Park View Has “Got Learning”

Submitted by carrie.vannosdol on Mon, 05/03/2010 - 11:31

At Park View, learning is not an option. Teachers have committed themselves to making sure all students learn at high levels. This motto is not only on their shirts, it is in their instruction and in their hearts.

“We want all students to learn at high levels,” says Principal Kristie Reynolds. “According to RTI (Response to Intervention) principles, children are non-learners either because of motivation or ability. We want to make accommodations to reach both types of learners.”

Teachers in grade level teams do everything they can to ensure learning takes place. They build common assessments to test mastery of concepts taught within curricular units. If students have not mastered the material, they are re-taught a different way in a smaller setting. “Last year, we had many more students not master critical math concepts,” says 2nd grade team member, Laura McAllister. “This year, by giving common assessments and doing daily re-teach, enrich, and extend groups, almost all of the students know every math concept required for second grade.”

Mrs. Reynolds has also implemented a new homework program called D.A.R.E. which stands for Doing Assignments Required Every day. Researchers from University of New Hampshire found that parental involvement has a strong, positive effect on student achievement. “Parental effort is consistently associated with higher levels of achievement, and the magnitude of the effect of parental effort is substantial. We found that schools would need to increase per-pupil spending by more than $1,000 in order to achieve the same results that are gained with parental involvement.”

Mrs. Reynolds kicked off the DARE program with a motivational assembly. If students turn in their homework 100% of the time, they earn the right to be in the DARE Club. They also earn a fun party as a reward. Those that miss a day of homework can go to the daily homework lab called DARE. Teachers and parent volunteers help students finish up their work, listen to them read, or re-teach concepts that are still difficult to understand. When asked to identify the reasoning behind DARE, Reynolds responded, “I will always be the advocate for all kids, especially the underdog. I truly believe all students can learn. We just need to find the right way to teach them and take some time to do it.”

It seems that is just what all of the staff at Park View is doing…acknowledging emphatically that their school has “got”learning.