Cool Spring Elementary School
Loudoun County Public Schools
Comprehensive Needs Assessment
501 Tavistock Drive SE
Leesburg, VA 20175 571-252-2890
Mr. Chris Cadwell, Principal
- Building Administrators
- Central Office Administrators
- Parents / Guardians
- Community Members
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- Others (specify):
Provide descriptive information related to the curriculum, instructional programs, and/or existing interventions to support the academic, behavioral, and/or social emotional needs for all students.
Cool Spring Elementary School takes a whole child approach to supporting our students via an array of academic, behavioral, social and emotional programs/interventions. We utilize flexible grouping as part of the delivery of instruction in reading and math, guided by multiple data sources. Students are provided with access to the curriculum and learning opportunities that build on students’ strengths, interests and develop their areas for growth. Cool Spring implements a Response to Intervention (RtI) framework in the area of Reading with a dedicated intervention time noted for each grade level within the instructional day. Each grade level identifies students in need of intervention, establishes skill specific groups, intervenes and progress monitors the students and interventions utilized. We continue to expand our use of inclusive practices to support student learning within the classroom setting, including those within targeted subgroups. A cohort of staff (classroom teacher, EL teachers, Special Education teachers and Reading Specialist) participated in the district sponsored specialized reading academy as part of expanding our capacity to provide tailored reading intervention to students requiring more intensive support. Our staff work in grade level Collaborative Learning Teams to review student data and identify strengths, areas for growth and plan for differentiated instruction within and outside of core instruction to support student learning.
Cool Spring Elementary implements a character education program featuring instruction on a specific character trait each month. All traits are taught and reinforced throughout the school year. Students and staff are recognized through Shout-Outs and other incentives for displaying these characteristics through tangible actions within the classroom and school community. We utilize a PBIS framework with a focus on ‘Penguin Pride’- Respect for Self, Others and Property. We explicitly teach the expectations for Penguin Pride throughout the school using a school created teaching matrix, supporting consistency, common expectations and language. Visuals highlighting Penguin Pride are displayed throughout the school. Students are positively reinforced individually and on a class basis through earning ‘fish’, ‘blue penguins’ and ‘gold penguins’ (bus). All students are empowered to take ownership of their social-behavioral choices through collaboration with their teacher to set class behavioral goals and select a reinforcer. Positive student behavioral choices are also encouraged through service opportunities to others within the school/community as well as through school-wide incentives.
Students have access to support groups on a variety of social, emotional, academic and family oriented topics, in addition to individual support from the School Counselor. We establish individual supports for students through use of check-in/check-out, specific student positive behavior plans and use of staff mentorships. We have a multi-disciplinary team of staff trained in behavior intervention techniques (Mandt) and proactively support student needs within a team-based approach.
All students in Grades K-5 participate in project based learning experiences during the year. Students are provided with opportunities for voice and choice with respect to their learning within the PBL units. This encourages students’ use of various technology tools and the 4C’s (collaboration, communication, critical thinking, creativity). Instructional activities are based upon appropriate grade level standards and reflect opportunities to move students towards deeper learning. Students have the opportunity to create and solve authentic problems that support not only their learning of content but enable students to connect with experts and agencies within their local community. Student learning experiences and products created as a result of the PBL units were authentic with respect to students solving problems that are more specific to their local community and understanding of the world. As we continue implementation of project based learning experiences within the curriculum, school staff utilize Gold Standard PBL practices as part of the project design. We recognize the importance of authenticity and voice and choice for our students and will continue to ensure we are capturing those elements in our work, as well as opportunities for students to reflect on their learning (process and product) as part of their growth, helping to facilitate ownership of learning.
Extended Learning Opportunities
Provide information to describe extended learning opportunities for students, staff, families and community.
Cool Spring Elementary offers various opportunities for students that support learning within the grade level curriculum, foster a sense of community among all families and contribute to the development of our students as positive, contributing citizens. We offer field trips to support and extend curriculum related learning. Chat n’ Chew is a monthly book club program offered to Grades 4-5 to encourage reading interest, enjoyment and support reading comprehension skills. Starting in Spring 2019, we expanded our book club program to students in Grades 1-2 based on a review of student reading data and individual interests. Students have access to extension and support activities (ex- STEM baskets, math games, Makerspace, Breakfast Club) during student arrival each morning. We utilize our Cool Pops (dad’s, uncles, grandfathers) as well as high school buddies to work with students on projects, MakerSpace activities, classroom activities and to provide individual reinforcement. We participate in service learning activities during the school year that we can tie into PBL units and directly support the Cool Spring community, or local non-profit groups. Cool Spring Elementary partners with a local hotel to offer a summer reading program for students in need. For parents, aside from teachers, administrators and our Parent Liaison ensuring we are accessible to support our parents and their families within the educational program, we offer Parent Coffee’s and a successful PEP program which educates parents about the school system and pertinent topics. We partner with our PTA to offer other events/programs to include Reading Under the Stars, Multicultural Night, ‘CSP’s Got Talent’ Talent Show, After School Enrichment Program and a school-wide STEM Day.
Cool Spring faculty participate in school and district professional learning opportunities tied to the numerous academic and social-emotional based initiatives being implemented. Faculty may also participate in self-selected workshops- face to face or online learning opportunities- around topics relevant to their endorsement area. We recognize that faculty have different needs, interests and experience levels, as well as the fact that technology will continue to support and diversify our model for providing professional learning opportunities for staff.
Areas of Strength
Summary statements for domains providing evidence of analysis of trend data over a 3-year period and data triangulation to confirm areas of strength. Provide a clear connection between outcomes and contributing factors.
Strand 1: Teaching for Learning
*Reading SOL proficiency rate (89%) and Math (88%) exceeded the set benchmarks established through the revised Virginia Accreditation system. Cumulative three year proficiency rates noted as Reading (88%) and Math (85).
*Under the Virginia Accreditation system, growth in proficiency in Reading among English Learners, Economically Disadvantaged Students and Students with Disabilities is noted and reflected in combined pass rates of 99%, 91% and 82% respectively.
*Math SOL performance for Hispanic students (81%) represented an increase of 4% over the previous year.
*Social Science SOL proficiency rate is 90%
*MTSS-RtI Implementation Rubric data note CSP solidly at the “Implementing” stage with evidence of a dedicated framework to identify students in need, intervene, use data to progress monitor students and make instructional decisions.
*The MTSS LeadershipTeam and resource staff (Reading Spec., EL, Special Education) collaborated to develop an Intervention Matrix for Reading for our school.
*Project Based Learning experiences are provided within the curriculum focusing on authentic problems and use of Gold Standard Teaching Practices.
Factors which support these areas of strength include alignment of instruction to the standards, implementation of flexible grouping and workshop models for Reading and Math as well as use of high yield instructional strategies. A dedicated RtI (WIN) block for Grades 1-5 is built in to the master schedule. Collaborative Learning Teams hold data meetings with classroom teachers, interventionists and school administration to review student progress and needs based on a variety of data sources (MAP, DRA, PALS, FastBridge, classroom data). Intervention and enrichment opportunities are provided during and outside of the regular school day.
Strand II: School Environment
*Tiered Fidelity Inventory for Teams, Implementation and Evaluation scored at 97% for 2018-19.
*LCPS Annual Parent (Climate) Survey results indicate a CSP provides a safe and orderly environment (93%) and effectively communicates information to parents (94%).
*LCPS Annual Parent (Climate) Survey results (98%) indicate CSP provides a welcoming environment and (88%) indicating the school provides social-emotional support. 88% of parents noted that they feel their student is receiving a quality education.
*LCPS Annual Parent (Climate) Survey results (99%) indicate CSP supports an inclusive school environment.
*LCPS Annual Student (Climate) Survey results (92%) indicate students feel safe in the school.
*LCPS Annual Student (Climate) Survey results (97%) indicate students feel that adults and other staff in the school care about them, treat them with respect (98%) and that the adults listen to what they have to say (94%).
*LCPS Annual Student (Climate) Survey results (88%) indicate students feel the school rules are fair.
*LCPS Annual Student (Climate) Survey results (82%) indicate students get along well with other students.
*LCPS Annual Staff (Climate) Survey results (91%) agree with the statement that that teachers and other adults at the school often connect what students are learning to life outside the classroom.
*LCPS Annual Staff (Climate) Survey results (82%) agree with the statement that teachers and other adults have taught them things to help them do their job better.
*LCPS Annual Staff (Climate) Survey results (88%) agree with the statement that teachers and other adults encourage students to think about different ways to solve problems.
Factors which support these areas of growth include established rules, expectations and procedures being taught, implemented and reinforced consistently, but also within a framework that meets the needs of our diverse stakeholder groups. Our Penguin Pride (PBIS) framework is applied with fidelity and utilizes a common language. Opportunities for participation in the school program are recognized and provided. A climate of respect is evident among stakeholders. The school provides a variety of ways for parents to become involved (PTA, Cadet Program, Cool Pops). Positive character traits are taught and reinforced throughout the year. Staff and administration are welcoming to parents and community members. Diversity is respected and welcomed. Our School Counselors have also completed several lessons on the topic of empathy within the upper grade classrooms to support students in developing positive relationships.
Areas for Growth
Summary statements for domains providing evidence of analysis of trend data over a 3-year period and data triangulation to confirm areas of concern. Provide a clear connection between outcomes and contributing factors.
Strand 1: Teaching for Learning
*CSP exceeded the expected proficiency benchmarks in Reading and most of those in Math as established by the Virginia Accreditation system, but the unadjusted federal proficiency rates show gaps in student achievement among subgroups.
*The Virginia Accreditation Detail Report noted that the proficiency rate for Black students (67%) and Students with Disabilities (64%) in Math is below the state benchmark of 70%.
*Unadjusted federal proficiency rates from 2018-19 for subgroups include English Learners (51% Math, 53% English), Students with Disabilities (Pass rate- 39% English, 48% Math (exceeded benchmark)) and Economically Disadvantaged (Pass rate- 52% Math, 41% English). Many of our struggling students have dual membership in both the EL and Economically Disadvantaged groups. All of these subgroups made positive growth during 2018-19.
*The Virginia Accreditation Detail Report noted that the proficiency rate for Science (72%) met the state benchmark (70%) but this rate was a decline of about 10% from the 2017-18 assessment year.
*Our school has a number of new classroom staff which will necessitate provision of professional development around personalized learning, Math and Reading Workshop as well as progress monitoring tools as the staff participate in the screening of students and data discussions to identify and support students with targeted interventions.
*We believe in continued work with use of Gold Standard Teaching Practices within implementation of Project Based Learning experiences.
Factors which support these areas for growth include the need for further differentiated, targeted instruction in Math for our subgroups that did not meet the state benchmark. We will continue to support teachers with professional learning and resources to meet the needs of all student groups within Math Workshop, with personalized learning being a key approach in this work. Students within the subgroups also demonstrate a lack of key academic vocabulary needed to support conceptual understanding as well as weaknesses in regards to number sense and general comprehension. Students may not be generalizing learned skills effectively as well.
In reading, we believe that our intervention framework as well as our labsite model implemented in support of the Reading Units of Study and related instruction have made a positive impact on student achievement in English. Implementation with fidelity as well as use of student work and problem solving tools were contributing factors. The use of the FastBridge tool supported decision making around targeted intervention as well as standardizing the progress monitoring process; this yielded positive gains among some students receiving intervention and on growth via the Spring MAP assessment.
While we have made progress as a school, the areas for growth suggest that we must continue to create instructional opportunities (content and pathways) to meet the needs of all our students groups in efforts to raise student achievement.
We believe that creating opportunities for students to engage in goal setting and reflection will increase student ownership and positively impact student achievement. We intend to incorporate this into our work with personalized learning (Math) and within Reading Workshop this year.
We recognize that there are returning and new staff who have yet to participate in PBL/PBA training.
Strand II: School Environment
*LCPS Annual Parent (Climate) Survey results indicate that 74% of parents feel that the school encourages risk taking.
*LCPS Annual Student (Climate) Survey results indicate that 79% of students said they work out their disagreements with other students by talking to them.
*LCPS Annual Staff (Climate) Survey results indicated that 74% of teachers agree with the statement that teachers and other staff engage in collaborative problem solving.
*LCPS Annual Staff (Climate) Survey results indicated that 56% of teachers agree with the statement that teachers feel trusted to make instructional decisions.
*LCPS Annual Staff (Climate) Survey results (83%) agree with the statement that that teachers and other adults support one another to meet the needs of all students.
*The LCPS Annual Student (Climate) Survey results indicated that among students surveyed in Gr. 4-5, 13% disagreed or strongly disagreed that they are comfortable asking teachers or others help to solve a problem they are having with other students.
*The LCPS Annual Student (Climate) Survey results indicated that among students surveyed in Gr. 4-5, 19% disagreed or strongly disagreed that other students care about them.
*While not captured in a survey, conversations among staff show agreement that while communication and opportunities to participate are a strong point for our school, we will continue to create opportunities for parents in the form of providing parental training and understanding of initiatives so that they can actively support their students at home, whether in regards to the development of reading and math skills, or strategies for supporting their students’ social-emotional learning as well.
We believe that the provision of goal setting and reflection opportunities will encourage students’ risk taking in school and build their overall confidence.
The responses on the Staff Survey in regards to collaboration, supporting one another to meet student needs and instructional decision making suggest an opportunity for school administration and teachers to create intentional opportunities for team building (particularly with staff changes) and revisiting the school’s CLT focus to foster more well-rounded discussions of student work, progress and needs within core instruction.
We also can take steps to encourage staff to more routinely recognize the contributions of colleagues to the successful implementation of the school program.