• Category 1

    Selected in 2019

  • Grades: k - 5
    School Setting: rural
    Town Population: 1,086
    Student Enrollment: 357
    Student Demographics:

    Black/African American: 2.2%
    White/Caucasian: 89.6%
    Hispanic: 3.9%
    Hawaiian/Pacific Islander: 0%
    Asian: 0.6%
    Native American: 0.3%
    Other: 3.4%

    Teacher/Student Ratio: 1:18.8
    % Reduced Lunch: 41%
    % ELL Learners: 1%
    Founded: 2008
  • PRINCIPAL:
    Amber Brantley
  • CONTACT:
    9 Church Circle
    Greenbrier, AR 72058
    501-679-3334
    brantleya@greenbrierschools.org
Greenbrier Wooster Elementary School
Greenbrier, AR
“‘Whatever it Takes’ to be the ‘difference makers’ for our students!"
Describe your school culture and explain changes you’ve taken to improve it.
In order to describe our school culture and the changes I have taken to improve it, I will start from the beginning. During my first year as principal, I knew that our school had many great strengths but we were still not consistently meeting all student needs so I focused on differentiation through engagement. We did a staff book study (Carol Ann Tomlinson) and created SMART goals building-wide to target efforts toward individual growth for all students with support from partnered staff growth guides for accountability. What we learned as teachers was incredible as we reflected upon and began to incorporate facilitation of empowering student learning instead of solely teaching. We have staff competitions to learn from each other with #observeme as well as student goal setting/tracking to celebrate success for growth as a constant focus for improvement. With growing and learning together, we are now a school family! One of our first steps each year is building rapport with students, which is the foundation of differentiation. One way we build rapport is with implementing biweekly Friday Fun Day Clubs. This is a time where staff and students get to express their hobbies/likes in a collaborative environment school-wide. Students have freedom of choice of which staff member and hobby they get to participate in each 9 weeks. We also have weekly student conversation meetings to build connections and positive relationships with ALL students. Some ways we do this are playing at recess, talking with students one on one, and having lunch with students. Also, teachers eagerly teach growth mindset concepts in the classroom in collaboration with our counselor. In addition, teachers help students set personal learning and behavior goals to create a positive culture for learning. Finally, teachers enjoy making a positive connection with each students’ family at the beginning of each school year and send home weekly Wowzer cards to students that are standing out with a personalized message of good character and behavior. Many of our teachers support our students outside of school as well. For example, attending chess tournaments, sporting events, etc. in order to build on the foundational support of the whole child. All in all, we build rapport with students in order to differentiate through engagement each day!
Describe how data is used to improve student achievement and inform decision making.
Data is utilized daily in lesson planning, assessment, and instruction in order to improve student achievement and inform decision making. Teachers collect, analyze, and plan with data as a team each week as a PLC to target individual needs and gaps in learning in the classroom. This data is also used to plan our daily intervention and enrichment groups. These groups are based on individual student needs to foster growth during our building wide PROWL (tier 1/tier 2 interventions, extension/enrichment, and Dyslexia interventions) time built into our daily schedule from 7:50-8:20 Mondays-Thursdays. PROWL groups begin our day in order to maximize grade level classroom instruction for the remainder of the day. Because we place instruction during PROWL based on individual student skill needs instead of grade level, we built the culture of OUR students as a team working toward success. Some types of data that we use are: Phonics First diagnostic assessments, MAP, ACT Aspire, PAST (Kilpatrick), formative and summative assessments, anecdotal behavior notes and Common Formative Assessments. We also use our Parent Survey data to help improve instruction and make informed decisions in our school with Leadership Team, Behavior Team, Parent Advisory Committee, etc. We routinely analyze student achievement as well as teacher walkthrough data to plan instructional improvements for building wide growth. Additionally, our teachers write Professional Growth Plan Goals based on multiple forms of student data to target areas and prioritize improvement. Our building level Student Intervention Team analyzes data weekly to ensure targeted instruction implementation and monitoring progress in order to maintain diagnostic data in both qualitative and quantitative forms. By encompassing multiple assessments for each student, we are able to analyze the whole picture for possible attendance, social/emotional, or additional services. With every system in place, there is constant monitoring to implement changes if needed.
Describe the program or initiative that has had the greatest positive effect on student achievement, including closing achievement or opportunity gaps, if applicable.
The initiative that has the greatest positive effect on student achievement would be our focus on differentiation. We are very proud of our entire school staff working together toward student success with programs/activities such as the Student Intervention Team, PROWL groups (intervention/extension time), and building student relationships. In our endeavor to differentiatie, our staff works daily toward making sure each student reaches their full potential in each area of learning. Our teachers bring their knowledge from professional development and trainings, such as Science of Reading training, into the classroom each day to support and diagnostically plan for each child’s success. While one initiative could not possibly define our success, but rather every aspect of our organizational energy all pointing toward the goal of student growth and/or achievement. We are dedicated to do “Whatever it Takes” (district vision) to be the “difference makers” for our students.
Describe specific programs in place to ensure that families are involved in the success of your school and students.
Our school implements many high quality activities to strengthen ties to our community. First, our WE read as ONE program brings our community together as we promote literacy. We send a book home with each student that attends our school and provide reading activities for each chapter of the book. We also do activities at school with the book. This program brings families and our school together as ONE as we experience different types of literature with students. This also gives an emphasis at home that reading is important. We also include community members in our reading of the final chapter of the book chosen in an assembly. Another program that involves many stakeholders and brings our community together is our WooMart and our seasonal Angel Tree. WooMart is a food and clothing pantry located in our school for immediate student needs. Both of these programs are fully supported by local community partnerships developed over the years. Our community partnerships take great pride in knowing that at Wooster Elementary, we are taking care of the whole child. Another great way we get families involved in our school is through our student led conferences. These nights are a great way for students, parents, and teachers to celebrate growth, and set goals for reaching the next essential step of the students’ educational journey. Parents get to leave conferences with parent center materials to help their students at home with specific needs or areas of growth. The parent center is filled with high quality educational materials that are accessible to parents and students on conference night as well as throughout the school year.
What are your school’s top two goals for the next year?
Our school’s top two goals for the next year are...
1. Student Reading Growth- teachers collaboratively working to improve growth for our students and help every individual student soar to new heights in reading that will support all other subject areas as well.
2. Build on existing relationships with students and being dedicated to creatively meeting all student needs with differentiation through engagement.
Stats
  • Category 1

    Selected in 2019

  • Grades: k - 5
    School Setting: rural
    Town Population: 1,086
    Student Enrollment: 357
    Student Demographics:

    Black/African American: 2.2%
    White/Caucasian: 89.6%
    Hispanic: 3.9%
    Hawaiian/Pacific Islander: 0%
    Asian: 0.6%
    Native American: 0.3%
    Other: 3.4%

    Teacher/Student Ratio: 1:18.8
    % Reduced Lunch: 41%
    % ELL Learners: 1%
    Founded: 2008
  • PRINCIPAL:
    Amber Brantley
  • CONTACT:
    9 Church Circle
    Greenbrier, AR 72058
    501-679-3334
    brantleya@greenbrierschools.org