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School Improvement Plan

2020-2021 School-Wide Improvement Plan

Stake Holders

The Schoolwide Improvement Plan requires the involvement of parents, members of the community, teachers, principals, paraprofessionals, administrators, and other school leaders. As applicable, also includes tribes and tribal organizations, specialized instructional support personnel, technical assistance providers, school staff, and students (Secondary Schools).

Please list stakeholders who were involved in the comprehensive needs assessment with a description of their position. Include teachers, principals, parents, and other school leaders.

Stakeholder Name    
Debbie Dawson, Principal  
Larry Nigro, Assistant Principal  
Brent Becker, Instructional Coach  
Mellisa Pitman, Teacher  
Melissa Sharp-Cornell, Teacher  
Miller Broner, Teacher  
Kimberly Hyde, Teacher   
Shannon Anderson, 21st Coordinator  
Rachel Schaefer, Teacher  
Heather Roehr, Resource Officer  



School Leadership Team

The Leadership Team meets monthly and consists of representatives from all grade levels, departments, administration, classified staff, and parent representatives. The chair of the committee is the Principal, who sets the agenda based on input from the team leaders. Decisions are made based on the Leadership team's input and feedback provided by the groups that they represent. Minutes are taken and maintained at the building level and available for review. The data used for decision-making is gathered from a variety of sources including assessment data, exit ticket surveys, and qualitative observations based on situational evaluation. Applicable information will go to the appropriate stakeholders.



School and Community

The Emmett School District is located in rural Gem County. Gem County has seen many changes to its economic base over the last 20 years. Over the last century, the Gem County economy was based on agriculture and natural resources. The Boise Cascade lumber mill closed its doors in 2003. Many of the fruit orchards in the county have disappeared over the last 20 years and have been replaced with residential neighborhoods. The Emmett School District is now the largest employer in the county. Along with these changes the national economy is just emerging from a decade-long recession. Gem County has a poverty rate of 18% and a median household income of $40,828.
Many of our students come from a background of poverty and parents who do not have college educations. This impacts the student’s ability to access information and get support at home. Over the last 10 years, the school district has addressed these issues by adding additional after-school support programs and providing access to student learning through technology. A blended learning model is being implemented district-wide to provide all students with an opportunity for engaging and quality learning.



Academic Achievement

Students grades 5-8 are administered the STAR benchmark test once each trimester. All students scoring in the lowest 25th percentile are discussed regularly at the school-level Response to Intervention Team to design, assess, and increase the frequency and intensity of interventions being used. The ISAT is administered in the Fall and Spring to students in grades 3 - 10. Reading and Math are assessed for all grades. Additionally, Science is assessed in grades 5, 7, and 10. When the data are released in late summer, the administrative team meets to evaluate the information and perform a needs assessment based on the summative data. One universal concern suggested by the data is the need to incorporate writing more effectively across the curriculum.



Student Learning Needs

We utilize our RTI process to identify individual student deficiencies. We implement interventions such as SuccessMaker, extra time and support, or other targeted interventions. Based on data from our summer Admin data meetings, STAR, IRI, and Journeys data, we identified a root cause of a writing deficiency. We were below the state average on the ISAT, In reaction, our district identified writing as a goal, and we developed a plan within our building to address student writing needs. The goal will be measured using our spring ISAT and fall DWA scores.



Core Curriculum

Curriculum materials are uniform throughout the district. At secondary, Collections (from HMH) for English Language Arts and Pearson Math for 6th, 7th, and 8th grade. In addition, approved curriculum materials are used for dual credit classes. These materials are aligned with the requirements of the sponsoring university or college. Curriculum materials for science, social studies, and other electives are varied and have been approved at the district level.
As adoptions have been purchased over the last seven years, all materials have been vetted through a Curriculum Committee (in alignment with Board Policy). This process includes a review of scientific evidence to ensure that the materials have proven reliability and validity for the purpose under consideration.
Curriculum has been written and pacing guides have been established for all core content classes. These are updated every summer based on teacher input and student achievement data. These calendars provide a timeline and list of content for each day or week. This ensures fidelity within courses, grade levels, and teachers. Fidelity is monitored with the assistance of the principals and building-level instructional coaches as they do both walk-throughs and longer observations. Teachers are expected to be within a few days of the pacing guide to ensure consistency for students who may move between buildings or classrooms.



Core Instruction

All teachers are assigned to a Professional Learning Community and they have early release time every Wednesday to review student achievement and input to focus on formative assessments, grouping,
Interventions, and data to inform instruction.



Alignment of Teaching and Learning

Emmett Independent School District has a goal of building a rich Professional Learning Community throughout the district. To this end, the District has provided cross-disciplinary teams with time and support to work together to help students succeed in challenging academic and career/technical studies. Teachers meet weekly in Professional Learning Communities for the purpose of analyzing student data and making team-wide instructional decisions. Data may include screening data, progress monitoring data, curriculum-based assessments, classroom assessments, and course grades. Teachers also meet regularly (weekly) as grade level or subject teams to plan the curriculum that will be taught and to make agreements on assessments.



Universal Screening

Essential to the implementation of RTI is the concept of Universal Screening. Universal screening means that we review the progress of all students toward meeting state standards using formal and informal methods three times a year. Every student in every building is screened annually in the fall, winter, and spring. Research-based screening tools include the Idaho Reading Indicator (IRI), Test of Early Literacy (TEL), Test of Early Numeracy (TEN), and STAR reading and math assessments through Renaissance Learning. Students are also screened annually using the WIDA tool to identify English Learners. Normed cut-scores are used to identify students requiring intensive or strategic interventions.

Universal screening data is shared with each classroom teacher as well as the building RTI team to determine the accuracy of data and instruction, adjust decision rules, and implement data-based procedures. Universal screening data, along with progress monitoring data, is documented using Mileposts software from Silverback Learning Solutions and reviewed weekly in building RTI meetings. Individual student data is shared with parents/guardians after each testing period and periodically throughout the school year. By regularly screening students for progress toward state standards we reduce the number of students falling behind and identify students with disabilities early.



Tiered Instruction and Academic Interventions

We use the STAR reading and math assessment for sixth through eighth grade. As a part of our Standard Protocol Method for academic interventions, regardless of the school, all students who score in or below the 25th percentile in reading or math are evaluated for Tier 3 or Tier 2 placement as appropriate. Students in Tier 3 interventions are progress monitored every week using AIMSweb probes aligned to their area of need. Students in Tier 2 interventions are progress monitored bi-weekly in a similar manner.

Progress monitoring data, including the duration, frequency, interventionist, and specific materials used, is tracked using Mileposts software from Silverback Learning Solutions for each identified child. This provides a document for discussion with parents including identifying the area of concern and offering the opportunity to understand the specific intervention and the related components. In addition, it outlines how their child’s progress will be tracked and provides documentation of the process. As students demonstrate success in the intervention with three or more data points above the aim line, their progress will be reviewed for possible transition out of their intervention through the RTI team processes. Parents/guardians are contacted by the classroom teacher and proposed changes are discussed. Agreed-upon adjustments are noted in the progress monitoring chart(s) and Plan.

One of the foundational components of the RTI system in the Emmett School District is the use of scientific, research-based materials for both the core instruction and interventions. Every Kindergarten through fifth-grade classroom has a scheduled core instructional block of 90 minutes each day with an intervention block of 30 minutes at least four out of five days each week. Support for students learning English is provided as a part of the RTI protocols and student progress is monitored in the same way to ensure growth. Partnerships between ELL staff and classroom teachers occur within the PLC teams to demonstrate alignment resulting in maximized student growth. This aligns with research and identified best practices for effective core and intervention instruction. The Response to Intervention (RTI) process in the district uses data-based processes to provide diagnostic and prescriptive interventions according to our standard protocol methods. Depending on student needs, these targeted interventions could be pull-out or in-classroom. Group size and the assignment of staff to provide the intervention are determined by the need and the requirements of the intervention.

Progress is monitored using the graphing capabilities in Mileposts. Each student has a chart created that indicates their starting point, and end goal, and monitors progress along the way. The graph then creates an aimline that would allow the child to reach their target at the end of the intervention or year. A trendline was also created as data points were added on a weekly or biweekly basis. Data is reviewed during weekly scheduled RTI meetings if a student falls three points below their aim line. At that time, decision lines are added as needed to indicate changes to content, group size, teacher, or daily length of session to improve the child’s progress.



Learning Time

We have a six-period day of 59-minute periods. Study Skills courses are provided for students in grades 6-8 We also provide students time for extra help after school 4 days a week. Students who do not complete the requirements for grades 7 and 8 are offered summer school and credit recovery coursework.



Non-Academic Student Needs

We offer homework club after school 4 days a week along with the 21st Century Schools Program to give students additional enrichment activities. We have a Sources of Strength student group that provides activities for our students weekly.



Well-rounded Education

We offer our students a variety of elective courses including; Technology, Teen Living, Art, Band, Music, Drama, PE, and Computer Science, as well as club time once a month. There are also regular academic team competitions, a robotics/tech club, and athletic teams.



Additional Opportunities For Learning

The Emmett School District has several programs and processes in place to address additional opportunities for student learning. At the middle school level students are introduced to the Idaho Career Information System to help students begin thinking about possible career opportunities. Eighth-grade students also do a campus tour at a local university to get them thinking about the possibilities available through post-secondary studies. Beginning in the 7th grade our students can begin taking high school credits through online coursework. As they progress into high school there are several concurrent enrollment courses available for students to take during the school day. At the high school level, students also have opportunities to pursue career and technical certifications through programs offered through our technical academy.



School Transitions

We hold a parent information meeting in the Spring for students and parents to complete their 4-year plan and tour the high school. Staff and student leaders from the high school are there to introduce them to the high school. We also hold a parent night for parents and students of 4th and 5th-grade students who will be transitioning to middle school. We have staff and students there to introduce them to the middle school process. or transitioning students from elementary school to middle school, and high school the schools conduct a transition meeting that includes both the school’s administration and special education teachers and parents, if available. The team discusses each student’s needs.



Professional Development

High-quality, school-based professional development opportunities are provided monthly via Staff Meetings and weekly via the Staff Bulletin. The District provides beginning-of-the-year, mid-year, and end-of-year professional development based on our data, mission, and goals. Professional Learning Plans are required for all staff and submitted to the building administrator who reviews them and can gather information on what professional development is needed. Instructional Coaches are assigned to every teacher in the district to support teachers in their professional growth.



Family and Community Engagement

The District's goal is to improve public perception of the Emmett School District through efforts to share positive events, accomplishments, and teacher/staff involvement in striving for educational excellence. Our district utilizes a variety of methods such as social media, table tents, newspapers, school events, and face-to-face meetings to have an open and honest discussion with our community about continually building an excellent education in Gem County.
At the middle school level, we hold STEAM nights throughout the year to introduce our parents to the educational opportunities available to their students. We also hold a Reality Town simulation for our 8th-grade students each year. This provides another opportunity for parents and community members to interact meaningfully with our students while teaching them the importance of a good education. We also hold a monthly parent involvement committee meeting monthly. Parents help plan and promote a positive culture in our school as well as support learning activities.



Recruitment and Retention of Effective Teachers

100% of the teachers presently working in the Emmett ISD meet state certification requirements. All teachers new to the district receive a mentor for the first 3 years, as well as a building-level mentor, and onboarding training before school in both curriculum and procedures.
Due to the rural location of the Emmett ISD, and yet the relative proximity to the Treasure Valley, recruiting and retaining quality, highly trained, experienced teachers is an ongoing challenge for school and district administrators, and therefore a major focus for all district personnel. We regularly attend local, state, and regional job fairs, advertise broadly, and work hard to “grow our own”.




Coordination and Integration With Other Programs

As a Gear Up grant awardee, we will work with the Gear Up Program to promote post-secondary education and training.



Plan Components

1. Based on your Needs Assessment, describe and prioritize a few key needs in instruction and the school program. Write a SMART goal for each key need. Each goal must be written using the SMART process: Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Rigorous, and Time-bound. Each goal should accelerate student outcomes toward state proficiency levels. Include Evidence-Based Interventions for each Prioritized Need.



Prioritized Needs

Need Description:
1. Our needs assessment revealed stagnant growth in both reading and math. School climate surveys show a lack of student engagement in core classes. John Hattie's Visible Learning research indicates two practices that will affect student growth and engagement; Teacher Clarity and Feedback.




By May 2021, we will raise ISAT proficiency percentages by 5% or match the state average, whichever is greater.


Evidence-Based Interventions: Discussion Topics

  Intervention Strategy
Please include a detailed description of who is going to do what, where, when, and people involved. 
What evidence level of criteria does this strategy meet?  How does the intervention meet the definition of "Evidence-Based " Describe how the intervention will be monitored and evaluated for effectiveness.  
  During the 2020-2021 school year, we will provide professional development training for teachers and staff on Teacher Clarity and Effective Feedback. This training will be included in our August, October, and March training days and at monthly staff meetings.  These two practices show 0.75 and 0.73 on John Hattie's effect size rankings.  Administrators and the instructional coach will document the use of these practices during observations. We will review both STAR and ISAT scores at the end of the year to evaluate effectiveness.
  Instructional staff will post and communicate learning target(s), which include how students will demonstrate their learning. PLC #1 What do we want our students to learn? PLC #2 How will we know they learned it? According to Hattie, Teacher Clarity has an effect size of .75. Administrators and the instructional coach will document the use of these practices during observations. We will review both STAR and ISAT scores at the end of the year to evaluate effectiveness.
2. Identify the resource inequities that are barriers to improving student outcomes.
Additional time is needed for both training and instruction. Due to the Coronavirus shutdowns last spring, we are behind in our curriculum. We have also had to utilize professional development time to provide training for distance learning 
3. Provide the URL where this plan will be publicly available:
NOTE: A copy of this plan must be made available in hard copy upon request.
4. Describe how the Schoolwide Improvement Plan (SWIP) will be monitored and evaluated for effectiveness.Discussion Topics The school administrative team meets weekly to monitor progress. The School Leadership team meets monthly to monitor progress. The plan will be reviewed annually with the school improvement team.