Diverse Schools to Watch have much in common

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Students celebrate during the Schools to Watch ceremony at East Oldham Middle School May 13, 2010. Photo by Amy Wallot
Students celebrate during the Schools to Watch ceremony at East Oldham Middle School May 13, 2010. Photo by Amy Wallot

East Oldham Middle School

  • Community: Suburban area near Louisville
  • Enrollment: 591
  • Grade Levels: 6-8
  • School Schedule: Five-period day
  • www.oldham.kyschools.us/eoms/

Academic Excellence

  • ESPN (Enriching Student Programs as Needed) is a 30-minute daily time that students are assigned to when additional help or one-on-one instruction is needed.
  • Common assessments are used and analyzed to inform instruction.
  • A literacy coach provides instructional support for teachers and is a very integral part of the school.
  • Team meetings, content meetings and PLCs provide teachers with time to discuss ideas and instructional strategies.
  • Multiple formative assessments are used in most classrooms.
  • Gradual release of responsibility model is used by teachers to support student learning.

Developmental Responsiveness

  • Students are provided with planned physical activity daily.
  • Grade level interdisciplinary learning projects motivate students to learn (e.g., water project, race cars, rockets, probability fair, children’s books).
  • Student-led conferences help students take responsibility for their own learning and bring more parents into the building.

Social Equity

  • Behavior expectations have been established and shared with students and families.
  • The school’s reward system is a great motivator and is used for academics, behavior and social growth.
  • Special education and regular education teachers work together to design an effective program to help students succeed within a least restrictive environment.

Organizational Support

  • Classrooms are equipped with projectors, tablets and document cameras that are used by teachers to enhance instruction.
  • Strong administrative team oversees the day-to-day functioning of the school, shares decision-making responsibilities and supports the school’s success.
  • The principal empowers her staff and, as a result they are willing to take risks and take initiative.
  • Built-in early release days for instructional planning and sharing are included in the school calendar.

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