BALTIMORE and TAHLEQUAH, Okla., Jan. 18, 2022 /PRNewswire/ — Success for All Foundation (SFA), a program designed to help schools thrive and achieve high levels of student success, gave the first annual "Dr. Robert Slavin Success for All Award" to Briggs Elementary School, located in Tahlequah, Oklahoma.
This award is given to a district or school that has achieved outstanding student success using the Success for All program, which focuses on supporting schools and teachers to ensure students are successful. Recipients also demonstrate commitment to continuous improvement, high fidelity to program implementation, and a relentless focus on high achievement.
The award was presented to Briggs during the opening keynote address at Success for All Foundation’s Experienced Sites Conference held in Orlando, Florida.
"Briggs Elementary School has gone above and beyond in trying to get their students on reading level, and have been making progress towards that goal," said Barb Haxby-Brady, a board member of SFA and the former vice president for SFA.
"They started SFA in 2016 with 34% of their students reading at grade level and their staff had not received intensive targeted professional development in reading for several years. Their superintendent Stephen Haynes had a vision of success for his kids and was able to get a grant to start SFA and has worked tirelessly since then to achieve great success," she said.
"As of March 2020, they had 85% of their students reading at grade level. A marked increase from just 34% just four years ago," Haxby-Brady said.
"They are relentless when it comes to student achievement. They incorporate the SFA framework of cooperative learning into every subject that they teach even band, life skills, and other electives," she said. "Students know what it means to help one another, encourage one another, and motivate each other to succeed."
"At Briggs, tutoring is one of the most effective components of Success for All. The leaders hired additional reading teachers, to make reading groups smaller and provide additional opportunities for students to be tutored. School leaders provide teachers with a full day once a month for staff meetings and learning opportunities."
Nancy Madden Founder and CEO of SFA said, "Briggs’ commitment to the implementation and high fidelity of the SFA cooperative learning curriculum is what makes Briggs so special. Their phenomenal implementation is advanced and exceeds what is expected, which is hard to do. They are able to maintain the integrity of the core modules and know when to adopt them."
"One indication of the depth of their thoughtfulness of what it means for kids to grow was their appreciation of the growth kids made in their ability to talk about their thought process, and their ability to support each other, and their language skills. Their language has to grow in order for them to be good readers. They made a great comment about how open the kids were to criticism for growth. The kids score each other’s answers with sophistication and quality of each other’s answer. Then they figure out how to improve together," she said.
"They own it enough to adapt it to situations where they have their lesson plan. They want to use the cooperative process and they have learned how to make those adaptations in an incredibly rich way. That supports the kids’ language development and thinking skills throughout the whole day. It was fascinating to hear that kids insisted on that because they would go into history or math class and tell the teachers we need to turn and talk now. They were saying we need to do the thinking to really understand the content. The teachers heard that and built on that. This is such a thoughtful and phenomenal implementation of the research-proven tools," she said.
"They are a great school."
Principal Kair Ridenhour said four ingredients were in the secret sauce that helped their students succeed and achieve their goal of all their students reading:
- Superintendent Stephen Haynes had the vision, obtained the funds to do the SFA program, and led the boards support
- The teachers who understood the vision
- Their SFA Coach who told them to have laser light focus. They started having weekly professional development for their teachers.
- Lastly, but most importantly, we had to change the mindset to ‘all kids can read.’
"This program is a structure, but we have the power to make it our own and make it meet our needs," he said.
About Success for All Foundation
Founded in 1987, and based in Baltimore, Success for All Foundation’s mission is to develop and disseminate research–proven educational programs to ensure that all students, from all backgrounds, achieve at the highest level of academic success.
For information, go to https://www.successforall.org.
SOURCE Success for All