Elementary Teacher Recognized for Dramatically Raising Achievement at Wedgewood Elementary through the Use of Technology
According to the University of Connecticut’s Research & Development Corporation / Renzulli Learning Systems, Woodlawn Elementary School teacher Jeri Lavespere “amazed us (with her story) and demonstrated how a strengths-based teaching approach (using technology) produced dramatic results in raising achievement.” Lavespere, a National Board Certified teacher, applied for the corporation’s grant award while at Wedgewood Elementary School.
For her hard work, Lavespere was awarded the 2009 Better Teaching & Learning through Technology Grant worth $1,000 for use at her school. She was picked from thousands of applications for her ability “to motivate students, influence change and encourage and support innovative teaching methods ….”
Wedgewood Elementary School had an opportunity to get school report card bonus points for scoring Proficient in the subjects of Social Studies and Science, and Lavespere was determined to reach that mark with her students. “I realized I had to reinvent myself to be able to incorporate 21st-Century technology skill,” she said. Therefore, in January 2009 she began a new instructional approach using Renzulli Learning Systems components to teach both subjects.
Lavespere used interactive Renzulli sites to match grade-level expectations while addressing the Comprehensive Curriculum at Wedgewood Elementary, moved on to virtual field trips and assignments and had students working online at their own pace based on learning styles found through the Renzulli Profiler. Students began requesting additional work or sent in inquiries and were excited about learning. Teacher-student messaging allowed for monitoring individual progress, and students also began working with their families at home with online activities and quizzes that gave immediate feedback.
As a result, standardized test scores in Lavespere’s Wedgewood Elementary School class made tremendous gains in the spring of 2009. The school received a total of 400 bonus points for improving previous year test scores, and one student moved up three levels to Mastery designation in Social Studies.
For more information, contact Lavespere at Woodlawn Elementary School, (225) 756-3681, or Wedgewood Elementary Principal Sherry Harris at (225) 753-7301 or log on to www.renzullilearning.com.
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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