Glenn Stephens Elementary School
We are the Eagles.
Each member of our school community: students, staff, and families, share a deep sense of belonging. We are committed to learning from one another in an inclusive, non-judgmental, and joyful environment with high expectations, high quality relationships, and differentiated meaningful work.
Our professional development focuses on our staff working in teams to learn to problem solve with colleagues to make connections between equity learning, instruction and developing self efficacy in dependent learners. These groups meet frequently to guide the teachers in creating learning partnerships with focus students which will include developing a trusting relationship, assessing for gaps, and scaffolding for instruction of grade level standards especially with a focus on reading growth.
Structured Grade Level Team
New Math Curriculum - Bridges
Once a month, our grade level teams work together to co-plan and problem solve using the new Bridges curriculum.
Intentional Planning With a Focus on Grade Level Standards and Reading Growth
Our school wide expectations are Be Safe, Be Responsible and Be Respectful. To set students for success, at the beginning of the school year, the PBS team coordinates a crash course where expected behavior in specific areas of the school is taught to all students. Throughout the school year, teachers teach and re-teach these expectations. Staff acknowledge students when they see students display expected behavior. Eaglets are handed out to students who are being safe, respectful and responsible throughout the school. Students' eaglets are collected in their classroom and when a class earns 10 eaglets they get an eagle egg. All classrooms add eagle eggs to our collection in the library. When the container fills up to the line, we have an all school celebration!
Responsive Classrooms & Morning Meetings
We also practice Responsive Classrooms where all classrooms take time each morning to engage in a morning meeting. During morning meetings, the class does a greeting and a group activity, students get to share about themselves, and announcements are made for the day. This is a great time for the classroom to build their community.
We have quarterly Community Circles, which are all school assemblies. This year our focus is on being an ally. In partnership with Welcoming Schools, our first community circle focused on creating a welcoming school, second on valuing diversity, third on being an ally, and last is on celebrating our school community. Building up to each community circle, we engage in a whole school activity where we read a shared book, discuss the main idea, and find connections to our experiences at school and in the community. Some books we've read are: The New Girl by Jacqui Robbins, It's Okay to Be Different by Todd Parr, Jacob's New Dress by Sarah and Ian Hoffman, and I am Jazz by Jazz Jennings.
Strengthening students' core is important to us as it helps students build self awareness, self reflection, and self care. Paying attention to and addressing these skills will help students take better care of themselves; thus, will help them be better learners and participants. Everyday at 7:50 am, Ms. GG leads the whole school in a meditation and breathing exercise. Afterwards, teachers engage in a mindful discussion with their students.
Movement Mondays and Thriving Thursdays
We have made it a priority to build a thriving workfoce here at Stephens. This includes providing staff opportunities to develop and hone in on mindful practices with one self and with the classroom as a whole. Every Thursday after school Ms. Marci Speich leads the staff in a mindful practice starting with fifteen minutes of silence followed by fifteen minutes of guided meditation. Staff members who have participated in this have found it to be very helpful. Here is what some staff members have to say about it.
"It is hard to get to with everything that needs to get done in my classroom, but it is totally worth it. I feel a lot better when I leave and it is really helpful!"
"I don't know how I would have done the rest of my day yesterday without this practice after school. What a gift!"
As part of our School Improvement Plan, we are working together to learn about, reflect on, and address race and equity. We are fortunate to work with Heidi Gill from the National Equity Project who has been a partner in facilitating our professional development work around race and equity. We are spending this year focusing on building stronger and deeper relationships with our students through the concept of a "learning partnership." From the book Culturally Responsive Teaching and the Brain by Zaretta Hammond, our leadership team is taking this work and leading their colleagues in conversations and work around building rapport and alliance with our students so that we can support them in building cognitive insight.