The primary purpose of Green Isle Community School is to improve pupil learning through:

Increased Learning Opportunities.
Innovative Teaching Methods.
Effective Measurement of Learning Outcomes.
New Forms of Accountability for Schools.
Professional Opportunities for Staff.
GICS’ World’s Best Workforce Plan

Increased Learning Opportunities.

  • Integrated, interdisciplinary instruction will enable students to make connections between subject areas.
  • Service learning will provide opportunities to apply previously learned knowledge, engage in civic responsibility, and develop meaningful relationships with community members.
  • Students, parents, and staff will collaborate bi-yearly with students to set individual learner goals in the areas of literacy, math, social skills, and work habits. Students and staff will engage in periodic reviews of progress toward these goals throughout the year.

Innovative Teaching Methods.

  • A collaboration of teachers, parents, students, and community members at Green Isle Community School will plan and implement enhanced learning experiences that will support student learning.
  • Teachers will work in teams to develop the three-year rotating curricula, select appropriate instructional materials, and coordinate day-to-day activities and projects. Sharing responsibilities among this team will strengthen programming for individual students and broaden each pupil’s circle of supportive adults.
  • Independent and cooperative learning activities will accommodate all learning styles and will be offered in a multiage organizational model that provides for appropriate grade level groupings, as needed.
  • The Green Isle Community School program will include project-based learning, community involvement, service learning, and peace-building efforts.
  • Instruction will be aligned with Minnesota’s Academic Standards and best teaching practices will be used to enhance student achievement.

Effective Measurement of Learning Outcomes.

  • Green Isle Community School will use the Minnesota Comprehensive Assessments (MCA) and Northwest Evaluation Association Measures of Academic Progress (MAP) Assessment as standardized testing tools. Results of these tests will be shared with students and their parents. School-wide test results will be used to evaluate instructional programs and will provide supportive data for continuous improvement.
  • A wide variety of authentic, purposeful assessments such as Running Reading Records, rubrics and checklists, reflective journaling, reading conferences, and showcase portfolios will be used to measure student progress and to provide comprehensive information to parents about individual student progress.
  • Standardized, skill-specific testing provided by the commercial reading, math, and science programs will provide information about individual student achievement and recommendations for prescriptive teaching.
  • Criteria used by students as guidelines for acceptable project completion will also serve as the baseline for measuring student performance. Clear communication to students regarding expected outcomes will improve student learning. In addition to teacher assessment, there will be on-going opportunities for both self-assessment and peer feedback.

New Forms of Accountability for Schools.

  • Student, parent, and staff satisfaction surveys will provide evidence of program satisfaction among stakeholders. The results of these surveys will indicate levels of support for school programming and will provide data for continuous program improvement.
  • The GICS staff will participate in an annual self-study and employ the services of a critical friend to engage staff members in conversation regarding school successes and needs.
  • Each spring the staff will evaluate the effectiveness of support program components such as the Talent Show, Community Clean-Up Day, Elders’ Coffee, and Community Lunches. This evaluation will provide a method for discussion among staff to initiate new programs and adjust current programming.
  • All staff, in collaboration with the school’s director, will assess progress toward meeting annual, self-determined individual goals. The director will also evaluate instructional practices during bi-yearly observations and conferences with teachers and paraprofessionals to determine strategies for improvement.

Professional Opportunities for Staff.

  • Green Isle Community School staff will partner with Nerstrand Elementary School, an existing charter school that has served as a model for developing GICS. Practical advice about program planning and implementation from Nerstrand staff will provide valuable assistance to GICS staff, administration and the Board of Directors during the school’s planning phase. The funding to support this partnership is the result of a Federal Dissemination Grant award to Nerstrand Elementary School. Extensive support to Green Isle Community School in the areas of business management, marketing, multiage organization, curriculum planning, service learning, and community involvement will be provided.
  • Nerstrand Elementary School staff will mentor the Green Isle Community School staff in multiage instructional strategies, positive school climate development, service and project-based learning methodologies, and appropriate use of evaluative tools. Nerstrand staff will provide this professional development as an extension of their Charter School Dissemination Grant activities.
  • Professional development that will support best practices in all curricular areas, with an emphasis on math, science, and reading instruction, will be included as part of the commercial curriculum adoptions. Special education practices will be addressed with help from the Minnesota Charter Schools' Special Education Project through the Minnesota Association of Charter Schools.
  • A professional mentorship program will support staff improvement efforts during monthly conversations with a selected peer. Discussion topics and follow-up staff development opportunities may include collaborative instructional strategies, broadening the Leadership Circle among all staff, individualizing instruction, and strengthening school climate.
  • All licensed and non-licensed staff members will set individual, professional goals in the fall of each year. Progress toward achieving these goals will be assessed (as described above) in the spring.

GICS’ World’s Best Workforce Plan

The World’s Best Workforce Plan (state statute, section 120B.11) is a comprehensive, long-term strategic plan to support and improve teaching and learning with the ultimate goal of creating the world’s best workforce. It is intended to serve as a foundational document that aligns educational initiatives that serve students pre-k through high school.

It is based on five beliefs:

  • All students are ready for kindergarten
  • Close the achievement gap
  • All students in third grade achieve grade level literacy
  • All students attain career and college readiness before graduating from high school
  • All students graduate from high school

GICS’s World’s Best Workforce Plan serves as a blueprint that demonstrates how current district initiatives and plans work together in a concerted effort to create a quality workforce equipped with the necessary skills for the 21st century. The plan replaces the state-mandated “Annual Report on Curriculum, instruction, and Student Achievement.”

The plan must support and improve teaching and learning that is aligned to the World's Best Work Force and includes:

  • Clearly defined student achievement goals and benchmarks
  • Process to evaluate each student's progress toward meeting the state and local academic standards
  • System to review and evaluate the effectiveness of instruction and curriculum
  • Practices that integrate high-quality instruction, rigorous curriculum, instructional technology
  • Collaborative professional culture that support teacher quality, performance and effectiveness
  • Evidence-based strategies for improving curriculum, instruction and student achievement
  • Annual budget for continuation of the district plan's implementation

Under the legislation, the district will publish a report on plan results each fall, hold an annual public meeting, periodically survey constituencies about their level of satisfaction with the school district, and submit an electronic summary of the report to the state commissioner of education.

To view GICS’s 2013-2014 WBWF plan or view a copy of GICS’s 2013-2014 WBWF summary please click on Resources & Links at the top of the page.

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