Turner Elementary School in MSAD 52 is one of 287 public schools across the country to be named a 2014 National Blue Ribbon School for high levels of student achievement.
The National Blue Ribbon Schools Program honors public and private elementary, middle, and high schools where students either achieve very high learning standards or are making notable improvements in closing the achievement gap. The award affirms the hard work of students, educators, families and communities in creating safe and welcoming schools where students master challenging content.
One of four elementary schools in RSU 52, Turner Elementary’s locally developed curriculum is aligned to the updated Maine Learning Results for English language arts and math. Literacy instruction, which occurs using a workshop model, and the school’s Everyday Math program provide for differentiation. Learning takes place through individual scaffolding, partner work, conferring, small group and whole group instruction. Students are made aware of the learning targets and often are given rubrics/exemplars to guide and assess their learning.
Professional development is aligned with district goals, the state’s math and ELA standards, and is designed in response to teacher feedback. Literacy and math consultants deliver training related to program implementations and best practices. For example, teachers observe model lessons on essay writing and are able to translate that knowledge into instructional practice. Students now produce high-quality essays with a supported thesis.
As professionals and lifelong learners, Turner Elementary staff members constantly develop new skills to increase their educational expertise. This not only impacts teaching but also positions staff as role models for the school’s students. Staff learning is shared through weekly Professional Learning Community meetings, staff meetings and workshop days and staff continuously push one another to outgrow current thinking.
Next month, Turner Elementary Principal Cynthia Alexander will be honored with an engraved plaque and program flag with the official seal at an awards ceremony held in Washington, D.C.
For more information about Maine’s efforts to celebrate the achievement of its schools, visit www.maine.gov/doe/recognition/.