Scoring High: Roberto Clemente Earns Double Digit Improvements on MSTEP
DPSCD’s MSTEP scores are on the rise in grades 3-7. We sat down with Principal Hernandez-Martinez from Roberto Clemente Academy to discuss how her school raised its achievement rates.
What steps did you take as a school leader that directly impacted your school’s MSTEP scores?
As the principal of Roberto Clemente, one major key to our success is having embedded grade level meetings in our weekly schedule for teachers to analyze data, collaboratively plan, and create action steps for student improvement. During our weekly grade level meetings, teachers analyze the MSTEP data from the previous year to determine what standards are being tested, what standards are students continuously doing well on, and what standards need additional instruction and support. Additionally, we connect the standards that are being assessed to the curriculum. Teachers also utilize the support materials offered by MDE.
For your highest performing teachers, what was one key thing they all had in common?
At Clemente, we have teachers that are committed to the success of our students. Our Master Teachers provide monthly professional development on Saturday's to support teachers in instruction and planning. I am fortunate that over half of our teaching staff is in attendance each Saturday. Teachers are continuously sharing resources and supporting each other along the way.
Since implementing the new curriculum, what has been the greatest feedback you received from your teachers, parents and/or students?
The greatest feedback that I have received regarding the new curriculum is that it is aligned to the state standards, it provides multiple opportunities for language acquisition, it provides ample opportunity for students to engage with each other, and it encourages students to take ownership of their learning.
What obstacles have you faced in the last two years and how did you overcome them to achieve your goal?
One obstacle that we faced was the transition from the old curriculum to the new curriculum. It took time, however, teachers trusted the process of learning the new curriculum and consequently, we have an increase in overall student achievement. Professional development, ample planning time, master teacher support, grade level meetings, and administrative support were all contributing factors to overcoming this transition.
What is the goal for teachers and students this school year?
Our goal for the upcoming school year is to continue collaborating, provide support as needed, and implement the curriculum with fidelity to increase overall student achievement.