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November 13th, 2019

prairie view redesign presentationTeachers from Prairie View Elementary School update the USD 480 school board on redesign projects for the 2018-19 school year. This was the first year for the redesign, and many successes have been seen as a result in all of the USD 480 schools. L&T photo/Elly GrimmELLY GRIMM • Leader & Times


The 2018-19 school year is complete and teachers are already planning for the 2019-20 school year, particularly in regard to redesign projects. 

Prairie View Elementary School has been among the schools throughout USD 480 taking part in the redesign process and the past school year saw many successes. 

“This process has definitely been a team effort, every person on this team has led a team of teachers for research, with some of them being implemented right away and some of them coming up later,” Prairie View Elementary School redesign pilot Amy Cosper said. “Like the other schools, we started out with stakeholder surveys and we asked our staff ‘What do you want the students to be able to do?’ And when we looked at all those responses, we came up with not only the vision but also our three goal areas. Our vision is ‘Empowering each student with tools and strategies to excel in a rapidly changing world’ and in our mindset and through those surveys we did, that included three goals: academic, relationships and experiences.” 

Each of those goals, the Prairie View Elementary School  redesign staff continued, has sub-goals to be reached. 

“With the dual language program, which the school board heard about a few weeks ago, one of the big decisions we made was to go school-wide with dual language and the next kindergarten class will be the first class to experience that,” fellow Prairie View Elementary School redesign committee member Marisol Peña said. 

“With the interventionist team, we’ve spent a lot of time researching different programs and platforms that will help supplement what we’re already teaching our students so they’ll be more successful,” Prairie View Elementary School Interventionist Kari Sutton said. “One of the best programs we found in all that research was iStation, that was the one that was the most student-friendly and teacher-friendly and it’s the easiest to explain to parents as far as how it works. On top of all that, we realized our school could use a bit of a boost in math and some of those things and we discovered Imagine Math Facts, which is a program that will be adjusted and monitored as the students go along. And with the iStation we’ve also been able to use the Spanish part of that and it’s been a great resource as far as the vocabulary and to help the students reach their literacy goals.”

Among all the work that has been done on the academic side, the question was also asked about providing some things the students asked for. 

“We did a survey with the students and asked them what they would like to see changed,” Prairie View Elementary School teacher Claire Thompson said. “So we came up with Pioneer Power Hour and once a week, students will be able to choose a club to be part of and those groups will range from learning how to change a bicycle tire and all that to cook and sign language. And we’ve also brought in some community partners to help with that – Southern Pioneer came in and we also had a handful of student groups from the high school who came in with the dance team and cheerleaders and other students. We also have a karate club and El Rancho Exotica came and brought a few animals to the classroom, so there have been all types of things we’ve been able to do with our community partners as far as real-world applications.”

“What we were looking at with the relationships goal was to prioritize and protect that relationship time,” Prairie View Elementary School teacher Jennifer Hanson said. “So in our redesign schedule, we fit in a daily time set aside for helping build those relationships. We’ll continue with our school families and we want to keep working on our class counsels and with that we’ll be using our Getting Along Together (GAT) strategies because every student needs those soft skills. We also want to be mindful about teaching more about good and healthy practices, so we had some lessons on that to go along with our social/emotional learning, which we’ll be reevaluating in a couple years.”

Project-based learning has been another big part of the redesign process, staff continued, including with AVID. The staff also talked about the continued use of Success For All for the reading curriculum for the school, which is the best for the students at this time, and added the school will also have Breakfast in the Classroom available for students.

“We began implementing AVID last year school-wide, so we had even kindergarteners with their binders and all the other tools with that, and they bring it in every day and have that expectation,” Prairie View Elementary School teacher Gena Hampton said. “We’ve seen it works from an early age to start them getting in to that habit of being organized and being ready for that college and career readiness steps and it gets more complex for them as they go through school, and we’ll be continuing that next year.”

“We were wanting to find a math program that also fit our goals for dual language and aligned to our standards and gave us a bunch of ways to check for that data, because at the moment we don’t have anything for that,” Prairie View Elementary School teacher Olivia Flores said. “We wanted something that would be consistent school-wide and help us with dual language. We found Eureka Math, which is research-based, and it meets our dual language standards because it’s offered in both English and Spanish. It also has an assessment piece, which will give us consistent and formative assessments we can use to track how the students are doing throughout the year. There’s also a digital supplement that extends the lessons we teach so it gives them a second chance to go over what’s been going on in class. It’s very student-friendly and fits to our standards very well and it has a lot of supplements we can use.”

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