• Category 1

    Selected in 2014

  • Grades: pre k - 5
    School Setting: rural
    Town Population: 2
    Student Enrollment: 293
    Student Demographics:

    Black/African American: 0%
    White/Caucasian: 0%
    Hispanic: 0%
    Hawaiian/Pacific Islander: 0%
    Asian: 1%
    Native American: 99%
    Other: 0%

    Teacher/Student Ratio: 1:28
    % Reduced Lunch: 100%
    % ELL Learners: 32%
    Founded: 1950
  • PRINCIPAL:
    Irowena Whitehair
  • CONTACT:
    P.O. Box 7917
    Newcomb, NM 87455
    505-696-3415
    whiti@centralschools.org
Newcomb Elementary School
Newcomb, NM
“When our school received a Report Card of "C" prior to this year, we all worked hard to change that. We reviewed our programs, strategies, and support services to identify areas of need. This led us to have monthly student award ceremonies that acknowledged our student’s efforts to learn, be successful in their academic studies, and understand why they were being recognized. They did not just go up to get a certificate but shared why they believed they received the recognition. They also participated in a "Student of the Month” party as a celebration of their success. We also prepped for the state testing by not just providing after school tutoring but we also had pep assemblies and celebrations for the hard work students had shown. When our school received an "A" this year, it proved that our hard work paid off!"
Describe the most successful activity your school has initiated to strengthen ties to your community.
This year these were the activities that stood out as we built strong ties with our community: The Christmas Program we had over 50% of our parents attend. This is the most in many years. Parents were excited to see their children perform. The spay/neuter clinic that occurred in December. Over one hundred animals were brought into the clinic at our school from our local chapters/community. We help the community in decreasing dogs and cats in this and surrounding communities. A teacher also works with the Echo Food Bank which provides backpacks filled with food to our students coming from families in need of support. Students also take home replenished foods every week.
Describe your school culture and explain changes you’ve taken to improve it.
• When our school received a Report Card of "C" prior to this year, we all worked hard to change that. We reviewed our programs, strategies, and support services to identify areas of need. This led us to have monthly student award ceremonies that acknowledged our student’s efforts to learn, be successful in their academic studies, and understand why they were being recognized. They did not just go up to get a certificate but shared why they believed they received the recognition. They also participated in a "Student of the Month” party as a celebration of their success. We also prepped for the state testing by not just providing after school tutoring but we also had pep assemblies and celebrations for the hard work students had shown. When our school received an "A" this year, it proved that our hard work paid off!
Describe how data is used to improve student achievement and inform decision making.
A lot of the data were posted on the boards in the “Data Room” (DIBELS and High Frequency Word fluency for First Grade), and SRI, Achieve and other for the upper grades. I think this info helped us in grouping our students according to abilities, plus it showed us who need help. Teachers kept a Skill Sheet record on each student. It includes details about performance on stated and district testing; as well as, interventions the students receive. The information helps the next teacher identify areas of strength and needs. At the end of each school year, teachers meet with the next grade teachers to discuss students, classes, interventions, and support services. Throughout the school year, grade level teachers meet weekly to discuss student needs and the support programs that would benefit those students who qualify. It was also important for teachers to make changes to interventions based upon growth and success they saw at regular intervals throughout the school year.
Describe the program or initiative that has had the greatest positive effect on student achievement, including closing achievement or opportunity gaps, if applicable.
NES implemented positive behavior supports through providing incentives to those who were doing great in behavior and academically. Their is a Trading Post in the school where students can spend their earned Eagle Bucks every month. This worked well as students wanted to earn the Eagle Bucks.The monthly writing prompt that was used last school year provided students at opportunity to develop their language skills and allowed them to evaluate their own writing progress. For our special education population, the Sounds in Syllables program implementation provided students a systematic instruction/therapy to address specific reading/language needs. Finally, another huge effect to closing the achievement gap is there is minimal teacher turn over at NES every year. Only about 1-3 staff members will leave NES, most staff have been teaching here for years. They know what works with this student population and what doesn't.
Explain how Title I funds are used to support your improvement efforts.
The funds were used to fund after school program which enhanced those who were average or above and those who needed extra help. Professional development was also incorporated with these funds on reading comprehension and planning. Teachers were also given the opportunity to request for supplementary materials to help enhance their instruction in reading and math. Reading and math online programs were also funded for students.
Describe your philosophy of school change or improvement.
We believe that we need to build the foundation for learning. Yes we have mandated tests that we also have to use as a guide to direct instruction, however there are also foundational skills that students need to learn in order to become successful citizens as they reach adulthood that they will also use everyday. As a school we want to ensure we are building the foundation for life long learning for our students and also instill in them that they can and well be successful at whatever their endeavors may be whether an electrician, doctor, teacher, care-giver, etc. We also know that parents are the first teachers. They need to be very much involved in their child’s education and to offer the support needed; taking time to sit with their child as they do their homework; reading with and to their child. We need to work as a team: school staff, parents and student.
Identify the critical professional development activities you use to improve teaching and student learning.
Close Reading and Text Complexity Training. Master Teacher sharing information from Mary Kim Schreck regarding writing and questioning (this led to the staff choosing to using the monthly writing prompts last school year). Deep curriculum alignment training. Training in Common Core.
Describe specific programs in place to ensure that families are involved in the success of your school and students.
Student of the Month Assemblies, signing their child’s Read and Respond, Parent/ teacher Conferences, Parent Nights activities provided by different grade levels each month focusing on academic areas; as well as, the Dine' Language parent training program that held weekly meetings. Veterans Day, Christmas and Spring programs.
What is the single most important factor in the success of your school that others could replicate?
This is a difficult one to answer because our children and staff make the biggest difference in our success. They are the ones who take the time to attend regularly (families will bring them to school to ensure they come each school day no matter snowy, muddy, and rainy conditions), learn the skills, and show what they know on district and state testing. The staff dedication, we have die-hard staff who have been here for these children, who are part of the chapters/communities that send their precious children to us, and support us in our endeavors to educate their children. That is why we have been successful. Programs and administrators come and go...we are here to stay...this our family...or place of being, K'é.
What are your school’s top two goals for the next year?
1. To maintain our “A”.
2. Have our students reading at grade-level. (or at least have a love for Reading) which will help provide learning and academic opportunities for our students so they are successful in college, career, and life in today’s global economy.
Stats
  • Category 1

    Selected in 2014

  • Grades: pre k - 5
    School Setting: rural
    Town Population: 2
    Student Enrollment: 293
    Student Demographics:

    Black/African American: 0%
    White/Caucasian: 0%
    Hispanic: 0%
    Hawaiian/Pacific Islander: 0%
    Asian: 1%
    Native American: 99%
    Other: 0%

    Teacher/Student Ratio: 1:28
    % Reduced Lunch: 100%
    % ELL Learners: 32%
    Founded: 1950
  • PRINCIPAL:
    Irowena Whitehair
  • CONTACT:
    P.O. Box 7917
    Newcomb, NM 87455
    505-696-3415
    whiti@centralschools.org