NEW ALBANY SCHOOLS

2018-2023 STRATEGIC PLAN

Strategic Plan2018-08-22T13:32:30+00:00

MISSION

Our mission is to prepare all to be successful, knowledgeable, creative and compassionate individuals who are ready to excel in college, careers and in life.

GOALS

INCREASE STUDENT ACHIEVEMENT
ENSURE CONTINUOUS INSTRUCTIONAL IMPROVEMENTS
PROVIDE EQUITY IN EDUCATIONAL EXCELLENCE
PREPARE ALL STUDENTS TO BE COLLEGE AND CAREER READY

CORE VALUES: OVERVIEW

Safe & Orderly Environment
  1. Ensure successful and safe school environments.
  2. Enhance the safety of the school environment through school-wide programs and student education.
  3. Establish a clear definition and understanding of expectations and guidelines for maintaining a safe and orderly environment.
Integrity
  1. Maintain the highest standards of behavior, ethics, fairness and honesty with others and ourselves.
  2. Commit to doing the right things for the right reasons.
  3. Demonstrate fairness and consistency in our judgments and actions.
Inclusive
  1. All students have equal access to educational opportunities.
  2. Honor the values, rights, and beliefs of each individual student.
  3. Ensure that students who are culturally and/or linguistically different, students with disabilities, and students from different family or socioeconomic situations have equal opportunities.
Evolving Technological Competence
  1. Integrate technology into classroom instructional processes.
  2. Create technological learning environments and experiences for students in prekindergarten – 12th grade.
  3. Improve authentic assessment of student learningthrough the use of technological resources.
Ownership
  1. Form internal and external partnerships by aligning efforts for the common purpose of each student’s success.
  2. Take ownership of our behaviors.
  3. Fulfill commitments and promises through fact-based decision making and problem solving.
Transparent Governance
Ensure that all school district decisions are based on data and accurate information.
Provide financial and business practices to ensure educational and extra curricular goals are met.
Effectively communicate the allocation and spending of school district funds to all stakeholders.
Exceed Expectations
Seek opportunities for continuous improvement.
Ensure student excellence is a balance of rigorous academic, social, extra curricular, and college/career readiness skills.
Strong Relationships
Seek out and make connections with families and community.
Educate and share information with all members of the community.
Proactive approach to the formation of partnerships within the community, state, and governmental agencies.
Personalized Student Learning
Reinvent the classroom learning environment to ensure all students have the opportunity to reach their full potential.
Create unique learning paths and college and career experiences for all students.
Develop a deep understanding of each student’s interests and needs.

Work Keys

“Preparing all for success” is the vision of New Albany School District. A goal to help carry out our vision is to make sure that all of our students are both college and career ready. During the 2016-2017 school year, the Career & Technical Center implemented a plan to prepare students for the ACT WorkKeys assessment. The assessments measure foundational skills required for success in the workplace, and help measure the workplace skills that can affect job performance.

Students who successfully complete the three WorkKeys Assessments—Applied Math, Graphic Literacy, and Workplace Documents—earn the WorkKeys National Career Readiness Certificate®, a valuable credential for students and job seekers.

To earn a Career Readiness Certificate (CRC), you must score at least “3” on the three required assessments. Dependent of your scores on each assessment, you are placed at different levels of certification – Bronze, Silver, Gold, or Platinum.

To prepare students for these assessments and to insure their success in obtaining the CRC, career and technical instructors use the WIN Career Readiness System, which is funded through a Toyota Foundation Grant.

This career readiness system includes an interest inventory which places them in their top career clusters. After obtaining results from the inventory, students are able to research salaries, certificates and education needed for occupations, and other information about their top career clusters.

Through this system, students also take placement tests in the areas of applied mathematics, locating information, and reading for information. After the placement tests, the system customizes lessons and activities for students to complete throughout the year. Instructors have the capability of monitoring the progess of students with the WIN system.

Students who reach the “Bronze” level or above in the WIN Career Readiness System are considered ready to take the ACT WorkKeys assessments at the end of the school year. During the spring of 2017, 144 students received the national CRC with 19 at bronze level, 90 at silver level, and 35 at gold level.

GOALS

1. Increase student achievement
  • Minimum one year growth per year of instruction
  • Students reading on grade level by second grade
  • Graduation rate increase
2. Ensure continuous  instructional improvements
  • Rigorous curriculum
  • Engaging instruction
  • Focused assessment
  • Technological advancements
3. Provide equity in  educational excellence
  • Decrease achievement gaps
  • Increase participation in accelerated courses
  • Recruit, hire, develop, and retain a diverse and premier workforce
 4. Prepare all students to be college and career ready 
  • Conduct a college/career readiness assessment
  • Establish school performance targets to track achievement gap
  • Partner with local, state and regional colleges to backward plan curricula
  • Create bridge and summer programs for Juniors and Seniors

GOAL 1: INCREASE STUDENT ACHIEVEMENT

Credit Recovery
To improve student achievement and increase graduation rates, New Albany High School has implemented a credit recovery program for its students.

The program was piloted during the Spring 2017 semester for seniors who were at risk of not graduating with their peers. Seven students graduated in May of 2017 who most likely would not have graduated on time if it had not been for the credit recovery effort. Five seniors completed credit recovery courses over the summer or during the first few months of the 2017-2018 school year.

Because of the success during the pilot semester, credit recovery was extended to tenth and eleventh grades for the 2017-2018 school year. Eighteen students were enrolled in one or more credit recovery courses.

Students who are targeted for the program are those who passed state assessments but did not receive credit for the course, as well as those who did not pass specific classes that are needed for graduation.
The credit recovery program is self-paced and online based. The courses are rigorous and include lessons, quizzes, projects, and experiments. School staff works closely with students who are working toward credit recovery by helping them manage their time and progress, as well as providing tutoring support in individual classes. Some students are assigned a class period where they work on their course assignments and are supported by a certified teacher.
The effort to keep students on track to graduate with their peers has prevented them from becoming drop outs. NAHS will continue credit recovery with the goal of improving student achievement and increasing the graduation rate for our district.

Flexible Grouping

In an effort to increase student achievement and insure success for all, New Albany Elementary School has implemented flexible grouping into their reading instruction. First grade teachers piloted the program during the spring 2017 semester. Results showed tremendous growth in reading achievement. In fact, more than 90% of first graders were reading at or above grade level at the end of the school year.

During the 2017-2018 school year, flexible grouping is being used with first and second grades.

Students complete the STAR Reading Assessment each nine weeks and students are separated into groups based on their assessment results. Grade level teachers are assigned a specific group of students to work with for ninety minutes each day. The flexible grouping model allows teachers to specifically tailor lessons and activities, as well as interventions, to meet the individual needs of students.

Flexible grouping certainly meets the needs of all learners. Students who are already demonstrating success are placed in a more challenging environment, while those who receive special services such as English Language (EL) and special education are receiving instruction in an inclusion setting. EL teachers and special education teachers work closely with students in the flexible grouping environment allowing the students to stay in a regular classroom setting without having to be pulled from the classroom for instruction.
A first grade teacher explains that this type of instruction is beneficial for students and teachers. Flexible grouping allows teachers to plan more effectively for the group of students assigned to them. The benefits are even more impressive for the students.

Flexible grouping meets students where they are and helps them grow in reading and writing achievement, fostering a love of literacy is achieved while helping students build confidence in their school work.

GOAL 2: ENSURE CONTINUOUS INSTRUCTIONAL IMPROVEMENTS

Professional Learning Communities

The New Albany School District is committed to continuous instructional improvements. One of the many ways that New Albany Elementary School works to improve instruction is through their professional learning communities (PLCs).

PLCs meet for a half hour each week. Much is accomplished during these weekly meetings. Data is analyzed, lessons are modeled, best instructional practices are learned, and response to intervention strategies are discussed.

One of the main goals of the PLC is to analyze data. During this time, data from the STAR Reading assessments, Case 21 progress monitoring instruments, and weekly formative tests are reviewed. Administrators and teachers spend time recording data and analyzing the data in multiple ways to best understand what each individual student needs to be successful.

Teachers use this data to make instructional decisions. This data helps drive their instruction in how they reteach concepts, plan for reading and math lessons, as well as determine intervention strategies.

PLCs afford teachers the opportunity to learn best practices that will improve their instruction. The school district’s literacy coach is instrumental in providing leadership during the PLCs. The literacy coach’s position is funded through the State Systemic Improvement Plan (SSIP) grant which is administered by the Mississippi Department of Education’s Office of Special Education.

Guided reading, Phonics First, writing instruction, and the components of reading are all topics that teachers learn more about during their professional learning time. In addition, teachers are given the opportunity to take a leadership role in providing professional development. As teachers attend specialized training at conferences and workshops, they return to share what they have learned with their professional peers.
Understanding curriculum and assessments, as well as implementing instruction that is engaging is important as the New Albany School District strives to prepare all students for success.

GOAL 3: PROVIDE EQUITY IN EDUCATIONAL EXCELLENCE

English Learner Program

The English Learner program in the New Albany School District is designed to give English learners the additional support needed to experience success in the classroom, as well as on state assessments including the English Language Proficiency Test.

The district’s EL population has increased dramatically over the past few years. Each year approximately 150-200 students within the district are either served daily or closely monitored through the district’s EL program. Languages include several dialects of Spanish, Arabic, Chinese, and Korean. As with all students, the major goal is for each student to “grow a full academic year” during a school year, as well as become proficient English speakers.

Students in K-12 are provided support daily in small group settings. This allows teachers and support staff the opportunity to meet students where they are academically and implement lessons and activities for them so they may grow both academically and as an English learner.

Students at the middle school and high school levels are scheduled into a fifty minute class period daily where they receive specific instruction in the English language and its usage. In 2017, a class was formed for middle and high school students who are considered “newly arrived”. This allows more individualized instruction in learning basic skills and vocabulary needed to begin learning the language.

The EL program is all encompassing as it strives to meet the academic and language needs of students, as well as providing family opportunities. Each year, the New Albany School District’s EL Program hosts a potluck dinner. Families are invited to bring their favorite dishes and come together to share a special meal. The event provides a wonderful opportunity for the school and local families to visit collectively in a relaxed and enjoyable setting. The goal is to bring families into the school and to form relationships so they are comfortable coming to the school.

Students at New Albany Elementary School participate in an annual program to present to their parents. This gives students the opportunity to prepare for and participate in a program in which their families can come to watch and support their children. This provides another outlet for EL families to be in the school so that they can be exposed to the school environment and form relationships with school staff. Annual programs have been centered around events such as Cinco de Mayo and Central America Independence Days. EL students enjoy the opportunity to share their cultural knowledge with other students in the school. All students enjoy learning about the various cultures.

Additionally, students participating in the EL program have opportunities to participate in holiday projects such as Christmas Around the World. Students research how holidays are celebrated in different countries and present the information to their peers. In the past, students have researched Central American and East Asian countries. All students are excited to learn how holidays are celebrated in different countries.

The EL program is committed to decreasing achievement gaps with our English learners, providing opportunities for families served through the EL program, and extending the learning to enrichment activities that provide cultural awareness. District funding for EL instruction is supplemented with federal funds. Title I and Title III funds are utilized to provide salary and benefits for an instructional staff member as well as supplies and equipment.

GOAL 4: PREPARE ALL STUDENTS TO BE COLLEGE AND CAREER READY

The New Albany School District strives to prepare all students to be college and career ready. With this goal in mind, administrators and counselors have worked together to create a district wide plan to insure that college and career awareness activities are in place for all grade levels.

Elementary school students are exposed to the wide variety of careers available through multiple activities and events. PreK and kindergarten students attend the “Career Expo” each fall. This event, which is coordinated by EXCEL By 5 New Albany/Union County, gives young children the opportunity to rotate through twenty stations to learn more about careers.

Students in grades 1-5 have access to a “Career Section” in the school library. These books were funded by the Toyota Wellspring Education Fund grant. Students are exposed to a variety of careers related to STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts, & Mathematics). Guest speakers, field trips, and other activities are planned throughout the year for elementary age students to afford them the opportunity to learn information regarding careers such as education and certifications needed, salary, and workforce demand.

Students in grades 3-7 from the elementary and middle schools attend the Career & Technology Fair that is held on the NAHS Campus each spring. More than forty exhibitors and presenters will be on hand to inform students about their careers, as well as describe the technology that is used in their careers on a regular basis. This event will also be open to all students who are enrolled in career and technical classes, as well as high school students who would like to attend.

In an effort for middle school students to be exposed to college campuses, as well as be informed of the type of education that is necessary for the career paths they are interested in, middle school students will tour the campuses of community colleges and universities in our area each year.  Sixth grade students will tour the
Northeast Mississippi Community College campuses at New Albany and Booneville.  Seventh grade students will tour the Itawamba Community College campus at Fulton and Mississippi State University.  Eighth grade students will attend the Imagine the Possibilities Event, as well as tour the campus of the University of Mississippi.
With this College & Career Awareness plan in place for New Albany Middle School, a student will tour two community colleges and two universities as well as two technology fairs and a career expo during their three years in Middle School.
As students enter the high school and begin to make commitments to colleges and career fields, course selection, activities, and field trips are catered to individual students based on choices for their future.  Counselors meet with students on an individual basis to plot their course selection, arrange college visits, shadowing opportunities, and business/industry visits.
The hope is that our students will be educated and trained in a career that will make them productive citizens to our community and region.

IMPACTO

The New Albany School District is pleased to pilot the IMPACTO Program during the 2018-2019 school year.

IMPACTO (Industry as a Means to Prepare for Academic, Career, and Technology Opportunities) is a culminating career awareness project for high school juniors and seniors. This two year program of study, including a summer internship project, will ultimately lead to: a career choice commitment, certification, employment upon graduation, and possible further study.

The IMPACTO project is partially funded by the Toyota Wellspring Education Fund grant. The New Albany School District is excited to have commitments from these partners to help develop the IMPACTO program: CREATE, Three Rivers Planning Development, and Northeast Mississippi Community College.

The purpose of this project is to provide preparation for students who may not be interested in a four year degree; to provide curriculum to students who are needing instruction and skills needed to be industry-ready; and to give back to the community by preparing students who have the education, soft skills, and other skills needed to be ready to enter the workforce after high school.

Approximately ten high school students will be selected during the summer of 2018 to participate in this project. These are students who plan to go directly into the work force after graduation, have scored silver or above on the Work Keys assessment, and have a good discipline and attendance record.

These students will be placed in two career readiness classes during the 2018-2019 school year for classroom instruction to prepare them for their summer internship. Those who successfully complete the classes will participate in a summer internship project in 2019. During these students’ senior year, they will work to obtain course work that leads to dual credit, certification, and/or a technical diploma. This project will help reach our goal of preparing all students to be college and career ready by creating bridge and summer programs for our juniors and seniors. It is our hope that the end result will be an internship program that our school and community is proud of and will serve as a model for communities in the PUL Alliance, as well as all of Mississippi.