We're visiting every classroom in the district. Recently we've begun working with principals and assistant principals on a strategy to get them into classrooms more often so they can be more aware of great things that are happening and how to work with all teachers to help students learn. The 5X5 strategy has the principal going into at least five classrooms for five minutes each at least two days a week to identify what glows and where we can grow. Assistant principals go into five classrooms for five minutes each at least once a week. In all, the building principal teams should visit fifteen classes a week. The principal will share the glows and grows with the building teachers without using teacher names.
To begin the process, we will do the first round of 5X5s with the principal teams. Then we will continue the classroom visits. We have used the 5X5s to visit eighty-seven classrooms in the last two weeks; we should be in all classrooms within a few weeks more.
Field trips have not been eliminated. As we continually focus on learning, we're constantly trying to maximize our students' time with their teachers. Most of the time we need to ensure that we keep students and their teachers engaged in the classroom. Ensuring classroom learning with our teachers is vital to student success. Occasionally, though, there are worthwhile off-campus experiences that are aligned with classroom learning and can extend students' understanding of their teachers' instruction.
So how do we review possible field trips before approving them? We consider the following when reviewing field trip requests:
Are the field trip activities aligned with Ohio Learning Standards?
Will the field trip improve student learning and achievement?
Are the field trip activities and learning opportunities consistent among all district building with the same grade-levels?
Will the field trip interrupt state testing or occur during the preparation for state tests?
When a teacher is on a field trip with students, is there a significant negative impact on other students and classes that usually depend on the teacher each day?
Expanding EL service to help high school students graduate. We recently needed to take a fresh, practical look at how we distribute our EL staff. In particular, we needed to address urgent credit deficiencies and state competency requirements among EL students at the high school. Without reworking our EL staffing to bolster our high school service, high school EL students would have overwhelming challenges to earning a high school diploma. We could not ignore how difficult it is to learn high school subject content when language is such a tremendous barrier to overcome. Without addressing the issue, the reality is that most GMHS EL students would be at-risk of not graduating high school. Our current EL structure at the high school has EL teachers both going into classes to support students and teaching classes devoted to English Learners.
We're moving gifted services back to neighborhood schools. For several years K-8 gifted services have been delivered at Sedalia Elementary and Middle School North only. Students in other Groveport elementaries and middle schools whose families wanted gifted services for their gifted-identified children were transported by bus from their neighborhoods to the Sedalia or North buildings.
This year we are providing gifted service training to all district teachers so students can remain at their neighborhood schools to receive gifted services. Students who want to remain at Sedalia and North can continue there this year.