The Cool Kids of Continental Colony Elementary School
Principal Frederico Rowe over at Continental Colony is doing a great job. He’s leading the school for the third year – with a new assistant principal by his side, APS veteran Dr. Sarah Haynes. And he’s embraced cluster planning in the district, which will help him to continue to build strong schools.
I’ve blogged before about the application APS submitted this spring to the state for a Charter System Operating Model. This contract, or “charter,” with the state will allow more decisions to be made at the school level by principals, teachers and staff – all of who are closer to students and know the specific needs of their schools best.
Beginning this year, our APS principals like Mr. Rowe had the opportunity to use flexible spending, which is a hallmark of the new operating model and cluster planning. Our current budget, approved this spring by the Board of Education, includes a re-allocation of flexible dollars to enable principals to have the authority and flexibility to match their budgets with needs of their schools. Mr. Rowe is an excellent example of how flexible spending can work and work well. This is how he spent his flexible dollars:
- Maintained band and added offerings for Grade 2-5
- Hired staff to support a K-5 Technology Lab
- Hired staff to support a K-5 Mathematics Lab Teacher
- Hired staff to support the Writing across the Curriculum program
- Increased SST allotment to full-time
- Purchased universal screener for Reading and Math
- Increased the substitute budget for additional professional learning for teachers
I had the chance to see Principal Rowe’s choices in action in the mathematics lab last week, led by math teacher Mr. Akins. The entire class was using the website Kahoot to play a math game and I was paired with young Mr. Tyheim Vargas. It was great to watch the kids use their math skills in a competitive way…and as we battled to move up on the board, I can tell you, the competition was real! I love it when kids compete to be smart and we, as a district, can provide them with the space and the support to think, grow and learn.
Oh, and I had a chance to see the new playground as well! The black and red color scheme matches the school colors perfectly and after the kids participate in a little safety instruction next week, they will begin using the new play space.
Happy New Year Continental Colony! Enjoy your school year.