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School Distinctions

Our Time to Shine Accomplishments

• Students are served according to "need not label" in all grade levels. This allows for academic support as well as enrichment. DES served as a model for the district by beginning this important model first and guiding other schools and districts to implement by sharing success stories at two state conventions (SSTAGE, Georgia Charter Foundation).

• Reading curriculum has undergone a transformation for K-2 in the past two years with a focus on grade level and instructional level lessons through whole group and guided reading groups. We also use a common lesson plan template from Next Steps in Guided Reading by Jan Richardson. This common planning tool proves to be a guide-stone for teachers to assure we are providing rigorous instruction

• Great care has been used in planning the master schedule and each class K-2 has a paraprofessional during guided reading and guided math times.

• Guided math (small group, spiral review, spiral homework and formative weekly assessments) has revolutionized our math instruction. DES was a trailblazer in bringing this instructional model to Madison County. We have visitors from the district and as far away as Savannah to see our model classroom in action in fourth grade.

• Task Forces have been activated in all subject areas in 3rd-5th grade to provide a laser focus on content and collaboration.

• Bridge Builders program was started in 15-16 to spotlight parents who take an active role in school involvement. Teachers recognize parents monthly who go above and beyond for student success.

• We created a YouTube (DESCOLTCLIPS) channel to provide student helper videos for math content, online PTO meetings, success videos and other in an attempt to capture parent participation for working families or families who cannot attend school meetings.

• We utilize common planning daily to strengthen the academic program for all learners.

• Our BLT (Building Leadership Team) serves as a problem solving group for school wide issues.

• We have increased student access to technology with iPads and Chromebooks. Students have access to many resources via Google Classroom.

• We have increased our Student Recognition Programs to include and encourage the greatest number of possible students. (Class Act, Colt of the Month, Attendance H.E.R.O). Students who struggle with motivation have been assigned a "Secret Supporter".

• Teachers are consistently researching new and exciting ideas to engage students actively in the learning process. This is both formal Professional Development and informal collaboration.

• For the past two years, DES was named an Operational PBIS school, and we are on track to submit for that recognition again.

• DES was named a Title I Reward School in 2015 for Greatest Gains

• School instructional teams analyze data to determine areas of strength, areas of challenge and intervention processes. Data is constantly reviewed at the district and school level to make informed decisions regarding teaching and learning.

• We continue to provide academic support to students, and revamped the 1st and 2nd grade reading program to provide guided reading support at students' reading level within small groups in the classroom.

• We updated the 1st, 2nd and 3rd grade report cards to a standards-based format--enabling teachers to better communicate with parents about their child's level of performance based on the grade level standards.

• DES received a 4 on the Climate Star Rating for CCPRI for the past 2 years.

• Our Georgia Milestones Data shows a vast improvement in Social Studies and Science Scores. Our math scores remain strong.