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Oak Haven School


Sources of Evidence

  • observing classes

  • observing the school outside of the classroom

  • meeting with the school improvement team, students, school and district administrators, parents

  • reviewing school improvement plan

  • reviewing district strategic plan

  • 2002 SALT Survey report

  • reviewing classroom textbooks

  • 2002 New Standards English Language Arts Reference Examination School Summary

  • 2002 New Standards Mathematics Reference Examination School Summary

  • talking with students, teachers, staff, and school administrator

  • reviewing completed and ongoing student work

  • discussing student work with teachers

  • reviewing records of professional development activities

  • reviewing classroom assessments

  • following students


Writing instruction is not consistent across the grade levels. Teachers in the primary grades successfully teach all steps of the writing process. This good teaching guides their students to include descriptive words, supporting details and voice in their writing. Although teachers in the intermediate grades emphasize the prewriting steps of brainstorming and the use of graphic organizers, they do not emphasize revision and self-editing enough. As a result, students tend to produce simplistic writing. While the rubrics used by teachers are clear, consistent and developmentally appropriate, they lack some of the criteria necessary for quality writing, thus preventing students from developing the necessary skills for writing more in-depth pieces. (observing classes, following students, reviewing classroom assessments, reviewing school improvement plan, discussing student work with teachers, talking with students and teachers)

New approaches to reading instruction are helping students become more confident readers. Those teachers, who have received training in guided reading from the district, are effectively using leveled texts in flexible reading groups to meet students’ instructional needs within their mixed-ability classes. Within these classrooms, literacy teachers work collaboratively to teach reading and writing. Looping teachers have the added advantage of working with their students for two years. Teachers boast about the success of these new practices, and children proudly show off their work. However, lack of materials, training and adequate support limits the spread of these practices throughout all grades. In some classes where homogeneous

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