Strategies for Student Success 2015 - Page 32

At Covington High, which serves nearly 750 students in grades 9-12 in West Tennessee, a collaborative, teacher-focused atmosphere ensures that instructors are respected, treated as experts in their field, and encouraged to work together closely. The resulting culture is highly conducive to innovation, instructional risk-taking, and development of leadership. Covington students, in turn, benefit academically and personally. The school has narrowed achievement gaps while raising algebra proficiency rates. Covington’s students have made strong gains in English II and tremendous gains in Algebra I and II over the past three years. Covington was the SCORE Prize high school winner in 2012, 2013, and 2014. “We treat our faculty as the professionals they are,” said Principal Mark McClain. “Once teachers enter our building, they feel that sense of family.” The school has low levels of attrition and very little turnover. When Mr. McClain became a Covington teacher in 2005, he was one of 17 new faculty members. Last year, however, there was just one. Teachers tend to stay for extended careers at Covington. WE’RE ONLY AS SUCCESSFUL AS THE SUPPORT WE HAVE -Mark McClain positioned to join a building leadership team that meaningfully supports instruction. “It’s about trust with your faculty, understanding that they are the content experts. As administrators, you have to trust them to teach the classrooms,” Ms. Blackley said. “We expect that “We have more people wanting to get in the door than wanting to get out the door,” said Brandi Blackley, assistant principal at Covington. Covington offers outstanding leadership opportunities for teachers, allowing staff to grow while remaining at the school. Ms. Blackley was initially hired as an English teacher at Covington, then took on an instructional coaching role that allowed her to continue some classroom work while helping colleagues and serving as a parttime administrator. Now in her first year as a Covington assistant principal, Ms. Blackley is well 31 At Covington High, which serves nearly 750 students in grades 9-12 in West Tennessee, a collaborative, teacher-focused atmosphere ensures that instructors are respected, treated as experts in their field, and encouraged to work together closely. The resulting culture is highly conducive to innovation, instructional risk-taking, and development of leadership. Covington students, in turn, benefit academically and personally. The school has narrowed achievement gaps while raising algebra proficiency rates. Covington’s students have made strong gains in English II and tremendous gains in Algebra I and II over the past three years. Covington was the SCORE Prize high school winner in 2012, 2013, and 2014. “We treat our faculty as the professionals they are,” said Principal Mark McClain. “Once teachers enter our building, they feel that sense of family.” The school has low levels of attrition and very little turnover. When Mr. McClain became a Covington teacher in 2005, he was one of 17 new faculty members. Last year, however, there was just one. Teachers tend to stay for extended careers at Covington. “We have more people wanting to get in the door than wanting to get out the door,” said Brandi Blackley, assistant principal at Covington. Covington offers outstanding leadership opportunities for teachers, allowing staff to grow while remaining at the school. Ms. Blackley was initially hired as an English teacher at Covington, then took on an instructional coaching role that allowed her to continue some classroom work while helping colleagues and serving as a parttime administrator. Now in her first year as a Covington assistant principal, Ms. Blackley is well 31 WE’RE ONLY AS SUCCESSFUL AS THE SUPPORT WE HAVE -Mark McClain positioned to join a building leadership team that meaningfully supports instruction. “It’s about trust with your faculty, understanding that they are the content experts. As administrators, you have to trust them to teach the classrooms,” Ms. Blackley said. “We ex X]