• Category 1

    Selected in 2019

  • Grades: pre k - 6
    School Setting: rural
    Town Population: 0
    Student Enrollment: 177
    Student Demographics:

    Black/African American: 0%
    White/Caucasian: 89.9%
    Hispanic: 4.5%
    Hawaiian/Pacific Islander: 0%
    Asian: 5.1%
    Native American: 0.6%
    Other: 0%

    Teacher/Student Ratio: 1:17
    % Reduced Lunch: 52%
    % ELL Learners: 1%
    Founded: 1902
  • PRINCIPAL:
    Roxie Benjamin
  • CONTACT:
    1406 Franklin Street
    Fort Benton, MT 59442
    406-622-3761
    jthompson@fortbenton.k12.mt.us
Fort Benton Elementary School
Fort Benton, MT
“Our school culture is a positive environment committed to student growth. "
What are your school’s top two goals for the next year?
Describe your school culture and explain changes you’ve taken to improve it.
Our school culture is overall a positive environment that is committed to student growth. Our staff put in extra time and effort to make sure they are prepared and ready to meet the ever changing needs of our students. One element that we have been working on is implementing a school theme and having different monthly focuses relating to that theme that are discussed in each classroom by administration. For example, the theme this year is DRIVE and we have had different monthly themes like DRIVE to be kind, DRIVE to be thankful, and DRIVE to be respectful. Another culture building activity the administration is working on implementing is a common philosophy and language throughout the district to use when approaching problems and discussing situations. The administration sponsored a High Trust training last summer and will continue to offer professional development related to the High Trust philosophy and problem solving approach.
Describe how data is used to improve student achievement and inform decision making.
Collecting data and reviewing data with fidelity is a huge part of the success at our school. We utilize assessments from classroom curriculums, intervention curriculums, iReady, STAR, and DIBELS to help drive the instructional decisions and groupings each grade level team implements. Data is also consistently tracked throughout the year using a common database that houses all achievement data and provides the staff with graphs regarding student achievement and the effectiveness of the targeted interventions that are put in place. Data is something we are working at utilizing for behavioral management as well and tracking the frequency of office referrals and the types of behaviors that are being sent to the office has helped the staff make more informed decisions regarding student recommendations for in house and outside counseling services and social/emotional instruction. Data is an integral part of the instructional process and behavioral management philosophy to our school.
Describe the program or initiative that has had the greatest positive effect on student achievement, including closing achievement or opportunity gaps, if applicable.
Implementing the RtI program has given our school an instructional framework and common problem solving approach to student achievements. Our school utilizes common assessments that serve as benchmarks for our students to reach and students are progress monitored to ensure that they are reaching the intended goals. Our RtI program's success hinges on whole school participation and the teaching staff along with paraprofessionals meet weekly in their instructional teams to review data and make sure students are making progress towards their goals. We utilize research based intervention programs and run a walk to read and walk to math small group time in the morning within each grade level. Tracking student achievement data over the years has helped to solidify the processes of the RtI program and has proven that a systematic approach to reviewing student achievement is a powerful tool to close the achievement gap and ensure each student is being treated as an individual.
Identify the critical professional development activities you use to improve teaching and student learning.
One critical professional development activity that we utilize at Fort Benton Elementary is peer observations and out of district observations. This professional development activity is directly embedded in our new teacher mentor program and is also part of the tenured staff's evaluation rotation schedule. Teachers work with administrators to schedule times for teachers to observe other teachers in the district or travel outside of the district to observe other schools and teachers. After each observation, a follow-up meeting occurs that discusses positives and points of growth observed during the observation time and any instructional strategies that the teacher could add to their teacher toolbox.
What is the single most important factor in the success of your school that others could replicate?
One of the most important factors that leads to the success at our school is the commitment and dedication of top notch educators to strive for each student to experience academic and social/emotional success at school. Through our Response to Intervention program, each student is treated as an individual and staff use data to make decisions based on student needs to ensure that the instruction being presented to students is appropriate and is being retained. The school has weekly common planning meetings to ensure that student data is reviewed and students are progressing towards specific targets. Overall, our school works to apply a growth mindset and attitude that helps encourage growth and change to do whatever it takes to meet student needs. Various different staff members also serve on a Response to Intervention committee that reviews the overall functioning of the RtI program and evaluates any changes or additions that need to be made to the program.
Stats
  • Category 1

    Selected in 2019

  • Grades: pre k - 6
    School Setting: rural
    Town Population: 0
    Student Enrollment: 177
    Student Demographics:

    Black/African American: 0%
    White/Caucasian: 89.9%
    Hispanic: 4.5%
    Hawaiian/Pacific Islander: 0%
    Asian: 5.1%
    Native American: 0.6%
    Other: 0%

    Teacher/Student Ratio: 1:17
    % Reduced Lunch: 52%
    % ELL Learners: 1%
    Founded: 1902
  • PRINCIPAL:
    Roxie Benjamin
  • CONTACT:
    1406 Franklin Street
    Fort Benton, MT 59442
    406-622-3761
    jthompson@fortbenton.k12.mt.us