Innovation School

  • Innovation School Logo

    Mission Statement:

    The Lawrence School, in partnership with families and community, provides rigorous and relevant learning experiences for students, ensuring that all reach their unique potential as learners and as respectful members of the local and global communities. 

    Vision Statement:

    The Lawrence School is committed to creating a community of engaged and motivated learners, through literacy, STEM, and culturally rich education, which access resources from community partnerships to develop their passions and abilities as citizens of the 21st century.

    Educational Model:

    Middle School Team Structure.

    Key Design Elements:

    1:1 Chromebooks and excellent bandwidth, Good student/teacher ratio, Adjustment Counselor and Guidance Counselor support, 1 Case Manager/Team structure, significant extra-curricular offerings, Math/Reading Lab supports.

    Utilizing the Innovation School model, Lawrence School has prioritized autonomies in the areas of curriculum,  instruction, and assessment; school schedule; professional development; staffing; district policies and procedures; and budget which support the school’s mission and vision.

    Our plan addresses how our school will use the innovation model in the six areas of autonomy and flexibility which will be structured with measurable annual goals and benchmarks in four key priorities:

    • Key Priority 1: Increase academic achievement for all Lawrence School students and significant reduction of achievement gaps with strong focus on literacy and technology integration in all areas of the curriculum
    • Key Priority 2: Boost community participation and engagement in learning for all Lawrence School students
    • Key Priority 3: Student, Family, and Community Partnerships that enrich learning opportunities for all Lawrence School students
    • Key Priority 4: Professional Development and Distributive Leadership that recognize the essential role that Lawrence School teachers play in student engagement and academic achievement of all students

    Original Plan: 2011/2012 through 2015/2016

    Renewal Plan: 2016/2017 through 2020/2021

     

     INNOVATION PLAN 5 YEAR RENEWAL

    Innovation School Information

    School Name: Lawrence School

    Original Innovation Status Granted: 2011   

    Academic Year Implementation Commenced: 2011-2012

    Renewal Status Granted: 9/27/2016

    Renewal Plan Duration: 5 years, 2016/2017 through 2020/2021

    Grades Served: 7 & 8

    Total Enrollment: 571

    School Type: Conversion                  

    School Accountability Level: Level 1                              

    District Name: Falmouth Public Schools

    Accountability Level: Level 2

     

     

    District and School Contact Information

    DISTRICT LEVEL

    SCHOOL LEVEL

    Name/Title: Nancy R. Taylor/Superintendent

    Name/Title: Thomas Bushy/Principal

    Email: ntaylor@falmouth.k12.ma.us

    Email: tbushy@falmouth.k12.ma.us

     

    Renewal Plan Committee

    NAME

    AFFILIATION

    Thomas Bushy

    Lead applicant and Principal

    Nancy Taylor

    Superintendent

    Sean Sullivan

    Parent who has one or more children enrolled in the school

    Donna Mattison-Earls

    Community Member

    Paula Albanese

    Teacher employed by the district: Special Education

    Robin Bowerman

    Teacher employed by the district: Math

    James Deasy

    Teacher employed by the district: Social Studies

    Charlene Johnson

    Teacher employed by the district: English

    Janice Lewis

    Teacher employed by the district: Engineering

    Lynn O’Connell

    Teacher employed by the district: Tech21

    Danielle Velesig

    Teacher employed by the district: Social Studies

    Rebecca Vieira

    Assistant Principal

    Kristina Woods

    Teacher employed by the district: Science

    Derrick Zarra

    Teacher employed by the district: Science

     

     

    Innovation School Overview and Goals

     

    INNOVATION SCHOOL OVERVIEW:

     

    Mission Statement:

    The Lawrence School, in partnership with families and community, provides rigorous and relevant learning experiences for students, ensuring that all reach their unique potential as learners and as respectful members of the local and global communities. 

     

    Vision Statement:

    The Lawrence School is committed to creating a community of engaged and motivated learners, through literacy, STEM, and culturally rich education, which access resources from community partnerships to develop their passions and abilities as citizens of the 21st century.

     

    Educational Model:

    Middle School Team Structure.

     

    Key Design Elements:

    1:1 Chromebooks and excellent bandwidth, Good student/teacher ratio, Adjustment Counselor and Guidance Counselor support, 1 Case Manager/Team structure, significant extra-curricular offerings, Math/Reading Lab supports

     

    GOALS OF THE LAWRENCE INNOVATION SCHOOL:

    The Lawrence School will be designed with Innovation goals to address the needs of students, faculty, staff, and families.

     

    Student Focused Goals

    Through the innovation plan for Lawrence School we seek to:

    • Increase literacy skills across the curriculum.

    Lawrence School has maintained an active literacy committee comprised of teachers from a variety of disciplines. This group has been an integral part of planning and implementing our school-wide literacy plan. The group has trained all staff so that every instructor is an active teacher of literacy in each content area.  By creating a common language and expectation across the disciplines, literacy skills have been strengthened.

    • Increase study skills development and habits of mind.

    Students have demonstrated deficiencies in study skills and problem solving strategies. Course offerings focused on effective organizational skills and study strategies will prepare our students to become better problem solvers in the academic and global communities.

    • Increase engagement in the curriculum through the use of technology.

    Differentiation and the use of a common language across the curriculum offers students of different abilities and skill sets the opportunity to engage at a level that can challenge but not overwhelm them. Through innovative curriculum, students experience authentic challenges by utilizing current technologies through our 1:1 student to device ratio to supplement their learning experiences.

     

     

    • Increase community activism.  

    Students will regularly participate in community outreach activities utilizing our rich resources of community partnerships.

    • Create portfolios that support high school, college and career readiness.

    Student portfolios will provide an on-going assessment of student growth through successful completion of defined benchmarks, surveys, and reflections.  

    • Dress for success initiative.

    Implementation of the dress for success initiative will serve as a model of expectations of appropriate dress for post-high school, college, and career readiness. Implementation has eliminated unnecessary distractions from the educational process and has avoided time spent outside of the instructional classroom for corrective action.


    Faculty/Staff Focused Goals:

    Through the innovation plan for Lawrence School we seek to:

     

    • Use current school data and technology as a tool to inform our practice.

    Staff will utilize the resources available from the instructional support team to inform instruction and assessment practices based on student academic need.

    • Incorporate Common Core Standards in curricular development.

    Staff will continue to increase the rigor and relevance of the curriculum by incorporating reading and writing in all disciplines, and utilize emerging literacies (such as digital and print sources) for research and communication.

    • Implement a co-teaching model for effective inclusion.

    All students will be in mainstream classes as academically appropriate. Staff will begin to implement a co-teaching model that supports the individual learning needs of our students and compliments the team structure.

     

    Family and Community Focused Innovation Goals:

    Through the innovation plan for Lawrence School we seek to:

    • Increase collaboration with the PTO, School Council and the Falmouth Volunteers in Public Schools (VIPS).

    Better utilize the resources within our school system to support student achievement.

    • Engage and support low-income families through expanded outreach.

    Through the team structure, faculty will form strong relationships with all families.  The proactive family involvement and intervention by guidance counselors and teachers will address the needs of the school population.

    • Provide families with guidelines for age-appropriate technology use.

    Through the Parent Connection series, families will have access to guidelines for responsible use and management of technology.

    • Offer a variety of activities and options for family involvement.

    Families and staff will share in the responsibility and the ownership of their child’s learning and achievement by active participation with the parent portal of PowerSchool and conferences with the team teachers and attending school informational events.

     

    • Increase the level of communication between school, family, and community.

    The ease of access and timely publication and notification of school related information will be supported through the implementation and use of the parent portal of PowerSchool, our school website, school Facebook page, teacher sites, and print publications.

    • Create opportunities for family to family relationships and social encounters.  

    Enhance the Parent Connection series by adding additional meeting times as the family schedules necessitate, and offer a broader range of topics according to the preference and needs of families. An effort will be made to provide childcare during school informational events to ease the burden on families wanting to attend such events.

     

    Areas of Autonomy and Flexibility

     

    Utilizing the Innovation School model, Lawrence School has prioritized autonomies in the areas of curriculum,  instruction, and assessment; school schedule; professional development; staffing; district policies and procedures; and budget which support the school’s mission and vision.

     

    Our plan addresses how our school will use the innovation model in the six areas of autonomy and flexibility which will be structured with measureable annual goals and benchmarks in four key priorities:

                

    Key Priority 1: Increase academic achievement for all Lawrence School students and significant

                reduction of achievement gaps with strong focus on literacy and technology integration in

                all areas of the curriculum

    Key Priority 2: Boost community participation and engagement in learning for all Lawrence School students

    Key Priority 3: Student, Family, and Community Partnerships that enrich learning opportunities

                for all Lawrence School students

    Key Priority 4: Professional Development and Distributive Leadership that recognize the

                essential role that Lawrence School teachers play in student engagement and academic

                achievement of all students

     

     

    Autonomy and Flexibility Area 1: Curriculum, Instruction, and Assessment

     

    The Lawrence School will use the autonomy of Curriculum, Instruction, and Assessment to increase student access to the curriculum through differentiated content that uses the Common Core Standards and multiple modes of instruction to boost student achievement in the area of literacy, critical thinking, and skill development across all areas of the curriculum.

    Student academic achievement and engagement will be measured annually by reviewing data collected from subject specific common assessments, state wide assessments, formative and summative assessments, individual student documented growth, portfolios of student work,  student reflection and parent, as well as, student conferencing.  Annual reviews of data will be augmented and informed by ongoing assessment and monitoring of student progress on a regular basis across each school year. This will facilitate instructional problem-solving, differentiated learning experiences and modifications, as well as increased student support as data on student learning indicates.  

     

    Teachers of Literacy Skills: Key Priority 1

    In order to improve in the specific areas of writing including evidence based responses (EBRs), and essays, students require specific and frequent feedback to improve achievement. Lawrence School requires students to complete a minimum of one evidence based response per month. Students will also be assessed according to classroom grades and standardized test scores.

     

    Math Lab and Reading Lab Courses: Key Priority 1

    These classes will address the needs of students whose progress does not meet the expectations of the school as a learning community or the expectations of state standards. Subject certified teachers will teach these courses.

     

    Co-Teaching Model of Inclusion: Key Priority 1

    The Lawrence School will implement a co-teaching model that will benefit all students in all academic areas. Needs of students will be met while engaging in activities in heterogeneous grouping within classes. To assure students are performing at grade level, the students will be supported with Special Education Teachers who have the skills to implement strategies for better understanding. The inclusion model will require teachers to have common planning, professional development in their subject area and access to data to meet the needs of the students.

     

    Student Portfolio: Key Priority 1

    Every student at Lawrence will develop a portfolio that will include, but not be limited to: career goals, differentiated assessment, and application of technology, development of skills, communication devices, literacy growth, and evidence of mastery of State Standards.

     

    Student Engagement and Motivation: Key Priority 1 & 2

    With the autonomy and flexibility of the Innovation School, teachers will be able to plan lessons and units that engage and motivate students with the implementation of innovative technology. With the support of current technologies and professional development time, teachers will be expected to create lessons that will encompass the content and skills required by State Standards while using the tools of technology to advance to the levels of analysis, synthesis, and evaluation.

     

    Science, Technology, Engineering, Mathematics (STEM): Key Priority 1 & 3

    Curricular opportunities will be explored to research and develop a model to establish a STEM focus across the curriculum. Priorities include integrating scientific, mathematical, and technological literacy skills across disciplines.

     

    Student Support Groups: Key Priority 3

    The guidance department, with the support of the Lawrence School staff will expand our current student support programs to regularly meet with students who are in need of social, emotional, and academic support. Current programs that will be expanded include Girls Circle, Peer Leaders, Peer and Adult mentors

      

    Autonomy and Flexibility Area 2: School Schedule

    The Lawrence School will use school schedule autonomy to provide students with a team structure that will utilize all staff participating as advisors to students, provide an embedded professional development model, and incorporate utilization of internal, professional expertise and best practices. The house structure will create a close student to teacher relationship allowing for subject area remediation and academic and global challenges for all students.

     

    Department Based Curricular Planning Time: Key Priority 1 & 4

    The schedule at Lawrence School will provide curricular planning time every other day for teachers and administrators to access data and create targeted interventions and inform instruction in all disciplines.

     

    Peer Observation: Key Priority 4

    A committee will be established to develop and plan a calendar to allow teachers the opportunity to observe their peers for the purpose of sharing best practices.  

     

    Advisor/Advisee Program: Key Priority 3

    We will work to implement an advisor/advisee program to meet within the school day to provide every student a connect with a staff member for guidance and to support students socially, emotionally, and academically

     

    Autonomy and Flexibility Area 3: Professional Development

    The Lawrence School will use autonomy and flexibility in Professional Development in the areas of Literacy and Technology. There will be a strong focus providing relevant professional development in these areas to enhance engagement and learning though differentiated content and multiple modes of instruction to boost student achievement.

     

    Internal Expertise: Key Priority 4

    Professional development time will be used as opportunities for teachers and school leaders to take on different instructional and leadership roles, specifically by utilizing internal professional expertise.

     

    Implementation of Problem-solving meetings to monitor student learning:  Key Priority 1 & 4

    The regular weekly use of a team-based preparation time to review the progress of students who are not meeting benchmark expectations is both professional development on instruction and an essential component of monitoring student learning so that the students most in need of differentiated instruction and additional academic supports are reviewed in regular cycles.  These weekly meetings have a specific structure and follow a data-based problem-solving process that includes documentation of regular formative assessment during the implementation of an action plan.  We anticipate that needs of 3-4 students will addressed each week, and that in addressing those needs, teachers will apply strategies arising from those meetings with other students of similar needs. If unsuccessful, the learning collaborative will present student profiles to the Instructional Support Team (IST).

     

    Use of Technology: Key Priority 1 & 4

    It is essential for teachers to receive training on curriculum specific applications of innovative uses of technology, and to have time to implement new strategies and reflect on their effectiveness.

      

    Autonomy and Flexibility Area 4: Staffing

    The Lawrence School will utilize autonomy and flexibility in the area of staffing to best utilize our current resources and maintain the team structure. Our staffing pattern will provide more opportunities for staff to be in direct contact with the student population to assist in and monitor academic achievement and engagement.

     

    Team Structure: Key Priority 1 & 4

    Lawrence School will maintain a team structure. Each team will consist one grade level with approximately 95 students per team. Connected to each grade level will be four content specific academic teachers, (Math, English, Science, and Social Studies), and a specialist, who will rotate among the team on a trimester basis. Each team will also include a Special Educator and Teaching Assistant.

    Each grade level will have a dedicated Adjustment/Guidance Counselor. Additionally, through the reorganization of the school schedule, all students will have equal access to Health, Physical Education, and Foreign Language classes.  Each grade level team has an appointed leader whose charge is to lead effective team meetings. This includes looking at student work and using current data to inform student academic interventions. These leaders also schedule time for parent conferences and plan events for student recognition, team building activities, and field experiences. Department chairs oversee content specific curriculum, instruction, assessment, and delivery, as well as, content specific professional development. Department chairs are also responsible for evaluation and supervision of department teachers.

     

     

    Autonomy and Flexibility Area 5: District Policy and Procedures

    Lawrence School will have a change in governance and the decision-making structure in order to ensure faculty input and satisfaction with the innovation plan, as well as, closely monitor and collect data to assess student engagement and academic achievement.

     

    Distributive Leadership: Key Priority 4

    Lawrence School will shift from the traditional leadership model to one of distributive leadership using a three-tier model that includes: appointed team leaders, peer elected faculty and student town meeting, and an appointed principal advisory council. Department Chairs are a leadership group that links to all three leadership tiers. Team leaders will meet on a regular basis with all team members and focus their time addressing student academic progress interventions.  The members of the faculty town meeting will be elected by their peers and will represent all cross-sections of our school population. This group will use the Innovation Plan and the autonomies granted as part of this initiative, as well as state laws, to guide the senate’s work in terms of new proposals, activities, clubs, professional development, curriculum, and projects. Decisions stemming from the Faculty Senate will be based on a majority vote to move the motion forward to the Principals Advisory Council. The Student Senate will be a partner in the development of policies and procedures that impact the daily life of the student body. The principal advisory council will serve as a sounding board for all new and revised proposals and will review them with input from student, faculty, and community members. This group will direct final recommendations to the principal who has the authority to approve or deny any proposals.

     

    Distributive Leadership Model

     

    School Council

    (1) Principal

    (1) Student

     

    (3) Faculty/Staff

     

    (2) Parents

     

     

     

    Warrant Committee

     

    (1) Moderator

    8th grader at large

     

    (6) 7th graders

    (6) 8th graders

     

    Warrant Committee

     

    (1) Moderator and Advisor to Student TM

     

    (12) Members by Department

     

     

    PTO

     

    Volunteers

     

     

     

    Student Representative Town Meeting

     

    1-3 Reps per Homeroom

     

    Approx. 30-90 Student Members

     

     

    Faculty/Staff Open Town Meeting

     

    All Lawrence School Faculty and Staff

     

     

    Student Code of Conduct: Key Priority 2 & 3

    A revised student code of conduct will be drafted to streamline disciplinary actions and may expand to include community service in place the current out of school suspension policy.

     

    Student Dress Code: Key Priority 2

    A Dress Code policy sub-committee has been formed and will make recommendations for the implementation of a revised Lawrence School dress code policy.

     

    Student Promotion Standard: Key Priority 2

    The Lawrence School has created a promotion guideline by assigning credits to all courses and requiring students to accrue an established credit number to be promoted to the next grade.  The Student Promotion Standard would also factor in student attendance and provide safety nets for students not making effective progress.

     

    *Copies of the original Innovation School Plan and IS Plan update are available in the main office of the Lawrence School

Last Modified on September 14, 2020