A requirement of the School Land Trust Program is that a final report is published to the school community. This is the report for the 2017-18 school year for Albion Middle School. We received $88,014 for 2017-18. The School Community Council created a plan and budget for those funds the previous year, then monitored the expenditures and progress throughout the implementation year. What follows is a narrative report of the Land Trust expenditures; details including specific goals, budgets and expenditures are available by contacting the Albion main office, or visiting www.schoollandtrust.com.
The main focus in the Albion School Land Trust plan was to support students academically through aide support who assisted students in the classroom, or in small groups as needed. Larger classes or classes where a larger percentage of the students were demonstrating the need for assistance were given priority status for aide support. These aides help identify students who are at risk for academic failure, provide assistance with learning tasks, track progress, monitor assignments, and implement other interventions as prescribed by the Albion Student Support Team.
Before and after school tutoring was funded through the Land Trust program. Certified teachers worked with students for one hour from September through May in a drop-in style program. Materials and Chromebooks were provided for tutoring programs as well as the aides previously mentioned.
In order to support high quality classroom instruction, teachers were provided with an additional day of preparation prior to the start of the school year. Traditionally, only one or two partial days are available to teachers to prepare to begin the year. This is not enough to plan lessons, develop procedures, organize classrooms and all the other preparation a teacher needs to do prior to the students’ arrival. An additional day allowed teachers to hit the ground running the minute students arrived, and provided a much better start to the year. We were also able to set goals and provide some training on updated intervention and instructional techniques in the classroom.
The best method to improve a teacher’s practice is to observe other teachers, discuss strategies with them, and then plan implementation in their own classroom with their teaching partners. To support this, the Land Trust plan paid for substitutes for teachers to engage in teacher peer observation and partner planning for one day. Teachers report this time to be extremely valuable in their professional development and growth as teaching professionals.
Lastly, to provide students with an interest in Science and Math beyond the classroom, stipends are provided for two teachers to sponsor Lego League and Math Teams. These are very effective programs that extend the science and math curriculum beyond the classroom. We are very proud of our students who choose to participate in these competitions, as they learn valuable teamwork skills, real-world applications, and higher-level content while having a whole bunch of fun.
We are enormously grateful for the opportunities that the Land Trust funds provide. Further details are available on the Schoollandtrust.com website, or by contacting the Albion main office.