SPRUCE PINE – Greenlee Primary School has finalized its school improvement plan, which Principal Jason Hall and his school improvement team presented to the Mitchell County Board of Education Thursday, Nov. 21, at its regular meeting.
Following the presentation, the board unanimously approved Greenlee’s plan, which consists of four main goals – implementing more technology into education, implementing multi-tier systems of support, increasing family and community involvement and improving internal communication.
Hall said the plan is a “living document” the staff can reference to continue improving.
“We’re trying to be very data-driven,” Hall said. “We can come back and refer to our plan and make changes that need to be made. Our main focus needs to be on what we can do better moving forward.”
To increase the pace of digital learning, Greenlee asks its teachers to assign one project-based learning assignment with a technology component each year.
All of Greenlee’s classrooms are outfitted with technology, and teachers and students each have access to personal devices.
Greenlee utilizes a program called ZuluDesk to monitor student activity and manage devices by blocking distracting sites and programs. The school also uses digital learning programs Raz-Kids and Reading Eggs.
Kindergarten teacher Justin Hollifield presented the school’s plans to implement multi-tiered systems of support. He said the school is utilizing grade-level meetings, tiered intervention and social groups, and a check-in and check-out system.
Students who require multi-tiered support are given a daily behavior report and are assigned points at various times during the school day. After school, students take the forms home to have them signed by a parent.
“It’s a good way for us to keep up with where we see consistent problems,” Holifield said. “Generally, kids don’t have a totally bad day all day long.”
Student points are tracked through a weekly behavior report. For each day a student meets daily goals and returns their signed forms, they earn “paws” and can redeem 10 paws for a “hangout” with an adult staff member of their choice.
“It gets them away from everyone else for a while,” Hollifield said. “They can build relationships with those adults. I’m seeing a lot of good relationships coming from it.”
Greenlee is aiming to increase community and family involvement in school activities by inviting family and community members to specific events and offering new events, including Heritage Day, Santa Shop, Athlete Day and Harvest Festival.
To streamline internal communication, Hall said his staff is focusing on working together, sharing ideas and working to find solutions to problems as a group.
Superintendent Chad Calhoun praised the Greenlee staff and said the school offers a welcoming environment for students and visitors.
“When you walk into Greenlee, you feel the care from the staff,” Calhoun said. “You feel the calmness of the staff. That’s a lot of the job right there – making the kids and parents feel comfortable and like you care. This staff has done an awesome job of making you feel that way.”