Hannah Gomillion

Van R. Butler Elementary School
Santa Rosa Beach, Florida

Best Practices

1) Student Leadership: We have implemented Council of Houses this school year. This is a student-led club for fourth and fifth grade students. Students from each House campaigned for votes by recording speeches, making posters, and completing an application with teacher recommendations. Our Teacher House leaders narrowed the nominations down to two applicants per House. On our first schoolwide House day, students voted on their favorite candidate from each grade level. The winners were announced and have led our campus in multiple community service events. The latest including a Toy Drive in which a box truck of items was delivered to our local Children’s Advocacy Center. It has been remarkable to see how students have taken ownership of this program to make a positive impact in our community. We plan to continue the Council of Houses in years to come.

2) Standardized Testing: Standardized testing has gone through significant changes in Florida over the past couple of years. Throughout these transitions, Butler has focused on our subgroups to implement individualized instruction to achieve continued growth. Regardless of the changes made by the state, this is an area in which needed attention to increase student success. Our overall achievement level came in at 75 with our ESE as a 41. We targeted these students and our approach to the layout of our ESE instruction schedule. Instead of pulling students from their core classes, we scheduled for an ESE teacher to co-teach with the Gen Ed teacher. This has allowed students to gain exposure to grade level content but get individualized instruction to enhance comprehension and achievement. The ESE teachers uses small group time to frontload the standards so students have an understanding of the content before it is presented to the rest of the class. This has also shown to increase their engagement, confidence, and participation within the lesson. Our PM 2 assessment showed an increase to 65 in fourth and fifth grade ESE students. This score reflects the improvement in student success. Teachers have increased teaching methods to include foundational skills  for students to understand higher level thinking questions. I am excited to see how the implementation of this ESE schedule will improve student mastery over the years.