La'Tisha Williams, Mildred C. Wells Academy, 1st Grade
Meet Ms. Williams at Mildred C. Wells Academy (MCWA). She believes her first-graders are capable of anything they put their minds to. One can walk into Ms. Williams classroom and find students engaged in science experiments, computer lessons, small group learning and making presentations to their classmates. When benchmark tests showed that students in her class needed help attaining appropriate grade level results, she was determined to help them succeed. Students were re-tested in the winter, and their test scores were proof she had done an amazing job!
Ms Williams finds professional development opportunities for both her and other staff to attend. She is eager to learn new techniques and implement them in class. Staff, students and parents love her; parents will express how she calls home to check on their child, even if it is well into the evening. "Ms. Williams has shown all of us what it means to be a loving and dedicated teacher," said Emily Wenger, instructional coach at MCWA.
Thank you for your love of teaching, Ms. Williams!
Amanda Silic, Detroit Public Safety Academy, Biology, Forensic Science and Physics (High School Science)
Meet Ms. Silic from Detroit Public Safety Academy (DPSA). A part of the DPSA staff since it's inception, she has remained hardworking and determined through many ups and downs. This included her employment status changing when the school needed a certified teacher in an area of Science she did not teach. Ms. Silic went back to college and took the courses required to teach the class. As a result of tremendous professional growth, she has taken on more of a leadership role amongst her peers this year.
Her dogged determination to help DPSA succeed shines through as she is a true team player, doing whatever it takes to help students and staff achieve. For her birthday, students decorated her door so that she could walk in and see their love for HER because everyday she is standing at her door waiting to show her love for THEM. Ms. Silic does not give up on students, whatever their challenges may be. "She is truly an educator at heart. We are lucky to have her here at DPSA," said school leader Isaiah Pettway.
Congratulations and thank you, Ms. Silic!
We were so grateful for the opportunity to work collaboratively at the Teacher Institute on January 13, 2017. In feedback from the previous Teacher Institutes, teachers shared that they would like more time in grade level or content area bands to collaborate with teachers from our other schools. We listened, and the outcomes from the Teacher Institute far exceeded our expectations. The teamwork between facilitators, CCAHS staff members, teachers and corporate departments was better and more productive than we could have ever anticipated. Coaches led vertical alignment sessions in all four critical content areas based on grade level bands. Teachers reviewed ELA and math pacing guides and took the opportunity to make some minor adjustments. While the science and social studies teachers met to begin the quarterly pacing guide work in those areas.
Thanks so much to the Cesar Chavez Academy High School staff members, technology team, corporate volunteers, and the instructional coaches for all of the hard work you did making the day go smoothly! Thank you to the teachers for improving the academic picture for TLG students!
If you have not had a chance to fill out the survey for the Teacher Institute, please click here to provide us feedback.
We are eager to keep this momentum going and have tentatively scheduled four work sessions this summer in Okemos at the Leona Group Conference Center. The cohort dates are July 19, July 20, August 2 and August 3. More information will be provided as the school year progresses. We look forward to continued opportunities to collaborate.
Cesar Chavez Academy High School senior students enjoy a luncheon event today in downtown Detroit. The selected student ambassadors have big plans following graduation, and will join previous graduates at prestigious colleges and university. Cesar Chavez Academy graduates can be found on the campuses of MIT, Harvard, Yale, University of Michigan, University of Pennsylvania, Loyola, Chicago and Stanford... just to name a few.
Ms. Richardson at Cesar Chavez Academy - Martin Campus tutors on Tuesdays and Wednesdays from 11:00 a.m. to 11:45 a.m. All of the students in the program have shown growth. According to the table below, two students are now reading at their grade level. NWEA results show that all students will need additional practice in vocabulary acquisition and use. This program will provide additional practice and time on task in developing the skill.
One strategy used by Ms. Richardson is teaching students how to use context clues. First, the student and tutor reads the entire sentence that contains the unknown word. Then, they re-read the sentence that came before the current sentence and continue on reading the sentence after the unknown word. Next, the team thinks about the meaning of the text. Finally, they try to identify what the unknown word is based on the meaning of the text. Thomas Goodley, school leader of Cesar Chavez Academy - Martin Campus is very enthusiastic, saying "this is the lunch reading program. Her (Ms. Richardson's) data is excellent."
The program runs from November 2016 thru May 2017; three sessions are assigned, with a rotation of tutors and students. The tutors will assist students for four days a week for four weeks. The program has been a huge success thus far.
"The first session went very well," said Carmen Willingham, HPRA school leader. The teachers had to complete a survey at the completion of the first session. Here are a few successes and/or take-a-ways from the teachers: "the group interaction helped teachers better understand their students; the progress for low performing students was tremendous; conversations with students uninterrupted was fascinating; students love the one-on-one attention, which makes them feel special."
The goal is to continue with the program so HPRA students will continue to show academic growth and success.
School leaders, assistant leaders and instructional coaches were asked to submit their nominations for monthly Teacher Hall of Fame candidates. We have a primary teacher category for grades K-5 and a secondary teacher category this year for grades 6-12. These nominations are based on the observations the school leaders make in their locations. It is up to them to honor a teacher who they feel embodies the mission of their school. Once the nomination is sent electronically to The Leona Group Department of Academic Achievement, the team reviews the nominees and base their decisions on who best embodies the spirit of The Leona Group and academic success. Congratulations to the January 2017 selections: