West Hill Now! inspires Renton Innovation Zone Initiative
Staff at Bryn Mawr, Campbell Hill, and Lakeridge elementary schools have worked for a year as part of the West Hill Now! initiative to improve teaching strategies and student achievement. Teachers and support staff worked in teams to create plans that included math labs to increase effective and differentiated math instruction; to impact positive student discipline; and increase community and family engagement. The plans also call for additional time each week for staff to come together and discuss student outcomes and engagement, and use the information to improve teaching practices and strategies. Staff from the three schools presented their individual plans to their families, and asked for further input. Leadership from the Renton Education Association, the teacher’s union, also reviewed the plans and enthusiastically endorsed efforts by staff at the West Hill schools to increase student achievement efforts for children and families.
The district reviewed those plans and committed to funding all of the teacher’s request to improve student learning. The core components of the plans are:
- structured time for teacher collaboration in math and literacy;
- increased access and time for professional learning opportunities;
- use of data and best practices in teaching;
- ensuring that principals act as instructional leader;
- operational flexibility outside of school/district norms;
- positive school culture; and
- more meaningful family and community engagement.
This work has inspired the Renton Innovation Zone initiative to provide the flexibility and support to other district elementary schools beyond our West Hill schools.