Sunday, March 27, 2016

March Crocker Chronicles & Letter from Mr. Shea & Ms. Conklin

 The full March Crocker Chronicles, including the April-June events calendar, is available hereCHRONICLES
The UChicago Impact survey is now available. Here is the link.
Dear Crocker Farm Families:

This year, we have worked closely with our School Governance Council (parents and teachers) to find ways for our school to continuously work to improve. A key aspect towards finding out what is working and what is not, is hearing from the people who matter the most: students, staff and families.

Although we have done surveys over the years (and had a terrific survey and response of 66% last year!), as a school, and, as a district, we have needed a consistent way of surveying these stakeholders to inform our Improvement Plans. To that end, the Amherst-Pelham Schools have formed a partnership with the UChicago Impact to provide us with reliable, ongoing data for school improvement. After studying more than 400 elementary schools in the Chicago area the authors of the article, “Trust in Schools, a Core Resource for School Reform” came to the conclusion that social or relational trust is an essential component of effective school change. In examining these schools, the authors go on to say that relational trust operates as both a lubricant for organizational change and a moral resource for sustaining the hard work of local school improvement.The fundamental principle of trust is interwoven into the questions that UChicago Impact surveys ask. The surveys center around what they call the 5 Essentials:
1. Ambitious Instruction: Classes are challenging and engaging.
2. Effective Leaders: Principals and teachers implement a shared vision for success.
3. Collaborative Teachers: Teachers collaborate to promote professional growth.
4. Involved Families: The entire staff builds strong external relationships with families.
5. Supportive Environment: The school is safe, demanding, and supportive.
Between March 23rd and April 15th, all Amherst Schools will partner with UChicago Impact to survey students in grades 4, 5, and 6 as well as the staff in our school. In addition, UChicago Impact provides a parent survey component. It is vital that we hear from as many of you as possible. We will use staff from the Amherst Family Center as well as volunteers from Mt. Holyoke College to help us reach out to all of the Crocker Farm Families. All of the surveys will be completed by the April vacation which will allow us to get the results before the end of the school year. UChicago Impact will provide ways for us to easily analyze this data, and more importantly, turn it into actionable steps for improvement. Our School Governance Council (parents and teachers) and our School-Based Leadership Team (teachers) will lead this important work.

Thank you for your time and attention to this survey,
Derek Shea, Principal and Sharri Conklin, Assistant Principal
The UChicago Impact survey is now available. Here is the link.