Focus School Letter

William W. Estes Elementary School

275 Overlook Road

Asheville, North Carolina 28803

(828) 654-1795

FAX (828) 654-1798

 

 

August 25, 2020

 

Dear Parent/Guardian:

 

I hope the school year has started successfully for all of you. Since you are a parent/guardian of a student at Estes Elementary School, I am writing this letter to let you know that Estes Elementary School, has been designated as a Targeted Support & Improvement Additional Targeted Support (TSI-AT) school by the North Carolina State Board of Education.  As stated in ESSA Section 1111(d)(2), North Carolina had to identify schools for targeted support and improvement. TSI-AT schools in North Carolina are those that have a subgroup that is under-performing. The intent of this opportunity is to improve educational outcomes for all students, close achievement gaps, increase equity, and improve the quality of instruction.

 

As a TSI-AT school, Estes Elementary School is required to develop a comprehensive plan that specifically addresses how the school will improve student achievement. The plan will also include how our district will support us and monitor the progress of our school.  The comprehensive plan will address the following areas:


  • Classroom Management
  • Standards-aligned Instruction
  • Professional Learning Communities (PLCs)
  • Instructional Leadership
  • Recruitment & Retention of Effective Teachers
  • Support for Grade-to-Grade Transitions
  • Implementation of a Tiered Instructional System
  • Data-Driven Decision Making
  • Student Support Services
  • Family and Community Engagement

We have set the following goals for Estes Elementary School this year:

  • SMART Goal: Sub Group Goals

     By June 2021, our EOG ELA/Reading and Math scores for grades 3 and 4 will increase to the

     percentages listed below for our Students with Disabilities subgroup.

         Math: SWD – 25 percent              Reading: SWD – 25 percent

                                                                                    

Our students need to experience higher achievement levels, but it will require hard work on the part of staff, students and families. Here are some strategies Estes Elementary School will be implementing:

  • Small group phonics instruction with intentional interventions matched to the students’ skill level.
  • Fundations K-3- Intentional instruction with Fundations at each of these grade levels.
  • Orton-Gillingham Instruction - We have at least 2 teachers at each grade level that have attended OG training. These teachers are working with small groups of students to help fill the gaps for these students’ phonics abilities.
  • We have teachers at every grade level that have attended Reading Research to Classroom Practice which has a focus on phonics. We also have teachers at every grade level that have attended Math Foundations.
  • Every grade will use common formative benchmarks (K-2 BCS, 3-4 NC Check-Ins)
  • Teachers will work in collaborative PLCs to develop lesson plans
  • Teachers will use common formative assessments along with MTSS processes and discussions to form instructional groups for students to work toward proficiency on foundational skills.

 

Parent engagement is at the heart of our school improvement efforts. Here are some ways we can work together:

  • Make sure that both you and your student are aware of academic expectations set for your student this school year.A list of learning objectives in student-friendly language is available from your student’s teacher(s).
  • Call Dr. Paula Pinkerton at 828-654-1795 if you have questions or concerns about your student or to set up an appointment to meet with a school staff member who will be working with your student.
  • Make sure that your student is prepared and attends school/zooms and completes assignments each day.
  • Monitor the progress your student is making and attend meetings with your student’s teacher(s).
  • Keep track of our website and social media sites https://wwees.buncombeschools.org/ .
  • Volunteer.
  • Join the Estes Elementary School Parent Teacher Association (PTA).

     

    Sounds like a lot but preparing our students so that they can succeed is not easy and is a group effort. Here are some resources available to help:

  • Estes Elementary School: wwees.buncombeschools.org/
  • Graduation requirements: www.ncpublicschools.org/gradrequirements/
  • BCS Return to Learn Document: Return to Learn:
  • K-12 standards in academic subjects: www.ncpublicschools.org/curriculum/
  • State student achievement test results: www.ncpublicschools.org/accountability/
  • N.C. School Report Cards: https://ncreportcards.ondemand.sas.com/src

     

    We’re excited about this school year and are working to make it a success for your student. Already, we have:

  • All of our students have leadership notebooks where they track their reading and math goals on a

     weekly basis.

  • We have teachers at K-3 levels working diligently with students on phonics skills using Fundations program and Orton Gillingham strategies.
  • We have Wit and Wisdom in place for K-4, which provides intense, higher level learning and

    instruction in reading.

  • Our students have met expected growth for the last 3 years.

 

If you have questions about the content of this letter, please contact Dr. Paula Pinkerton at paula.pinkerton@bcsemail.org or 828-654-1795.

 

Sincerely,
Dr. Paula Pinkerton