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

Forrest W. Hunt Elementary School

Dr. Tammie Ash, Principal

100 Forrest Hunt Drive
Forest City, NC 28043
Telephone: 828-245-2161 | Fax: 828-248-3286

Section 1: School Profile

Forrest W. Hunt Elementary School is located on the outskirts of Forest City in Rutherford County, North Carolina. We have hardworking students, dedicated faculty, and supportive parents. Our students come from a variety of backgrounds, but they become members of the Forrest W. Hunt Elementary STAR family once they enter our building.

Forrest W. Hunt Elementary currently serves 333 students in kindergarten through fifth grade, and 30 NC-Pre K students. The school has an average class size of 17 students. Our students’ ethnic makeup (K-5) is 59% White, 17% Hispanic,12% African American and 12% Multiracial. Our school population consists of approximately 5% English Learners (EL), 17% of students are served through the Exceptional Children (EC) Department, and 21% of fourth and fifth grade students are identified as Academically /Intellectually Gifted (AIG). K-3 students performing above grade level according to Rutherford County MTSS guidelines will be served through the G.E.A.R. (Gifted Enrichment Acceleration Readiness). As a schoolwide Title I school, Forrest W. Hunt receives federal funding for additional student support resources.

All Forrest W. Hunt students receive free breakfast and lunch as a result of our district’s participation in the federal Community Eligibility Provision (CEP) program. Twenty-one percent of our students also participate in the Rutherford County Schools Education Foundation Backpack Program, in a partnership with Florence Baptist Church and Second Harvest food bank. We benefit from multiple community partnerships from the faith-based community, business partners, and civic groups.
We routinely receive school supplies from several local church communities. First United Methodist Church provides holiday meals, shoes, gifts, and vital financial resources for many Forrest W. Hunt (FHES) families. Chase Corner Ministries supports our students by providing needed household items, food, and clothing. This group has been of great assistance to the 9% of our students who were identified as homeless during the 2020-2021 school year.

In addition, many local businesses have provided support for our students. Northland Cable donated school supplies, and Food Lion generously provided discounted items for school events. Grants received from other businesses such as Lowes, Duke Energy, Facebook, Rutherford County Education Foundation, Rutherford Electric Membership Corporation, CFWNC Learning Links, Stonecutter Foundation, and RHI Legacy Foundation have provided beneficial educational resources. Many Rutherford County restaurants such as Subway, Mi Pueblito, Chic-Fil-A, and Zaxby’s have allowed our students to have fundraisers for our school. Pizza Hut’s Book-It program has provided free pizzas for students who have met their reading goals.

Volunteers and local civic groups enrich the lives of our students in numerous ways. The Robert and Janice McNair Educational Foundation sponsor the following activities throughout the year: Ask me about College, Get Real Week, High School Heroes, GEAR UP, and March Madness, all with the intent of preparing our students for future post secondary education or training and career readiness. Students are also mentored by Rutherford County Schools Reading Buddies, Chase High School Teacher Cadets and the Rutherford County Library lead hands-on school wide events during the year. STEM West sponsors our Girls Excelling in Math and Science (GEMS) Club and has provided staff development. UNC, through the Schools in Parks Teacher Collaborative, will be providing professional development, materials for experiments, and financial assistance for fourth graders. Upper grade students annually attend the Rutherford County Symphony at the Foundation.

A civic attitude is fostered by student participation in the Daughters of the American Revolution (DAR) Good Citizen essay contest and the Family Resources Child Abuse Button contest. Students and staff together sponsor a school-wide celebration to honor local veterans each Veteran’s Day. The Pilot Club, Kiwanis, and Rutherford County Safe Kids partner with our school by annually providing safety education, dictionaries, and bike helmets to third grade students. The Lions Club and the Tooth Bus are also available to assist with vision or dental care needs. The Rutherford County Agricultural Extension Office provides numerous opportunities for students to learn about the role of agriculture in our community, state, and world.

At Forrest W. Hunt Elementary, our goal is to create a learning environment focusing on the whole individual and his/her role in the classroom and larger community. Each October, students build games from recyclable materials and host the STEM Starcade to raise money for various causes. In May, community workers volunteer their time to educate third through fifth grade students about the world of work at our annual Career day. Our students have multiple leadership opportunities through their participation in Beta Club, Peer Helpers, Elementary Book Challenge Team, Robotics Team, Running Club, STEM Club, GEMS club, and intramural volleyball league.

Forrest W. Hunt has an active Parent Teacher Organization (PTO) and Local Advisory Committee (LAC). The PTO meets each six weeks and provides a wealth of resources for our students and teachers, including instructional supplies, Apple TVs in all classrooms, a new sound system, and radios for communication. Our PTO has facilitated monthly teacher appreciation activities to recognize school achievements and to celebrate the work teachers and staff do for students each day. The PTO coordinates multiple school fundraisers, a Holiday Extravaganza, a spring festival, and numerous holiday events. The LAC is a crucial link between the community and school. This stakeholder group provides valuable input through the completion of formal surveys, discussions, and feedback gathered from their email link on the FHES website. The PTO has regularly scheduled bi-monthly meetings. The topics of discussion include school performance, safety and community relations.
Through a Multi-Tiered System of Supports (MTSS), our instructional staff and administration provide a high level of focus which balances quality grade-level core instruction with necessary interventions and acceleration to better meet student’s individual needs. Instructional delivery is enhanced by the district’s digital one-to-one initiative, providing iPads to all students kindergarten through fifth grade. As required by the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA), one hundred percent of the teachers at Forrest W. Hunt Elementary meet North Carolina licensure requirements, and all paraprofessionals are highly qualified.

As documented in the 2019-2020 Forrest W. Hunt Elementary School Report Card published by North Carolina Department of Public Instruction (DPI), our faculty is comprised of 18% Beginning Teachers and 82% Experienced Teachers. Our staff believes in the mission of providing equal access in the information age, regardless of locale or socioeconomic class and are committed to providing quality, effective, instruction to all students.

With the exception of the most recent school year, Forrest W. Hunt Elementary School has earned an overall school performance grade of B since the 2014-2015. This grade is based on both student proficiency (80%) and student growth (20%). Historical data points record the following scores for overall school performance:
2013-2014: 64/C
2014-2015: 74/B
2015-2016: 75/B
2016-2017: 72/B
2017-2018: 72/B
2018-2019: 75/B
2019-2020: N/A*
2020-2021: N/A*

2019-2020:*Due to widespread school closures related to COVID-19, statewide assessments, accountability ratings and certain reporting requirements were waived.

2020-2021:*During the 2020-2021 school year, our students experienced an unprecedented event which greatly affected their academic progress. Most recent data (2020-2021 school year) indicates proficiency rates at 51% Reading, 52% Math and 47% Science.
(Refer to school performance data in the supplemental materials section.)

Stakeholder perceptions about the quality of educational services provided by the school are gathered by Cognia surveys. Past parent survey results indicate that our school provides engaging learning activities for children in a safe learning environment. This data also affirms that school leaders are wise stewards of school resources. Our parent data shows that we have a solid base of continuous community support, and we do not take this support for granted. Parent communication and involvement is an important component of our school culture.

Staff survey results provide important information which guides continuous school improvement. As documented in the most recent Cognia survey (2016), 100% of FHES teachers responded that school leadership promotes using data to improve student learning. This standard rose 4.96 percent from 2013. One hundred percent of our staff also felt that as a team, we take steps to solve problems. Our teachers also expressed increased confidence in their ability to make sound professional decisions. Our staff recognizes that we have a great strength in our process of collecting, analyzing, and using data. This data will continue to drive each decision at Forrest W. Hunt Elementary as we move forward in our continuous improvement efforts.

Section 2: Beliefs and Mission

When deciding upon a vision and mission for Forrest W. Hunt Elementary School, input was gathered from many stakeholders. Forrest W. Hunt ’s School Improvement Team (SIP), Integrated Academic and Behavioral Supports (IABS) team, and Local Advisory Committee (LAC) met to identify our vision and mission for our students. Faculty and staff were also given opportunities to provide input during meetings and through a faculty survey.

FHES Beliefs:
Our goal is to provide a safe environment based on mutual respect and to foster the development of lifetime learners. This atmosphere will also allow children the maximum opportunity to learn and develop lifelong academic and behavioral habits. We believe that all students can be successful. To facilitate this belief, Forrest W. Hunt Elementary School utilizes a multi-tiered system of student support (MTSS) framework to provide both academic and behavior support.

This MTSS framework is evident in all K-5 classrooms. We have strong academic systems in place allowing time for whole group and individualized instruction. All FHES students participate in small group intervention, maintenance & enrichment time (Star XL), in which they receive 30 minutes of reading interventions and 30 minutes of math interventions each day on the level which is most appropriate for them. Parents are an important part of MTSS. Regardless of the student's level of need, parents are invited to talk with their children’s teachers about the progress they are making in the classroom and as a result of Star XL Time.

The MTSS framework also creates a common set of goals and expectations for our students. Students learn the FHES SHINE acronym to guide their decision making each day. Our staff models and shares ways to incorporate these habits into all areas. We firmly believe that the internalization of these habits will help our children develop into respectful, conscientious learners today and tomorrow. In an effort to accomplish this goal, we use a three prong approach to school-wide discipline (preventive, supportive, and corrective). The program is fair, firm and consistent. Our goal at Forrest W. Hunt Elementary School is to help students with the development of foundational skills that include executive functioning, self-regulation, social skills, and empathy. We provide a learning environment that is free from disruption due to unacceptable behavior. Effective discipline programs work best when parents and school work together. The entire faculty and staff at Forrest W. Hunt Elementary School have the total child in mind through the use of social-emotional learning (SEL) practices. Student proficiency regarding behavior is tracked through the use of office discipline referrals (ODR). Common beliefs and a desire for academic excellence were the guiding factors to the development of the Forrest W. Hunt Elementary vision and mission statements.

FHES Vision:
All Forrest W. Hunt Elementary School students will be prepared for middle school success.

FHES Mission:
Forrest W. Hunt Elementary School will prepare all students for lifelong learning in a global community by partnering with families and communities, providing rigorous academic experiences and promoting a safe and nurturing environment.

The school’s vision and mission are communicated to our stakeholders through our website, facebook, school handbook, parent meetings, parent involvement activities, visuals throughout the school building, and faculty meetings.

Continuous evaluation of our practices (fiscal, allocation of resources, scheduling, etc.) is conducted to ensure that they align with our vision, mission, and beliefs. Universal screeners are administered three times per year. These include Measures of Academic Progress (MAP) and the required Read To Achieve (RTA) literacy assessments (grades K-3). End-of-Grade (EOG) test scores are evaluated at the end of the year along with student, parent and staff surveys to determine alignment with school goals.

Section 3: Desired Outcomes and Results

The process of determining the desired outcomes and results for students attending Forrest W. Hunt Elementary School has been a collaborative effort between a variety of stakeholders. Additionally, numerous data sources - office discipline referrals, EOG test scores, benchmark assessments, parent surveys - have been reviewed and utilized in developing the goals set forth for students. Based on the data reviewed, specific goals have been outlined to show academic growth in math, reading, and maintenance of proficiency in science. Each of these goals directly aligns with local, state, and educational priorities.

The desired outcome for Forrest W. Hunt Elementary School is to obtain an average school-wide proficiency of at least 80% on assessments administered to students. Assessments include MAP, Read to Achieve, End-of-Grade Tests, and Rutherford County Schools (RCS) district assessments. Additionally, students will attain at least one year's growth from the beginning-of-year assessments to the end-of-year assessments. In order to attain grade-level expectations, students working below grade level will need to demonstrate a more aggressive rate of growth.

The current review of data indicates that since the 2013-2014 school year, reading proficiency has improved from 61% to 70%. Math proficiency has grown from 66% to 75%, and science proficiency has increased from 58% to 85%. Proficiency rates for the 2020-2021 school year were significantly impacted by students’ lack of continuous face-to-face instruction. While all content areas have previously experienced regressions and improvements, the impact of significant learning loss has created a setback in current student achievement. However, the faculty and staff of Forrest W. Hunt Elementary School have taken the necessary actions and implemented appropriate instructional methods for students to be met with success. Refer to school performance data in the supplemental materials section.

Student growth and proficiency will be supported by the implementation of a rigorous curriculum that will strengthen students’ ability to apply learning across grade-levels. The utilization of Benchmark Advance, a reading curriculum developed from the Science of Reading, and Eureka Math will allow for consistency and strengthen core instruction. Additionally, student growth and increased proficiency will be supported through the use of a Multi-Tiered System of Support (MTSS). Within this support system, students will receive tiered instruction to allow for a more individualized focus, which will strengthen, maintain, and advance the skills students need to continually be successful.

Furthermore, through the use of an MTSS framework, students will be explicitly taught and expected to exhibit acceptable behavior within the school environment. Because research has proven that behavior directly impacts the academics of students, another desired outcome is for fewer than five percent of students to have an excess of six or more discipline referrals. The multi-tiered system of support implemented within the school setting includes classroom guidance lessons, small group sessions targeting specific student needs, individual student mentors, a social-emotional curriculum (Second Steps), and behavior rewards to help students achieve success.

Ultimately, our desired outcome is for all students to experience success within the school environment. Students will become independent thinkers and problem solvers, as well as develop a life-long love of learning. They will comfortably utilize technology as a learning tool and will strive to become 21st century leaders. The relationship between student performance and our school vision and mission is evident through the goals and desired outcomes for the students of Forrest W. Hunt Elementary School.

Section 4: Analysis of Organizational and Instructional Effectiveness

Based on a careful review of existing data and stakeholder input, it is evident that Forrest W. Hunt Elementary is a school committed to student achievement. Our historical data review indicates we are making progress towards achieving 80% EOG proficiency rates (or better) in reading, math and science. We have experienced some academic regression, due to the lack of face-to face instruction last school year. However, our faculty and staff have in place the appropriate academic methods for our students to progress on an upward continuum. We have established a framework that will allow our students to experience continued improvement towards reaching the goals outlined within this School Improvement Plan. This framework supports each of the four transformational strategies identified within Rutherford County School District’s five-year strategic plan.

Strategy 1: Engage every student in rigorous, personalized learning focused on college and career success.
**A talented/caring/flexible faculty who works to be sensitive to the instructional needs of all students.
**The use of a strong MTSS framework that focuses on eliminating academic obstacles.
**Clearly aligned academic professional development for teachers throughout the year.
**The use of the Rutherford County School's Literacy Instructional Framework (LIF) and Math Instructional Framework (MIF), both of which are rooted in the North Carolina Standard Course of Study (NCSCOS) ELA/Math Standards to provide quality instruction.
**A schedule that allows for an uninterrupted 90-minute reading block and adequate time for all other subjects.

Strategy 2: Ensure that a comprehensive, integrated system of support fosters students’ social and emotional health.
**A talented/caring/flexible faculty who works to be sensitive to the social/emotional needs of all students.
**The use of a strong MTSS framework that focuses on eliminating behavioral obstacles.
**Clearly aligned social-emotional focused professional development for teachers throughout the year.
**FHES implemented the Zones of Regulation in the 2019-2020 school year.

**We will be implementing “The Second Step Program,” for the 2021-2022 school year. It will provide students with engaging strategies, activities, and a social emotional learning component to foster positive behavior and relationship building.

The Second Step Program will:
Provide a positive classroom environment for all students.
Allow teachers to connect with students and have supports in place for their social emotional needs.
Offer class discussions on topics and strategies to cope with stress.

Strategy 3: Ensure all students’ equitable access to safe, modern educational facilities and appropriate learning resources.
**A 1:1 technology initiative that provides individualized student learning using age-appropriate resources.
**Purposefully aligned professional development for teachers on available technology resources throughout the year.

Strategy 4: Initiate, sustain, and leverage strong external partnerships that support student learning and school success.
**Continue fostering supportive relationships with parents, community stakeholders, and outside agencies which will help provide assistance and appropriate learning resources for students.

While we acknowledge our strength is a steady improvement in academic proficiency results, we realize that this academic trend can only continue if the social-emotional needs of our students are met. To this end, we will focus on implementing a formal curriculum for social-emotional learners beginning with the Fall of the 2020-2021 school year and continuing throughout the duration of this School Improvement Plan.

Section 5: Action Plan

Roster of School Improvement Team Members

Schedule of School Improvement Team Meetings

Supplemental Material

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