2012 SCORE Prize Winners: Cultivating Strong Leadership (excerpts) - Page 9

“He will begin faculty meetings by asking, ‘What are we going to do to get our kids going?’ He wants us to actively consider our kids’ motivation to learn.” –Sarah Sheperd, Rose Park Middle Numeracy Coach to guide students toward their full potential when current strategies aren’t working. Teachers also receive support from the school’s literacy and numeracy coaches, who help the teachers understand their students’ academic performance. Expanded educational opportunities. In addition to supporting the intervention-based partnerships described earlier, Rose Park leaders collaborate with local organizations to create supplemental educational opportunities for students. The school coordinates Hands-On Science Days in partnership with the Adventure Science Center, Nashville’s children’s science museum. Students travel to the center for hands-on activities including dissections, car physics activities, and earth science experiments. The program strives to draw on students’ prior knowledge and lead them to apply it to real-world scenarios. “Our staff is working hard to make our science performance as strong as our math,” Blankenship said. “We are not there yet, but opportunities like the Adventure Center are fun trips for our kids, and I think it will help them [perform better].” Rose Park also partners with the PENCIL Foundation, a nonprofit comprised of representatives from businesses and community organizations who donate time and resources to advance students’ academic journeys. During the 2011-12 school year, PENCIL helped the school with science education, journalism, and mentorship programs. PENCIL representatives brought in tutors to help students in each grade prepare for the state-required standardized tests (known as TCAP) and donated school supplies to the literacy coaches’ classrooms. Other current community partners include Kroger, White Castle, and Belmont University. 27 Pathways to the Prize Lessons from the 2012 SCORE Prize School Winners Assistant Principal Freeman coordinated an initiative to bring an international flavor to the school by sponsoring delegates from abroad. For example, visitors from Guangzhou, China observed Rose Park teachers’ classroom management and instructional procedures and then participated in a forum on ways to improve education in both countries. During the visit, students were able to talk to the delegates about the similarities and differences in education between the two countries. School leaders also actively seek relationships with other nearby organizations and universities to provide tutoring and enrichment activities. For example, Rose Park has created weekly interventions that provide opportunities for students to interact with potential role models such as undergraduate and graduate education students from Belmont University, who visit the school once a week to work with students one-on-one. The college students implement interventions designed by Rose Park’s numeracy coach to address students’ specific academic challenges. Faculty members from Vanderbilt University’s Mathematics and Science Education Department and Fisk University visit Rose Park to provide hands-on educational experiences for students. Fisk University offers programs such as its Physics Club to enhance science learning. This year, the faculty focused on “rocket science” by introducing rocket design and encouraging students to explore their interests in that science discipline. The faculty at Rose Park believes there are two key benefits to these relationships. First, students have the opportunity to work with other adults beyond their classroom to help them master academi