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TIPS & EXPERT ADVICE ON ESSAYS, PAPERS & COLLEGE APPLICATIONS

A School Improvement Plan (SIP), is a document, “…used by every school withstakeholders to review data, set goals, create an action plan and monitor progress” (Pine Ridge High SIP, 2016). In short, it is a document that every school system uses to set plans to achieve certain academic and instructional goals, how they plan on achieving each goal, and how they can determine if each goal is met. Every year, my school reviews the SIP to determine if we made any improvement over the last year and also to determine if each course of action was actually effective. One of the only ways a SIP can be effective is if you prioritize and align the needs and the goals of your students correctly. According to the School Improvement Plan at Pine Ridge High School, over the last several years, Pine Ridge High School has demonstrated a 0%-25% proficiency level for math problems requiring extended responses. Additionally, reading data also shows that only 36%-41% of our students are successful at reading at a level 3 or above. That means that more than half of our students are reading at level 3 or below. When students have issues with math word problems, there’s usually a connection between english comprehension, organization, writing, and reading (Ehlenfeldt, 2014).These are indicators that there needs to be an increase in student engagement in writing, inquiry, collaboration, organization, and reading (WICOR) strategies. By implementing WICOR strategies into current interventions, we can show the greatest impact on student achievement by increasing student engagement. Overall, this improvement target affects the most students and most importantly, affects the students most in need. Developing instructional documents and content to support WICOR has been a piece of our SIP over the last couple of years, however, it’s never been a focal point. Overall, proficiency levels in English and Mathematics have decreased. Engagement in WICOR is a new and strategic outlook on an old problem. The AASA Center for Systems Leadership argues that choosing the easy way out of an issue usually leadsyou back in. They argued that usually when student performance is static or declining, the typical reaction is to get more strict and raise the threshold for meeting educational standards (2008). In addition to reaching the most students, increasing WICOR engagement also positively affects other targets in the SIP. It makes most sense to focus on the target that not only has the greatest impact on students but will also affect more students in need. According to the Pine Ridge High SIP, data shows that, “Math questions requiring extended responses or multiple response choices demonstrated a 0%-25% proficiency level” (2016). In this case, math and english tie in together. By increasing student engagement in activities using WICOR, the proficiency levels in Algebra 1 and Algebra 2 math classes will also increase. Additionally, as the proficiency levels increase, the percentage of students requiring mediation in math and english will also decrease. In essence, it would be a win-win for the school and for the students. In this case, both math and english are considered core subjects. This means that every student is required to take a course in these subjects every year and must pass in order to graduate. Every student in the school can benefit from positive engagement in writing, inquiry, collaboration, organization, and reading. Introducing The Intervention Establishing a before and after school math program for students who are not meeting state and federal requirements in Pre-Algebra and Algebra is beneficial, measurable, attainable, and has the greatest potential to expand into real-world applications. Pine Ridge High School is a designated, technological-based school. Not only do we have the space but also the technology available to serve hundreds of students simultaneously. A before and after school math program utilizing the computer labs is beneficial to at-risk students. Through the programs, students are exposed to various math concepts and skills such as word problems and multiple choice problems. Wordproblems, specifically, has the lowest proficiency rates at our school. By using mathprograms in our computer labs, students are exposed to reading, writing, and comprehension tactics- all of which show a decline in proficiency levels. Research hasshown that implementing writing, inquiry, collaboration, organization, and reading (WICOR) strategies, can increase the overall English literacy scores (Ehlenfeldt, 2014).At my school, Math and English scores are what hold students back from graduation.Before and after school programs provide extra services for students who are on the brink of graduation. It also allows students to get extra attention without being singled out during a traditional class setting. Additionally, there needs to be a swift change in the way teachers utilize WICOR strategies in their classroom. Our school will have to modify teaching habits in order to ensure WICOR strategies are supported and properly taught. Sometimes this require special training classes and additional practices for teachers. With increased training and supporting documents in WICOR strategies, student achievement, specifically in math and english, will improve.It is absolutely necessary for schools to consider and to use a continuous school improvement plan in order to maximize students’ success. The words “continuous school improvement plan” actually says a lot. For a lot of schools, it is normal to see students for five or more consecutive years. This is why it is also important that students receive a consistent and a continuous learning journey in the process. Improvement plans allows schools to study research and implement learning strategies that affect the entire student body. School Improvement plans are also continuous because students don’t stop learning or reading after a certain grade level. Each year has to prepare them for the next. School improvement plans encourages educators to review prior year’s plans and determine which research work and which intervention was successful. Without reviewing prior interventions, there would be no way to promote success. Of the entire plan, the elements that require the most planning and most intentional thought were outlining the strategic school improvement goals in relation to the data supporting the identifying problems in our school. Additionally, the goals must be obtainable, within our budget, and resources. And, the goal has to affect as many students as possible. School Improvement plans are thorough in the sense that it makes you think of the obstacles and barriers you might foresee happening throughout the school. It makes your list the barriers and makes you come up with ways you can break or avoid those barriers. In retrospect, the goals created in the school improvement plan can literally assist or break a student’s literacy stride. These elements make it that much more important and more reason to put intentional thought behind it.

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