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- All About Twin Creeks Elementary School
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Twin Creeks is a haven of activity throughout the day. Students arrive at 8:05 a.m., greeted by teachers and Student Safety Patrol members who escort them to school. Throughout any given day, numerous parents are actively involved in the classrooms and around the campus. Many students attend extended day activities, such as after school intervention programs or enrichment classes. The Twin Creeks staff implements a comprehensive standards-based curriculum that successfully meets the needs of our diverse student population. Staff members constantly collaborate, share ideas, plan together, and support each other as they strive to provide an exceptional education for our students.
The teachers are dedicated to providing experiences and opportunities conducive to academic achievement and personal growth. Since education must be a reflection of the whole child, special attention is given to different styles of learning. Our school vision was updated and rewritten in May, 2001. We encourage parents to work with us as partners in educating their children, and parents are extremely supportive with their time and resources. Our Parent Teacher Association (PTA) coordinates over 10,000 hours of volunteer service annually, while each PTA activity has the overwhelming support of our families and staff. Responsibility for the School Improvement Plan (SIP) rests with the School Site Council, a leadership team comprised of parents, teachers, and other staff members who meet monthly.
Our Twin Creeks School Learning Fund (TCSLF) is a school fundraising organization that seeks out local partnerships and provides monetary support to enhance the educational programs at Twin Creeks. Twin Creeks is a standards-based learning community, where all elements of each student’s growth, including academic, social, emotional and physical, are assessed and addressed. We are committed to fostering positive social and academic skills within our students. Twin Creeks Elementary School utilizes multiple assessment data to understand and improve student and school performance. State, district, and school assessments, relative to the California State Standards, guide the instruction and curriculum of all programs at Twin Creeks Elementary school.
All staff members understand and effectively use our assessment system in order to continuously improve student performance and ensure student attainment of standards. District wide language arts assessments, including the Phonics Survey, District Fall and Spring Writes, and the Gates-MacGinitie Test, are utilized to identify students’ strengths and weaknesses and to direct instructional practices. Running Records are used to identify students’ reading levels to ensure that appropriate reading instruction is provided for each student at their level. Results from the Spelling Inventory, derived from the research based Words Their Way, are analyzed and used to identify developmental levels in spelling. This information guides our individualized spelling program.
Staff members utilize anchor papers and district writing rubrics developed by teams of grade level teachers, staff members, parents, and administrators to assess writing strengths and weaknesses, relative to the standards. Classrooms use class-created rubrics so students can assess their own work and progress. Mathematics achievement is also evaluated in a variety of ways, incorporating state, district, and school developed assessments. The Stanford Achievement Test (SAT9) disaggregated data is analyzed, and the resulting information is used to make curricular decisions to ensure student success. District developed assessments, relative to the rubrics on our Standards Based Report Card, have become an important tool for staff and parents. These assessments have proven effective in developing individual student goals and in assisting staff to make effective instructional decisions.
Our staff has developed grade level mathematical problem solving prompts and rubrics to assess mathematical problem solving skills. Alternate rankings are utilized, along with other types of data analysis, to determine instructional needs and identify appropriate interventions to assist students in their attainment of standards. Twin Creeks Elementary School communicates student performance, including assessment data, on an ongoing basis to parents, students, and the community. Each year, target areas are identified through our data analysis, and a School Improvement Plan (SIP) is developed and implemented. We discuss the data analysis and set our goals at various forums, such as PTA Meetings, Principal’s Coffees, Staff Meetings, and School Site Council Meetings. These forums provide opportunities for two-way communication with our community.
Standardized assessment data and program information is published in local newspapers, in the San Ramon Valley Unified School District (SRVUSD) publication “Inside Our Schools”, in the school newsletter “The Tiger Times”, in teacher newsletters, and in the weekly Principal’s Bulletin “The Tiger Tracks”. These publications provide consistent avenues to inform our community about our student performance and instructional programs and open up arenas for dialogue. The SRVUSD Standards-Based Report Card is a tool that enables staff members, students, and parents/guardians to examine student work, set instructional goals and make instructional decisions. This report card is the foundation for our parent/teacher/student conferences, which occur twice yearly.
Student Led Conferencing occurs in every classroom. Primary grades involve families in “Learning Celebrations”, where students lead their parent/guardian through authentic assessment stations. Parents and staff maintain two-way, ongoing communication regarding student progress relative to grade level standards. Venues such as Principal’s Coffees, Focus Groups, and English Language Advisory Committee (ELAC) meetings are used to ensure that all families are involved and informed of our progress. Translators from local businesses and bilingual parents in the community assist our families who are limited in their English speaking ability. The School Site Council provides a yearly survey, and results are utilized to make improvements to our programs.
The Twin Creeks Elementary School community will provide leadership in sharing our successes with other school communities. Currently, we are developing a team learning model based on the Teacher College at Columbia University’s New York Reading and Writing Project. Working with staff members from three other local elementary schools, our staff is developing grade level forums based on best practices for reading and writing instruction. Curriculum committees have been created to enable instructional coaching with school and district peers.