Schools report progress: AES office referrals, tardies down

Published 12:30 am Wednesday, November 18, 2015

Office referrals have decreased by 30 percent at Andalusia Elementary School, and there has been a considerable decrease in the number of students who are tardy.

AES Principal Alane Brunson said those are just two measures in the school’s continuous improvement plan (CIPs) which addresses both academic success and a positive school atmosphere.

“We have become a Leader in Me school,” Brunson said. “We looked at lot of things we could do to increase leadership. Every child has a leadership role. Those leadership roles rotate and change, but they look forward to that responsibility.”

Bus safety training has reduced the number of students referred to the office for behavioral issues while riding the bus, she said, and Caught Being a Leader and positive office referral programs have reinforced good behavior.

In the past, it was not uncommon to have as many as 70 students signed in tardy, she said.

Now, the school offers prizes and activities for students who attend school all day, every day.

“At the end of the last nine weeks, we had more than 230 students who had not missed any time,” Brunson said.

Brunson said teachers are using Classwork, which is research-based software, that helps identify students’ strengths and weaknesses and helps determine a learning path for them.

Teachers also are working with a consultant three times each year to determine grade-level strengths and weaknesses.

The school also has a goal of closing achievement gaps among student populations to ensure that each student is proficient in reading and math.

As part of its Leader in Me program, using input from students, school leaders developed a new mission statement for AES: “We learn. We belong. We lead to succeed at Andalusia Elementary.”