CMS’s Planning Room—moving away from a model that has traditionally been driven by consequences and more toward one centering around opportunities for learning.

CMS is also working to support changes to the school’s professional structure. In addition to ongoing staff trainings through such resources as the Teacher Learning Center and the Vermont Department of Education, CMS is also working closely with Dr. Matthew Moehle on strength-based approaches to education.

Please join us for the parent information night. For more information, please e-mail CMS Principal Dawn Gruss or call (802) 264-5800.

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