Adam Dovico | Principal | Moore Magnet Elementary School
The changes at Moore Magnet are a part of a three year strategic plan for building a successful culture that children want and can learn in. In the end, we want to raise achievement and send scholars out into society who are mentally and socially prepared. In year one (2017-2018), we started with the "re-branding" of culture. From my experience working at the Ron Clark Academy, I had an idea of how you can break the script of a traditional school setting. To do this in a public school, though, would be considerably more challenging, but certainly not impossible. Some of the changes are aesthetic, such as painting the walls or the flexible seating, but others are less obvious, like having classroom greeters in each classroom. We instilled the Moore 4, which are four observable behaviors that are expected in each classroom across the building (tracking the speaker, using manners, making a positive first impression, and standing when speaking).
Also in year one came the examination and addition of student engagement strategies. To build teacher "toolboxes," we arranged professional development trips to the Ron Clark Academy and Get Your Teach On. We also had guest speakers at the school who contributed to the discussion. Teachers began using more effective techniques and activities to get the kids excited about learning, including games, debate, and inquiry-based learning.
Now in year two, we are continuing to build upon the cultural and engagement piece, but we will now be reflecting on our instructional rigor and analyzing the types of questions and activities we are having the children answer. If we are going to grow our scholars, we must be teaching them to think. We want the content to be relevant to them, so our professional learning team (PLT) meetings will focus on examining the rigor of our instruction.
Down the road, year three will bring these three pillars (culture, engagement, and rigor) together as a unit. We will tie them together using our "3 C's": collaboration, consistency, and celebration. This will require the right people in the right positions to make us successful. The hope is that by that point, our scholars will be leading the charge in being empowered in their education and take ownership in their learning. By making Moore a student-centered school, we want to develop future citizens who are not afraid to be leaders and have the experiences to advocate for their learning.