• Category 1

    Selected in 2014

  • Grades: k - 6
    School Setting: suburban
    Town Population: 36,632
    Student Enrollment: 402
    Student Demographics:

    Black/African American: 2%
    White/Caucasian: 88%
    Hispanic: 1%
    Hawaiian/Pacific Islander: 1%
    Asian: 1%
    Native American: 1%
    Other: 6%

    Teacher/Student Ratio: 1:21.2
    % Reduced Lunch: 42%
    % ELL Learners: 0%
    Founded: 1962
  • PRINCIPAL:
    Sarah Greb
  • CONTACT:
    900 State Route 131
    Milford, OH 45150
    513-831-9460
    greb_s@milfordschools.org
Charles L Seipelt Elementary
Milford, OH
“Striving to meet our district’s vision statement of “inspiring and preparing our students to reach their fullest potential in a diverse and dynamic world,” we pride ourselves in developing the whole child-academically, socially, and emotionally- to become a productive member of society."
Describe the most successful activity your school has initiated to strengthen ties to your community.
We value the strong partnerships that Seipelt Elementary has created with local outreach organizations, local businesses, and individual community members to work with both our students and their families. Through these partnerships, we have been able to create a number of mentoring opportunities that benefit both our students and their parents. With TItle I funds, we have partnered with Beech Acres, a local family service organization, to provide free monthly mentoring workshops that focus on family topics and parenting skills. Through Whiz Kids, a community outreach after school program, our students are partnered with mentor for free tutoring services twice a week. Our second grade classes work with high school seniors interested in pursuing a career in education as well as senior citizens from a local senior living community. These community members work with some of our struggling readers on a weekly basis as an additional intervention we provide to the students in preparation for our state’s Third Grade Reading Guarantee requirements. Last year we created the Eating with the Eagles Mentoring program. This program connects some of our neediest students with a local community member who serves as a positive adult role model in their lives. These mentors will follow their assigned students throughout their years at Seipelt, with hopes of creating a strong, positive relationship that will go beyond their elementary school years. We feel that creating these various mentoring opportunities with local community members and outreach programs, our students and their families will recognize the importance of community involvement and realize that the entire community is behind seeing them succeed both in and out of the classroom.
Describe your school culture and explain changes you’ve taken to improve it.
Seipelt provides a safe and nurturing environment for all our students to learn and grow. In addition to using the research-based Olweus Bullying Prevention Program, the staff of Seipelt developed and implements SOAR, a school-wide positive recognition system. Seipelt students are encouraged to SOAR on a daily basis- holding themselves accountable through their Safety, Ownership, Attitude, and Respect. Homerooms hold regular SOAR meetings to allow for open and honest discussions focusing on character development and anti-bullying topics. Positive behaviors and decisions are acknowledged through SOAR slips that are entered into weekly raffles. Through I CAN awards, teachers are able to recognize students who maintain that positive, soaring attitude or have made significant improvement in any area. At our quarterly SOAR breakfast, we are able to showcase students who demonstrate all the characteristics of a SOARING Seipelt student. We strongly believe in being proactive and maintaining a positive learning environment by recognizing our students’ efforts and good choices as often as possible.
Describe how data is used to improve student achievement and inform decision making.
Over the last five years, Seipelt has improved students’ achievement across all areas. In the 2007-2008 school year, Seipelt began taking part in a district wide initiative to analyze achievement results at three levels: District-wide, building-wide, and grade-wide. Each team level works collaboratively to develop SMART goals to ensure progress toward improved performance, and subsequently monitor progress toward these goals through quarterly meetings, which involve problem solving and evaluation of formative assessment results. Grade level teams meet with various professionals at the building level, including principals, school psychologists and interventionists in order to ensure that students’ needs are addressed comprehensively and efficiently. Teams review the Ohio Achievement Assessment results, and item analyses are conducted in order to learn the strengths and weaknesses of each cohort of students. Additionally, data are collected from formative assessments included Northwest Evaluation Association’s Measures of Academic Progress and AIMSweb’s curriculum based assessments.These results are monitored by the teams, and by teachers within their own classrooms, to assess progress and determine the effectiveness of instructional strategies. The increased use of systematic and research based reading interventions within the primary grades has dramatically reduced special education referrals in the intermediate grade levels and increased achievement of statewide standards in reading.
Describe the program or initiative that has had the greatest positive effect on student achievement, including closing achievement or opportunity gaps, if applicable.
In addition to the summative data provided by the Ohio Achievement Assessment (OAA), Milford acquires information about its students through various formative assessments. The Measures of Academic Progress (MAP), produced by Northwest Evaluation Association (NWEA) and a set of tools designed specifically to measure early literacy skills, produced by AIMSweb, are used to collect formative student data. These data are assembled for review by grade level teams quarterly, and a Multitiered System of Supports (MTSS), also known as a Response to Intervention (RtI) framework, is in place in order to match student needs with instructional interventions. Each tier of intervention provides research based interventions of varying intensity.

Beginning in the fall, kindergarten and first through third grade students take part in AIMSweb benchmarking and students in third through sixth grades who struggled with the state assessments in the previous year are administered the MAP assessments in both reading and math. The results of these universal screening measures are compiled by grade level and by classroom. Grade level teams, including all interventionists, then meet within the first four weeks of school in order to review these data, determine students’ level of need, and choose research based interventions to target these needs. In primary grades, data from each reading skill is assembled and compared graphically to the results from the previous year, and goals are set for improved performance on specific skills. In the intermediate grades, MAP and OAA results are used to develop groupings and identify students with similar needs so that teachers may target their instruction toward specific content standards. This depiction of data also allows Seipelt to compare its own performance against that of other buildings in the district, and against the nation.

Milford has developed a set of formal flowcharts that are designed to assist teams with developing and implementing students’ intervention plans. The charts include decision rules that dictate how interventions are deemed to be effective, and when interventions ought to be changed. The MTSS/RtI framework allows for fluid movement between tiers of intervention, with students having the potential to access any/all tiers at any time throughout the year. Students with special education entitlement are fully integrated with typical peers amongst these groups, and information from students’ Individualized Education Plans (IEPs) is used to select and/or tailor their interventions within the tiers. Each student’s response to the combination of instructional programs customized for his/her needs is then measured using progress monitoring tools from AIMSweb and local assessments. Data are shared with parents through written intervention plans and progress reports. Sixth grade students are also included in their own goal setting through individual teacher conferences. Every 8 weeks, grade level teams meet again to review these data, and decision rules are applied to determine when and if intervention should be adjusted.


Explain how Title I funds are used to support your improvement efforts.
Seipelt’s staff includes two dedicated reading specialists, as well as two part-time certified teachers who provide intervention services. Supplemental interventions are provided within the MTSS/RtI framework during a set timeframe during the academic day, called the Differentiation Block. No new curricular material is introduced during this time period. Instead, it is reserved for academic intervention for students needing additional skills instruction, or academic extension for others. A variety of intervention groups are running simultaneously during Differentiation Block, including groups using Corrective Reading, Reading Mastery, Leveled Literacy Intervention, and/or HELPS Reading, all of which are examples of high-quality, research based instructional programs furnished through Title I funds. Staff have undergone extensive professional development in order to ensure that these programs are implemented with fidelity. The ability to allow fluid movement among a variety of intervention groups, based upon each student’s need and response, is a perfect example of how Title I funds and close analysis of student data by well-trained staff can combine to build high achievement for all learners.

Seipelt’s staff also uses Title I funds to provide summer reading enrichment for students served in intervention groups throughout the year. This includes Summer Bridge workbooks and packets of reading passages parents can use to practice with students and help prevent a loss of skills during the summer months.
Describe your philosophy of school change or improvement.
Striving to meet our district’s vision statement of “inspiring and preparing our students to reach their fullest potential in a diverse and dynamic world”, we pride ourselves in developing the whole child-academically, socially, and emotionally- to become a productive member of society. We recognize that we to need maintain partnerships and utilize all available resources throughout our community help this guiding vision statement become reality. A commitment of excellence from administrators, teachers, support staff, students, and parents is necessary for Seipelt to continue to SOAR.

We work closely with local businesses, outreach organizations, and individual community members to provide our students and their families with opportunities to be successful both in and out of the academic setting. Our school participates in the Backpack Ministry Program, providing healthy snacks to our students over the weekends, as well as The Whiz Kids Program, which offers free tutoring services to the students after school. Working with local community members, we have established the Eating with the Eagles Program, which partners some of our neediest children with a positive, adult role model. In partnership with Beech Acres, a local family services organization, our families are offered free monthly family and parenting workshops.
Identify the critical professional development activities you use to improve teaching and student learning.
Charles L. Seipelt Elementary approaches professional development with the acknowledgement that the teachers and staff in our building have many vital skills and creative strategies to share. This expertise is highly valued, so in turn our professional development is often teacher/staff-created and teacher/staff-led, aimed to increase student achievement and engagement. Our staff lead in-school professional development sessions on many topics: Effective Co-teaching, Administering the MAP Assessments, Google Doc/Google Accounts, and OLWEUS Bullying Prevention.

Additionally, members of our staff attend local, statewide, or national conferences and trainings. Staff members return to our school to share their professional learning with our building’s Vertical Teams. Vertical Teams, groups of teachers who teach common subjects across-grade levels, meet quarterly to share insight and materials. Conferences our staff members have recently attended include the 2014 National Blue Ribbon Schools Awards Program, the 2014 Ohio Middle Level Association Conference, the 2014 Ohio Educational Technology Conference, and the 2014 National Association of School Psychologists Annual Convention. As a result of these professional development opportunities, presentations will be given from our staff members addressing the topics of STEM/technology, standards-based report cards, and engaging student learners.

Charles L. Seipelt Elementary follows the Ohio Improvement Process (OIP). A series of teams work throughout our school district to set a vision and plan for our educational system. With guidance from district-wide teams, our building’s Building Leadership Team (BLT) meets monthly to implement district-wide plans, but specifically narrows its focus on our building’s needs. Seipelt also creates a building improvement plan each year. Our BLT meets to evaluate and improve this plan, while also creating specific building goals. After our improvement plan is approved, and with a refined focus from our BLT, our teacher-based teams meet weekly to analyze data, design interventions, coordinate instruction, implement new curriculum, communicate with parents, and share instructional strategies. The building principal meets monthly with teacher-based teams, which allows the building principal to monitor the progress towards the building goals. The professional development activities at Seipelt have been aligned with the Common Core State Standards and Ohio’s new learning standards. Seipelt teachers completed grade-level and subject curriculum mapping and work together with other district teachers to analyze indicators which helps in creating common short cycle assessments. Seipelt teachers are district leaders in the understanding and implementation of the standards. Seipelt utilizes the talent and creativity of its staff to provide meaningful professional development for its teachers.
Describe specific programs in place to ensure that families are involved in the success of your school and students.
Early in the school year, our district Title 1 teachers organize and plan a Family Literacy Curriculum Night with for families across the district to attend. The topics addressed are gleaned from a parent survey distributed the previous school year. Typically, the topics included are practical methods to guide parents to help their children be successful students. Title 1 funds also provide supplementary materials for parents of Title 1 students to reinforce these skills at home.
We strive to put books in the hands of our students. Partially funded through Title 1 funds, as well as an Early Literacy grant, our kindergarteners and first grade students have access to a Take-Home library throughout the year that provides a variety of high-quality literature for students to share and practice their reading skills at home. This program ensures that all students have material at their reading level accessible to them. In addition, the Fountas & Pinnell Leveled Literacy Intervention program that we utilize in some of our Tier II intervention classes provides take- home books so students can reread the texts from class to their parents. Weekly one-minute repeated reading probes to build fluency are provided to parents to practice at home with their child. Students and parents can participate in graphing their progress together. These programs facilitate rich discussions at our parent- teacher conferences.
The learning expectations for our students does not end in May. Using Title 1 funds, Tier II Title 1 students receive a Summer Bridge workbook that helps curb the “summer slide”. We continue to promote reading throughout the summer through our building-wide Summer Reading Program. Students and their families are encouraged to meet with our teachers and staff at the local library for pre-determined periodic “check-ins” and book talks throughout the summer. Over a 100 students and their families participate each summer. Upon returning to school, we have a “Reading Celebration Breakfast” for all the students who participated to celebrate their reading success.
What is the single most important factor in the success of your school that others could replicate?
Milford’s MTSS/RtI system began as a small process, but has grown into a well-refined, highly systematic program. At the core of this process are: 1.) A reliable universal screening system, 2.) A solid academic curriculum, and 3.) The regular meeting of all stakeholders to review data and “own” the achievement of each student. Building a network of support around each student fosters high expectations. Secondarily, intervention programs that target the most common student needs must be in place in order to provide teams with solutions when students do not respond to regular classroom instruction sufficiently to meet benchmarks. The most difficult part of implementing this system is scheduling intervention times that do not conflict with regular classroom instruction. Doing so effectively requires a highly flexible staff, and a keen eye for using all available personnel and time during the school day. For instance, alternating a student’s intervention block between math and reading support when needed, or adding a brief reading fluency intervention immediately following a student’s differentiation block, are examples of how Seipelt’s staff have “stretched” the schedule to reach all students in need. Seipelt has found it most effective to keep a master schedule that documents each group that is running at any given time of day, and that can be updated in real time to reflect changes and updates.
What are your school’s top two goals for the next year?
Our two top goals for the upcoming school year are to:
1. To demonstrate achievement of statewide educational standards and show progress toward readiness for college and careers

2. Continue to provide interventions and extensions for all students to reach their fullest potential
Stats
  • Category 1

    Selected in 2014

  • Grades: k - 6
    School Setting: suburban
    Town Population: 36,632
    Student Enrollment: 402
    Student Demographics:

    Black/African American: 2%
    White/Caucasian: 88%
    Hispanic: 1%
    Hawaiian/Pacific Islander: 1%
    Asian: 1%
    Native American: 1%
    Other: 6%

    Teacher/Student Ratio: 1:21.2
    % Reduced Lunch: 42%
    % ELL Learners: 0%
    Founded: 1962
  • PRINCIPAL:
    Sarah Greb
  • CONTACT:
    900 State Route 131
    Milford, OH 45150
    513-831-9460
    greb_s@milfordschools.org