We embarked on a three- year plan to reinvent our school with the future in mind. We want the most engaging and excellent education for our children — an education to serve them in the 21st Century where we all need to communicate, think critically, collaborate, and be innovative.
Our work began the 2012-13 school year with the intentional transformation of our school’s culture. We created a school where students love learning. With the adoption of new standards and coming revision to the way we “test” our children, Katherine Smith courageously stepped towards the new demands. We created opportunities for deep learning where students think, learn, work, communicate, collaborate, and contribute. Students gained hands- on experiences, solved complex problems, and connected learning to future college and careers goals.
No Excuses: Katherine Smith School Year One
Exhibition Night (courtesy of BIE)
During the 2012-13 school we accomplished many goals:
We recruited and trained a dedicated staff who put your child’s needs as the highest priority. We truly will do whatever it takes to engage, empower, and enact knowledge.
We committed to a “College Bound” attitude with no excuses, which resulted in a membership in the national No Excuses University Network (http://noexcusesu.com).
We engaged our students with meaningful and innovative challenges and projects leading to an invitation to join hundreds of other schools in the New Tech Network (http://www.newtechnetwork.org).
We cared for the whole family with breakfast in the classroom, expanded Second Harvest food distribution, clothing for those in need, and college classes for parents.
We embedded 21st century learning skills of communication, collaboration, creativity, and critical thinking into the curriculum to truly prepare our children for the challenges ahead and were recognized as an exemplary model by Buck Institute for Education (http://www.bie.org)
We transformed our climate to empower our students and saw drops in discipline referrals and suspensions by 90% (From 70 suspensions in 2011-12 to 7 in 2012-13).
We remodeled and beautified our facilities with exterior and interior upgrades and unlike the buildings around us; we had only one incident of graffiti or vandalism the entire year.
We added the tools needed to succeed with interactive SmartBoards in every room, iPad carts for every grade, and mobile laptop labs throughout the school.
We enjoyed our first Exhibition Night where 95% of our students and over 1,500 members of the community saw students demonstrate their knowledge and learning through rigorous projects.
We began the challenging task of implementing the new more rigorous Common Core national standards (http://www.corestandards.org) where deep learning is prioritized over memorization of facts.