Istrouma High School Shares Secrets of Success at National Conference
- August 12, 2009
At the beginning of the last school year, Istrouma High School faced numerous challenges. But a new technique involving students and parents caused the school to turn around and begin truly serving the students and community again.
Principal Linda Lewis led the charge at Istrouma High School to create a modified academy structure to serve the needs of its diverse student population. She and her staff shared their progress and lessons learned with a presentation this summer at the International Center for Leadership in Education’s annual Model Schools Conference in Atlanta.
Istrouma High School’s session highlighted successful school improvement strategies and lessons learned that other schools can replicate. The school has been rated academically unacceptable for several years. However, under the direction of new leadership (Lewis), Istrouma High School developed a restructuring plan that yielded results. At that time, Istrouma High School was in jeopardy of state takeover, had high teacher absenteeism, had 13 percent of freshmen testing below their reading grade level and used data/benchmark assessments inconsistently. In addition, instructional strategies were limited, and involvement by – and the interest of – parents was at an all-time low.
Lewis and her team soon sprang into action and to get a handle on these issues and address them in a positive and aggressive manner. She hired additional staff, created a pay-for-performance teaching incentive, held reading interventions for struggling students and provided teachers technical support and training on the use of the Rigor/Relevance Framework.
The school culture and student learning experiences were reshaped in other ways, too. A Ninth Grade Academy was created to boost those students’ learning needs. Teachers were given the support they needed in collaborative planning, assessment selections aligned with curriculum, exam facilitation, assessment of student work and instructional decisions based on data. In addition, parents and the community played a larger part in the learning environment. For more information, contact Wanda Crump at (225) 355-7701.
Principal Brister in Washington, D.C., to Accept McKinley Middle School’s Second Blue Ribbon Award
On Tuesday, November 13, 2012, Principal Herman Brister (pictured, left) and the school’s Teacher of the Year, Lynn Williamson (right), were in Washington, D.C., accepting McKinley Middle Academic Magnet School’s National Blue Ribbon Award from U.S. Department of Education’s Director of National Blue Ribbon Schools Program Aba Kumi (center). The event, which recognized some 314 schools from across the United States, was held at the Omni Hotel. Click herefor story.
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