At our Community Luncheon on May 19, we asked our guests to answer the question:

What do our students need to learn in school to be responsible, productive members of their families and the community and prepared for success in life?

Guest wrote down and discussed a number of attributes that they’d like to see in a good school. The comments were placed in a “Wordle” generator at http://www.wordle.net

Here is the Wordle:

Last week’s Question of the Week asked “how we can restructure our school to increase student achievement.” This is what some of our 5th and 6th grade students had to say:

“I would improve reading by having Library for a longer time. Improve writing by having a one hour writing lesson.”

“The school should get books that students from this generation will read.”

“I could help the school learn much better by making the teachers stick to the subject to let students understand better. Have more homework. Read more books.”

“Give us more homework to do.”

“I think teachers should take things more slowly, like math.”

“They are already doing good in teaching math. You can also exercise to stay focused in Math, Reading, and Writing. Teach slow so some get it, because they develop slowly.”

“We should move around more, so we can think better.”

“One way we can restructure our school in Reading, Writing, and math is to have a teacher explain the subject thoroughly. Sometimes teachers just give us homework without us (students) even understanding what it is about.”

“I think we should have vending machines, so the school could make money and students could get some healthy snacks. Then the healthy snacks help the brain!”

“I think we should do nothing about it. We should not change anything, I think.”

“I think we should have PE every day, so we can focus more and it helps your brain concentrate and it makes you strong and healthy.”

As you can see, our students have a lot to say about Airport Heights. If you have something to say, we’d love to hear your comments. We are truly interested in building a school that represents our community, strives for student achievement, and helps all of our students prepare for success in life.

How can we restructure our school to increase student achievement in Reading, Writing, and Math?
Airport Heights is in the process of developing a Restructuring/Alternative Governance Plan for Level 5 Schools. This plan challenges the school to rethink the way we approach education and to improve the achievement levels of all our students.

To this end, we have designed a “Principal walk-through plan” that will focus our efforts and energy on the high quality instruction that is needed for our students to make adequate yearly progress.
Here’s a draft summary of the plan that we will submit to the State of Alaska:

  • Establish instructional focus objectives based on the 5-Dimensions of Learning as prescribed by the University of Washington Center for Educational Leadership. This describes what good teachers need to be doing in the classroom.
  • Set observation/ walk-through schedule. The objective is to make sure that every classroom has regular visits that are targeted to improve teacher performance.
  • Utilize Benchmarking tests to target individual students for improved achievement. This helps make sure that we stay focused on the students that need our help the most.
  • Set a teacher/principal meeting schedule. These meetings will be focused on the classroom observations and help teachers improve instruction and plan to help our target students.
  • Schedule Administrative RTI support sessions. Leadership from the ASD Administration will make regular visits to check on progress, provide feedback and hold the school accountable for the plan.
  • Provide Professional Development based on the information gathered in the process. This will target our professional development resources to areas of need.

As always, we’re very interested in your feedback. Please let us know what you think of the plan or if you have other areas of concern that you’d like to see addressed.

 

Should Airport Heights Elementary develop a Career Academy to help students learn about jobs, and how to use school to prepare for the future?

Community input makes Airport Heights a better place. Airport Heights belongs to the people of Anchorage. One of our goals is to make this the School of Choice for the people that live in our neighborhood. There is no reason that the families of Airport Heights should not have access to the best education and opportunities for learning that are available in Anchorage. To this end, we need you to help us design and improve this school to meet your needs.

Our staff has concluded that our current SEL weeks have proven to be a valuable addition to the learning at our school. In the future, we’d like to continue to develop these focus weeks by creating a Career Academy for our students.
The vision is to connect our instruction to the career paths of our students by exposing them to a variety of jobs, career fields, and technical tools that will help them make the most of their K-12 education. We plan to integrate these opportunities with Social and Emotional Learning and use this as a vehicle to really make Airport Heights stand out as a great place for kids to learn and grow. We anticipate that this model will help us work with the community, local employers and access new resources (like the King Career Center).

What do you think?

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