• Category 2

    Selected in 2018

  • Grades: pre k - pre k
    School Setting: urban
    Town Population: 92,101
    Student Enrollment: 562
    Student Demographics:

    Black/African American: 1.2%
    White/Caucasian: 24.6%
    Hispanic: 71.9%
    Hawaiian/Pacific Islander: 0%
    Asian: 0.9%
    Native American: 0%
    Other: 1.2%

    Teacher/Student Ratio: 1:28
    % Reduced Lunch: 62.3%
    % ELL Learners: 33.8%
    Founded: 1954
  • PRINCIPAL:
    Kelly Fresch
  • CONTACT:
    2701 Las Positas Rd
    Santa Barbara , CA 93105
    805-563-2515
    kfresch@sbunified.org
Adams Elementary School
Santa Barbara , CA
“Adams Tigers ROAR! We are Responsible, Organized, Academic, and Respectful."
Describe your school culture and explain changes you’ve taken to improve it.
Adams school culture is one that is positive, engaging, kind, and supportive. After introducing the staff and student body to PBIS in the fall of 2017, we began distributing ROAR cards which became an integral part of our daily positive rewards and recognition system. Adams Tigers ROAR! We are Responsible, Organized, Academic, and Respectful. In 2017, we also began having weekly Friday Flag ceremonies which foster a sense of community, bringing together the entire school community (students and families) to celebrate individual students and groups. We sing patriotic songs, recite the Golden Rule, recognize 100 mile running club members, celebrate birthdays and ROAR card winners, and end with our Tiger Cheer which unites us as a team committed to learning, service, and school pride.
Describe how data is used to improve student achievement and inform decision making.
Adams staff participates in weekly PLC sessions with their grade level specific teammates, while their students attend PE, Art, Music, and STEM classes within the school day. Together with the site administrator, annual goals are established and data from District Benchmarks and interim CAASPP assessments, as well as Local On-Demand writing pre and post tests and running records are analyzed each trimester. Struggling students are identified by standard and skill, and Tier II and III supports are offered within the school day. Teachers use the cycle of inquiry to closely examine student work samples and common assessments to identify patterns, successes, and challenges. They then alter their teaching practices to target instruction for identified students.
Describe the program or initiative that has had the greatest positive effect on student achievement, including closing achievement or opportunity gaps, if applicable.
Daily time for reading at the students' independent and instructional level is provided through Balanced Literacy, including the Readers Workshop model. In previous years, Adams’ faculty utilized Accelerated Reader and STAR assessments to determine students’ independent reading levels. Students were encouraged to visit the school library all throughout the school day. Rewards motivated students to set attainable goals and read to improve literacy and language. Recently, we’ve re-envisioned our reading program through the development of classroom libraries which include hundreds of leveled texts. This provides all students with access to unlimited reading materials. Every day, students are enthusiastically choosing books, reading, and sharing their new knowledge with each other. We are proud of this shift in instruction, as we further ensure increased student success among all students, closing achievement gaps. We are committed to increasing achievement and fostering a love of reading.
Explain how ESEA federal funds are used to support your improvement efforts.
LCAP funds have helped to provide 12 staff members an opportunity to attend Teachers College at Columbia University to study Readers and Writers Workshop over the last three school years. This PD, the purchase of Units of Study in Reading and Writing, classroom libraries, guided leveled reading and phonics materials, and running records assessments, have together transformed our instructional learning environment. After school tutoring and summer school hours were offered by credentialed teachers, funded with TITLE I monies. A fully credentialed PE teacher, partially paid for with LCAP funds, allows for valuable PLC release time within the school day. The most effective use of site funds has been to fund a literacy TOSA who provides PD and coaching to all staff in the areas of reading and writing. Her coaching model includes demonstration teaching, co-teaching, collaborative planning, and reflective non-evaluative feedback, through individualized coaching cycles throughout the year.
Describe the most successful activity your school has initiated to strengthen ties to your community.
It is not one, but many ties to our community that contribute to the success of our school.We partner with many organizations, providing students with experiences they otherwise would not have. Teachers and administrators write and are awarded grants through the Santa Barbara Ed Fund, Village Properties Realty, Rotary North, and Santa Barbara Bowl. Rotary North and a neighborhood retirement facility, Samarkand, both provide volunteers to read with students and work in our Design Center. Students and teachers benefit from the placement of Santa Barbara Community College pre-professionals, and Westmont and UCSB student teachers each semester. The Audacious Foundation - with whom we partner - provides funding for our school-wide bike program, CIMI and Astro camps, etiquette classes, mindfulness programs,Wilderness Youth outdoor exploration program, orthodontia for 15 students, and financial literacy programs each year. The local YMCA provides free swimming lessons for all sixth graders.
Describe your philosophy of school change or improvement.
There needs to be a sense of urgency. When looking at data and determining school-wide or grade-level goals, the first priority is having a growth mindset. All staff need to identify and agree on a specific need, and make changes in their instruction to directly impact student achievement. Prepare students for a world that does not yet exist. The Santa Barbara Unified School District recently developed this as our Mission Statement. Realizing that every year is different, and every child is unique, there needs to be a commitment on staffs’ part to continually change and grow. Staff needs to be open to learning and developing new best practices as times change and needs arise. When staff is not afraid to try new things, then our students will challenge themselves to reach new heights every day. Developing a culture of trust, support, and buy-in will result in embracing change and continual learning among staff and students. This is the first step in impacting school improvement.
Identify the critical professional development activities you use to improve teaching and student learning.
The Professional Learning experiences which have had a significant impact on both teaching and learning include those related to our literacy programs. Over the past 4 years,12 staff have attended the Teachers College Institutes for Reading and Writing at Columbia University. These profound learning experiences are coupled with ongoing support from both our site-based Literacy Coach and an outside consulting group, Literacy Partners (a District partnership). The Summer Institutes provided teachers with a deep foundational understanding of research-based Reading and Writing instruction through the implementation of Reading and Writing Workshops. Ongoing support during the school year has helped teachers launch these programs in their classrooms and navigate the day-to-day instruction and reflection necessary for effective implementation. Adams staff are committed to continued professional learning and growth, which is a significant factor contributing to our students’ success.
Describe specific programs in place to ensure that families are involved in the success of your school and students.
Adams’ traditional parent organizations - ELAC, PTA, SSC, and SSEPAC - ensure the inclusion of all parents. It is our annual family events, school pride days, and unique learning experiences that truly draw the most parents and family members to our campus. On any given day, you will find an abundance of parent volunteers in classrooms or planning/executing events. Our bike program relies on parent volunteers for safety and learning. School-wide fundraisers, like the Olympiad and Read-a-thon, also ensure high family involvement. Additionally, we host an annual Family Science Night, Art Showcase, STEM Maker Faire, Dia De Los Muertos, Posada, Movie Nights, and Restaurant Nights with staff servers. Each event brings out hundreds of guests. Parents can be seen running with our 100 mile club before school or reading in the library which opens at 7:30 am. Parents also lead our Ocean Guardian ambassadors to explore/promote marine environmental projects, such as the Skip the Straw campaign.
What are your school’s top two goals for the next year?
Improving student achievement in literacy and language continue to be the top priorities at Adams.We strive to achieve this through a Balanced Literacy approach to teaching reading/writing.We look forward to continued achievement among all students and an enduring love of reading.Through providing each classroom with a beautiful classroom library, students have greater access to books that will shape the way they see and interact with their world.Through Balanced Literacy, we support students to think critically, collaborate, communicate, and share their learning in creative ways.Our school-wide expectation is that students will produce clear and purposeful writing across content areas, supporting claims with reasons and evidence.With literacy/language as our top priorities, we will continue to develop best practices in literacy instruction through high-quality professional development, while continuing to grow our classroom libraries so that students have access to amazing books.
What is the single most important factor in the success of your school that others could replicate?
Adams staff has a growth mindset. In order to lead, implement, and support school change, ALL staff need to be on board, aware of the school’s vision, and have a desire to see all students achieve. Staff need to participate in PD willingly and with intent. They need opportunities to grow and learn alongside site administrators, encouraging each other, as we do our students, to take risks and try new things. Adams teachers are excited to grow, learn, and dive in with enthusiasm! Recognizing that we want our personal physicians, mechanics, pastors, and designers to use the most current and best practices when providing essential services, we challenge ourselves to be forward thinking, embrace change, keep current, and make a commitment to professional learning across all educational domains. From literacy, ELD, math, and science - to PE, STEM, music, and art, Adams' staff has embraced every opportunity available to participate, implement, share, and celebrate new learning opportunities!
Stats
  • Category 2

    Selected in 2018

  • Grades: pre k - pre k
    School Setting: urban
    Town Population: 92,101
    Student Enrollment: 562
    Student Demographics:

    Black/African American: 1.2%
    White/Caucasian: 24.6%
    Hispanic: 71.9%
    Hawaiian/Pacific Islander: 0%
    Asian: 0.9%
    Native American: 0%
    Other: 1.2%

    Teacher/Student Ratio: 1:28
    % Reduced Lunch: 62.3%
    % ELL Learners: 33.8%
    Founded: 1954
  • PRINCIPAL:
    Kelly Fresch
  • CONTACT:
    2701 Las Positas Rd
    Santa Barbara , CA 93105
    805-563-2515
    kfresch@sbunified.org