Standard 8.4

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2(b)2.(iii) - to use the latest research, applied theory, and best practices to make curricular and instructional decisions


Field Experience:

8.4 Discuss with the principal recent innovative practices or programs that have been implemented in the school. Include where the ideas came from and how he/she supported the innovation. Discuss how the principal encourages staff to try new ideas and methods. *

The entire attached chart is evidence of 8.4.  The chart details what programs Mrs. D has put into place since she arrived at Case5 Elementary this year, why the programs were put into place, and what she is doing to help support the teachers in them.

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8.4—Innovative Practices and Programs

At Case5 Elementary School

AH Student


Innovative Practice/


Where it Came From

How Mrs. D Supports it

Providing substitutes to teachers for a full day so that they can spend the entire day having parent conferences to avoid using additional personal or planning time to hold them through the year

ABC County no longer provides built in parent conference days to the academic calendar due to recent calendar changers in the last few years.  This has left teachers having to use personal time and planning time to hold conferences throughout the year and the process can take weeks sometimes.

  • Provides funding for full day substitutes for every teacher to hold a parent conference day.
  • On the day of the teacher’s conferences, the teacher does not have to report to work until 11:30am so that she can stay until 6:30pm conferencing

Utilizing and pushing for the use of new technology (iPads) in a variety of ways

At the beginning of the year, every teacher was given 5 brand new iPad mini’s to incorporate into instructional practices including in whole group, small group, and independent practice.

  • School-wide professional development goal in Educate Alabama focusing on incorporating technology.
  • Sets the tone for a safe environment where teachers feel they can take risks in instruction.
  • App share and sharing the ways teachers have used iPads during regular faculty meetings and Professional Learning Communities (PLC’s).

Swapping students between grade level teachers for intervention based on like needs across the grade levels and teacher expertise

The deficits in students receiving intervention are growing larger and the comfort levels of teachers in intervention vary.  Grouping the students across teachers within the grade level will allow them to target specific needs to specific children without using the “spray and pray” method of intervention by just giving the group a little bit of everything.

  • Allows the teachers to share students between each other for intervention based on like needs
  • Encourages the teachers to rely on each other and be creative with intervention
  • Provides ample time for the teachers to work in PLC’s with the Literacy Coach to identify the students and weaknesses across grade levels.

Implementation of PLC’s focusing on looking at student work to determine proficiency levels

There has been a countywide push to focus on the needs of the student and identify proficiency levels through authentic assessment.  The county has moved to standards-based grading so the teachers need knowledge of what the standard calls for and what it looks like.

  • Provides ample time for the teachers to work in PLC’s with the Literacy Coach to review student work for proficiency.

Parent engagement days that involve the parents learning about a specific area within a content area and visiting classrooms to see it in action

This has come from the countywide improvement goal of parent engagement.  The county has tried to separate parent involvement (i.e. attending a performance) from parent engagement (i.e. parents learning about a specific math skill and how to help apply it at home).

  • Pushes for PTO support to help during these days as well as provide funding
  • Changes the lunch schedule so that the grade level that has parenting day is the only one in the lunchroom with parents that day; all other grade levels eat in their classrooms with sack lunch
  • Flexible scheduling

PST (Problem-Solving Team) home-visits

Concern for student’s home lives of certain students on PST who are receiving intervention and struggling

  • Supports the teachers by personally going to the homes so that the teachers don’t have to
  • Communicating with parents personally
  • Takes on most of the burden of dealing with the difficult parents/situations so that the teachers can focus specifically on the students while they are at school
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