Division Name: Pulaski County Public Schools
School Name: Pulaski Elementary School
Date: September 2022
Select One: ☐ X Initial Plan ☐ Revision
Title I schools implementing schoolwide programs are required to develop schoolwide plans in accordance with Section 1114(b) of the Every Student Succeeds Act of 2015 (ESSA). Guidelines for plan development include the following:
The plan should be developed with the involvement of:
Other members of the community to be served;
Individuals who will carry out the plan, including teachers, principals, other school leaders, administrators, paraprofessionals present in the school;
The local education agency;
To the extent feasible, tribes and tribal organizations present in the community; and
Specialized instructional support personnel;
Technical assistance providers;
School staff; and
If the plan relates to a secondary school, students and other individuals determined by the school;
The plan should be available to the Local Educational Agency (LEA), parents, and the public; information in the plan should be in an understandable and uniform format and, to the extent practicable, provided in a language that parents can understand; and
If appropriate and applicable, the plan should be developed in coordination and integration with other federal, state, and local services, resources, and programs, such as programs supported under ESSA, violence prevention programs, nutrition programs, housing programs, Head Start programs, adult education programs, career and technical education programs, and schools implementing comprehensive support and improvement activities or targeted support and improvement activities under section 1111(d).
The ESEA requires four components to be included in the schoolwide plan. The template below provides a framework that may be used to develop and/or update a schoolwide plan. For each component, the narrative section in the template should be completed in sufficient detail to document how the component has been thoroughly and thoughtfully addressed. Schoolwide plans should be reviewed annually and revised as necessary to promote continuous improvement and to reflect the school’s initiatives to upgrade the entire educational program of the school.
To maintain focus, eliminate duplication of effort, and promote comprehensiveness, schools should operate under a single plan if at all possible. A school that already has a plan for school improvement might consider amending it, rather than starting over, provided that the existing plan was based on a comprehensive needs assessment and can be revised to include the four required schoolwide components. This template can be used by schools with existing Indistar® plans to reference indicators and tasks in the Indistar® plan that are related to the schoolwide components.
Directions: Complete each of the four components by following these steps:
Access the Title I Schoolwide Plan template from the “Complete Form” tab of the Indistar® dashboard.
Provide a narrative response that describes how the school has addressed the requirements for each component;
Where applicable, identify the indicator(s) and task number(s) from the school’s Indistar® plan that align with each required component;
Click “Save” at the bottom of the form to save your responses; and
Submit the plan to your LEA Division Contact by returning to the dashboard. Under the “Submit Forms/Reports” tab, go to the Title I Plans section, and select the Title I Schoolwide Plan “Submit” button.
Not Using Indistar®:
Access the Title I Schoolwide Plan template on the Title I web site.
Provide a narrative response that describes how the school has addressed the requirements for each component; and
Submit the plan as directed by your LEA Title I Coordinator.
Schoolwide program resources, including USED guidance on Designing Schoolwide Programs, Supporting School Reform by Leveraging Federal Funds in a Schoolwide Program, and Title I Fiscal Issues, can be accessed at the Title I website under Guidelines and Procedures/Federal Guidance.
A Virginia Department of Education presentation on Requirements and Implementation of a Title I Schoolwide Program can be accessed at: http://www.doe.virginia.gov/federal_programs/esea/index.shtml.
Component 1 §1114(b)(6):
A comprehensive needs assessment of the entire school that takes into account information on the academic achievement of children in relation to the challenging state academic standards, particularly the needs of those children who are failing, or are at-risk of failing, to meet the challenging state academic standards and any other factors as determined by the local educational agency.
Evidence: A systematic effort involving multiple stakeholders to acquire an accurate and thorough picture of strengths and weaknesses of the school community, thus identifying student needs through a variety of information-gathering techniques. A data analysis summary must be included which incorporates benchmarks used to evaluate program results. The results of your data analysis must guide the reform strategies that you will implement to improve instruction for all students.
Pulaski Elementary School presently serves preschool through grade 5 with 513 (face-to-face and virtual) students enrolled. There are 29 classrooms with a pupil/teacher ratio of 18:1. Approximately 21% of students are minorities.
Pulaski Elementary School qualifies for the Summer Feeding Program through the USDA. All meals, breakfast and lunch, will be provided at no cost to the students. Any child 2 to 18, up to 21 with a disability, in the community qualifies for free meals under the Summer Feeding Program.
The Comprehensive Needs Assessment included surveys which were completed by parents, of which thirty-nine parents responded.
We asked parents if they have been able to attend parent-teacher conferences this year. The results are as follows:
Yes, I was able to attend in person. 33/39 85%
No, I was unable to attend in person. 4/39 10%
Yes, I met virtually. 1/39 2.5%
Unanswered 1/39 2.5%
We asked parents what type of family involvement activities they would be interested in attending next year. They were asked to choose all that applied. The results are as follows:
Holiday Celebrations - 67%
Make-and-Take Activity Night - 56%
Science Night - 41%
Literacy/Reading Night 41%
Math Night - 33%
Technology Night - 26%
Family Wellness and Nutrition Night - 18%
SOL Night - 10%
We asked parents to choose TWO ways they felt funds could be used to benefit students. The results are as follows:
Provide more family involvement activities. - 36%
Hire more staff. - 36%
Purchase new instructional materials for teachers to use with students. - 33%
Provide information about what I can do at home to support my student’s learning. - 21%
Provide more learning materials for the home environment. - 18%
Purchase additional technology for students. - 18%
Provide a pay raise for staff. - 5%
Give the teachers more funding for classrooms. - 3%
Invest more money in the gifted program. - 3%
Another component of the Comprehensive Needs Assessment is a review of data.
During the Spring 2022 PALS screenings, the following data was collected identifying students not meeting benchmark:
Kindergarten Spring: 33 out of 88 (38%)
First Grade Spring: 44 out of 65 (68%)
Second Grade Spring: 46 out of 89 (52%)
Positive factors contributing to Math and Reading data include:
High yield instructional practices
Appropriate student grouping
Implementation of a continuous improvement process informed by data and best practice
Effective school-based supports such as coordinated and comprehensive support systems for the whole child (NRVCS)
Appropriate remediation resources
Negative factors contributing to Math and Reading data include:
Issues related to poverty/socioeconomic
Social emotional issues
Teacher: student ratio for TI and SPED
Excessive absenteeism due to pandemic quarantine
In order to build relationships between home and school, PES will provide opportunities for parent and family involvement in the following ways:
Annual Title I Meeting
Family Literacy Nights
Virtual/Face-to-Face Parent Teacher Conferences
Take Home Materials/Books
Budget Implications: Materials for Take-Home Packets based on parent survey results. Three Title I teachers assist in implementing small-group and one-on-one instruction. Title I provides each student with take home books.
Benchmark/Evaluation (or related Indistar® indicators (if applicable): The assessment tool that was used to determine strengths and weaknesses at Pulaski Elementary School were previous SOL data. The SOL tests/Student Growth Assessments are given three times per year. Attendance data was also reviewed. PALS, Fountas & Pinnell, Leveled Literacy Intervention and STAR data will drive the instruction for the current year.
Component 2 §1114(b)(7)(A)(i):
Provide a description of schoolwide reform strategies that provide opportunities for all children, including each of the subgroups of students (as defined in section 1111(c)(2)) to meet the challenging state academic standards.
Evidence: Scientifically-based research strategies based on identified needs and designed to raise the achievement level of all students on content standards. Provide information on how the selected strategies will increase student achievement in underperforming subgroups, if applicable. Include a description of how the reform strategies will be evaluated for effectiveness.
Cooperative learning groups during math: Cooperative learning is an educational approach to teaching in which small teams with students of different levels of ability come together to work on completing tasks in a collective manner toward academic goals. Cooperative grouping helps provide a structure for positive interdependence where the final goal is academic independence. Using cooperative grouping during math will enable all students the opportunity to stay engaged in a supportive manner.
Graphic organizers while solving math word problems: Using graphic organizers to help students make sense of the math processes in which they are trying to use will help simplify the task of solving complicated, multi-step word problems.
Hands-on manipulatives in math: Manipulatives allow students to construct their own cognitive models for abstract mathematical ideas and processes. They also help engage students to increase both interest and enjoyment of mathematics. The goal of implementing the use of hands-on manipulatives in math classrooms is to have a positive effect on student achievement by allowing students to use concrete objects to observe, model, and internalize abstract math concepts. Our recently adopted and purchased math series provides many online resources for teachers, parents, and students.
Technology: Every student has access to a personal Chromebook. Teachers were provided training on Canvas and Virtual Virginia to supplement face-to-face instruction. Students use various math programs on a daily basis. Teachers use these programs to drive instruction and provide remediation/enrichment. There is a Promethean Board in every teaching space.
2. Reading performance:
Fountas and Pinnell Leveled Literacy Intervention System:
The Fountas & Pinnell Leveled Literacy Intervention System (LLI) is an intensive, small-group, supplementary literacy intervention for students who find reading and writing difficult. The goal of LLI is to lift the literacy achievement of students who are not achieving grade-level expectations in reading. The LLI systems are designed to:
Advance the literacy learning of students not meeting grade-level expectations in reading
Deepen and expand comprehension with close reading
Elevate the expertise of teachers
Increase reading volume by engaging students in large amounts of successful daily reading
Increase student engagement with books that build knowledge
Intervene with small groups of struggling readers to maximize growth
Meet the needs of struggling readers
Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Reading Series:
Teachers received training on our recently adopted reading program, Houghton Mifflin Harcourt. This program provides engaging text sets, leveled readers, practice books, writer's notebook, read aloud books, big books, tabletop toolkit mini lessons, module posters, and several technology components that are to be used with general education and special education students.
Technology: Every student has access to a personal Chromebook. Teachers were provided training on Canvas and Virtual Virginia to supplement face-to-face instruction. Students use various reading programs on a daily basis. Teachers use these programs to drive instruction and provide remediation/enrichment. There is a Promethean Board in every teaching space.
Benchmark/Evaluation (or related Indistar® indicators (if applicable):
By May 2023 the pass rate for all students in Math will be 70% or higher as measured by the SOL assessment.
By May 2023 the pass rate for all students in Reading will be 75% or higher as measured by the SOL assessment.
Component 3 §1114(b)(7)(ii):
Provide a description of schoolwide reform strategies that use methods and instructional strategies that strengthen the academic program in the school; increase the amount and quality of learning time; and help provide an enriched and accelerated curriculum, which may include programs, activities, and courses necessary to provide a well-rounded education.
Evidence: Scientifically-based research strategies or activities that strengthen and enrich the academic program by: extending the school day; embedding reading and/or mathematics curricula into other instructional areas; or other strategies as appropriate. Include a description of how the reform strategies will be evaluated for effectiveness.
Our Gifted and Talented Education (GATE) program serves students in the primary and elementary grades. Gifted students will be served within their general classrooms through differentiated curriculum, instruction, and enrichment. Students are also served on a regular basis by a Gifted Resource Teacher.
Fourth and fifth graders may participate in a 4-H Club, which is sponsored by Cooperative Extension.
Budget Implications: N/A
Benchmark/Evaluation (or related Indistar® indicators (if applicable):
All face-to-face students will improve on his/her STAR Reading grade equivalency score as shown on fall and spring Reading STAR assessments.
Component 4 §1114(b)(7)(iii):
Provide a description of schoolwide reform strategies that address the needs of all children in the school, but particularly the needs of those at risk of not meeting the challenging state academic standards, through activities which may include—
Counseling, school-based mental health programs, specialized instructional support services, mentoring services, and other strategies to improve students’ skills outside the academic subject areas;
Preparation for and awareness of opportunities for postsecondary education and the workforce, which may include career and technical education programs and broadening secondary school students’ access to coursework to earn postsecondary credit while still in high school (such as Advanced Placement, International Baccalaureate, dual or concurrent enrollment, or early college high schools);
Implementation of a schoolwide tiered model to prevent and address problem behavior, and early intervening services, coordinated with similar activities and services carried out under the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (20 U.S.C. 1400 et seq.);
Professional development and other activities for teachers, paraprofessionals, and other school personnel to improve instruction and use of data from academic assessments, and to recruit and retain effective teachers, particularly in high-need subjects; and
Strategies for assisting preschool children in the transition from early childhood education programs to local elementary school programs and, if programs are consolidated, the specific state educational agency and local education agency programs and other federal programs that will be consolidated in the schoolwide program.
Evidence: Scientifically-based research strategies or activities such as student support services; behavior intervention systems; tiered systems of support; teacher recruitment and/or retention activities; or other activities as appropriate. Include a description of how the reform strategies will be evaluated for effectiveness.
Each grade level has classroom guidance. The curriculum consists of a Social Skills unit and an Academic Skills unit. Preventative skills are taught to all the students. The guidance counselor also provides small group and individual counseling at the request of the teacher, parent, or administration throughout the year. The guidance department also coordinates all services provided from outside services and agencies.
New River Valley Community Services (NRVCS)
In partnership with NRVCS, Pulaski Elementary School is able to provide school based and therapeutic day treatment to several at-risk students. In addition, counseling services are provided to families/students in need of these services.
Major Clarity is a career planning portfolio program available to all 6-12 graders. To prepare for Major Clarity, students in the elementary grades are introduced to the sixteen career clusters and begin a portfolio that helps them identify their interests in future careers and to assist them with career readiness. This portfolio will follow students to middle and high school.
Middle School Tours
Fifth grade students are given the opportunity to tour the middle school they will be attending the spring before their sixth grade year. This allows students to become familiar with the building layout, meet potential teachers/administrators, and provide an insight on future course offerings.
Post Secondary Credits
Pulaski County Public Schools offer post secondary credits through courses at our high school. We currently offer two AP courses, twelve dual enrollment courses, and nine dual enrollment CTE courses through New River Community College. The Southwest Virginia Governor’s School (SVGS) is located in Pulaski County. Up to twenty four students are accepted per year to participate in the SVGS. The academic focus of the SVGS is math and science. These courses are dual enrolled.
Schoolwide Tiered Model:
VTTS (Virginia Tiered System of Supports)
Pulaski County was selected for the Project Aware and the School Climate Transformation Grant due to their strong ties with New River Valley Community Services and having been seen to be on the leading edge of mental health support for students. We have continued to grow this partnership while also looking at ways to increase communication and accountability for any service that is accessing children during the school day. Accountability has been built into the process by having a multidisciplinary team, a Core Team, review all referrals being made to school based mental health services.
Through a needs assessment survey conducted in 2015, it became clear that Pulaski County Public Schools’ staff felt like there was already an adequate amount of mental health staff in the schools. The gaps around mental health that the staff identified were parent engagement, substance abusing youth (at-risk behavior), access to services (lack of insurance/waitlist), elementary aged youth with intensive behaviors, and school attendance. We have been working to address each of these areas using the Virginia Tiered System of Supports Model as required through the grant. The VTSS is a data-driven decision making framework for establishing the academic, behavioral and social-emotional supports needed for a school to be an effective learning environment for all students. VTSS is a three to five year process. Many divisions in Virginia who are implementing with fidelity have seen significant reductions in discipline and an increase in SOL scores. These positive findings are also seen at the national level.
The VTSS systemic approach allows divisions, schools and communities to provide multiple levels of support to students in a more effective and efficient, clearly defined process. Implementing the VTSS requires the use of evidence-based, system-wide practices with fidelity to provide a quick response to academic, behavioral, social and emotional needs. The practices are progress-monitored frequently to enable educators to make sound, data-based instructional decisions for students.
VTSS functions under the anchor process of integrating data, practices and systems to affect outcomes. The essential elements of an effective VTSS framework are: Data Informed Decision-Making, Evidence-Based Practices, Family, School and Community Partnerships
Monitoring Student Progress (including universal screening), and Evaluation (outcomes and fidelity).
Pulaski Elementary teachers take the first week of school to explicitly teach, and reteach, the expectations throughout the school. These expectations follow students into all areas of the school (classroom, cafeteria, hallways, bathroom, and bus wait). These rules are reviewed daily and teachers hold high standards for good behavior.
Restorative Justice is an alternative method of disciplining students that seeks to balance the process between being too permissive and being too punitive. The goal of restorative justice is to work with students (the victims and the accused) to come to a solution rather than simply handing down punishment.
Teachers are currently being trained on how to be consistent with federal and Virginia law and the Virginia Department of Education’s model policies, the purpose of this Equity Policy is to foster an educational environment that is safe, welcoming, and free from discrimination and harassment for all students, regardless of the student’s gender, gender identity, or gender expression.
Pulaski County Public Schools offers professional development opportunities to all faculty throughout the school year. The following are the training opportunities:
Instructional Model Training
Pulaski County Public Schools uses an instructional model based on John Hattie’s research. Pulaski County Public Schools has a district-wide professional development plan where teachers are trained in specific instructional strategies and teachers work with their colleagues to support each other in their efforts to apply these strategies. Components of this model are described as the following:
Relationships: At Pulaski County Schools, we are committed to making school a positive experience for every student. Our focus on relationships will elevate the abilities of our students to effectively connect with others and build mutually beneficial partnerships.
Application: Application describes our utilization of pedagogical skills to put forth information, increase knowledge, and boost achievement.
Engagement: Student interaction with the curriculum in ways that utilize critical thinking skills to solve problems, collaborate, create products, and/ or communicate results.
Feedback: The teacher directly provides an appraisal of student progress toward learning objectives or facilitating a means for students to critique their own progress.
Assessment: Work samples gathered by the teacher to determine student progress toward meeting learning objectives and plan for future instruction. A variety of assessment should be utilized, including observations, creating products, conversations, performances, rubrics, presentations, self-reflection, role playing, responses to prompts, summaries, peer questioning, and many other means that allow teachers to verify whether or not learning has occurred.
Accountability: Accountability is the framework that encompasses the entire learning process in the 21st century. It includes federal and state mandates, as well as local expectations.
The usage of these components is measured through “data sweeps”, where an administrator performs a walk-through checklist to monitor the uses of the following strategies: Application, Engagement, Feedback, and Assessment.
Technology: Teachers are continuously trained on current technology that enhances instruction.
Transition and Coordination of Early Childhood Programs
VPI and SPED Preschool classes are located in the elementary schools which provide many opportunities for transitions to occur for these students.
To ensure continuity and coordination with the formal school instruction, the PreK PALS is given to enrolled preschool children in the fall and in the spring. The PALS instrument is then continued in grades K-3 in the elementary schools. The preschool children attend all school programs and receive music, art, and library from specialized teachers. They eat lunch at the same time with the other students in the cafeterias. In the spring, preschool children have the opportunity to visit the kindergarten classrooms. The preschool children have a graduation ceremony at the end of the year. The preschool children go to kindergarten registration in the spring, and have the opportunity to attend kindergarten orientation during the Fall Open House where their parents meet with the kindergarten teachers and learn about kindergarten. The Supervisor of Preschool Programs and PALS meets with Head Start parents to aid the transition to kindergarten. Children are also assessed using the STEPS test in the Spring.
Elementary to Middle
The middle schools assist in the transition from elementary to middle school by having all feeder schools select a date to come for a tour of the middle schools. Tours are given and an assembly is held for the upcoming 5th graders. Students and parents are invited to attend open house and a county pool party before school starts.
Middle to High
The middle schools assist with transition to high school by educating the students through classroom guidance, a tour of the high school, parent meetings, and class registration. During classroom guidance, students are able to map out their future plans for high school with their academic/career plan using Major Clarity. This plan has all of the high school courses available to our students. The students select what diploma type they are considering at the time, with the understanding that changes can be made. All of the 8th graders take a tour of the high school to explore the options of elective classes. The high school counselors schedule a time to come and meet with all of the 8th graders to go over upcoming high school courses and to make a 9th grade schedule. Parent meetings are scheduled to also educate parents on what the high school curriculum entails and to offer an opportunity to ask questions. Students and parents are invited to attend open house and a county pool party before school starts.
Beyond High School
Guidance hosts an evening informational session for parents and students that provides information in preparing for the senior year and life after high school. High school guidance counselors sponsor visits from many state colleges and universities. In addition, juniors and seniors attend a College Fair which has about 40 college representatives. The career coach teams with high school counselors to meet with juniors and seniors to explore options and make necessary applications. There is specialized counseling for school- to-work activities and programs for special needs students. High school counselors meet with individual students to complete applications and certify courses. Seniors complete a survey to assess how to improve the transition activities. Major Clarity is utilized with seniors to create academic career plans.
Budget Implications: N/A
Benchmark/Evaluation (or related Indistar® indicators (if applicable):
Using information from data sweeps from fall 2022 to spring 2023, teachers will increase their use of effective lesson design and delivery during the current school year by 10%.