Level: Previous A+ School
X__ Elementary _____Yes __X__ No
_____ Secondary If Yes, Year(s) __________
Name of Principal _________Sarah S. Hartley, Ed. D.___________________________
(As you wish it in the official records)
Official School Name _________North Ranch Elementary School
(As you wish it in the official records)
School Mailing Address 16402 N. 61st Place_ _ Telephone (480) 367-5810
____Scottsdale, Arizona 85254____ email address firstname.lastname@example.org___
I have reviewed the information in this package, including the eligibility requirements, and certify that to the best of my knowledge it is accurate. If my school is recognized as and A+ school, the contest of this application may be made available to the public.
_____________________________________________ Date ____________________________
Name of Superintendent __________Dr. John Kriekard_________________________________
District Name __Paradise Valley Unified School District Telephone (602) 867-5100
District Mailing 15002 North 32nd Street Phoenix, Arizona 85032
I have reviewed the information in this package, including the eligibility requirements, and certify that to the best of my knowledge it is accurate.
_____________________________________________ Date ____________________________
Name of School Board President _____
I have reviewed the information in this package, including the eligibility requirements, and certify that to the best of my knowledge it is accurate.
_____________________________________________ Date ____________________________
(School Board President’s Signature)
Submit application by 5:00 p.m., February 1, 2005 to:
6320 East. Thomas Road, Suite 307
Scottsdale, AZ 85251
Representatives of all relevant stakeholder groups (including administrators, teachers, other school staff, students, parents, community representatives) should be involved in the preparation of the School Self-Assessment.
DISTRICT (To be completed by all schools)
8 Middle Schools
6 High Schools
SCHOOL (To be completed by all schools)
(X) Urban or large central city
( ) Suburban school with characteristics typical of an urban area
( ) Suburban
( ) Small city or town in rural area
( ) Rural
Pre-K 85 5th 81 10th 0
1st 68 6th 82 11th 0
2nd 91 7th 0 12th 0
3rd 67 8th 0
4th 83 9th 0 TOTAL: 557
___1_____ % American Indian or Alaskan Native
___6_____ % Asian
___4_____ % Black of African American
___7_____ % Hispanic or Latino
___0____ % Native Hawaiian or Other Pacific Islander
___82____ % White
___100___ % TOTAL
(This rate should include the total number of students who transferred to or from different schools between October 1 and the end of the school year, divided by the total number of students in the school as of October 1, multiplied by 100)
_1% Total Number
Number of languages represented: _ 12__
Specify languages: Spanish, Arabic, Hebrew, Mandarin, Russian, Romanian,Cantonese, Finnish, Bulgarian, Persian, Hindi, Assyrian
_10% __Total Number
If this method is not a reasonably accurate estimate of the percentage of students from low-income families or the school does not participate in the federally-supported lunch program, specify a more accurate estimate, tell why the school chose it, and explain how it arrived at this estimate.
_13% Number Served
Indicate below the number of students with disabilities according to conditions designated in the Individuals with Disabilities Education Acts.
_ 0_ Deaf __2__ Other Health Impaired
_ 0_ Deaf-Blind __2 __ Seriously Emotionally Disturbed
_ 0 Hard of Hearing __39 _Specific Learning Disability
_ 0 Mentally Retarded _ 45 _Speech Impaired
_ 1 Multihandicapped __0 __ Visually handicapped
_ 0_ Orthopedically Impaired __5__ Autistic
Administrator(s) ___1____ _______
Classroom teachers ___26 ___ ___6 ____
Special resource teachers/specialists ___7 ____ ___2____
Paraprofessionals ___11 ___ _______
Support staff ___10___ _______
Total Number ___55___ ___8____
Grab your reading glasses and get ready to meet the North Ranch Wranglers. We can be summed up in a few words, “We excel in every way and get better every day”, but for some strange reason we think you might want a little more meat on the bones. So for the next twenty-plus pages we will attempt to give you the real flavor for who we are, here at the Ranch.
As you enter our halls and peer into our classrooms, you will see that our school is a place where children excel in an atmosphere of encouragement, mutual respect, caring, and academic excellence. We are a diverse community of learners that come together to provide a supportive and engaging environment for student growth in all areas. As a team, we Rope Up Success together with our strong parent and community support. Teachers and staff are the brains, the parents are the backbone, and the community members are the vital organs that work together to build a solid educational system for each and every one of our Wrangler hearts.
At North Ranch, we empower our minds with challenging inquiry and our hearts with compassionate action.
We excel in every way and get better every day.
Entering North Ranch Elementary School, you immediately recognize “A World of Caring Citizens”. You cross the threshold where diversity is accepted and celebrated. You recognize we are vibrant spirits with equal worth. At the “Ranch”, we develop citizens whose communication, technology, and thinking skills are integral components of the teaching and learning environment. We strive to make a difference in the lives of all who enter here - students, teachers, parents, and community members. Departing through our doors you will be committed to making the world a better place for yourself and others with a compassionate heart and a positive attitude. You are an educated citizen of the world.
Š Respect – I treat others the way I want to be treated. I value our differences.
Š Teamwork – I listen to others and work for the common good.
Š Honesty – I am truthful to others and myself.
Š Trustworthy – I am trustworthy, reliable, and accountable to my environment and myself.
Š Caring – I am considerate, compassionate, fair, and kind in my actions and words.
Š Responsibility – I am responsible for my words and actions.
Š Everyone has the right to learn and be in a safe environment.
Š All students can be successful learners.
Š We promote academic excellence.
Š Our success depends on students, parents, staff, and community working together.
Š We must always be positive in our words and actions.
Š Growth in all areas is a continuous process.
Roping Up Success
A. Student Population
North Ranch Elementary School resides within the Paradise Valley Unified School District. We have a Scottsdale address but receive our services through Phoenix governmental departments. Our main purpose is to provide the best education possible to each of our 551 preschool through sixth grade students. Although we are a neighborhood school, more than 100 students choose to be with us because of the open enrollment policy. To give you a clearer vision of who we are, our ethnic population is: 6% Asian, 4% Black, 7% Hispanic, 1% Indian and 83% Caucasian. We have 72 students on Individual Education Plans (IEP) receiving special education services, while about 51 students are identified and receive services in our two honors programs. We are privileged to house two self-contained classrooms for children with specific learning disabilities and have the only classroom in the state to serve students who are classified as Twice-Exceptional. We have seven special needs students with disabilities such as Autism or Down Syndrome who are fully included in the regular classroom. Ten percent of our population receives free or reduced lunches. Our wonderfully diverse population brings much richness to our entire learning environment. The diversity of our school may not be seen through a racial or socioeconomic lens but rather through a true understanding of our student population.
Students being served in the self-contained classrooms come from throughout the district; therefore, they usually come to us because their needs are not being met in their home school. The teachers are superb at accommodating these students within the classroom to create a positive learning environment for each child. We utilize the SST process, which we call the Student Success Team. This team is composed of the school psychologist, the speech and language pathologist, the nurse, the principal, the resource teacher, a regular education teacher, the classroom teacher, and the parents. Together, we identify the student’s strengths and concerns so we can develop an intervention plan to create successful learning experiences. This team meets weekly to discuss a wide variety of concerns that address academic or social-emotional needs. Most of our parents who participate in these meetings are very appreciative and sometimes surprised that so many people are concerned and want to help their child succeed. Sometimes these meetings result in a need for more information about the student. With parental permission, additional assessments are conducted.
Many programs and services are in place to ensure that we are providing the necessay support to meet both academic and non-academic needs. All students in kindergarten through third grade are given a Developmental Reading Assessment to help screen and track literacy success. Some students are given the DIBEL or Brigance Diagnostic to delve deeper into the reading process. Through these more extensive assessments, our Reading Specialist may give the teacher and/or parents and additional assistance and recommendations.
The school psychologist plays a pivotal role. She administers cognitive tests, performs and scores other assessments for potential medical and behavioral diagnoses, and develops the final report for all full evaluations. The Occupational Therapist, the Structured English Immersion (SEI), the Resource teacher, Hearing, and Inclusion Specialists may do other individualized assessments. AIMS and SAT9 results have traditionally been used by staff to review progress made by students, and to assess areas that need additional emphasis in the instructional mode. Staff consultation is an important component in determining students’ needs. Grade level teachers hold regular meetings to brainstorm ideas and help each other develop solutions. The Reading, K-3, Resource, and Inclusion Specialists consult with classroom teachers on a regular basis to coordinate the students’ learning with the goal of promoting optimum success in the regular classroom.
Honors screening is done in second grade by classroom teachers. Honors testing also occurs three times a year for third through sixth grade students who have been recommended by a parent or teacher. An individual student may be assessed once in a year’s time.
Parent-Teacher communication is an important tool that North Ranch uses with great effectiveness. Parent teacher meetings, phone calls, emails, and notes home are the norm. We also meet with parents before and after school and during prep periods. Our parents and teachers feel that working as a dynamic team is the best way to maximize the educational objective of developing lifetime learners.
The Honors program is offered to those students who score at or above the ninety-seven percentile on a qualifying assessment. These students are offered enriched curriculum in the areas of reading, math, and nonverbal reasoning. The Honors curriculum allows gifted students to explore and discover alternative solutions and display their creativity.
“At risk” is a red flag for educators. This group of students is too often the “underserved”. The role of our K-3 Specialist is to ensure that these students are not lost in the vast learning world. Classroom teachers and parents help identify students needing additional support. These sixty-six students require an enriched curriculum or remediation in one or more academic areas. The K-3 Specialist is also available to work with teachers in the classroom, training staff in methods and strategies that will further enhance the instruction of all students.
Our Reading Specialist provides small group instruction to sixty K-3 students who demonstrate a need for extra assistance in reading, but who do not qualify for special education service. Research-based instruction and periodic assessments allow her to monitor the students’ progress. She schedules several groups of up to six students on a daily basis for reading intervention. She conferences with parents and teachers of each student served, provides resource materials, and consultation to all grade levels. Rise, Read, and Shine is a program that meets before or after school with groups of students to improve their skills in reading. Primary teachers recommend the students to receive additional assistance in phonemic awareness, fluency, and comprehension. Summer reading packets are available from the Reading Specialist for grades K-2. In addition Summer Adventure CD and workbook packets are made available to all families in grades kindergarten through fifth. These packets provide opportunities for students to practice and strengthen reading, writing, math, and critical thinking skills throughout the summer months.
North Ranch offers a wide variety of special education services including: Learning Disabled (LD) Resource, LD Self-Contained, Uniquely Gifted, Speech and Language, Inclusion, Occupational Therapy and Adaptive PE.
Our Resource Program services students who qualify as Learning Disabled in the areas of math, reading, and written expression. In this year, 2004-05, there are approximately twenty students who receive specialized instruction in one or more of these areas, while attending the regular classroom for the majority of their day. The Resource teacher supplements and reinforces the regular classroom curriculum.
Our two LD Self-Contained classrooms are for students who qualify for specialized instruction in all core subject areas. These students join the North Ranch family from throughout PVUSD. Curricula for our LD students include multi-sensory approaches and discovery learning. There are twelve students in the primary and nine students in the intermediate classroom. The students attend Special Area classes with their non-disabled peers and are included in all special events, field trips, as well as lunch and recess periods.
The Uniquely Gifted classroom at North Ranch is truly one of a kind in the state of Arizona. Uniquely Gifted describes a special population of highly talented students who are often lost in the shuffle of a school environment. The students serviced through this program must be identified as gifted in addition to having a second identified exceptionality in special education. It is this second exceptionality that prevents the student from being able to succeed in a traditional honors classroom. The program is open to children throughout the district. Using the students’ strengths as a springboard, a non-traditional curriculum is planned to provide each student with a successful learning environment. State and district standards are presented, though not necessarily in a conventional format. The recognition that these students are facing, and will continue to face, immense challenges socially and emotionally is paramount to their success. The major goal of the program is to facilitate emotional, social, and cognitive growth in each student. Autonomy in the learning process is the goal as students are encouraged to explore, invent, question, create, and become self-directed in using their unique talents. Though only in its third year of existence, the program has many success stories. “I belong here” are the most beautiful words the parent of a uniquely gifted child and the staff at North Ranch can hear. The Uniquely Gifted classroom is a safe place where the risks involved in learning can be fully explored by students for whom school has too often been a nightmare. This program was initially developed in 2001 to meet the needs of one of our students. We knew that the regular education program was not meeting her needs. We began a search for an educational setting that would provide success for the student. In doing so we created the only Twice-Exceptional classroom in the state. We needed a program for one child and found a home for many others within our district. Nationwide, others have sought our advice in trying to learn about these unique learners and the possibility of program duplication.
Our Speech and Language Therapist provides services for all students who qualify. She currently serves approximately forty-five students twice a week. The therapist collaborates and consults with teachers and parents on an as-needed basis, attends parent-teacher conferences, and is an important member of the Student Success Team. In addition to the students serviced at North Ranch, she serves students identified from a neighboring private school and preschoolers in our neighborhood.
The Inclusion program serves children with autism or a variety of cognitive and physical disabilities. Full time aide support is provided for each child allowing them to spend their day in the regular classroom with non-disabled peers. The Inclusion Specialist acts as a source of information for behavioral issues. She trains and models interventions for teachers to use in their classrooms. We are very proud of the fact that one of our inclusion students won the T-shirt design contest this year in a school wide student vote. This design will be used on our spirit T-shirts worn by all.
Our teachers utilize the district's Behavioral Specialist. She works in classrooms to facilitate emotional and social growth of our children. Teachers also make tremendous use of the Integration Specialist, to assist in creating smooth integration and effective accommodations and services for the special education and disabled students in regular education classroom settings. Our school currently has six students who qualify for academic modifications under the 504 Program. Our school nurse addresses and monitors the needs of students who are medically impaired, but do not need special education services.
Virtually all teachers at North Ranch employ some form of differentiated instruction in the classroom. Although many students with specific needs are accommodated through pull-out programs such as Honors, Resource, and Reading, the teachers at North Ranch are trained and willing to individualize learning opportunities in the classroom for those not in special programs.
B. School Culture and Safety
Let’s talk about climate – the temperature at the Ranch is warm and caring. When you walk our halls, you will be greeted with a “hello” and a smile. Our cheerful western theme will delight you. From our town faćade to our rustic rockers, a happy atmosphere surrounds you. We are more than a school: we are a family. Hand-painted murals created by “our family artists” add to the warmth. The investments we make in our relationships with all students, parents, and faculty are obvious. It takes no time at all to become a Wrangler.
All citizens of North Ranch are committed to ensure that “everyone has the right to learn and be in a safe environment”. We begin each morning on a positive note as we recite this declaration along with our school character traits stating that North Ranchers are trustworthy, fair, caring, responsible, respectful, and good citizens.
North Ranch has set high standards for all students. To ensure that “we excel in every way and get better every day”; we provide a wide variety of programs for our students. There are many examples of how our culture is enriched and exemplifies a community of learners. Although we recognize the length of this section, we believe each help make us who we are; therefore, we are going to provide a long list of programs. Many of these programs will be further explained within the context of the entire document. Establishing importance was extremely difficult, so we have listed them in alphabetical order.
Everyone has the right to learn and be in a safe environment. North Ranch is committed to the safety of all of our students. We have many procedures in place that are practiced and reviewed regularly.
Our positive, caring, respectful school culture with an emphasis on safety allows students and staff to focus on the teaching learning process.
C. Core Curriculum
As a community of learners, we seek to facilitate the learning of each student by providing a comprehensive integrated curriculum, which addresses the needs of our varied student population. It is our goal to teach “the child” rather than “the curriculum”. Our curriculum is differentiated, relevant, and promotes higher level thinking skills. Staff, parents, and students are striving together to achieve academic success for each and every student. It is through this community of learners that we can positively impact the lives of the children we serve.
We continue to lead the way in developing and implementing strategies and programs to further meet the language and literacy needs of our students. We work diligently to develop relevant and realistic goals that utilize the fundamental lifelong reading strategies necessary for success at all levels. A balanced approach is the cornerstone of our programs. Varied methods allow students to gain skills needed to experience an on-going love of reading and language. Integration of literacy and written expression into all aspects of the curriculum are keys to the success we are achieving with our students. Whether it is writing up a laboratory experiment including observations, details, and explanation of the activity or writing in math journals to reinforce computation steps, writing is a high priority. The students participate in writing contests of all varieties, such as essay, poetry, and story writing. Since writing is of such importance, teachers have designed grade level appropriate projects to integrate the curriculum.
Social Studies is a vital way to learn about our world and develop our skills through integrated learning and make it come to life through the eyes of history. Social Studies is more than just reading a textbook. Our Social Studies program is participating in real life experiences. The curriculum is based on a building block format, which takes the child from understanding ourselves to understanding the world around us. Students learn valuable mapping skills as they study current events in our ever-changing world. Time for Kids, Weekly Readers, various newspapers, and online resources provide the necessary tools that enable our students to keep up-to-date with current national and world events.
Workplace skill curriculum includes a wide variety of experiences at North Ranch.
Mathematics is a language in which each student must gain fluency and understanding to be successful in real world situations. The mathematics curriculum at North Ranch has been aligned to the State Standards through the use of a Power Standard format. Our program, which includes a recent textbook adoption, Harcourt Brace & Jovanovich, has initiated an increase in our test scores for both AIMS and SAT9 over the past two years. Teachers worked to develop the Power Standards to provide the maximum opportunity for instruction within the classroom environment. Students understand and are able to articulate the thinking process involved in their everyday problems, in both oral and written form. Logic and reasoning skills are the heart of our math program; thinking is the essential element to all mathematics instruction. A few other unique features include computer software, math journal enrichment, and remediation components to meet the needs of every learner in the classroom.
To ensure the highest achievement in the area of Science, North Ranch instructors design and implement inquiry based instruction. Students are actively engaged in hands-on investigations along with scientific principles and terminology. All three major disciplines: earth, life, and physical science are explored. Students are encouraged to write, discuss, and question the phenomena they observe during experiments. Since emphasis is placed on explaining the observable event, every key component of listening, speaking, viewing, and presenting is addressed.
o Animal studies come to life when first and fourth grade buddy classes visit the Phoenix Zoo.
o Traveling back in time, second grade students visit the Dinosaur Museum to support their dinosaur and fossil unit.
o Space travel via a Planetarium visit enriches the third grade study of the solar system.
o Witnessing the rays of the sun at the Grand Canyon as they illuminate rock layers and fossils that have rested there for eons of time is a special fourth grade experience.
o The fifth grade students visit the Challenger Space Center as a culminating event at the end of their space unit. For four weeks prior to the visit, students participate in “mission” activities, created by the Space Center. This preparation maximizes the learning experience for the students when visiting this site.
o A trip to the Botanical Gardens allows our Uniquely Gifted students to explore and observe Arizona’s nature.
o Because Science is all around us, many of our classes conduct walking field trips to encourage scientific observations.
Š Scientist of the Week – in each third grade classroom a student plans, conducts and explains the scientific principles behind their experiment. The class then journals what they have learned as a keepsake book for the scientist.
Š Science Fair - all students are invited and sixth graders are required to participate in this annual fair.
Š The Outdoor Learning Center was donated by the PTA to provide an opportunity for experiential outdoor education.
North Ranch has been a leader in developing and implementing technology in the classroom and has served as a model for other schools in PVUSD and in the state. We strive to achieve computer literacy that will go beyond the classroom and serve as a lifelong endeavor for our students. Teachers capture the students’ attention by incorporating the Proxima and Laptop computers into their lesson plans. Our instructors often use educational websites to enhance classroom instruction. Students in grades two through five benefit from regular classroom applications of the DANAs, a Palm device with a full-sized keyboard. Sixth grade students are given opportunity to demonstrate responsibility by taking home handheld Tungsten Palms that are used daily.
Recently the sixth graders took a field trip to a local art museum where the teacher attached a camera to her Tungsten Palm and took pictures of some artifacts. When she returned to school she beamed the pictures to the students’ Palms and developed a relevant follow up activity.
There is evidence of technology integration and literacy throughout the curriculum. Kindergarten students helped make a PowerPoint slide presentation to send to their pen pals in Taiwan. A third grade teacher is using an iCamera as part of a pen pal activity. Students are able to see their pen pals and visit one-on-one with them without leaving the classroom. Fourth graders complete animal reports using technology. Fifth grade students create a PowerPoint presentation on the presidents while studying the Americas. The sixth grade students complete their Autobiographies and science experiments.
All students rotate through the computer lab as part of Special Area instruction. While in the computer lab, students learn a variety of applications that can be used to further extend and be integrated into the academic classroom. Students learn keyboarding, word processing, PowerPoint presentations, web research, digital photography, iMovie, and a variety of other applications.
Parents and staff work together to provide a variety of meaningful learning experiences in the areas of Fine Arts.
All grade levels are taught that being fit, healthy, and achieving their personal best can be rewarding and fun. A large part of our curriculum focuses on lifetime activities with the overall goal being that students value fitness for a lifetime.
On any given day when you walk out to the playground or basketball courts you will find students skipping, jumping, galloping, dancing and playing. Students enjoy countless games and activities such as capture the flag, dribble tag, sideline soccer, rope jumping, dancing with the decades, circle hockey, cat and mouse and others. Our Adaptive PE Specialist works with the regular PE instructor to provide physical learning opportunities for our special needs students.
At what grade does writing cease to be a joy and become a chore? When do the words of our students change from “Teacher, read MY story first!” to “I can’t write”? These questions and many others were asked by the staff at North Ranch as we looked at the writing curriculum we were using to instruct our students. “Writing is hard; I know what I want to say but that isn’t what ends up on my paper.” Those words were too frequently heard in our intermediate classrooms. In fact, by fifth and sixth grade, many students had developed a phobia of writing. We knew the problem but the solution was harder to discern. The first step was to reflect on our own experiences. What challenges did we face as writers? Not surprisingly we discovered that many of the staff did not feel skilled in the tools needed for writing instruction. We could recognize poorly developed paragraphs and strong ones but how did we, as instructors, move our students from one to the other? The Step Up to Writing Program developed by Maureen Auman was a key component in the on-going development of our solution. The program focuses on step-by-step development of the tools needed for strong paragraph development. It begins with organization of ideas and extends to multi-paragraph essay development. Students learn to recognize strong topic sentences, detail elaboration, and clear concluding sentences. The program is extremely visual due to its color-coding and key word emphasis. A vital component of the program was for the common language that it allowed us to use with our students. It would truly build a community of writers, who were all speaking the same language. Our excitement with the program was instantaneous but would it work for our students? August arrived and we were off and running. Step Up was being used in each classroom and the buzz was good! Parents were invited to learn more about the program at a Literacy Parent Night. “Tell us more” and “Show us how” was the feedback received from the parent night. But the true test would come from our students; was this going to make a difference for them?
Our principal was summoned to a fifth grade classroom. She was told her presence was needed immediately; those words send shivers down the spine of a principal. But to her joy, the fifth graders simply wanted to share their excitement at the paragraphs they were developing using the Step Up to Writing model. A sixth grade teacher heard, “This can’t be writing, it’s fun!” from her students. “Watch me build my super sentence” and “You don’t have enough reds” are statements heard throughout the building. It is working! Our students are excited and learning to write clear strong paragraphs. The “reds”, or elaborative details, so often left out of previous writing are present and vivid. We have made a building wide commitment to Step Up to Writing. It is utilized in every classroom and in virtually every subject area.
D. Teaching and Learning
North Ranch teachers have demonstrated the importance of teaching the Arizona State Standards for several years. In the past year, teachers have been attending training on Power Standards and Unwrapping the Standards. This information was shared at grade level meetings. We have provided leadership in piloting a Standards Based Report Card, enabling parents to know where their children’s learning is relative to the Arizona Standards.
We have looked at Robert Marzano’s educational research on the learning and instructional strategies that most significantly impact student achievement. Marzano studied 600,000 students, 60,000 teachers and 4,000 schools and concluded that the strategies listed below are most effective:
Teachers are using this information and reflecting on improving their instruction based upon this research. We are integrating it into our School Action Plan for improvement. An examination of North Ranch teachers showed differentiated instruction, teaching to multiple intelligences, cooperative learning strategies, use of manipulatives, investigative experiences, and higher level thinking skills are the norm. These methods are presented through a combination of whole class, small group, and individualized instruction. Students are learning how to take responsibility for identifying their goals, charting their own progress and assessing their growth.
Collaboration at North Ranch is evident. For the past few years we have focused on school wide goals for writing instruction, with grade level meetings to assess writing based on the six traits. In the 2004-05 school year, the faculty is learning to use the Step Up to Writing program. This will provide consistency of teaching across the grade levels. There is also collaboration between Special Area and classroom teachers. Ideas are readily shared at grade level meetings and informally throughout the school.
To stimulate and support student initiated learning, teachers use differentiated instruction. Many North Ranch teachers allow the students to pick their research project and/or assessment tool. In fifth grade, students complete explorer projects based on the multiple intelligences. They can choose to create a table or timeline, write and sing a song, or do journal entries to name a few of the choices. There is great interest in this project because the students may choose how to show what they know.
Curriculum compacting is a teaching strategy utilized for Mathematics instruction. The teachers pretest the students and those meeting the standards and skills are given appropriate, stimulating, and challenging activities, which coincide with their level of proficiency. This allows our students to demonstrate competency and then move on to extend their learning, which will deepen and solidify their understandings. Often these extensions are real life applications of knowledge.
Just as learning is an on-going process for our students, it must also be an on-going process for our teachers. Only by looking closely at the methods and strategies used within our classrooms and evaluating them based on their success can we be sure we are providing the very best educational environment for the students we serve.
E. Professional Development
We strongly believe that our vision statement, we excel in every way and get better every day, applies to both our students and staff. Professional development is a constant. Although we continue to learn in the traditional way by taking classes and attending conferences, the learning is much more embedded in our daily lives. We meet on a regular basis to discuss curriculum and best practices at our team level, staff meetings, and often just through our conversations. Since risk taking and learning is encouraged, we are always reflecting on our practices to improve our instruction.
Our school curriculum is aligned with the national, state, and district standards. Data from the AIMS and SAT9 is shared and analyzed, which drives the curriculum and guides professional development. For the purpose of data analysis, two core committees have been formed, Data Driven Decision Making (DDDM) and Power Standards. These two committees include representatives from each grade level or department and our principal. Based on the data, we decided, as a school, that improving our students’ writing skills would become our school wide focus. Using the state standards, each grade level chose specific objectives that were to be emphasized. Our writing program became “building blocks” which is consistently taught in Kindergarten and progresses through to the sixth grade. Through writing workshops, classroom assessments, collaboration, and discussion, our school has been able to improve writing skills. With this reflection process, we’ve developed individual, grade level, and school wide goals. This embedded professional development has a direct relationship in raising student achievement.
Teachers choose to be a part of various committees such as grade level chairs, Faculty Advisory Council, School Council, PTA representative, Literacy Committee, and Safety Committee. All meetings focus on building a professional climate at our school and supporting student learning.
Our principal and staff continue to grow professionally to enhance student learning and promote achievement by pursuing professional activities. This is evidenced by the fact that 80% of the faculty have a masters degree or higher. School-based and professional workshops, district classes, graduate level courses, and degree programs are examples of continued learning that is occurring.
As defined by the No Child Left Behind Act of 2001, all of our teachers are Arizona Highly Qualified. There are two staff members holding doctorate degrees. Several of our staff members are considered district wide resource specialists in the areas of reading, writing, language, and technology. Students at North Ranch also benefit from paraprofessionals who hold specialized degrees including English, nursing, midwifery, social work, psychology, and computers. In addition, our paraprofessional staff has received training in various topics to help assist in their jobs. Several awards for excellence in teaching and overall outstanding staff recognition are found in our school community.
Our teachers have increased integration of technology into the classroom with the use of Tungsten Palms, DANAs, iCamera, and NEC camera projectors to facilitate and improve instruction. Our technology teacher and district support personnel provide training to teachers on computers, web pages, websites, slide shows, lockers, multimedia presentations, and PowerPoint. Teachers receive informal professional development from fellow staff members and the technology teacher while piloting the new Standards Based Report Card grade book (PibB.fp5) system.
Our Professional Learning Community is enhanced through grade level teachers and departments having common planning time. This allows consistent planning, lesson design, and problem solving related to students and curriculum. New staff bring ideas and excitement along with challenges as we work to integrate their skills and new ideas into the existing programs. These team meetings help to create an atmosphere of support and guidance to ensure we are all viewing our students and programs through a united lens. New teachers are also provided support through our district mentor program.
Horizontal and vertical alignment of curriculum and standards is a continuous process. As a faculty, time is spent during team and staff meetings as well as designated district in-service opportunities to facilitate a clear understanding of student progress and achievement related to the curriculum and programs. This articulation has proven highly informative and is valued by all staff. Support personnel such as the LD Resource teacher, Reading Specialist, and the K-3 Specialist provide additional communication with the regular classroom teachers.
Careful planning goes into grade level transitions. Grade level teams work to balance classes looking at a variety of factors. Parent input is yet another aspect considered by the transition team. Special needs students are given consideration based on their particular IEP goals and personal needs.
In our ever-changing world, teachers do not have time to reinvent the wheel so we must rely on each other and the talents we have to share. This is something we are learning to do very well at North Ranch. Some examples are math journals, super sentence lessons, interactive websites, math fact practices, buddy activities, homework policies, and pen pal activities.
Our school’s Mission, Vision, Citizenship Values, and Guiding Principle statements were written and rewritten over a six-month period by the School Council. We used the accordion method of decision-making. We each took the statements out to our stakeholder groups, reworked them until we knew we had considered everyone’s input, and then created the final statements. These important philosophies apply to all and set the tone for unity and success.
We consider everyone to be an integral part of the leadership dynamic, however, we will start by understanding our school’s principal, Dr. Hartley. She is the driving force of our team and sets the tone in both an energizing and compassionate way. Dr. Hartley comes from a mindset of acceptance and diversity and has influenced all with her spirit of collaboration and dedication. Great leaders instill confidence and trust. They are the ones that can lead, teach, and inspire. This is our principal.
Although Dr. Hartley serves as the central leader, leadership is seen throughout the building. With regard to promoting general compassion and understanding about the differences and similarities we share within the greater community; we have embarked on the development of the North Ranch Community Service Club. This group recently made a trip to Agua Prieta, Mexico to help the Rancho Feliz Foundation. The club engaged in major fund raising drives to support this cause and even received the support from the world-renowned speaker and author, Blair Singer, sales advisor to Rich Dad’s Robert Kiyosaki. He conducted a workshop on establishing a winning work team. Unlike other service organizations that are mandatory, we choose to have ours be a true reflection of volunteerism. When students presented their iMovie and delivered their “Thank You” to the school board for allowing them to make the trip to Mexico, it was clear that this project did more to change our lives than the lives we were hoping to affect. The students, staff, and parents model leadership by their involvement in the community service club. Contributing to our community is the ultimate example of leadership. The leadership of exhibiting a compassionate heart will make for a better world.
With regard to diversity within the school, North Ranch has taken the initiative and leadership role to fill a major void within not only the school and PVUSD, but the whole state as well, by the development of the state's first Uniquely Gifted program. In 2000, a North Ranch parent approached the school with a request to start a Twice-Exceptional program to accommodate her Kindergarten daughter; the leadership team got the ball rolling. They not only knew about the needs of Uniquely Gifted children (rare among even well-seasoned educators), but they took it upon themselves to advocate within the district for such a program. The necessary research, development, and staffing was completed. We now have a program in place for this student and other children in the district who qualify. Because of this extraordinary leadership there is now a home for a student population that is typically misunderstood.
One highlight of our school’s leadership is our involvement as trainers in the 21 Keys program. North Ranch has seven 21 Keys trainers: three teachers, one classified staff member, one principal, and two parents. Through this program, we are able to expose and enlighten staff, students, and parents throughout PVUSD about how to work in teams, how to improve ones self-efficacy, and how to be accepting of others and ourselves. Our passion with regard to this project energizes the entire school and helps all participants in the school dynamic to strive higher and reach out with a bigger heart. When we receive our A+ site visit, ask someone to tell you what it means when we say, “Snap, snap”.
The spirit of leadership is pervasive and is particularly evident in the staff's tremendous team-building efforts. The staff ensures that administration, parents, teachers, and the community work together to set and achieve remarkable goals. It depends on the given task as to who will emerge as the leader. The teachers' role in team building is paramount. They work in teams and mentor each other, pooling together their resources. Teachers present the most effective leaning environment for students and a warm camaraderie with each other.
The building’s senior representative of the Paradise Valley Education Association’s facilitates the Faculty Advisory Committee (FAC). FAC is comprised of team leaders from each grade level, representatives from both Special Education and Special Areas, and our school principal. The purpose of FAC is to be a decision-making body. School issues are discussed and decisions made thus allowing staff meetings to be available for continued professional development.
North Ranch teachers are sought by student teachers and interns for their expertise and mentoring abilities. Since 1999, more than sixty individuals have been mentored as they pursue their careers in education.
School Council is a major decision-making body comprised of all stakeholders within our community. The council oversees the tax credit programs and spending, establishes school business partnerships, and provides leadership in determining our School Action Plan. Input and decision-making for our district as well as community member ideas and issues are brought before this group. For example, in 2003 a community member saw a need for speed humps on the street adjacent to the school. As a council, we canvassed the neighborhood, spoke with city officials, shared the financial responsibility, and had the speed humps installed to ensure safer travel to and from school.
Student Council is a student government program that allows input and leadership training to third through sixth grades. This is an opportunity for our students to have a voice and school pride while developing leadership skills. In addition, the students participate in outreach projects such as food drives for the Paradise Valley Food Bank, a sock drive sponsored by Shoebox Ministry benefiting the valley’s homeless, the Great Penny Race which benefited a women’s shelter, and the American Red Cross/World Trade Center Disaster Relief Fund.
North Ranch enjoys a particularly strong Parent Teacher Association. The PTA parents are role models for their children and the community. (See Section G.)
As we reflect over the past five years, we have seen an improvement in our school success due to our emphasis on the following areas:
Public schools are faced with many educational challenges and North Ranch is no different. How we differ is in our proactive response to projected challenges. By utilizing long-range planning, we are able to look at challenges as opportunities and can devise problem-solving strategies. The analysis of assessment data by our Data Driven Decision Making team results in awareness and understanding of what we do well and where we need focused attention for improvement. Through our DDDM team, our School Council, and the Faculty Advisory Committee we have developed a School Action Plan to address our areas of need.
As increasing numbers of student with disabilities of all types enter school, the challenge of providing an appropriate education arises. Inclusion of a student with disabilities into a regular classroom is more the norm than it is the exception at North Ranch. Differentiated instruction is utilized in the classrooms to address all learning styles, including those of the inclusion students. In-services for staff on differentiated instruction and disabilities are given to assist teachers so that they can become effective inclusion teachers.
One area that schools are dealing with now and will continue to deal with in future years is that of testing. Teachers are receiving in-services to give them the tools to assist their student’s success in taking the AIMS, SAT9, and SAM (See Section H). Educational standards are incorporated into the daily curriculum, so that teachers are not teaching to the test but rather teaching to state standards. Technology in the form of DANAs and Palms are being used to administer testlets according to standards. These strategies allow us to meet the requirements of No Child Left Behind.
Utilizing technology could have been a challenge, however, we are ahead of the game because we have piloted for PVUSD several programs involving technology. Our second through sixth grade classrooms use DANAs and Tungsten Palms. Teachers use their laptop computers to access the wireless web to enhance learning with the overhead projector carts. We have led the district by piloting the newly developed grade book program, which connects to the Standards Based Reporting System. This web-based system will soon allow parents access to their child’s classroom assignments, the Arizona standards, and the overall grade for each subject taught. Another technology concern is how to manage the vast amount of data generated. Some of these issues are being addressed by the use of “lockers”, a form of web storage. There are many educational challenges when trying to provide the best teaching and learning opportunities, however, North Ranch is attempting to be realistic and aware so we can meet our challenges in a proactive manner.
G: Community Collaboration
Our partnerships between school, families, and the local community exemplify our school theme "Roping Up Success." We know that our educational mission has been well served through the involvement of financial sponsors, and participation of educational resources from outside of our immediate school community. For example, our partnerships with Washington Mutual Bank and Cloninger Enterprises, Inc. has greatly improved the quality of education at school by allowing us to offer new programs to our students and staff and also allowing us to beautify the campus both inside and out. Between these two partnerships we have generated more than $9,000.00, which continues to help with a variety of expenses from extra curricular activities to staff development, student supplies, and the new stage curtain in our multipurpose room.
North Ranch now offers a wonderful opportunity to the community at large by offering a developmentally appropriate preschool program called Li'l Wranglers. We were once again first in the district to offer this full day opportunity to the students and their parents. We saw it as a great opportunity to expand our diverse population and help them feel welcome in what will be their home school. Why have them spend their days in another environment, when they are already part of our North Ranch family?
Another first in the district at North Ranch is the Desert Foothills Musicfest. This is a local, community organization conceived to bring great music to all of our classrooms. Musicfest is a daily classical music listening program, which provides lesson plans, CD collections, and CD players along with teacher training. This pilot program represents a funded partnership between Desert Foothills Musicfest and PVUSD.
In addition to our yearlong community partnerships, we have also entered into short-term partnerships within the community. This year we have worked with Blair Singer from SalesDogs, American Carved Alabaster, and Sewing for Babies with Elizabeth Hunsaker, McDonalds, Quizno's, Jamba Juice, and the Bread Factory, to name a few.
Š The North Ranch Community Service Club, although not formal curriculum, is another example of integrating our learning in real life experiences. This volunteer organization involves over 100 intermediate students and provides a variety of opportunities to learn and exhibit compassionate action. During the 2004-2005 school year two trips will be taken to Agua Prieta, Mexico to support the Rancho Feliz Foundation for 34 homeless children and 24 homeless seniors. The students, parents, and staff raise monies to provide food to this community as well as help pay for and construct homes. In October we traveled to Mexico and put together 300 bags of food that we distributed to families. We also provided the materials and labor to build two home foundations and began building the walls for the homes. It was truly rewarding to see our students make new friends with our neighbors to the south. We are currently working on trying to make an iCamera connection with the girls in the orphanage to keep the communication alive. In addition to our Rancho Feliz project, the NRCSC helps the organization Sewing for Babies which makes quilts and toys for premature infants, picks up trash at school and around the community, helps to sort clothing donations at Andre House, and visits a local retirement home to share time with the elderly. We have raised more than $2,000 in the Walk for Leukemia, raised money Trick or Treating for UNICEF, donated food to the local animal shelters, and donated candy to the soldiers in Iraq to give to the Iraqi children.
Š Our Parent Teacher Association (PTA) consistently identifies and meets the needs of North Ranch. From the time a family first enters our doors, until they depart for middle school with their last child, they have an abundance of opportunities to experience PTA involvement. Whether it's organizing fun community events, raising money to support the needs of the school, or promoting events to enhance curriculum, our strong parent participation is vital to the overall success of North Ranch. PTA's dedication to enriching the lives of our families are evident in their planning of the annual Country Fair & Silent Auction, Family Fun Nights, Father/Daughter Dance, Mother/Son Bowling, and Book Fairs. These special events enhance and build relationships between staff, families and community members. In addition, PTA consistently identifies and supports the financial needs of our school, classrooms and staff. They raise more than $90,000 annually to support: field trips, which decreases the cost to individual students and enables all to participate; provide beautification of the school by funding landscaping and wall murals; purchase books, educational videos, band instruments, art and computer supplies; and funding classroom set up. To enhance the curriculum at North Ranch, PTA provides students the opportunity to express themselves through the arts at their annual Reflections Program or Talent Show. Students make entries in the PTA Reflections literature, music, visual art and photography categories in hopes of advancing to the state or even national level. Those wishing to express themselves in a performing way, enter the PTA sponsored Talent Show. This major school event has grown from a small show in an elementary school cafeteria to a two-act show with professional lighting and choreographer on the stage of a local high school. These are just a few examples of how our involved PTA volunteers support the school mission by providing inquiry for students and compassionate relationships between families and community members.
Š The Junior Achievement Program (see section C).
Š The North Ranch Monthly Newsletter, "The Wrangler," provides parents with information on a variety of school topics. Teachers, students, and PTA members write articles to showcase school events and classroom activities.
Š North Ranch’s Website is an excellent resource providing the latest happenings in the school and community. Visit us at http://nres.pvusd.k12.az.us.
Š Communication occurs continually through email, voice mail, written notes, and telephone contact. Planning tools like assignment packets, assignment notebooks, and web-based references ensure parents are informed of school and homework responsibilities.
Š Parent-Teacher Conferences allow the teacher and parents one-on-one time to discuss each student's academic and social development. Conferences are held twice each school year. Our conferences average an impressive attendance rate and spring conferences are often student-led.
Š The Human Growth and Development Course offers a parent evening with a thorough explanation of the curriculum allowing parents an opportunity to see all the material that will be taught to their child on this sensitive matter.
Š Meet Your Teacher is sponsored by the PTA in August and helps relieve anxiety about the first day of school. It provides time for students and parents to meet their new teacher for the upcoming school year. This well attended event usually draws upward of 90% of our student population. It also gives the children an opportunity to get reacquainted with old friends and perhaps make some new friends before the first day of school.
Š First Day Information Packets are created for each student by our supportive PTA. These packets contain valuable information designed to help both the student and the parent. Contents include information about school activities, school and district policies, PTA contact information, welcome letter from the principal and much more. If needed these materials can be provided in Spanish.
Š Parent Curriculum Night is held during the first week of school. Individual classroom teachers provide information about the upcoming school activities and curriculum.
Š Progress Reports are sent home on a regular basis so parents will know how their children are doing both academically and socially.
Š Parent Programs provide parent education on various subjects such as; the Parent Academy on Reading, 21 Keys, Literacy Nights, and monthly BEST (Building Educational Support Together) meetings with our neighboring schools.
Š A strong volunteer base of parents is nurtured and encouraged by the principal, teachers, and staff. Parents who volunteer are better informed and aware of how to help their child be more successful in school. The success of most activities and field trips depends on our volunteers. The staff expresses the belief that a parent being present and visible to their child at school has a lasting impact. Volunteer participation is a strong point at the Ranch with over 290 volunteers yearly who help keep our school running and improve the educational process. Individuals volunteer in the classroom for routine assistance and help with special projects beneficial to our teachers. On any given hour in our school there may be more than a dozen volunteers busy in classrooms and the common areas of our school. Working parents and parents with small children often complete projects from home. We believe that regardless of how much a parent volunteers or whether they support fundraisers, their number one priority is to be a partner and advocate in their child’s education.
Š Student Savings Account Program is offered in conjunction with Washington Mutual and our PTA. Students may deposit money weekly and are given incentives for account growth. If students are unable to afford this program Washington Mutual will sponsor the opening of the account with $0.25 and provide an additional $0.10 weekly contribution.
Š WaMoola is a program Washington Mutual supports through their customers use of debit and credit card activity.
Š Horizon High School Teacher Academy collaborates with North Ranch to provide an opportunity for high school students to work in a classroom setting with experienced teachers.
Š Legacy Wall is an ongoing recognition opportunity at North Ranch. On a wall in the front of the school, individuals and families are invited to dedicate a tile in honor of someone they would like to recognize. The sale of these permanent tiles raises funds to continue North Ranch beautification programs.
We feel our school is a resource to the community and we accommodate requests for building use whenever feasible. The following organizations currently use our building:
Š Boy Scouts/Cub Scouts
Š Girls Scouts/Brownies
Š Chess Club
Š Hip Hop Dance
Š Drama Club
Š Elements Piano and Keyboard Course
Š Good News Club
Š North Ranch Community Service Club
Š Our fields continue to be used for seasonal athletic practices and games by community and neighboring private schools.
The staff supports an open door policy at the Ranch. We encourage parent helpers in our classrooms. Parent ideas are often used in planning special events, speakers, and presenters. We have an enormous turnout of parents, grandparents, and community members for events such as: Read Across America Day, student performances, concerts, science fair, spelling bee, and Read More on the Floor Day, to name a few.
As you review our assessment data, you will see our students consistently score higher on AIMS and SAT9 than the state average. In addition, we are among the highest scoring schools within Paradise Valley Unified School District (PVUSD).
The North Ranch Data Driven Decision Making (DDDM) team consistently analyzes and evaluates the assessment data to understand how we can improve student achievement. Our goal is to identify students who continue to meet established standards and those who are not meeting the standards so we can develop a plan of action. Over the past two years we have focused on writing because the research is clear that the other academic areas will increase if students do well in the area of writing. We will continue to monitor, analyze, and evaluate AIMS results in order to raise all “boats in the harbor” to the highest level of student achievement.
The Measure of Academic Progress (MAP), an annual state report, looks at academic growth of students in grades three through eight. The report measures the number of students making at least one year’s growth. Schools scoring over 60% receive credit in determining the state’s school label. Eighty-five percent of our students in grades three through six demonstrated one or more year’s growth in math. Using MAP criteria, this score places us as one of the top five schools in the Phoenix area.
Although, our scores are much higher than both the state’s average and the average of other PVUSD schools, we have fluctuated between being Highly Performing and Excelling. Therefore, we think it is important to explain the system to our readers. The labeling system is based on our own performance on the AIMS and is not compared with other schools. In contrast, the scores on SAT9 are compared to other schools to determine MAP percentage points for the state label. AIMS scores are also used to establish the federal requirement of meeting “Adequate Yearly Progress”.
The state uses an “Exceeding Filter”, three-year average percent of students exceeding the standard “threshold”, to determine whether a school is labeled Excelling. An example is that our third grade scores in Writing show that 96% of our students either “Meet” or “Exceed” the Arizona State Standards. Sounds good, right? Not so fast. The data also says only 11% of our third graders are in the “Exceeding” range. In order to attain the coveted rank of “Excelling”, the state does not look at the percentage of students both “Meeting” and “Exceeding” the State Standards. They only examine the Exceeding category. This means we will need 42% of our students next year to reach the exceeding status in order to obtain an Excelling score.
Let’s examine this more closely. Theoretically we could have 42% of our students exceeding and let’s say as few as 10% merely meeting the standards, which is a total of 52%. This would be a drop of 44% from our current 96% in the combined meets and exceeds categories. In this hypothetical scenario, 52% of our students meet and exceed the standards. Even though the total score is 44% less students accomplishing the goal of knowing how to write, we would pass the “Exceeding Filter” and thus we would be awarded the label of an Excelling School. Although we were not labeled an Excelling School this year, we are quite pleased that 96% of our third grade students demonstrated they are successful writers.
Here is another way to examine the data. In 2004, our third graders that met or exceeded the Arizona State Standards were: 84% in Reading, 81% in Math, and 96% in Writing. This compares with the PVUSD’s averages of: 70% in Reading, 71% in Math, and 85% in Writing. The 2004 averages for Arizona State third graders were: 71% in Reading, 64% in Math, and 81% in Writing. This indicates that North Ranch third graders out performed average PVUSD third grade students by 11% and they scored higher than the state average by 15%. Similarly the North Ranch fifth grades out performed PVUSD fifth graders by 12% and the state fifth grade student by 30%. Our students are learning at a higher rate than others at their same grade level.
Conversely, on the other side of the spectrum, we have identified the specific students who are in the “Falls Far Below” or “Approaches” categories and have also identified the specific content areas within the assessment that they are having problems meeting. To give you the total picture, here are the statistics for the percentage of students in the “Falls Far Below” category. Our third grade scores were: 1% in Reading, 1% in Math, and 1% in Writing. Our fifth grade scores were: 9% in Reading, 1% in Math, and 8% in Writing. Bottom line, we know we are doing a good job, but we won’t be satisfied until we have 100% of our students either meeting or exceeding the standards.
As you can see, we have thoroughly examined our AIMS and
SAT9 scores. The last piece of information is that when all the percentages
were computed, our 2004 AIMS three-year average was 37.8. We needed a score of
38.8 to receive the Excelling label. We missed it by one percentage point over
a three-year average.
There are many ways for us to indicate success. Listed below are different assessments so we can continue to judge how well we are doing through a variety of lens:
We believe we must meet the needs of each student in our school. The students at all levels deserve an appropriately challenging curriculum.
2003-2004 2002-2003 2001-2002 2000-2001 1999-2000
Daily student attendance 95 % 97 % 96 % 96 % 96 %
Daily teacher attendance 95.6 % 93 % 97 % 95.6 % 96%
Teacher turnover rate 4% 10% 15 % 17 % 12 %
Promotion rate 100 % 99.6 % 100 % 99.8 % 99.5 %
We are proud of the awards and recognitions that our school and personnel have achieved over the past few years. An abbreviated list includes the following:
Although the above information is important in an era where test scores are published in the local newspaper, it does not tell the entire story. We do want to know our students are doing well when compared with other learners their age but we do not believe that test scores are the only indication of a child’s success. It is more important for us to know that we are developing minds that ask questions and know how to retrieve information. In a world where information doubles every ten months, it is not as meaningful as it once was to “know the facts”. We believe it is extremely important for a child to know how to find the facts, discern the distinction between fact and opinion, identify similarities and differences, communicate clearly, work with others, be kind, and listen to their own heart messages.
In conclusion, North Ranch is an outstanding school. We actively evaluate data from many vantage points to see if we are meeting our mission and vision. We are mindful of educating the whole child. We work together with our parents to build a strong team. We ask the question, “Are we empowering our children’s minds with challenging inquiry and their hearts with compassionate action?” If we have guided the tour properly and conveyed our message clearly, you will agree with us: North Ranch Elementary School is worthy of receiving the prestigious title of being an Arizona A+ school.
It is now time to remove your reading glasses and give us a call. We would love to introduce ourselves through a site visit where we will show you our children, programs, and our school.