Rutherford County Schools

382 West Main Street
Forest City, NC 28043


All Rutherford County students will graduate prepared for college and career success.

2021-2023 School Improvement Plan

Mt. Vernon-Ruth Elementary School

Ms. Molly Roberson, Principal

2785 Hudlow Road
Forest City, NC 28043
Telephone: 828-287-4792 | Fax: 828-287-5253

Section 1: School Profile

Mount Vernon-Ruth (MVR) Elementary is a small, community-oriented school located in rural Rutherford County, North Carolina. In July of 2001, Mount Vernon Elementary School and Ruth Elementary School merged, combining the two communities. Both communities joined hands to work together to support the children of Mount Vernon-Ruth Elementary. MVR Elementary is home of the Lions where we believe that all students are leaders.

MVR is a Title 1 school serving students in kindergarten through grade five. With a warm and inviting atmosphere, MVR welcomes all students and their families. With an average of 220 students and 50 staff members, we are the second smallest elementary school in the district. While most students who attend MVR do reside in our community, 25% of students request a transfer to attend our school. The average class size is seventeen students. Our student ethnic makeup is 1% Asian, 12% Hispanic, 3% African American, 6% Multiracial, and 78% Caucasian. Twenty percent of students are identified as students with special needs while 7% are identified as limited English proficient. Four percent of our students are identified as Academically and Intellectually Gifted. Presently, 40% of our students are identified as economically disadvantaged. Our district provides a Community Eligibility Program (CEP) to all students due to the poverty level of many of the families located in our community. All students receive free breakfast and lunch each day. Approximately ten MVR students receive food backpacks each Friday to support their food needs over the weekend. At MVR, students maintain an average daily attendance of 83% present.

MVR’s small and close-knit community make it a special place to teach and learn. Closeness invites and allows for stakeholders to work together. In spite of hard economic times, our students' families are supportive of our school and are active with fundraising efforts. Our Parent-Teacher Organization (PTO) works diligently to make sure all students are afforded a multitude of learning and life experiences. They make it possible for all students to attend field trips and participate in extra activities. Our PTO shows staff appreciation with scheduled luncheons and gifts.
Through the McNair program, R.S. Central High School leadership classes provide opportunities for high school students to work bi-weekly with our third grade students. Junior BETA Club members read with students and practice sight word and fact fluency. Lifelong friendships are created through this partnership. Community volunteers work at MVR in multiple capacities. Volunteers help at our Fall and Spring Book Fairs, during our Fall Festival, and at various times throughout the school year as teachers need extra support in their classroom. Several churches in the MVR community provide food, clothing, and school supplies to families in need.

MVR offers several different extra-curricular activities in which students can participate. These activities provide students with an opportunity to practice and demonstrate leadership skills. These activities include Robotics, Elementary Book
Challenge, Scripps National Spelling Bee Program, Academically and Intellectually Gifted Days (including Innovation and GEAR - Gifted Enrichment Accelerated Readiness Days), and musical programs. Students maintaining a certain specified criteria are also invited into Junior BETA Club. In BETA, students have many jobs around the school including tutoring younger students, working in safety patrol, and assisting in the media center, cafeteria, and office. BETA students average approximately twenty-five community service hours per week.

At MVR we believe that timely communication with parents and guardians is crucial to student well-being and growth. Within the first ten days of the school year, all teachers make positive contact with students’ families. At a minimum of two times per school year, our teachers have face-to-face conversations with guardians. Daily, teachers communicate with parents via Class Dojo,Canvas, classroom newsletters, and student communication folders. On Sunday evenings, all families receive a call from the administrator using School Messenger with important upcoming weekly reminders. We update our school marquee on an as needed basis to ensure that all families are aware of important dates. MVR’s school website is also used as a communication tool for families. Facebook is frequently updated to not only inform families but also to share pictures of what students are doing each day and to highlight school successes. We reach most of our families through Facebook and continue to receive feedback from parents on this form of communication. During the summer of 2019, MVR’s third grade teachers participated in summer home visits. We received glowing positive student and parent feedback. This is an activity we look forward to continuing and expanding in the coming years.

MVR’s Local Advisory Committee (LAC), composed of both parents and community members, meet six times per school year to discuss upcoming school events, strengths of the school, and areas of improvement for the school. Recently, members of LAC have shared "parents are pleased with the overall school atmosphere and education of the children''. The NC Teacher Working Conditions Survey also supports that teachers are extremely happy with their work environment - all scores are in the "agree" and "strongly agree" categories.

Ninety-eight percent of the certified staff at MVR are highly qualified, fully licensed teachers. MVR has sixteen classroom teachers. Four teachers hold their Master’s Degree. Tutors are employed from October to May to support teachers’ instruction and student learning. Teacher Assistants are employed in all K-1 classrooms, additionally three teacher assistants serve 2nd-5th grade classrooms.

We have worked extremely hard on raising student achievement by holding high expectations for all students and by differentiating instruction so that all students can succeed. Every day students participate in a ninety minute literacy block, sixty minute math block, and sixty minute MTSS (Multi-Tiered System of Supports) block. In each of these blocks, teachers use research-based tools and strategies along with whole group, small group, and one-on-one delivery of instruction to ensure that all students are successful. Teachers informally and formally assess students on a daily basis to gather data and to inform their instruction. Our current end of grade proficiency data is as follows - End-of-Grade Reading - 50%, End-of-Grade Mathematics - 56.7%, and End-of-Grade Science - 64.9%. Our scores in reading, math, and science lie above the district average. We have an Overall Achievement Score of 55.1%. This achievement score falls above the state average. Our overall focus the next two years will continue to include strategies to increase our deficits in third through fifth grades reading.

At MVR our ultimate goal is to see all students be prepared and successful for middle school, high school, college, and the workforce. We take not only teaching very seriously, but also the work that lies behind teaching - collaborating, analyzing data, reflecting, and making adjustments. Daily, we work together to make sure each day sees more growth and progress than the day before.

Section 2: Beliefs and Mission

All staff at MVR have a shared belief that all students can be taught, can learn, and can be successful. After multiple school discussions and school surveys, our School Improvement Team has identified the following as our vision, mission, and beliefs:

School Vision - Mount Vernon-Ruth Elementary School strives to provide a well-maintained, 21st Century inspired atmosphere that is welcoming to all students. Our students will be well prepared for their future learning experiences in Rutherford County Schools.

School Mission - In an ever-changing diverse community, Mount Vernon-Ruth Elementary School will provide a nurturing school environment for all students and families through rigorous and challenging learning experiences.

Belief Statements:

All students can learn and grow academically when held to high expectations

Students must be loved first then taught

Differentiation, consistency and engagement are key for student success

Collaboration among all stakeholders is crucial

Our staff meets bi-monthly for faculty meetings to evaluate the progress students are making toward our school's mission, and ultimately, our vision. We have weekly grade level and MTSS meetings with the school’s administrator, instructional coach, and teachers to discuss specific grade level progress toward our goals. During these meetings we review and analyze data. We collaborate to make needed adjustments to instruction and curricula. Further, we plan for classroom shifts that need to occur so that all students can succeed.

Staff consistently use language from our school’s mission, vision, and belief statements when communicating with students, families, and the community. Students are reminded of our mission, vision, and beliefs through morning announcements, guidance lessons, school expectations, and classroom expectations. Parents are reminded of our mission, vision, and beliefs through informal and formal parent-teacher conferences, student-parent events, and through our multimode delivery of communication with parents.

Faculty meetings, School Improvement Team meetings, grade level meetings, MTSS meetings, beginning teacher meetings, and Local Advisory Council meetings allow MVR stakeholders ample time to review our progress on working towards our school’s mission and vision from many different lenses. Additionally, data obtained from Measures of Academic Progress (MAP), NC Check Ins, and End-of-Grade Assessments further provide our staff with evidence of our progress towards our mission and vision. The Teaching Working Conditions Survey and parent surveys also provide staff with feedback on our work towards our school’s mission and vision.

Section 3: Desired Outcomes and Results

During School Improvement Team, Faculty, and MTSS meetings, areas of weakness are identified. Data analysis of subgroups, trends, and content strands data for the school are used to guide discussions and school development improvement plans. As a school, we concentrate our focus on the following non-negotiable actions to help us work towards our desired outcomes and results:

Utilize a 90 minute Literacy Block

Utilize a 60 minute Math Block

Utilize a 60 minute MTSS Block

Incorporate Guided Reading Rotations into Core Reading instruction (Benchmark Advance)

Use Schoolnet Math as a supplement to Eureka Math

Use Schoolnet Science as a supplement to Carolina Science Building Blocks of Science 3D

Use multiple forms of data to inform instruction

Use progress monitoring to determine students’ needs and respond accordingly

Meet weekly with administrator or school’s instructional coach to review data and respond accordingly

Meet weekly as a grade level to discuss content and collaborate on lessons

Focus on student engagement and meeting all learning styles

Use Multi-Tiered Systems of Supports (MTSS)

Have Parent-Teacher Conferences no fewer than two times per year

By consistently following through with performing to fidelity the above actions, we believe that we can provide each MVR student with a challenging and rigorous learning opportunity. We believe that through these activities we can reach our ultimate goal which is for all students to be prepared for middle school and beyond. This further supports Rutherford County School’s vision that all students are prepared for college and career success.

MVR will increase overall student proficiency on the Reading North Carolina End-of-Grade Test of Reading from 50% (2020-2021) proficiency to 55% proficiency or better during the 2021-2022 school year and 61% proficiency or better during the 2022-2023 school year.

MVR will increase overall student proficiency on the North Carolina End-of-Grade Test of Mathematics from a 56.7% (2020-2021) proficiency to 63% proficiency or better during the 2021-2022 school year and 71% proficiency or better during the 2022-2023 school year.

MVR will raise overall student proficiency on the North Carolina End-of-Grade Test of Science at grade five from a 64.9% (2020-2021) proficiency to 71% proficiency or better during the 2021-2022 school year and 77% proficiency or better during the 2022-2023 school year.

MVR will raise the FAM-S score from 57% (2020-2021) to 63% or better during the 2021-2022 school year and 70% proficiency or better during the 2022-2023 school year.

Section 4: Analysis of Organizational and Instructional Effectiveness

MVR is a community and strives to celebrate accomplishments. During the 2018-2019 school year, expected growth was exceeded. We saw growth in all of our subgroups. An all-time high was reached on the End-of-Grade Science EOG during the 2018-2019 school year. Though growth has been seen in many areas, this growth is inconsistent. Reading continues to be a weakness in third through fifth grade. We will continue to closely monitor student performance, collaborate, have focused conversations on instruction, and adjust our teaching to ensure growth. We continue to use the district’s four transformational strategies to guide our work towards achieving success for all students -

Engage every student in rigorous, personalized learning focused on college and career success:

MVR continues to work diligently in the areas of reading, math, and science. Conversation at all meetings center around instruction, data, and student results. Data is reviewed and decisions are made on a daily basis to meet the needs of all learners. Students participate in a ninety minute literacy block, sixty minute math block, and sixty minute MTSS block. During both reading and math blocks, time is devoted to providing all students with core instruction while an equal amount of time is designated for differentiated instruction and practice. MVR’s MTSS block provides further time for staff to meet students at their lowest level of understanding and provide instruction from that point of understanding. While our school celebrated a growth composite of 4.73, which identified us as “exceeding expected growth”, we continue to have deficits in the areas of third through fifth grade reading. We will continue to dig deep by analyzing data and exploring other instructional avenues and teaching modalities to grow in these areas. Our goal is to see our proficiency levels increase in reading to 65%, in math to 70%, and in science to 77% over the next two year period.

Ensure that a comprehensive, integrated system of support fosters students’ social and emotional health:

At MVR we are in the beginning stages of implementing the behavioral component of the MTSS framework. We have completed Integrated Academic and Behavior Systems (IABS) Training for module one. MVR’s motto is “LIONS are Leaders.” “LIONS” serves as an acronym providing students with a tool to remember to be L - loyal, I - independent, O - on-task, N - neat, and S - safe each day. Our MVR matrix outlines student expectations for specified areas in the building. Students receive affirmations for following school expectations. Classrooms are recognized with lions for meeting school expectations. Assemblies are held when our school paw has been filled by individual student paws. Shoutouts are consistently given to both students and staff during daily morning and afternoon announcements to recognize and encourage positive behavior. Classroom teachers and our school guidance counselor reteach behaviors on an as needed basis to encourage positive student behavior.

Ensure all students’ equitable access to safe, modern, educational facilities and appropriate learning resources:

Safety is of highest priority at MVR. Safety cameras are installed at all school entry points and at high traffic areas within the building. All visitors and volunteers must enter our school through locked front doors which lead directly into our office area. Visitors and volunteers are required to use LobbyGuard and speak with an office staff member before moving throughout our building. Further, they are required to check out of our school using LobbyGuard. All students at MVR have an Acceptable Use Agreement on file. Therefore, all students have access to their own iPad where they use it throughout the day to participate in lessons, research, and demonstrate learning. At MVR, all students participate in a weekly STREAM (Science, Technology, Reading, Engineering, Art, and Mathematics) lab as part of their special’s rotation. In STREAM, all students are afforded the opportunity to explore with more technology tools to further nurture student exploration and creativity.

Initiate, sustain, and leverage strong external partnerships that support student learning and school success:

As previously stated, MVR works with a multitude of community stakeholders. We continue our partnerships with local churches who graciously provide a variety of resources on an as needed basis to support student and family needs at MVR. We have a very active PTO that works diligently to not only support students in their everyday learning but also plans for and executes many events which draw students, family, and the community together.

Section 5: Action Plan

Roster of School Improvement Team Members

Schedule of School Improvement Team Meetings

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