• Category 1

    Selected in 2015

  • Grades: k - 4
    School Setting: suburban
    Town Population: 52,000
    Student Enrollment: 283
    Student Demographics:

    Black/African American: 8%
    White/Caucasian: 76%
    Hispanic: 2%
    Hawaiian/Pacific Islander: 1%
    Asian: 3%
    Native American: 0%
    Other: 10%

    Teacher/Student Ratio: 1:22
    % Reduced Lunch: 42.9%
    % ELL Learners: 2%
    Founded: 1925
  • PRINCIPAL:
    Maria Smith
  • CONTACT:
    3933 Eaton Rd NW
    Canton, OH 44708
    330-491-3720
    smithm@plainlocal.org
Avondale Elementary School
Canton, OH
“All teachers communicate effectively with parents and allow for parents to be directly involved in their child's education. Teachers communicate via their teacher webpage, weekly newsletters, text messaging programs, daily behavior and homework logs, parent-teacher conferences, emails, notes, and phone calls. Weekly, the principal sends an email newsletter to all interested parents and community members detailing important information and showcasing recent events in the school. "
Describe your school culture and explain changes you’ve taken to improve it.
At Avondale, all students are held to high expectations. The relatively small size of our school allows for individualization and personalization. All teachers know their students well, and they know which instructional methods students respond to best. Teachers not only teach their grade level standards, but often challenge their students to stretch to a level beyond what is expected. Avondale's staff is a close-knit, dedicated group that can often be found discussing strategies to meet specific students' needs. Celebrating the school's achievements as a direct reflection of the staff's effort is a great way to recognize the outstanding teachers and staff.
Describe how data is used to improve student achievement and inform decision making.
Teachers rely on achievement data as well as observation and classwork to inform decision making. Our district uses an online diagnostic system to track students' achievements in reading and math. At least once each grading period, teachers formally analyze this data to successfully place students in small groups for Eagle and Plus More time. We believe it is important to consider more than the diagnostic data; teachers exercise their professionalism in determining the right fit for each student. Movement in and out of the targeted small group instruction is fluid. Students may remain in a small group all year, or they may move to a more appropriately leveled group based on their most recent performance. When data shows that students are not growing as much as expected as a result of intervention, teachers discuss alternative strategies in conjunction with parents, the school psychologist, and the school's reading specialist.
Describe the program or initiative that has had the greatest positive effect on student achievement, including closing achievement or opportunity gaps, if applicable.
All students at Avondale, regardless of achievement levels, participate in two 35-minute sessions of intervention or enrichment each school day. These sessions are called "Eagle" and "Plus More." During Plus More, core content is not furthered; instead, teachers use the time to either pre-teach, re-teach, or extend concepts previously learned. Some students remain with the general education teacher, while some go to a small group with the Teacher of Reading (supported through Title I funds) or an instructional aide. Eagle time is a similar concept. Students within each grade are grouped according to ability level and they receive intervention or enrichment in reading and math, as appropriate. This initiative allows all students, regardless of IEP status, to receive small group instruction in the subjects in which they are struggling. Our belief is that this program, along with the high expectations of our teachers, has had a positive effect on closing achievement gaps.
Identify the critical professional development activities you use to improve teaching and student learning.
During district in-service days, teachers meet by grade level and subject to continue discussions about curriculum alignment and recent developments in state testing. The district curriculum department has created an aligned PLC (professional learning community) plan that directly supports OIP goals. Monthly, team leaders share instructional strategies, technology leaders share tech strategies, guidance counselors share emotional health information, and a member of the curriculum team facilitates discussion about data and OIP goals. In addition, teachers frequently meet by grade level and with the building principal to discuss building specific strategies. Once every eight days, the principal meets with each grade level for about an hour to discuss either school wide initiatives or items specific to that grade level. This time allows for targeted discussion about students, best practices, and any needs the teachers may have to help them support their students.
Describe specific programs in place to ensure that families are involved in the success of your school and students.
All teachers communicate effectively with parents and allow for parents to be directly involved in their child's education. Teachers communicate via their teacher webpage, weekly newsletters, text messaging programs, daily behavior and homework logs, parent-teacher conferences, emails, notes, and phone calls. Weekly, the principal sends an email newsletter to all interested parents and community members detailing important information and showcasing recent events in the school. Our PTO (parent teacher organization) meets monthly and communicates with parents via email. Once a month, a family activity is planned through PTO; these simple yet engaging activities draw hundreds of students and parents. Parents are invited to volunteer in classrooms and to visit the school for performances and assemblies throughout the year.
Stats
  • Category 1

    Selected in 2015

  • Grades: k - 4
    School Setting: suburban
    Town Population: 52,000
    Student Enrollment: 283
    Student Demographics:

    Black/African American: 8%
    White/Caucasian: 76%
    Hispanic: 2%
    Hawaiian/Pacific Islander: 1%
    Asian: 3%
    Native American: 0%
    Other: 10%

    Teacher/Student Ratio: 1:22
    % Reduced Lunch: 42.9%
    % ELL Learners: 2%
    Founded: 1925
  • PRINCIPAL:
    Maria Smith
  • CONTACT:
    3933 Eaton Rd NW
    Canton, OH 44708
    330-491-3720
    smithm@plainlocal.org