Thursday, April 20, 2017
Dear Parents and Families,
As we begin to wrap up the school year with several weeks remaining, we wanted to send an update about budget, personnel and programming changes coming to Lowry in 2017-2018. Below you will find a broad look at the changes. At our last PTO meeting of the year (Thursday, May 4 6:30-8), we will host a Q & A regarding this information about next year. Thank you for your continued support of Lowry Elementary!
Dr. Cooper and Ms. Nault
Every year, we move through a process of developing the budget and staffing structure for the next school year. This process begins with school leadership evaluating the most effective use of our funds and presenting our staffing scenario to the Collaborative School Committee, Lowry staff and the PTO. For the 2017-2018 school year, our CSC unanimously approved the budget and staffing structure. Below you will find a summary, as well as some explanations around decision-making.
Though we had a deficit in our budget from last year in the amount of $150,000.00, we were able to staff the building in a way we know will continue to support high achievement at Lowry.
Additional Information about Reductions in Staffing
Personnel Updates – Teachers
We continue to have a high retention rate for our teaching staff, especially compared to other schools in DPS.
Below are the changes in personnel for the 17/18 school year:
Currently, we do not have any remaining vacancies for the 17/18 school year.
STEM Lab – We are excited for our new STEM Lab, which will be a part of our Specials rotation for all K-5 students. This lab is being funded through a grant awarded to us through Lockheed Martin and Project Lead the Way. Students will enjoy rigorous STEM instruction in computer science, engineering, and biological sciences. We will begin the year with computer science.
Intervention – We have moved from two part time interventionists to one full-time intervention teacher. This allows us to be more strategic in our implementation of consistent, targeted interventions for multiple grade levels.
Teacher Coaching – Our teacher coaches for next year, Kacey Winters and Bethany Baldwin, will provide extensive coaching for teachers in grades 1-5. This coaching is specifically designed to help teachers excel in their practice to meet all students needs.
Support for students performing above grade level – The teacher coaches will specifically focus on differentiated teacher practices (adjusted instructional moves for students above grade level.) The GT teacher will provide ongoing and scheduled trainings throughout the year on strategies to support the growth for advanced learners. Teacher data team analysis will monitor the ongoing growth for advanced learners.
Support for students performing below grade level – Teacher coaches will specifically focus on differentiated teacher practices (adjusted instructional moves for students below grade level.) Intervention programming will provide small group instruction for students below grade level. Teacher data team analysis will monitor the ongoing growth for students performing below grade level.
Conscious Discipline – We will continue to develop and implement our Conscious Discipline programming (this is the program we began to adopt this year for a positive school culture), including teacher trainings, school-wide engagement, and coaching.
Social/Emotional Supports – We will continue to provide universal social/emotional supports to all students at Lowry. We will also continue to refine our systems for providing student access to social/emotional supports for every level of need, as well as teacher coaching in classroom management best practices.
Gardening – This Spring, three of our classrooms have adopted our three gardens through an Enrichment opportunity that will happen on Friday afternoons. Next year, we will continue to have classrooms adopt the gardens to provide on-going maintenance and care.
Monday Morning Community Meetings – We will continue our Monday morning community meetings in the gym next year! These meetings have been a success and a fun way to join together as a School Family to kick off each week.