Strong Student-Teacher Relationships Form Foundation for Success at Dresden They’re called parent-teacher conferences. But for Dresden Elementary fourth-graders, a more accurate term might be student-parent-teacher conferences. “Dresden Elementary’s success has been primarily caused by the relationships we have with our students,” said Principal Mike Laughrey. “They just feel like they’re welcome.” When teachers at 2015 SCORE Prize finalist school Dresden Elementary meet with parents twice each year, the student involved is always present and at the center of the conversation, said fourth-grade teacher Honey Cantrell. “It’s more of a student-led conference,” said Ms. Cantrell. “They know where they are. They can articulate their goals.” At Dresden, students thoroughly understand what is expected of them. Kids are taught to articulate the details of academic goals and performance. Students can see for themselves the sources of educator concerns, allowing kids and teachers to forge close relationships and work together as a team. The results are remarkable. Dresden, which won the 2014 SCORE Prize, has made strong gains across reading, math, and science over the past three years and narrowed achievement gaps in reading, math, and science. Instruction is highly differentiated across the school, and a Response to Instruction and Intervention (RTI2) process involving all students ensures that each child receives exactly what they need. Each child is treated as an individual, personally and academically. Dresden is a Title I school, where 80 percent of students receive free and reduced meals. Student body demographics have no bearing on the school’s expectations for achievement, though resources are planned and student needs are met accordingly. “For the majority of the children who some to Dresden Elementary, this is the best part of their day,” said Mr. Laughrey. “The faculty takes that very seriously.” Students are treated with love, care, and respect. And the relationship is mutual – students have many opportunities to contribute to the school, benefiting everyone involved. Dresden has a Citizen of the Month program, as well as a Citizen of the Year program incorporating volunteer hours for fourth-graders. Third-graders help work the school’s car line, opening doors and welcoming kids to school each morning. “We recognize children for good behavior and effort,” said Mr. Laughrey. “It’s key to academic performance. They have bought into it.” A critical component of student-teacher relationships at Dresden is clear communication of objectives and individualized instruction. The 11 Strong Student-Teacher Relationships Form Foundation for Success at Dresden They’re called parent-teacher conferences. But for Dresden Elementary fourth-graders, a more accurate term might be student-parent-teacher conferences. “Dresden Elementary’s success has been primarily caused by the relationships we have with our students,” said P [\[ZZH]Y^K8'^H\Y[ZH^x&\H[YK'B[XX\]MHԑH^H[[\\[[[Y[\HYY]]\[XHXXYX\HY[[Y\[^\\[[]H[\وH\][ۋZY\YܘYHXX\ۙ^H[[\[\H]HH\H\[قY[XZ]HYH[YXYYX[ˈY[H[[ܘ\X]HX\[ۈB8&\^X][ۜ܈XY][Y[Y\\\\H[Y[Y[YY\HY]Xܙ[K']8&\[ܙHوHY[[Yۙ\[K8'HZY\˂[[8'^Hۛ\H^H\K^H[\X[]HZ\[˸'B]\[Y[ܛYH[\[]\^XYو[KY\H]Y\X[]BH]Z[وXY[ZX[[\ܛX[KY[[YH܈[\[\H\\قYX]܈ۘ\[[Y[XX\ܙHH[][ۜ\[ܚ]\\BX[KH\[\H[X\XK\[XۂHMԑH^K\XYHۙZ[XܛXY[X][Y[Hݙ\H\YHYX\[\YXY][Y[\[XY[X][Y[K[X[ۈ\YBY\[X]YXܛH[H\ۜB[X[ۈ[[\[[ۈ LH\[[[Y[[\\]XX[XZ]\^XH]^HYYXX[\X]Y\[[]YX[\ۘ[H[XY[ZX[KLB'܈HXZܚ]HوH[[YH\[[[Y[\K\\H\\وZ\^K8'HZY\]Y^K8'HX[HZ\]\H\[\K'BY[\HX]Y]ݙK\K[\X[H[][ۜ\\]]X[8$Y[]BX[Hܝ[]Y\X]HH[Y][]\[ۙH[Y\[\H]^[وH[ܘ[K\[\H]^[وHYX\ܘ[H[ܜܘ][[Y\\܈\YܘY\ˈ\YܘY\[ܚB8&\\[K[[ܜ[[Z[YXX[ܛ[˂'HXۚ^H[[܈Z][܈[Yܝ8'HZY\]Y^K8']8&\^HXY[ZX\ܛX[K^H]HY[]'BHܚ]X[\ۙ[وY[]XX\[][ۜ\]\[\X\[][X][ۈقؚX]\[[]YX[^Y[X[ۋB