School Demographics and Community

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Abstract

This foundational document shares State and comprehensive local data evaluating strengths of learning and identifying challenges which need to be addressed at Bradley West School in Bradley, IL. The data is comprised of multiple measures. Descriptive evidence about the school community is accumulated. The data involves all stakeholders contributing authentic responses to needs assessments. A comprehensive picture of student learning is derived through gathering various means of information. By analyzing collective data, a school improvement plan can be composed, with desired actions being implemented for continuous learning and greater impact on student growth. Strengths and weaknesses are acknowledged. Due to a range of collected data, the general outcome highlights a notable area of concentration. By combining a needs assessment, implementing a plan, and monitoring progress, evidence can be gathered, determining if improvements are transferring to student learning, strengthening actions if necessary.

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Several State and local assessments and reviews, have been examined focusing on student learning. Observable trends are identified in school and community demographics. The mission and vision of the school outlines the need for stakeholder partnerships. Needs assessments are collected to gain valuable opinions of the school. Measurements of student learning communicate strengths and weaknesses. An area of concentration is identified, with a plan of action to improve the process for student learning.

Bradley West School is located on the northwest side of Bradley, IL in a neighboring community adjacent to the Bradley Bourbonnais Park District. Bradley is a community of roughly 15,300 residents, with a 92% high school graduation rate (World Population Review, 2018). The median age is approximately 34 years old with an employment rate of 65%. Residents 25 years and older earn a median income of $59,468. Eighty-eight percent of the population is white and seven percent is African American, while the balance is comprised of Asian, some other races, and two or more races. This review influences students demographics on the Illinois Report Card. The total enrollment for Bradley West School is 417 students (Illinois School Report Card, 2017). Sixty-eight percent of the students are white, eight percent are Black, 11.9% are Hispanic, while the remainder of students consist of Asian, American Indian, or two or more races. There is a low income ratio of 62% including a three percent homeless rating. Almost six percent are limited English proficient along with approximately 14% of students having an IEP. The overall mobility rate stands at 11.8%, with 41.5% of students categorized as chronically truant. The attendance rate is 95.1%. The IL Report Card identifies an inclusive portrayal of how well students met the expectations for their grade level or course. The 2017 IL Report Card for Bradley West states that 25% of students are ready for the next level. Bradley West scored below most State averages and projections for demonstrating readiness at the next grade level.

Data can also be factored in from the Early Developmental Instrument, an Erickson Institute measurement (Erickson Institute Early Development Instrument, 2016-2017). The EDI was completed on the Bradley Community. Although the first instrument of its kind exercised in this community, the assessment is to be administered triennially. This holistic community-level measure, monitors populations of children over time and predicts how they will perform long-term. Children were described to be vulnerable if they fell at or below the tenth percentile. The results in the school profile report exposed the two highest domains as social competence at twenty-one percent and emotional maturity at twenty-four percent. Social competence factors in concepts such as cooperation with others, responsible behaviors, respect, responsibility, as well as approaches to learning. Emotional maturity domain refers to anxiety, fear, hyperactivity, and inattentiveness and how these characteristics relate to missed learning opportunities. This measure is used as a reflective tool to engage the community in a data-driven process, mapping results geographically, while exposing areas of strength and weakness. The EDI data is also utilized to review programs and school services, planning for future interventions.

The Mission Statement of Bradley School District is:

In partnership with parents and community, the Bradley School District is striving to provide the best education for every student, every day. We want all our students to be confident, hardworking, and successful people. We believe: •Each child is everyone’s responsibility and all district stakeholders’ are dedicated to teaching and learning. •Education is a life-long commitment and process. •Instructional and assessment techniques are a consistently evolving process, which involves using all available data, resources, and best practices to improve curriculum and student learning. •Continuous communication between home and school is an essential component of a student’s successful educational experience. •Mutual respect and cooperation among the school and community promotes a safe and positive learning environment.

As stakeholders work together, students are provided with the knowledge and skills to become lifelong learners and productive members of society. A comprehensive needs assessment distributed by curriculum leadership is completed with teachers, staff, and school administrators. This assessment identifies needs to increase academic achievement and instructional interventions, explicitly including subgroups. Professional development needs are addressed and prioritized. A Parent Needs Assessment also disseminated by curriculum leadership is conducted to collect background information, detect home-school connections, and gain an understanding of the overall well-being of families. This assessment drives family engagement activities in the district and school, knowing that increased family partnerships support student learning and overall healthy development. Area business owners and leaders of organizations and institutions (community stakeholders) are included by attending an annual meeting, completing an informative document which supports these assessments. The indicated document offers assistance to schools and families, building a community of excellence. All collected data and evidence, drives the school improvement plan, setting necessary priorities to meet challenges.

School Strengths

One strength of Bradley West School is the teacher retention rate. The 2017 IL Report Card states an 87% teacher retention rate, as compared to the 2016 Report Card which affirms 88% (Illinois School Report Cards, 2016, 2017). School climate plays a role in teacher retention. Groups of teachers collaborate, developing shared knowledge, and building teacher skills. Teachers have a say in decision-making beyond the classroom, on district-level teams, including instructional programming. Teachers are recognized, celebrating accomplishments. A Multi-Tiered System of Supports Behavior Program is operational, boosting and acknowledging positive behaviors. These are some valuable factors influencing teacher retention rates.

Another strength noted is the 2017-2018 Star 360 Benchmark reading scores (Renaissance Flow 360, 2017-2018). Students in third-fifth grade, are tested on the computer-adaptive benchmark three times during the year. Third and fourth grade students exhibited growth in the at or above categories from fall to spring. Fifth grade experienced growth from fall to winter. Growth is recorded in comparison to the IL PARCC Benchmark. Star 360 measures and monitors growth based on student learning standards. Data days and checkpoint dates guided by curriculum leadership, with teachers and staff present, discuss the measures, tracking student progress. The assessment provides personalized data, indicating skills students need in the learning progression, providing more time for classroom instruction. Teachers reporting on the Comprehensive Needs Assessment indicated the most successful instructional intervention is frequent opportunities for practices and responses, in addition to direct one-on-one teacher instruction (Comprehensive Needs Assessment, 2018). Teachers can access instructional materials, tailored to student needs through Star360 to benefit these successful interventions. Professional development is arranged for understanding the assessments and guidance is supplied for Tier I instruction by the curriculum coordinator.

An additional documented strength is the overall student performance on the Dynamic Learning Maps-Alternative Assessment (DLM-AA). Charts presented in the 2017 IL School Report Card compare school years 2015-2016 and 2016-2017 (Illinois School Report Card, 2017). Bradley West students increased from eighteen percent in 2015-2016 to a large gain of eighty percent in 2016-2017. These scores count comparable in progressing and attaining performance levels, to meeting and exceeding State standards on the PARCC Assessment.

Areas of Weakness

One weakness of Bradley West School is the mobility rate. The 2017 IL Report Card records the school mobility rate at around 11%, as compared to the State average of almost seven percent (Illinois School Report Card, 2017). The Black population accounts for 26%. Two or more races, and the Hispanic population follows with roughly 13%. Girls were noted to have a higher mobility rate than boys. IEP and low-income students both account for approximately 14%. It is observed at Bradley West that many low income students with an increased mobility rate have a diminished engagement level, creating a loss of learning.

Class size is another area of weakness. The 2017 IL Report Card school notes the average class size at 26 students, paralleled against the State average of 20 students (Illinois School Report Card, 2017). The class average for third and fourth grades is 27 students. Fifth grade is recorded at 23 students. Reduction of class size can increase student achievement. Teacher experience and other reports, such as the EDI, note children are coming in with more vulnerabilities (Erickson Institute Early Development Instrument, 2016-2017). Decreasing class size can influence these socioeconomic factors as teachers build better relationships with students, track learning and differentiate instruction more effectively. To address class size at Bradley West, more teacher aides have been hired and another section of fifth grade was recently added to accommodate needs.

A further weakness reflects math scores recorded on the PARCC District Performance Level Summary Reports in years 2015-2018 (Illinois Pearson Access Next Published Reports, 2015-2018). In 2015-2016, third grade posted nearly 35% of students exceeding or meeting math standards, as compared to State outcomes at 39%. The latest report notes 27% of third graders exceeding or meeting math standards, as compared to the State average at 37% percent. Just over 23% of the fourth grade students scored in the exceeding or met categories on the 2015-2016 report. The 2017-2018 report states nearly 14% of the fourth graders met or exceeded expectations. The information reveals an approximate nine percent drop in math scores across the years evaluated. State averages were approximately 31% and 32% for fourth grade. Roughly 25% of fifth graders met or exceeded in PARCC math on the 2015-2016 report. The State recorded 32%. The 2017-2018 report shows 13% of fifth grade students either met or exceeded expectations, which is a 12% decline in tests compared. The State recorded nearly 31%. Star 360 results in 2017-2018 correlated similar results to the PARCC Assessment (Renaissance Flow 360, 2017-2018). Although third grade recorded growth from fall to winter, on the Star 360 Benchmark, it was a modest six percent. Fourth grade students also posted a modest six percent growth rating on the Star 360 Benchmark. Fifth grade students did not make growth from fall to spring on the Star 360 Benchmark.

According to the 2017 IL Report Card, girls typically received higher math scores than boys in third-fifth grades (Illinois School Report Card, 2017). The State mean was greater than Bradley West students when considering all racial and ethnic backgrounds. Within fourth grade, the economically disadvantaged stat documents an eight percent increase over the State average. Although these scores can appear overwhelming, advanced data-driven planning and collaborative decision-making practices, can improve student math scores when instruction is executed explicitly and accountability measures are entrenched.

Area of Focus

Multiple measures, including demographics, perceptions, and student learning, indicated the need for math as the area of focus. The 2017 IL Report Card offers descriptive evidence of the demographic data for math. The Parent Needs Assessment, distributed from curriculum leadership, for Bradley West indicates that parents need assistance with at home activities, including websites to support learning. Both PARCC and Star 360 provide confirmation of math needs. The District Summary of Schools Report from PARCC provides the breakdown including domains, such as, major content, supporting content, reasoning, and modeling (Illinois Pearson Access Next Published Reports, 2016-2018). This report will be utilized to identify subdomains, targeting noted deficiencies. In 2016-2017, a math committee guided by the curriculum coordinator, selected Go Math as the K-8 core math program. With the help of curriculum leadership, teachers identified objectives, developed a curriculum specification checklist, reviewed math resources in classrooms, and collaborated with grade level teams choosing the GO Math series. Most teachers offer large group settings with hands-on interactive lessons, while others teach math in small groups. Students and parents have access to supplemental online tools. The Go Math resources will be reviewed examining deficiencies and how they relate to State standards, as well as gaps in student learning. A plan of action from curriculum leadership will entail a math needs assessment, considering modifying school processes, including instructional strategies and classroom practices. External coaching, explicitly guided PLC data analysis time, accountability measures, and piloting programs that cover deficiencies could be included in this improvement process, recognizing the need for constant monitoring and feedback.

Conclusion

In conclusion, Bradley West School has strengths and weaknesses when examining multiple measures. However, when data and trends confirm unsatisfactory results, some level of change must occur. Utilizing strengths to build on weaknesses, is an active process that benefits teachers and students alike. Transparent conversations must happen. Questions need to be asked having a stated purpose and expectations to follow. Deeper Connections and relationships need to transpire with support, guidance, and accountability, building trust. Knowing that all stakeholders are working together, allows for further growth and excellence. 

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School Demographics and Community. (2022, Sep 29). Retrieved November 28, 2022 , from
https://studydriver.com/school-demographics-and-community/

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