Tippecanoe School Corporation

Welcome to Wea Ridge Elementary School

Wea Ridge Elementary

Wea Ridge Elementary is a diverse elementary school located south of Lafayette serving more than 600 students in kindergarten through fifth grade. Our dedicated, caring staff strives to provide individualized experiences for each of our students through academic engagement and by providing character education as a means to promote 21st century skills. This learning takes place not only in the classrooms of our school, but throughout the entire building where we provide students with a safe, positive and enriching learning environment. We believe all students are capable of learning and aim to promote access to an equitable education for all.

Our teachers and staff began serving students in August 1999. The school is named after the Wea Indians, a sub tribe of the Miami Indians, who lived in this area hunting and farming along the Wea Creek and the Wabash River when the French fur traders arrived. The Wea tribe and the French fur traders lived cohesively with Fort Ouiatenon and the Wea Village on opposite sides of the Wabash River.


Belief

We, at Wea Ridge Elementary, believe that:

  1. Every child is unique and has special talents. Our students are tomorrow’s leaders. It is our responsibility to guide them toward reaching their potential.
  1. Families are of the utmost importance in today’s society. As professional educators, we understand that families come in many shapes and forms. We also realize that families change. We take the initiative to provide opportunities for the families to interact with staff members. These opportunities, with family support, can only strengthen the home-school relationship.
  1. All staff members are leaders. Given the opportunity to grow and share their specialties with others, staff members will be able to effectively guide students toward success.

Assessments

All students are assessed in the following areas.

  • TRC – Each child is tested at the beginning, middle and end of year on the TRC testing measures. It is our goal that 90% of first graders will be independent at level I for the TRC measure by the end of the year.
  • STAR – Each child is tested on the STAR Reading Assessment at least three times during the school year. It is our goal that 90% of 1st graders will be at grade level benchmark by the end of the year.
  • Weekly Basal Comprehension Tests – Each child is given a weekly reading comprehension test on the story that is read in the Basal Reader. These tests have both vocabulary and comprehension questions. This score is taken weekly after studying the Basal text for the entire week. It is our goal that 85% of students will get an A, B, or C on this test weekly.
  • NWEA - The Measure of Academic Progress (MAP) test is used 3 times per year to measure growth, project proficiency on high stakes tests, and inform how educators can differentiate instruction, evaluate programs, and structure curriculum. The assessment reveals which academic skills and concepts a student has acquired and what they are ready to learn.

Instructional Support of the Indiana Academic Standards

The staff at Wea Ridge believes that a variety of educational strategies are essential for the success of each student. Wea Ridge believes in a balanced approach to instruction. The staff also believes in teamwork and collaboration.

The Wea Ridge staff knows the importance of creating a friendly, inviting, comforting atmosphere. The C.L.A.S.S. program, which will be reinvigorated via various professional development opportunities in the next three years, emphasizes the development of a brain compatible environment. Wea Ridge teachers provide educational experiences which provide optimum opportunities. Teachers use a variety of groupings, classroom arrangements, flexible seating, and instructional strategies.

All teachers have access to, and are required to collaborate with, our instructional coach. In addition to accessing her for help in learning and refining best practices, she will provide all staff professional development concerning the Indiana Mathematics Standards and Indiana ELA standards. Our coach will also meet with each grade level team after each NWEA windows (3 times per year) to disseminate data.

Language Arts is taught from a variety of perspectives. The Literacy Collaborative program in kindergarten, first, second, and third uses a variety of resources. The intermediate grades also use elements of the L.C. program along with the basal. Other instructional strategies include Daily Oral Language, Wordly Wise, Razz-kids, and writing components which incorporate an emphasis on the writer's workshop.

A new math textbook series has been adopted for use in the 2016-2017 academic year. Teachers will be required to use the newly adopted program with fidelity. In addition, teachers in each grade level will be required to use a spiraling curriculum, and will be required to teach explicit problem solving strategies by using the book daily Math Puzzlers by Laura Candler.

Again this year, teachers will use a data binder. Each teacher will be required to ID students in their classroom who need extra help, provide them with this help (intervention), and document progress. Many interventions are listed in the binder. This must happen prior to taking a student through problem solving.

All students participate in PAWS time (Practicing Activities With Success). This ½ hour block 4 days per week is meant to remediate and enrich all students in reading skills. Four instructional assistants push into each grade level for this PAWS time with the intention of providing small group instruction.

For students who are not performing at grade level, a comprehensive RTI process will be utilized. We meet with our team, including parents, every six weeks for students in problem solving. Progress monitoring data is collected to aid in future decisions regarding interventions.

To address the needs of some special education students, a co-taught class will be offered in grades 3, 4, and 5.

Analysis of Student Achievement

Staff members utilize the results of ISTEP+, TRC, and NWEA to set curricular goals for the students and adjust their instructional program to meet the needs of the individual learners. Third grade teachers utilize the results of the IREAD-3 test. Conferences will be held for those students who do not pass to determine appropriate placements, for either promotion or retention. Grade levels connect their instructional program to the standards being taught within each subject area. Teachers utilize additional assessments to provide a more accurate picture of students’ progress and continuous growth such as end of unit test, STAR Reading, and other web-based measurements.

Rubrics, checklists, rating sheets, and self-assessments have been developed based on the criteria of finished products and are connected to the 2014 Indiana Academic Standards and TSC curricular objectives. Tests have been designed based on the criteria of the state standards being taught. In order to provide practice, some tests model the format of the standardized tests the students will be taking.

There is communication and articulation between and among the grade levels to ensure that adjustments in instruction are occurring when the analysis of data necessitates it. Each grade meets with the grade level above and below it to analyze this data on an annual basis.

Professional Development

Staff development activities generally fall into two categories: individual and group. Depending on the academic focus of the school, monies may be expended for individual teacher in-service and/or a group of teachers. Reports are written at the conclusion of each activity. Presentations at faculty meetings are also required at many of our schools. Additional staff development occurs during the Instructional Improvement Block (IIB). Principals schedule staff activities related to school specific goals and improvements each morning.

The WRE instructional coach provides ongoing professional development in math and ELA to ensure proper implementation of the current Indiana math and ELA standards.

Our school psychologist provides professional development on reading and math interventions to aid classroom teachers with struggling students.

The Wea Ridge Elementary staff also pursues a variety of outside funding sources to supplement the professional development budget provided by the Tippecanoe School Corporation. Examples of successful sources are Public School Foundation Grants, and Purdue University sources (i.e. Science Learning Through Engineering Design),

The TSC provides a number of professional development opportunities for our staff including the Safe Schools Initiative, departmental meetings, seminars for special education teachers concerning co-taught classrooms, and many technology offerings throughout the year.

The C.L.A.S.S. program, which emphasizes the development of a brain compatible environment via climate, community, and curriculum, will be reinvigorated via various professional development opportunities in the next three years, This will include sending 19 staff members to their summer workshop in June of 2016 and hosting 2 on site coaching days in the 2016-2017 academic year. We will send an additional 10 teachers to the CLASS summer workshop in June of 2017.

Our visiting author program designed to enhance writing instruction for students has also proved opportunities for professional growth.

We plan to continue to investigate and align professional development with our school improvement goals.

Parental Participation

Parents are actively involved in a variety of functions at Wea Ridge Elementary. In the classroom, parents may be invited to visit or to share an area of expertise related to the curriculum. Parents may direct games, center activities, special projects, or experiments. Some assist through special programs such as Junior Achievement. Parents may tutor, read to a student, or listen to a child read. They often assist the teacher by preparing or donating materials or supplies related to a given theme, collecting data, assisting with special events, or acting as chaperones for a field trip.

In addition, there are a variety of school wide opportunities for parents to become involved. The PTO meets monthly to manage funds and coordinate school-wide events. Parents and staff members host Family Fun Nights; the first grade musical, and a History Fair,

Many parents are needed to plan and to conduct fundraising events, movie nights, and to prepare students for our musical programs. Parents are a vital and integral part of the Wea Ridge Elementary school community. They are invited to "Donuts for Dad" and "Muffins for Mom." We always welcome and encourage parents to have lunch with their children and to attend special programs, field trips and convocations at Wea Ridge.

Technology as a Learning Tool

Beliefs

Effectively integrating technology into the instructional process has the potential to positively impact the educational experiences for students at the Tippecanoe School Corporation. The availability of technology and quality digital resources allows for students to demonstrate creativity and innovation, to communicate and collaborate, to research and evaluate information, and to think critically. Digital tools, resources, and practices are embedded into the curriculum to support the corporation’s instructional goals and enhance student achievement.

Current Initiatives

The TSC is continually enhancing its network to support school-based technology initiatives. This year, wireless switches and access points were replaced at each of the middle schools. Next year, as part of an E-Rate Category 2 project, wireless switches and access points will be replaced at each of the eleven elementary schools and at both high schools. Additionally, new uninterrupted power supply units will be installed in each of the networking closets corporation-wide.

Professional Development Focus

Providing relevant professional development that is both timely and of high quality is an ongoing goal for the TSC Technology Department. We are in the process of implementing Canvas as the LMS at our secondary schools and have been delivering a variety of professional development experiences on this topic. Other areas of focus include Google Apps for Education (K-12), integrating iPads into the classroom (K-2), and leveraging the power of Chromebooks (3-12).

Budgeting & Sustainability

When implementing technology initiatives, plans for sustainability must always be taken into consideration. Historically, the TSC has been dependent upon Common School Loans and STAA Loans to sustain its 1:1 initiative. Because we view the device as an integral part of curriculum delivery, we have transitioned to a model that will ultimately enable the initiative to be self-sustaining as a result of a technology rental fee paid by students.

Future Initiatives

The TSC will be expanding its 1:1 initiative for the 16-17 school year to include each of its six middle schools. Plans are currently underway to identify the most suitable technology option for intermediate students at the elementary level. Once this determination has been made, the goal is to deploy classroom sets of devices at these grade levels.

Stakeholder Collaboration

A great deal of collaboration takes place between curriculum leaders, technology staff, principals, and teachers at each stage of technology deployment. Both instructional and tangible goals (e.g. what do we want the students to do with the technology?) are taken into consideration, as well as a host of other factors. Before a large-scale implementation, we typically utilize a pilot group to gather input, identify professional development needs, and assess the overall scalability of the project.

Business, Community, and High Education Collaboratives and Articulations

Wea Ridge has established several partnerships with the community. Purdue University has provided several opportunities. The Education Department at Purdue has assisted with the development of the Literacy Collaborative Program (Wea Ridge is a visitation site.). We host Block V, Block II, and student teachers each semester who meet at our facility during our school day allowing Purdue students to receive their lecture/theory instruction here and then to immediately and directly apply it into practice with our students under the supervision of practicing teachers.

The Agronomy Department at Purdue has also been instrumental in the organization and success of our Global Positioning Systems program and assisting with the development of Wea Woods, an outdoor learning facility. Wea Woods has been certified by the National Wildlife Federation. Senior students in Agronomy are currently developing bridges to provide equal access for all students.

Wea Ridge collaborates with Greater Lafayette Commerce and United Way to implement Read to Succeed. Recruitment for volunteers from local businesses will partner with the school to implement the ninety minute Reading Block.

Purdue University Life Sciences provides on site science days 4 times per year and science nights 2 times per year with our 4th grade students.

Eli Lilly and Company's Partners in Education Grants and the Excellence in Education Grants have been very supportive of Wea Ridge.

Mary Cutler, a staff member of the Tippecanoe County Parks Department, provides a variety of environmental programs. Some of these programs utilize our outdoor lab, the Wea Ridge Woods.

Through a variety of service projects Wea Ridge students often give back to their community. An aluminum can drive has been conducted annually to benefit Habitat for Humanity. Various donations are provided for animal shelters throughout the year. A food drive is held annually to help fund our Food Finders backpack program.

In 2016, we began a partenship with Wea Ridge Baptist Church to provide a Good News Club to interested students. This after schol program meets once per week and provides lessons to students on many different topics.

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