Sippican School Adopts School Improvement Plan

The Marion School Committee is the latest to approve its district’s school’s two-year school improvement plan following a multi-district Strategic Plan implemented to address the areas: 21stCentury learning, global citizenship, and social-emotional learning.

On October 17, Sippican School Principal Lyn Rivet introduced the school’s plan that echoes the other goals and focus areas included in the other districts’ plans, a deliberate move to bring all schools K-12 into alignment as elementary students advance into the regional schools.

Rivet said year one for 21stCentury learning will start with getting the message out to teachers, “What is 21stCentury learning?” said Rivet.

Next year, Rivet said, “The goal will be for that to be part of our goals; however, we have overachievers in our building who are already doing that.”

Like other schools’ plans, there is a focus of the “four Cs”: creativity, critical thinking, collaboration, and communication, with teachers engaging in discussion on the four Cs as part of a professional development piece during staff meetings. Next year, the school will implement strategies on how to further student progress in each of the four areas.

Technology is another vital part of the goal, but as Rivet explained, “We’ve hit a bit of a snag in getting our technology integrationist.”

Rivet said the last person offered the position “respectfully declined.” “We’re still working on it.”

In the meantime, other teachers have stepped up to assess how the school can “infuse technology into the coursework,” as Rivet put it, and then implement measures the second year.

For the global citizenship goal, teachers will begin by taking inventory of all technology and applications pertaining to this area before deciding which actions to take in year two, including a civics literacy and citizenship focus “… and continue to broaden the scope for both teachers and students,” said Rivet.

Social-emotional learning begins with anti-defamation training for all teachers and staff, and the development of an action plan to move forward the following year with sensitivity training for staff.

“We want to ensure the implementation of responsive classroom [in] grades K through 6,” Rivet continued, with training already underway and an eventual 100 percent training of all staff the second year.

Behavior management is also slated for focus with the school exploring evidence-based discipline practices with the assistance of the schools BCBA and school psychologist.

The following year, Rivet said a review of the code of conduct in the student handbook would lead to alignment with the other Tri-Town schools.

Rivet also wants to explore other ways the school can encourage family engagement outside its ANCHOR program and incorporate new actions the second year of the plan.

Safety and security is also part of this area of the plan, and the school will continue to meet with police and fire to talk about ways to enhance security and what steps to take in year two of the plan and update and implement best practices.

“It’s very comprehensive: it’s a lot of work,” said School Committee Chairman Christine Marcolini. “It’s a good plan for the next two years.”

The next meeting of the Marion School Committee is scheduled for November 28 at 6:30 pm at Sippican School.

Marion School Committee

By Jean Perry

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