Hello Fox Families!
It is both a privilege and a pleasure to serve the Autumn Creek Elementary School community as its principal. As I begin my second year in the district, I am even more excited to continue building upon the work we started last year. As part of the effort to continue our growth, the ACES School Improvement Team met and identified some key focus areas to help us continue to increase our student achievement during the 2019-20 school year.
Last year, ACES staff members focused on Number Talks in math. Number Talks will continue, but the primary focus will now transition to problem-based tasks. All classroom teachers will continue to employ Number Talks, a high-impact strategy 3-5 days a week, as well as two problem-based tasks per unit. This high impact strategy provides students the opportunity to discuss how to solve rigorous math problems. All ACES teachers are being provided additional professional development in these two strategies.
In reading, each grade level has identified through student testing data specific areas to address, and are using researched-based strategies to target those areas. Teachers are also doing a book study on "Close Reading" and working with the reading coach who is providing them professional development for its successful implementation in the classroom.
Also continuing is flexible time for students to work on challenging topics or receive additional support in the areas of math or reading, according to their individual needs.
As a building staff, a primary focus is on the social emotional learning of all our students. Teachers will continue their work in implementing more Second Step curriculum in the classroom. The Second Step program was adopted by the district to teach students social emotional skills. These lessons, taught by our physical education teachers, will be reinforced with students during morning meeting time by their classroom teachers. Lessons include coping strategies to help students regulate their emotions. This year, ACES staff members will also commit to building "growth mindset" in our students, which correlates well with the Second Step program. Our specialists are doing a book study on growth mindset and will work with students in this area. ACES' climate committee will continue its work on meeting the social emotional needs of staff members and students. The goal for our students is to develop the social emotional skills they need to address various situations and be academically successful.
This year the school motto is "Protect the Den." For ACES students that means protecting each other because we are a fox family. They can protect each other by demonstrating the core values of being respectful, responsible, and safe, and treating others with kindness.
I am excited about our goals for this school year. With the continued support of ACES families, I know that students can and will continue their growth towards academic success. ACES students are brilliant and I want their brilliancy to shine.
Go Foxes! Paw Pride!