Ellenboro Elementary School is situated in the beautiful foothills of western North Carolina. Ellenboro is a small, rural town surrounded by farms and rolling countryside. The Ellenboro community is located on Highway 74, six miles east of Forest City, North Carolina.
Our students come from many diverse backgrounds and make up a very large district. Ellenboro Elementary encompasses the communities of Bostic, Hollis, Hopewell, Concord, and Washburn. Ellenboro Elementary School serves approximately 613 students, including 81% Caucasian, 5% African American, 6% Hispanic and 8% who are multi-racial. Seventeen percent of our student population are served through our Exceptional Children Program, in both self-contained and resource capacities. We embrace our student population and celebrate their successes and gains.
We enjoy a wonderful relationship with the community in and around the Town of Ellenboro and receive tremendous support from many of our stakeholders. We are blessed to have a wonderful fundraiser, the Colfax Free Fair-Ellenboro School Carnival, that helps our community and our school. Each September, this event gives people within our county and the surrounding counties a chance to experience a small community fair and reminisce about the days of old. The tradition of the Ellenboro fair includes rides, food, fellowship, community involvement, and historical exhibits.
Our focus at Ellenboro Elementary is helping our children succeed. Our students work hard every day in reading, language, writing, math, science, social studies and so much more! Our teachers deliver a curriculum that is challenging, yet exciting, and we are seeing good results in terms of benchmarks and End-of-Grade tests.
In addition, the state of North Carolina required that the foundational reading skills of all kindergarten through third grade students be measured with mClass until the completion of the 2018-2019 school year. mClass is a universal screener that measures the development of reading skills through two main assessments: Dynamic Indicators of Basic Early Literacy Skills (DIBELS) and the Text Reading Comprehension (TRC) assessments. In the 2018-2019 school year, 74% of K-3 students met the grade requirements for the DIBELS and 64% met the grade level requirements for TRC. Although we strive to make greater improvements, we are proud to show that our students are experiencing success.
In the 2021-2022 school year, all schools in North Carolina will begin assessing students using mClass. Reading skills of students in Kindergarten through third grade will be measured by this testing system. It is a testing system that provides regular progress monitoring and reports on student ability.
Ellenboro Elementary utilizes a multi-tiered system of support (MTSS) framework for all students, ensuring that students receive excellent core instruction as well as other layers of academic, behavior and social-emotional support when needed. All of our students participate in Tiger Time, a scheduled block during the day, when interventions and enrichment are provided by classroom teachers, teacher assistants and support staff. Problem-solving and planning occur in weekly grade level meetings and data is collected regularly to monitor student progress.
We have consistently been at or above the county average in attendance. The school has implemented Team Tiger rewards to acknowledge those students that arrive to school on time and stay for the full day. Attendance has a direct bearing on our success and we are always looking for ways to improve.
We want our students to ROAR with Tiger Pride in and out of the classroom by showing respect, organization, attitude and responsibility. There is an understanding by our Pre-Kindergarten students to our fifth graders of what behaviors should be seen in all areas of the building, and we communicate these expectations to our students and staff. Students are re-taught behavior expectations in social skills groups with the school counselor in an effort to reduce office referrals. They also receive feedback on behavior from PawPals Mentors as well as others in the building.
Our school was recognized during the 2013-2014 and 2014-2015 school year as an Exemplar School under the NC Positive Behavior Intervention and Support initiative. During the 2015-2016, 2016-2017, and 2017-2018 school years, Ellenboro was recognized as a Model School. We are always working to decrease our office discipline referrals and increase our time in class.
One key to our success over the past 10 years has been the Ellenboro teachers, staff and administration. Our faculty loves working at Ellenboro and it shows! Our teachers appreciate a master schedule that supports both instruction and collaboration. Daily collaborative grade level planning has been a significant morale booster and has helped to lighten the load that teachers face each day. Administrative support is another strength of our school. When teachers are in need of something, the administration tries their best to fulfill that need.
Ellenboro Elementary School is proud of the technology available to students and teachers in the classroom. Our classrooms feature Promethean Boards, document cameras, Apple TVs, Apple pencils and one-to-one access to technology. Kindergarten to fifth grade students have classroom sets of iPads. Students are given the opportunity to engage in STEM activities weekly in our STEM Lab. Our teachers enjoy integrating technology into everyday lessons.
We take great pride in our facilities. Our current building was built in 2004 and has remained as clean and up-to-date as it was the day we moved in! Our custodial staff does an excellent job ensuring our students have a school environment that is conducive to learning. We have a K-2 playground, a 3-5 playground, a nature trail and large acreage for additional school activities.
We work with parents to continually build successful relationships. Teachers communicate well with parents throughout the school year so that parents know what to expect at report card time. We offer many parent involvement opportunities and are looking to add more each year. Parents are invited for numerous school events including Open House, the Book Character Parade, Storytime with Santa, and Bingo for Books. Our PTO parents work closely with teachers, staff and administration to help support our students. These parents, along with other community volunteers, began helping during the 2014-2015 school year with our Reading Buddies Mentoring program and continue to play an integral role in helping our students feel successful. Our parents are very supportive of our school and our teachers. According to the 2016 AdvancEd Survey, 90% of our parents reported that our school’s purpose statement is clearly focused on student success. A majority (90%) of parents reported that their child’s teacher provides an equitable curriculum that meets his/her learning needs. In addition, 92% of parents stated their child understands expectations in all classes. Ellenboro Elementary School is a wonderful mix of tradition and innovation. We have tremendous support for our school, both from the community and from our parents, and we are honored to educate the students within our district. We believe that all students can learn, and we celebrate with them when they experience success!
Beliefs and Mission
EES Vision Ellenboro Elementary students will flourish in a global, technology-rich environment while becoming career and college ready.
EES Mission Ellenboro Elementary School will prepare all students for lifelong learning in a global community by partnering with families and communities, providing rigorous academic and career preparation experiences, and promoting a safe and nurturing school environment.
EES Beliefs We believe… - all students can and will learn. - students should be in a safe, caring environment. - students should be able to use technology to be globally competitive. - the relationship between parents and the school impacts the success of the student. - we should nurture our community as they support our school. - our Tigers will ROAR!
When deciding upon a vision and mission that would best meet the needs of Ellenboro students, input was gathered from a multitude of stakeholders. Ellenboro's School Improvement Team (SIT), Local Advisory Committee, and Parent Teacher Organization (PTO) met on numerous occasions to collectively decide what we wanted most for our students. Faculty and staff were also given opportunities to provide input during grade level meetings, school level meetings, and through faculty surveys.
Our vision and mission are communicated to our stakeholders through our website, official school documents, parent meetings, parent involvement activities, visuals throughout the school building, and monthly faculty meetings.
Continuous evaluation of our vision, mission, and beliefs is needed to ensure Ellenboro Elementary continues to provide the skills necessary for our students to thrive beyond the walls of our school. The evaluative process will occur during weekly professional learning community (PLC) meetings, monthly SIT meetings, bi-monthly PTO meetings, and quarterly Local Advisory Committee meetings. Data will also be collected from benchmark assessments such as Measures of Academic Progress (MAP) and mClass. End-of-Grade test scores will also be evaluated along with student, parent, and staff surveys to determine alignment with school goals.
Desired Outcomes and Results
As described previously, internal and external stakeholders worked together to develop Ellenboro's vision, mission and belief statements. Ellenboro reviewed several data sources including office discipline referrals, End-of-Grade test scores, report cards, benchmark assessments, parent surveys, and parent meetings. Title I parent surveys reinforce our beliefs and indicate that Ellenboro School creates a valuable relationship between parents and the community. This support positively impacts the success of our students and greatly benefits our school.
Our broad vision aligns directly to local, state and national educational priorities. We believe all students should achieve grade-level proficiency in reading, math, science, social studies and writing. Proficiency and growth have been consistent in reading, math and science since the 2013-2014 school year. During the 2019-2020 and 2020-2021 school years, our students experienced interrupted learning due to school closures and adjustments related to COVID-19. End-of-grade assessments were waived at the end of the 2019-2020 school year.
During the 2020-2021 school year, 50.4% of our students were proficient in math on the end-of-grade test and 47.8% of our students were proficient in reading. On the Measures of Academic Progress (MAP) test, our spring online benchmark, our students scored even higher. In math 59.5% of our students met grade level standards and 57% of our students met grade level standards in reading.
Ellenboro School has decided to specifically target reading, math, science, and the facilitated assessment of MTSS for the 2021-2023 school improvement cycle. In the 2018-2019 school year, 74% of K-3 students met the grade requirements for the DIBELS and 64% met the grade level requirements for TRC. Additionally, 68.8% of our students were proficient in reading, 76.8% proficient in math and 76.5% proficient in science. Our goal is to increase our overall reading and math scores to at least 70% and increase science scores to 85%, thus obtaining a B school report card grade by the end of the 2022-2023 school year.
Our students will use technology fluently to target these goals and gain insight and knowledge beyond the classroom. This will lead to academic growth, to fulfill our vision for student outcomes, and prepare them for an ever changing global market. Students will also have an understanding of positive character traits, including respect and responsibility so that they can work and learn cooperatively with those around them. These traits, as well as many other career-building traits are taught on a daily basis through a multi-tiered system of support (MTSS) that focuses on behavior. Additionally, these skills are supplemented with classroom guidance lessons and purposeful interactions between faculty and students. Students are retaught “ROAR” (Respect, Organization, Attitude and Responsibility) as needed through demonstration, practice, and gentle reminders. High behavioral expectations are set for all students so that each child feels safe to learn and grow while being taught in a caring environment.
To ensure our students are proficient at grade level and college and career ready upon leaving Ellenboro, we will continue to utilize a MTSS framework of support for all students. We will ensure our students receive excellent core instruction as well as other layers of academic support when needed. During core instruction time, students will receive whole group and small group instruction as well as individual attention using research-based teaching strategies found within the Literacy Instruction Framework, Mathematics Instruction Framework and the Science Instruction Framework. All students participate in Tiger Time, a scheduled block during the day when interventions and enrichment are provided by classroom teachers, teacher assistants and support staff. During Tiger Time, progress monitoring data (Tier 3 every 10 days, Tier 2 every 20 days) and benchmark data (3 times a year) are collected . This data will be reviewed by teachers during weekly meetings to best target student needs. We believe that all students can and will learn and Tiger Time helps to meet individual student needs. Our multi-tiered system of support ensures all students are receiving what they need to be successful in the future.
Analysis of Organizational and Instructional Effectiveness
According to internal and external stakeholders, Ellenboro Elementary School has many strengths regarding organizational and instructional effectiveness. Ellenboro is a school dedicated to rigorous instruction for all students. Through problem-solving, data analysis and grade-level planning, we provide a Multi-Tiered System of Support for our students, both academically (Responsiveness to Instruction) and behaviorally (Positive Behavior Intervention and Support). Every student from kindergarten to fifth grade is supported daily in Tiger Time, our designated hour for intervention and enrichment. We have most recently been named a Green Ribbon School by the Integrated Academic and Behavior Support (IABS) division of NC Department of Public Instruction (NCDPI) in regards to our behavior support implementation. Our teachers use the district Literacy Instruction Framework (LIF), Math Instruction Framework (MIF) and Science Instruction Framework (SIF) sites when providing core instruction.
Ellenboro Elementary School recognizes a need for a system of support that is responsive to the social, emotional and developmental needs of our students. We have a strong school counseling program that includes classroom guidance, small group counseling, individual counseling and consultation services for all students. Additional student needs are met through our Backpack Food Program, referrals to local mental health agencies and the matching of students and mentors for our Reading Buddies Program. Ellenboro students also have the opportunity to participate in various activities aimed at the acquisition of positive behaviors including Career Day and school teams such as Robotics Club, and Book Challenge Team.
We take great pride in our school facilities and learning resources. Our custodial staff does an excellent job keeping our facilities clean and ensuring our students are comfortable in their learning environment. Ellenboro is kept secure with walk-throughs by the Sheriff Department’s Elementary School Resource Officer, ProxCards at each entrance and updated cameras within our hallways. We complete practice drills with our students on a monthly basis so that every one is prepared in the event of an emergency situation.
Ellenboro Elementary School has several learning resources which benefit our students both directly and indirectly. Our Book Room and Common Core library, funded with help from community supporters, give our teachers the necessary resources for student success. During the 2020 school year all kindergarten through 5th grade students received iPads to use at home and at school for instruction. All classrooms are equipped with Promethean boards, Apple TVs, Apple Pencils and many have document cameras as well. Students also visit our STEM lab on a weekly basis. We are excited about the technology that we have in our classrooms and the opportunity that it provides our students.
While we recognize and celebrate our strengths in many areas, we also acknowledge improvements needed to further the success of our students. Our teachers are presenting curriculum to students and are beginning to see improvements in assessments such as Measures of Academic Progress (MAP). Our MAP growth, however, is not as consistent among grade levels as we would like. To address this weakness, we will ask for continued support from our instructional coach related to LIF, MIF and SIF sites. We also are supporting a large number of students in the Exceptional Children program, an area which comes with it’s own set of challenges regarding resources and staffing. Although some meetings have been scheduled, additional collaboration between regular education and special education teachers is needed. Better problem-solving of core instruction will also help make sure there are no gaps in instruction for any students, including those placed in the Exceptional Children program.
We are always working to increase time in class for students displaying behavior that is incongruent with our expectations. Students who have two or more office discipline referrals in separate locations are screened for small group intervention. Our School Improvement Team will also consider Check-In/Check-Out as an appropriate behavior intervention for students. We want to provide behavior intervention and support for these students, so that the focus during the school day is academics.
Ellenboro Elementary uses technology to help achieve breakthrough performance in student learning. With the help of technology, teachers are able to take students beyond the limits of the classroom. This allows students real world experiences that they may not have the opportunity to encounter otherwise. iPads increase student learning, time on task and overall student engagement, therefore, decreasing opportunities for unacceptable behavior. An essential resource that is used with the iPads, Apple Classroom, allows teachers to monitor time-on-task with iPad usage by students. Ellenboro’s technology helps to eliminate many obstacles for our exceptional children such as fine motor skills which are typically required of paper and pencil tasks. Exceptional children also have access to visual and auditory resources as required by each student’s individualized education plan.
Strong external partnerships exist between Ellenboro Elementary and the surrounding community. Each year at the Colfax Free Fair-Ellenboro School Carnival, parents volunteer their time in the BINGO tent as part of our PTO fundraiser. Funds are used to purchase materials for classrooms and student rewards. Community members and professionals also participate in our Career Day to promote various jobs available to students.
Our staff has participated in numerous training opportunities and will continue to seek knowledge and understanding of how to effectively use technology to increase student performance. As teachers apply these new strategies, students will become more engaged and excited about learning. Our teachers will continue to receive professional development and increase academic rigor, thus leveling the playing field for our students and preparing them for college and career success.