Title

Intentional: How One Word Transformed a Struggling School

First Presenter's Institution

Peyton Forest Elementary

Second Presenter's Institution

Peyton Forest Elementary

Third Presenter's Institution

Peyton Forest Elementary

Fourth Presenter's Institution

Peyton Forest Elementary

Fifth Presenter's Institution

NA

Location

Session 7 (Scarbrough 1)

Strand #1

Academic Achievement & School Leadership

Strand #2

Social & Emotional Skills

Relevance

This presentation relates most to the “Head” and “Heart” strands. For the past three years, Peyton Forest Elementary School has thrived by living our school motto, “Intentional, Innovative, Inclusive: Every Child, Every Day. We pride ourselves on being strategic about every aspect of the school, from the students’ experience when they walk in the front door to making sure every teacher’s lesson is addressing the standard at its core while still engaging every child. Our team realizes that there are a few key components of our school program that have lead to our success, and we’re eager to share them in hopes that other schools and students can benefit from them. The practices we will spotlight have a focus on inclusion and promoting learning for all of our students. Participants will leave with a clear understanding of how meshing intentional practices and innovative strategies will help any school to close achievement gaps. We will also highlight ways to foster social and emotional skills and the social climate for all students. This presentation will give practical strategies for creating a school community and building a culture that is undeniably student-centered and student-focused.

Brief Program Description

At Peyton Forest Elementary, we focus on intentional, innovative and inclusive solutions for every child, every day. In this session, we will explore innovative (proven/research-based) strategies that empower both students and teachers, to engage in intentional practice that positively impacts school-wide culture, social-emotional learning, and academic excellence. The strategies shared in this presentation will increase student engagement and teacher effectiveness while fostering a supportive learning environment where all parties meet high expectations and experience success.

Summary

In many at-risk schools, procedures, processes, and expectations remain the same as they have for years. Most adults in these schools are in "survivor mode." The instruction is less than effective, progress is minimal, and the school culture, for both students and staff, is negative.

The goal for our session is to provide participants with specific strategies on how to transform a school that is struggling in a variety of areas. Participants will leave our session with a deep understanding of how being intentional in every area can turn a failing school into a successful one.

The session will focus on the intentional planning of the following areas:

  • Systematic procedures and processes
  • Differentiated teacher support
  • Developing a needs-based coaching model
  • Creating a student-first school culture
  • Creating buy-in from reluctant staff
  • Courageous Conversation strategies

Evidence

According to Ann Epstein in the book "Intentional Teacher: Choosing the Best Strategies for Young Children's Learning," an effective program combines both child-guided and adult-guided educational experiences. The terms “child-guided experience” and “adult-guided experience” do not refer to extremes. Rather, adults play intentional roles in child-guided experience; and children have significant, active roles in adult-guided experience.

Intentional teaching does not happen by chance; it is planful, thoughtful, and purposeful. This session will provide a step by step guide for not only intentional instruction but how to ensure intentionality is the focus of every aspect of a school community which inevitably affects daily learning.

Format

Individual Presentation

Biographical Sketch

Cynthia Gunner earned a Bachelor's Degree in Sociology from Spelman College, a Master's Degree in Middle Grades Education, and a Specialist Degree in Administration & Supervision from Lincoln University. Ms. Gunner was an Instructional Coach and an Assistant Principal before she became the Principal of Peyton Forest Elementary in 2016. Ms. Gunner was featured in the September 2018 edition of the New York Times Magazine ("Can Good Teaching Be Taught?").

Sondra Gay is the IB Specialist and K-1 Instructional Support person at Peyton Forest. Ms. Gay has taken over 60 hours of Orton-Gillingham courses. She obtained a Bachelor’s degree in Early Childhood Education and History from Fisk University in Nashville,Tennessee in 1996 and one year later earned a Master’s degree from Tennessee State University in Administration and Supervision.

Kassia Walker is the School Business Manager at Peyton Forest in the Atlanta Public School System. Her entire career has been spent working in the metro Atlanta area where she was an elementary school teacher for 15 years, a math/science instructional coach for 4 years, and in her current position for 1 year. Kassia moved to Atlanta from Kansas City, Missouri to attend and earn her BA from Spelman College. She has since earned a Master’s from Georgia State University and a Specialist degree from Argosy University,

Ericka Fluellen is a literacy coach with over ten years of experience in elementary education, culturally diverse gifted pedagogy, and social-emotional learning. She is a native of Perry, Georgia; a small town with a big heart. She is a passionate educator, committed to excellence and success for all.

Keyword Descriptors

Student Achievement, Effective Instruction, Professional Development, Courageous Conversations, Data Analysis

Presentation Year

March 2020

Start Date

3-10-2020 2:45 PM

End Date

3-10-2020 4:00 PM

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Mar 10th, 2:45 PM Mar 10th, 4:00 PM

Intentional: How One Word Transformed a Struggling School

Session 7 (Scarbrough 1)

At Peyton Forest Elementary, we focus on intentional, innovative and inclusive solutions for every child, every day. In this session, we will explore innovative (proven/research-based) strategies that empower both students and teachers, to engage in intentional practice that positively impacts school-wide culture, social-emotional learning, and academic excellence. The strategies shared in this presentation will increase student engagement and teacher effectiveness while fostering a supportive learning environment where all parties meet high expectations and experience success.