382 West Main Street
Forest City, NC 28043
All Rutherford County students will graduate prepared for college and
School Improvement Plan
Spindale Elementary School
Mr. Brandon Hill, Principal
161 North Oak Street
Spindale, NC 28160
Telephone: 828-286-2861 | Fax: 828-287-1026 http://ses.rcsnc.org/
Spindale Elementary School is nestled in the heart of Spindale, North Carolina, a small town formerly known as the textile center of Rutherford County. Spindale Elementary is home to the “Spindale Bees” where we operate with the central belief that every student has the ability to “Bee” a Leader. The core of the school’s student population resides in the town of Spindale but also includes some surrounding suburban areas.
Spindale Elementary School is a Title I school serving approximately 381 kindergarten through fifth-grade students and 36 NC-PreK students. The average class size is 20 students with an average daily attendance of 95%. Our students’ ethnic makeup is comprised of 48% White, 34% Black, 12% Multi-racial, and 6% Hispanic. In 2018-19, 70.59% of our students were classified as economically disadvantaged, however, all students received free breakfast and lunch at Spindale Elementary due to the school district’s participation in the Community Eligibility Program (CEP). We are continuing participation in 2019-20. Approximately 100 students receive food backpacks every Friday afternoon in an effort to fulfill their nutritional needs over the weekend.
Among the school’s current K-5 population, approximately 17% of students are served through our Exceptional Children Services. Approximately 4% of the student population qualifies for Academically and/or Intellectually Gifted (AIG) services, 3% qualify for 504 plans, and 3% receive English Language (EL) services.
Spindale Elementary enjoys a wonderful relationship with the town and communities in and around Spindale. The Spindale Police Department maintains a regular presence at our school in assisting with school arrival and dismissal almost on a daily basis. Officers from both the police and fire departments regularly visit the school and serve as volunteers with our lunch buddy program. We routinely receive school supplies and other assistance from our community churches. In addition, several businesses and organizations, from those located on Main Street to those that serve the community as grocery and eating establishments, support our school with both fundraiser opportunities and/or by donating to school initiatives.
As required by the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA), the instructional staff at Spindale Elementary consists of highly qualified, fully licensed teachers, teacher assistants, and other support staff. We also employ intervention tutors hired through Title I Funds. At Spindale Elementary, 17.9% of the teachers possess advanced degrees while 44.8% of the teachers have more than 10 years of teaching experience (34.5% have 4-10 years of experience and 20.7% have less than 4 years experience). In terms of academics, ninety minutes of literacy instruction is delivered daily using a combination of entire group instruction focused on grade-level core standards (30 minutes) combined with guided reading groups focusing on students' individual needs (60 minutes). Research-based programs and strategies are utilized, on a daily basis, to deliver direct and targeted literacy and math instruction to small groups of students. Operating under the direction of our Multi-Tiered Systems of Support (MTSS), assessment data in the areas of academics, behavior, and attendance are collected and analyzed regularly in order to implement appropriate supports, including both acceleration and interventions, to allow all students to be successful.
Students are given the opportunity to “Bee Leaders” through participation in the following programs offered at Spindale Elementary: Elementary Battle of the Books Team, Robotics Team, Recorder Karate, Scripps National Spelling Bee Program, AIG Days, Musical Programs, Safety Patrol, G.E.M.S. Club, and the Recycling Team. Fifth-grade students are instructed on the importance of respecting others and making wise choices through their participation in both the Gang Resistance Education and Training (G.R.E.A.T. - instructed by the Rutherford Co. Sheriff’s Office) and Drug Abuse Resistance Education (D.A.R.E. - instructed by the Spindale Police Department) Programs each year.
Having and maintaining positive relationships between home and school are the key to student success. Our staff puts forth intentional and diligent efforts to both build and foster successful relationships. We know that communication is key. Our staff communicates daily through the use of Class Dojo. In addition, staff employ the use of phone calls, postcards, etc. to ensure they are reaching families regarding the performance of their students. Spindale Elementary also offers several parent involvement activities each school year including both evening and daytime events. In addition, our Parent Teacher Organization (PTO) helps to offer support to our stakeholders with both offering events for parents and students.
At Spindale Elementary we make very diligent and concerted efforts to foster an environment that supports not only the academic learning of students but also the social and emotional learning of students. Spindale Elementary incorporated a Student Support Center in the 2019-20 school year to help students learn to better self-regulate, help them to have better understandings of any inappropriate actions and behaviors and help them with accepting responsibility. Spindale Elementary is also fortunate to have a day treatment program in our school that serves several of our students with pull-out services helping them learn appropriate social responsibilities.
Results from the most recent AdvancED Parent Perception Surveys show that our parents are overall satisfied in all five areas (Purpose and Direction, Governance and Leadership, Teaching and Assessing for Learning, Resource and Support Systems, and Using Results for Continuous Improvement), but feel most satisfied with the resources and support systems that we have in place.
The 2018 Teacher Working Conditions Survey indicated that while teachers are satisfied with the overall progress and efforts happening in our school, the areas that show the most concern for SES are that teachers feel they do not have access to a broad range of professional support personal, concerns with addressing and offering replacement behaviors in regards to managing student conduct and lack of sufficient non-instructional time for planning, etc.
Since 2014-2015, Spindale Elementary has met (14-15, 15-16, 17-18, 18-19) or exceeded (16-17) growth and has maintained an overall school performance grade of a C. While we have maintained we have not grown overall student proficiency as much as we desired. The percentage of students scoring proficient on the 2019 Reading EOG assessment was 45.4% (down from 45.7% in 2018 and 52.0% in 2017). The percentage of students scoring proficient on the 2019 Math EOG assessment was 57.6% (up from 53.8% in 2018 but down from 61.2% in 2017). On the 5th grade Science EOG assessment, 77.0% of students were proficient (slightly down from 78.3% in 2018 and 83.8% in 2017).
Our overarching objective is to ensure the students of Spindale Elementary are afforded a high-quality education in a safe and caring environment. As such, we will continue to pursue thoughtful conversations, planning, and dedication by our staff, parents and stakeholders as we make continuous improvement efforts on behalf of our students.
Beliefs and Mission
Spindale Elementary is implementing, with fidelity, a Multi-Tiered System of Supports (MTSS) framework that ecompasses accountability in the areas of academics, behavior, and attendance for all students. This systematic approach allows our school teams to analyze, review and compare student data so that we may consider the whole child. Through these multi-tiered systems of support, we have established student and staff expectations to support our beliefs, mission, vision, and overall school culture.
Spindale Elementary School’s vision is to create leaders who will engage in positive decision-making and become successful members of society. The staff believes that every student has the potential to be a leader, both academically and socially. In order for our students to overcome obstacles that may hinder their pathways to success, it is important for them to believe that they possess the ability within themselves to take charge of both their decision-making and lives.
The mission statement for our learning community is: “Working together to lead and grow”. The expectations are:
BEE Ready BEE Respectful BEE Responsible BEE Safe
“By Being Ready, Respectful, Responsible, and Safe, Spindale Bee’s Lead!”
The adoption of these core beliefs and principles came about through numerous discussions among the staff and parents, teacher grade level meetings, School Improvement Team Meetings, Total School Support Team Meetings, Core Leadership Team Meetings, Local Advisory Board meetings, parent involvement nights, and parent/teacher conferences. Stakeholders determined that we no longer would serve as a Leader In Me School, but would instead, restructure from within and develop new policies and procedures, based on the MTSS Framework for Behavior, that supported our efforts to bring about intentional consistency and structure K-5.
Staff members communicate our mission and underlying principles, on a daily basis, by using a common language with students, parents and one another. Our new school-wide expectations are taught and modeled daily throughout the school. Students are reminded of the school’s beliefs and mission through daily morning announcements, bi-weekly guidance lessons, teacher expectations, student work products, and visuals in classrooms/hallways throughout the school. Parents continue to be informed of the mission through their participation on boards and councils, parent-teacher conferences, parent involvement activities, and communications including but not limited to memos, newsletters, parent handbook, school messenger weekly phone calls and postings on the school website and Facebook page.
The school’s leadership team understands the importance of regularly evaluating and assessing the school’s implementation of our beliefs and mission. Through staff and grade level meetings, parent conferences, our Local Advisory Council, ongoing feedback from staff members, School Improvement Team members, and administrators, we have been able to evaluate alignment of the school’s programs to the new set of core concepts and understandings. Office discipline referrals, Measures of Academic Progress (MAP) assessment data, Istation data, NC Check-Ins benchmark data, and End-Of-Grade assessment data are also regularly analyzed to assess progress on the school’s mission and student success. Finally, results from student, parent and staff surveys, along with feedback from student recognitions and celebrations, are regularly compiled and discussed to evaluate the effective alignment of ALL programs to the school’s vision, mission and beliefs.
Desired Outcomes and Results
In terms of student learning, the school’s broad vision is for ALL students to demonstrate significant growth and attain grade level proficiency standards by the end of each academic school year. This broad vision aligns to local, state, and federal priorities in that a strong foundation is absolutely essential if we expect our students to be college and career ready upon exiting high school. At Spindale Elementary, we use the Read to Achieve initiative, Istation results, and EOG results to try to attain the desired outcomes of student growth.
Through careful analysis and discussion of numerous data sources during grade level meetings, School Improvement, MTSS, work sessions, and professional development activities, teachers and administrators identify specifically what we want our students to know and be able to accomplish. In addition, we have added a Total School Support team (TSS) that meets weekly to focus on overall student and school success. This team not only addresses academic issues but also considers the impact of behaviors and attendance with student performance. We want students to be able to read for understanding, think creatively, strategize, problem-solve effectively, and collaborate successfully. Our ultimate goal is to instill a passion for lifelong learning in our children so that they continue to ask questions, seek answers, wonder, and explore. Through the use of H.I.V.E. time (Housing InterVention and Enrichment), we have and will continue to incorporate small group reading instruction times based on ability levels, as well as leveled intervention time for math and reading so that individual learning needs are met. These leveled groups coupled with grade level instruction through the use of the district provided Literacy Instruction Framework, Canvas, and Math Instruction Framework, should help our students to become successful in all academic areas, thus helping them to show vast improvement on their EOG's, Istation, and MAP scores.
The vision we have for our students stems specifically from the trends we discovered in mCLASS (will now use Istation) and EOG test data, report cards, discipline reports, surveys, and student composition data (socioeconomic, ethnicity, and students with disabilities). Upon careful examination of the data sources, we identified the following patterns about the learning needs of our students: developmental deficiencies in reading, language and math upon entering school; high number of chronic tardiness and absences; large number of discipline referrals with highest infractions for defiance and lack of respect for others.
We believe that our students will grow and be successful learners by setting goals, creating priorities, respecting others, working together effectively, and finding balance in their lives. Our staff will prepare students to be successful through rigorous academic work and career preparation. Our school will provide a safe and nurturing environment that will enable students to become globally competitive.
Analysis of Organizational and Instructional Effectiveness
The staff, students, and parents have worked to establish a framework focused on student success at Spindale Elementary. Based on testing data and stakeholder input, we continue to strive for academic excellence and success. The culmination of all EOG scores (80% - proficiency, 20% - growth) is used to calculate a school's performance grade. For the past four years, SES has maintained an overall school performance grade of C with 62/C (2016), 66/C (2017), 59/C (2018) and 61/C (2019) . This consistency shows that we are maintaining our endeavors and efforts, however, we need to increase both overall proficiency and growth for all students. Our continued efforts have been driven by several aspects focused on the district’s four transformational strategies.
Engage every student in rigorous, personalized learning focused on college and career success:
A school-wide focus on reading, math, and science instruction has guided our efforts in teaching over the last 2 years. Through the implementation of differentiated instruction, we have been fortunate to hire 5-6 part-time tutors each year who work specifically with students on their individual levels through the MTSS framework. We also use the Literacy/Math/Science Instructional frameworks to guide our whole group instruction. Grade levels meet at least once each week to plan for small group instruction through the MTSS model. Staff members also have 1-2 in-service days per year to use for long range planning. While our school did experience a growth composite of 1.00 for the 2018-19 school year, which met the expected amount of growth, our goal is to continue to grow in reading, math, and science through the implementation of the strategies listed above. Our goal is to see our EOG proficiency levels increase to 62% in Reading, 70% in Math, and 89% in Science by the end of the 2020-2021 school year.
Ensure that a comprehensive, integrated system of support fosters students’ social and emotional health:
Spindale Elementary is a school that utilizes the MTSS/PBIS framework structure and integrates it into each and every aspect of the school day. Student and school procedures are guided by our MTSS matrix and the use of voice zones. Bee Bucks are awarded to students when they are found practicing appropriate behavior based on the MTSS matrix framework. The MTSS matrix outlines policies, procedures, and appropriate behaviors in all areas of our school building. Students in K-2 collect Bee Bucks which allow them to participate in weekly classroom drawings where winners are announced and given a small reward. Students in grades 3-5 collect Bee Bucks to spend on grade level incentives and rewards. When classrooms model exemplary behavior, they are able to earn Golden Bees to work towards school-wide celebrations held each grading period.
Our school staff is currently being trained on the social and emotional learning competencies supported by the Collaborative for Academic, Social, and Emotional Learning (CASEL). We are also in the process of exploring several Social and Emotional Learning curriculums so that we may adopt the best program that will help us meet the overall needs of our student population.
Ensure all students’ equitable access to safe, modern, educational facilities and appropriate learning resources:
Our school is equipped with safety in mind. Security cameras have been installed at all main entrances, car riders areas, and bus parking lot. We also have security doors in the front of the building ensuring that all visitors come in through the office to sign in at the LobbyGuard station. We are blessed to be a part of a one-to-one district where all students have access to an iPad at all times during the school day. We have a STEM lab where students use their devices and other materials to engage in Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematical learning activities. Through the use of these resources we hope to increase students' ability to work with up-to-date technology and be more prepared for an ever changing global economy.
Initiate, sustain, and leverage strong external partnerships that support student learning and school success:
Our school often serves as a community center housing opportunities for students to participate in activities such as our local Boy Scout and Girl Scout organizations, as well as, local youth sport and dance organizations. As stated earlier, our established relationships with many local businesses, churches, and community organizations help support the overall success of students at Spindale Elementary. Support from these partnerships allow us to provide valuable opportunities for students including Reading Buddies, Lunch Buddies and Mentors, as well as, needed school and clothing supplies. Weekly, community volunteers work to fill backpacks with food for our backpack program. In addition, we are fortunate to receive funds from the local Kiwanis chapter allowing us to purchase supplies for our STEM lab. Our Parent Teacher Organization sponsors our annual Fall Festival. The success of this festival is directly tied to our community partners as they make donations for raffle prizes and food contributions. These efforts, along with many others, help support several educational needs and opportunities for our students.
School Improvement to ensure all students are given an opportunity to achieve high standards at SES is indeed guided by our district’s transformational strategies. Daily, our staff works to engage every student in rigorous, personalized learning focused on college and career success. Our commitment in implementing our MTSS structure with fidelity helps us to ensure that a comprehensive, integrated system of support fosters students’ social and emotional health. Likewise, our commitment to equity and parity drive us to ensure all students’ equitable access to safe, modern educational facilities and appropriate learning resources. Finally, our belief that it takes a village drives us to initiate, sustain, and leverage strong external partnerships that support student learning and school success. Our action plan for the 2019-2021 plan cycle shows our continued commitment to overall school improvement and increasing student achievement.