MAMSE Wrap-Up: Academic Achievement: “Achieving Excellence” by J. Sherbeck & J. Gronski
White Pine staff Jayne Sherbeck and Jennifer Gronski presented their take on the “Zeroes Aren’t Permitted” concept they use on their team. In a ZAP program students are given levels of intervention to get their work in to the teacher. Parents are told about the program through a letter sent home by the teaching team. Students get a ZAP form each time they have missing work. If they get “Zapped” they can come in before, during, or after school to make the work up. The number of ZAPs diminishes over time when students realize that teachers are following through on the program. “Lunch Buddies” are students pulled from lunch to eat in a teacher’s room and complete missing work. The school counselor takes these kids twice a week to spell the teachers. Pink sheets are given to students to remind them to show up to their before/lunch/after school work session. After school sessions are held 2-3 days a week with certified personnel staffing the session. Teams communicate with the after school team through folders and notes. The end of each team’s day is spent in GYST (Get Your Stuff Together) where they get 15 minutes to complete any missing work, or get help from a teacher. If all the work is in, they can study, do SSR, or that day’s homework. The driving idea is to get them ready for the next day’s work. For students needing more intervention the team prepares an Individual Student Accountability Sheet. Students with D’s or E’s in their Core classes are put on the sheet and the team records what they’ve done to assist the student that week. It includes things like parent phone calls, emails, parent meetings, and their attendance in the ZAP program. Each team has a “redo” policy. If the student turns in an assignment, just to turn it in, it gets returned until it is up to the teacher’s standards. Students doing poorly on tests must fill out a retake form which includes making a plan to study to retake the test, not just retaking the test because that’s what they’re supposed to do. They have to show how they’ve prepared for the test or quiz. Their grading program is automatically set up to send an email to the parent notifying them if their student’s grade falls below a C-. Students receive weekly parent communication sheets listing the assignments from the previous week from the Team. Students can return the sheets to their teachers for classroom points. Any student not returning a sheet receives a call to their parents. Some students participate in “Study Island” where they receive MEAP style questions in subjects in which they need additional work. Completing sections of the program gets them blue ribbon recognition in the hallway. There’s more to the program than what’s listed here and you can contact them at firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com.