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MMSD rolls out new school improvement plans

By Emily Kumlien, ekumlien@wisctv.com
Published On: Apr 30 2014 09:13:48 PM CDT
Updated On: May 01 2014 07:10:07 AM CDT

The Madison Metropolitan School District rolled out a new school improvement plan Wednesday.

MADISON, Wis. -

The Madison Metropolitan School District rolled out a new school improvement plan Wednesday.

The improvement plan sets goals for the whole school district, and the leaders at Lapham Elementary school think the plan will move things forward.

"We want families to feel welcomed and feel a sense of community when they come into our schools," said Tammy Thompson Kapp, the principal at Lapham Elementary School.

She said the new plan is different from past ones because there are better ways to measure progress, for example with literacy.

"When teachers were teaching that it was clear to the students what they were learning. We have developed what we call ‘look for's,’ so when we do informal walk-throughs in classroom's these are the ‘look for's,’ what should we expect to see if shared reading is happening? And that is clear for the teachers to know what they are working on," Thompson Kapp said.

Also included are clear family engagement standards, which is a resource for parents to communicate with teachers on issues like attendance.

"We have done some parent surveys to find out how well we are communicating or how we could communicate more effectively," Thompson Kapp said.

"We have been clear at the district that schools are the driving force for change," said Nancy Hanks, the deputy assistant superintendent for Madison elementary schools.
She said quarterly progress meetings and clear standards are a big part of the district's vision.

"It's been a good year of learning, and schools did a great job this year of both implementing this new school improvement plan and process but also learning and adapting along the way, so it's exciting to see what the new plans will look like," Hanks said.

Lapham Elementary officials said they are really focusing on literacy rates, but each school has its own specific goal to achieve.

All school improvement plans for this year on are on the district's website.

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