Mecheall Giombetti, principal •
Endeavour Elementary Magnet School of Technology • Cocoa, Florida
Endeavour Elementary Magnet School of Technology
Reconstitute, Rebuild, Rejoice!
Our journey began one year after our school received an "F" grade based on the Florida State Accountability System and Florida Comprehensive Assessment Test scores. In June 2002, Endeavour Elementary underwent a complete reconstitution, appointing a new principal, hiring a new faculty and staff, and providing an enriched staffing plan with additional units to reduce class size. Several major initiatives were implemented, including the Continuous Improvement Model and the Kovalik Model for Integrated Thematic Instruction (adopted through our Federal Magnet School Grant). Both of these comprehensive reform models have Professional Learning Community work as an integral part of the implementation process and involve the development of SMART objectives based on data, and the use of a Plan, Do, Study, Act (PDSA) Cycle. This use of Professional Learning Communities in our school but steadily, provided an increase in student achievement as documented on FCAT. This past year, we attained a school grade of "B."
These changes have allowed Endeavour opportunities to establish a new, more collaborative culture, and to use Professional Learning Communities to institute change and promote academic growth. The structure of our professional involvement includes Collaborative Leadership Teams (Reading, Math, Writing, Science, and Environmental). These teams drive the planning process, while Grade Level Professional Learning Communities provide a framework for monitoring the process for continuous improvement. The Grade Level PLC teams, which meet weekly, use data collection/disaggregation, brain-based research, sharing of Best Practices, curriculum alignment of state/national standards, collective inquiry to improve student achievement, and function as Lesson Study groups, as well. In 2007-08, Endeavour partnered with four other elementary schools in our geographic area (with similar demographics) to develop a multi-school Professional Learning Community to implement Success Maker (computer-based program), increase accountability, and support student transition when moving between/among our schools.
Through the use of PLCs, we have learned the value of not having to "go it alone." Indeed, as our PLC family tree has grown, we have found that collaboration can provide support and a foundation of experience that will only help us in our quest to Believe, Achieve, Succeed, Exceed!