2017 Summer Update from Principal Stimpson

Greetings, New and Returning Brandon Families and Community! I hope this update finds you enjoying a relaxing and fun-filled summer. While I am squeezing in some time for that as well, I also remain hard at work preparing for an exciting 2017-2018 school year. Now that it has quieted down a bit at the school, I wanted to take a moment to recap some of our accomplishments from this school year and share some of what’s in store for the coming year.

The Year in Review

The 2016-2017 school year marked my 3rd year at Morris Brandon, and I am proud of the growth I have been able to see in our students and school. The challenge at a school with as rich a history of excellence as Brandon is to maintain all that is excellent while also continuing to grow and improve. Over the past three years, we have done just that. Most notable to me from this current year includes:

  • Another increase in our CCRPI score from 92 in 2013-2014 to a 93.5 for 2014-2015 to a 97 for 2015-2016 (scores were just released this school year for last year);
  • A successful implementation of a new model for Math instruction K-5 that has resulted in significant schoolwide growth in Math achievement;
  • Continued growth of faculty in utilizing student data to inform instructional decisions and provide a tailored learning experience for students ensuring that no student slips through the cracks;
  • A focus on improving Science instruction through consistent exposure to Science Labs and hands-on experimentation to bring Science inquiry to life;
  • The successful first year of having our 2nd graders at the Primary Campus;
  • The inaugural year of the International Travelers’ Program to culminate our year with a global perspective;
  • A successful inaugural year of our Dual Language Immersion Spanish program in Kindergarten;
  • The introduction of our Hive system which encourages and recognizes students for their positive contributions to the school community;
  • The continuation of the countless events, activities, and traditions that make Brandon such a great place for a child and family to be!

The Year Ahead

As we look forward to the coming school year, we have worked hard to analyze our progress, assess our needs and any possible gaps in our programming, and innovate to offer the best experience we can for our students. To that end, here are some highlights and items to note for the 2017-2018 school year:

  • Social Emotional Learning and our Learning Environment: To build on our schoolwide commitment to teaching the ideals of the IB philosophy through the Learner Profile and Attitudes of an IB Learner, this year we will be intentionally infusing Social Emotional Learning throughout our day for all students. You will see this through the time students spend in their weekly Classroom Guidance session with Ms. Whitaker, through specific lessons integrated into homerooms and taught by homeroom teachers, through the further development of our Hive system, and through consistent schoolwide behavior management systems that will be specific to each campus. We look forward to adding just as much intentionality and excellence to our development of our students’ social emotional learning as we commit to our academic program to fully live out our IB ideals.
  • Math and Science: We made great gains in the areas of Math and Science as a school this past year and will be continuing the plans we put in place. This includes a continuation of Eureka Math as the core of Math instruction and the utilization of our Science Labs on a consistent basis to provide more inquiry-based Science instruction. We are also pulling in our Technology, Media, and Art teachers to build out a Maker Space to continue to add STEAM based learning to our program.
  • English Language Arts: As we gain this momentum in Math and Science, this year we will be doing a deep dive into our approach to all that comprises ELA with a focus on reading and writing. Our goal is to hone in on a consistent approach grade by grade that supports the variety of learners we have in our school to ensure each child is continuing to grow as a reader and writer. More to come as we work collaboratively to build out a comprehensive approach to K-5 literacy.
  • Dual Language Immersion: We have our first cohort of DLI students ready to move to 1st grade and we have completed the admission process for the newest cohort of Kindergarten students. There continues to be a great deal of excitement about this program, and we are thrilled to be growing the program to the next grade level this year to have 4 homeroom’s worth of DLI students who will spend half of their day learning in English and the other half in Spanish!
  • Teacher Training: This year marks the first year on our quest to have 100% of our homeroom teachers Gifted Certified by 2020. This is an important step in the progression of our school as we work to ensure that we are providing instructional rigor to all students. Through earning their Gifted certification, all teachers will be professionally prepared to ensure we can continue to advance all of our students.

As you can see, we will stay busy, stay focused, and stay committed to being “intentionally exemplary” in 2017-2018! I wish each of you a fantastic summer, and I look forward to seeing you on July 28 between 11:00 and 1:00 for our Celebration of Learning. Thank you for your continued involvement, investment, and collaboration! It is through our partnership with our parents that we are able to continue to provide an excellent education “on purpose”! Thank you for partnering with us on this journey.

Kara Stimpson, Principal

© Copyright 2018 Morris Brandon PTA.

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