Elementary Principals Collaborative - November 19
Elementary principals continue to develop their instructional leadership through their monthly collaborative. Designed to provide time for our site leaders to notice and calibrate around effective, equitable instructional practices, and the use of the Orton-Gillingham (OG) methodology as they walk through classrooms, the Elementary Principals Collaborative was recently held at Escondido. The session expanded to include using an equity tool during the observation, visiting Spanish Immersion classrooms, and learning about Escondido's Response to Instruction (RTI) block.
Principals remarked that in all classrooms, in addition to encouraging and motivating language, teachers used clear enunciation and concise speech, allowing students to focus on the letters and sounds they were practicing. Teachers have created classroom environments that facilitate high levels of student engagement and confidence from all children. Students in both educational programs, English and Spanish Immersion, are learning the letters and corresponding sounds foundational to the language of reading and writing instruction. Students in our Spanish Immersion Program participate in a 90/10 model, where both Spanish and English are the languages of instruction for literacy. The classroom environments demonstrated inclusivity and belonging, including flexible seating, student self-portraits, tools used to determine left/right, and hands used to scaffold the kinesthetic aspect of writing that represent the various skin colors found among the "Friends Around the World." Principals noted strategies that they will share with teachers at their respective sites.
In addition to the unique instructional program at Escondido, Principal, Dr. Marcela Simões de Carvalho, provided her colleagues with a comprehensive presentation of their RTI block, which included the observation of an intervention teacher providing OG instruction to a small group of students requiring specific phonics and phonemic awareness development. The RTI block allows students who need reading intervention, English Language Development, Special Education services, counseling, and other differentiated instruction time to receive it. This approach addresses our focus goals of early literacy, equity, mental health, and healthy attendance.
As instructional leaders, Principals are dedicated to providing their teachers with current practices in education. As a unified school district, our students benefit from this monthly professional collaborative.