For the first time in approximately 20 years, the town of Concord does not have a petition to close the school! Additionally, after the town meeting, the school board will only be meeting once per month, rather than twice per month. Concord School is back on track! There have been many changes at Concord School this year in terms of high expectations, communication, behavioral management, security, office procedures, technology, and above all, academics.
High Expectations: Expectations are high for both students and teachers. Handbooks were created and everyone is being held accountable. Classroom observations occur regularly, and for the first time in many years, teacher and staff evaluations have been conducted.
Communication: Newsletters from the office and from the teachers are sent home weekly. Our school website is updated weekly. Principal's reports are prepared for each school board meeting. A program of studies has been created and posted on our website. A new parent portal page is being created for the website so parents can check student homework and grades regularly. A new bi-weekly student newspaper is being created too.
Behavior Management: A school-wide assembly was conducted on bully prevention and Concord School has taken a strong stand against bullying. Our discipline system is being administered in a firm, fair and consistent manner, and students from Kindergarten up through Grade 12 are learning the importance of respect: respect for self, others and property. Our new PBIS (Positive Behavior Intervention System) has begun. Students and teachers are being honored for going above and beyond expectations. Awards are being distributed at our monthly pizza parties, and special bulletin boards have been designated to spotlight the award recipients.
Security: An emergency plan has been created and drills are practiced monthly. Plans for new security cameras, new exterior doors, a new intercom system, interior locks for doors, radios, and misc. emergency supplies are underway. Building access hours have been restricted, and loitering is prohibited. The emergency plan will continue to improve as we diligently seek to uncover weak areas though our small group and whole school drills.
Office Procedures: A fireproof cabinet was purchased and all student records have been updated and stored in the main office. The project of updating student files includes all IEP and 504 information as well. Many office procedures and forms have been revised.
Technology: High school students received laptops, and SMART boards were installed in several classrooms. Concord School has a new POWERSCHOOL database, and teachers are receiving training in technology.
Academics: Reading Initiatives: We received a $5,000 grant for non-fiction books to be added throughout the school and library.
Professional Development Plans: The Concord staff is receiving monthly instruction in how to create standards based units and lessons using the backward design approach with an emphasis on differentiated learning. Teachers are working together in various training sessions to align their curriculum from grade to grade in math and literacy. This vertical alignment helps to assure that students are learning all that they should be as they progress through our academic program.
Written by Concord School Principal Patty Lyons.