Implementing creative, efficient, student-focused, research-based methods of meeting the needs of students has been an integral part of the Woodmen Hills Elementary Schools’ professional culture. Designating it as an innovation school enabled this groundbreaking work to flourish and to serve as a model for others.
Innovation status allows Woodmen Hills Elementary School to set all staffing and fulltime equivalents for the building. We set class sizes from year-to-year based on student needs and financial ability. In accordance with this plan, our administration’s priority is to review and analyze the need for building staffing yearly. A team is responsible for controlling the type and amount of student service providers that are allocated to our building.
We aim for narrowing achievement gaps (at risk students are able to succeed in smaller class environments), increasing standardized testing scores, improving effective response to Intervention (students are less likely to be retained and more likely to be identified as having learning difficulties getting teachers to intervene faster) and Increasing our alumni's high school and college graduation rates. Staff members are allocated to meet priority student needs and maximize staff efficiency with students.
We align our resources to best meet our student needs.
One example of this is how we look at a building need and use fulltime equivalents to help alleviate the challenge. For example, if our building has a .5 counselor and a .5 psychologist and the level of service to students and staff is fragmented as a result, we can decide to combine these positions to increase the effectiveness and service to our students and staff.
We also increase student achievement by having the autonomy to make curricular material decisions based on effectiveness.
Curriculum decisions are based on student need rather than adoption cycle. This maximizes the efficiency of funds spent by our school and district.
If we believe there is a superior choice of materials better suited for our students, piloting of both the district curriculum choice and school curriculum choice occurs while collecting data. The data collected determines which curriculum material is adopted. We have the ability to opt out of an adoption if the current program is meeting the needs of our students.