Educators from Boone Park Elementary School in the North Little Rock School District in Arkansas spent Tuesday and Wednesday in Windsor observing the Windsor Central School District, specifically how Windsor teachers use collaborative, data-driven practices to improve student outcomes.
“I wanted the opportunity to have my team come up to talk to Windsor’s team, and an opportunity for me to speak to elementary principals to first-hand see the work so I can bring that back to my school,” said Steve Orobona, Boone Park Elementary School principal.
The Windsor team showed the district’s multi-tier level system of support, including practices focused on academics, social-emotional learning (SEL), attendance, and behavior.
This includes the team-teaching model at the elementary level, where two educators will teach a pair of grade levels together. An educator will teach ELA in one grade level and math in another.
“That was something that really stood out to them because of the relationships and the shared ownership of students, it’s not, ‘My students’, or ‘My class’,” said Barb Tasber, Director of Learning & Continuous Improvement for the Windsor CSD.
“To see it in person where people are actually talking about student needs and data and putting it ahead of personal needs was powerful. To see all people having that opportunity for enrichment was mind blowing. I’m going to appeal to my district and see if my district will allow me to move more into that model,” said Orobona.
The group observed a number of elementary classrooms, and heard from Windsor elementary school counselors and the district's elementary STEM teachers. Orobona and his group form Boone Park have plenty of ideas to bring back to their home school.
“I’ve got 15 pages of notes I’m bringing back of suggestions I want to see if we can implement,” said Orobona.