ARIZONA CITY — Arizona City Elementary School held a public meeting at the school cafeteria on Wednesday to share its School Improvement Plan.
Principal Beth Pulver and the school’s improvement committee have come up with various steps to get the community more involved and for parents to understand all the changes the school is working on to get a better letter grade from the state.
The first part of the plan is for parents and guardians to understand how the school letter grade system works and all the different criteria that is taken into consideration.
The Toltec School District has worked on updating it’s curriculum at both ACES and Toltec Elementary. Both schools are in the second year of using a new English Language Arts curriculum and last summer the district approved a new math program.
“The first year you adopt a curriculum they’re getting used to it,” Pulver said. “The second year it’s better implemented just because now that they’re used to it they have a better idea of any changes they need to make.”
ACES has mentor teachers that receive training from the county and can then help mentor other teachers who are not properly certified or need additional help in the classroom.
Both school share a math interventionist and ACES also has a part-time paraprofessional to help with the subject because the school has a higher student count.
The school also recently received a tutoring grant and now nearly 100 students between third- and eighth-grade receive tutoring in reading and math.
The district plans to update the rest of the programs gradually as the budget allows. In the mean time, ACES is using an online science curriculum and is also expanding its science fair down to third graders instead of it only being for the junior high students.
Aside from the new curriculum, the school is looking at different ways to reduce the number of student absences.
Pulver mentioned to the board that there are different rewards for students who have perfect attendance for the quarter or the whole school year, such as certificates, coupons and a trip to the movie theater.
Other action steps include having higher expectations for the students and creating a positive environment.
“All students will have a culture of high expectations for learning and growth,” Pulver said.
She added that the school’s goal is to increase its overall proficiency rate from 32% to 50% on the AzMERIT.
This public meeting is part of the school’s plan to increase communication with the community to improve family and community involvement in the school.
“As the families and the community become better informed about the events at the school they will become more involved,” Pulver said. “This will encourage the students to come to school more regularly.”