• JP brings together several critical factors in the development of an effective school.

  • Common Core State Standards, Factors Influencing Student Achievement, Responsive Coaching, Teacher Evaluation, Autism

  • JP works with schools providing training on how to ameliorate teacher weaknesses brought to light through the process of teacher evaluation.

  • JP Associates offers our sites grant writing assistance. Take advantage of our experience writing successful grant requests.

  • JP partners with schools and districts across the country to provide intensive professional development for scientifically-based programs.
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The School Improvement Specialists
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Brilliant Bulletin Board - Cold Harbor Elementary School

When it comes to bulletin boards, the librarian in Cold Harbor Elementary school in Mechanicsville VA is brilliant! JP's own Sandy Leonard was thrilled to come across the bulletin boards pictured here on one of her visits to the school. What is so impressive about these boards? The fact that the librarian put them up in an effort to help the students make connections to the classroom learning in an open environment. Says Ms. Leonard, "The questions on the boards make the students think without teacher direction, and help them make personal connections to their learning as well as increased student interest in areas they might not have otherwise pursued." 

For example, one board was about Nelson Mandela. There were quotes from him and the students were asked to tell, in their own words, what he meant by that quote or what they would do if they were in his place. Students then posted their responses on the board. Another board was about the planets and what students would weigh or what age would they be if they were on a certain planet. The librarian had a calculator and the equation for figuring out the problem and a conversion chart for each planet. Again, the students were able to post their answers on the board.

JP sends our biggest congratulations to Cold Harbor Elementary for coming up with such a fabulous idea. Like we said, BRILLIANT!

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ELL Video - "Vehicle" for Success!

The strategy in the video was developed by School Improvement Specialist PJ Toburen in order to help students having extreme difficulty with being able to recite definitions accurately and precisely. Particulary, ELL and students with substandard English. In the video, they say "If it is made to take you places, it is a vehicle." Challenged students had a tendency to leave out words like "is" or "a." 

The first part of the strategy was to firm the parts, then the whole. The statement was broken into much smaller, yet meaningful parts. "If it is made." "To take you places." "It is a vehicle." Toburen still saw students struggling with including every word, so she added hand motions. They put up one finger for each of the first three words and then a sweep for the fourth word. Each phrase had four words.

Once the strategy worked for the first phrase, it was applied to each of the next two phrases. After each phrase was firm, the whole sentence was practiced, and the result? Success, which can be viewed in the video!

PJ modeled how to do this during each step, and had the students practice it with her. Then, they did it on their own. Sometimes it was necessary for her to model and lead several times. Once she knew they were confident in themselves, she had them do it on their own. They were successful.

And there is nothing JP loves more than a good success story!


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Responsive Coaching - Coaching Defined and the Outcomes of Coaching

Coaching may seem simple, upon first reflection, but dig a little deeper, and coaching is tool that gives and gives and gives. It gives to the coach, the coachee and trickles right on down to the students.

What exactly IS coaching? According to Rob Horner from the University of Oregon, "Coaching is the active and iterative delivery of prompts that increase successful behavior and corrections that decrease unsuccessful behavior." Nice! To add to that explanation, coaching is done by someone with credibility and experience with the target skills, it is done on-site in real time, it is done after initial training, it is done repeatedly and it is adjusted in intensity according to need.

Given that nice definition of coaching, what are the outcomes of it?

Read more ...

Della Lamb Charter School Proves Uphill Battle Can be Won -Putting Teacher Effectiveness into Action

When it comes to success, it's all about perseverance, isn't it? Heartwarming news comes to us from Della Lamb Charter School, one of our partners for the past several years. Principal Jennifer Wilson shared good news from her school, Della Lamb Charter School in in Kansas City, Missouri.

During their monthly review with the State Priority Status Reviewers, the team members continually made positive statements, including, "You're really on the right track with that," and "Yes, you've got the right strategy," and "Keep up the good work!" Not only were Reviewers satisfied with the progress and reporting Della Lamb is showing, they were impressed!

Reviewers further commented that while Della Lamb needs to continue working on moving as many students as possible out of the Below Basic Category, they recognize and are impressed with the gains that were made last year. This is the culmination of years of hard work!

Says Principal Jennifer Wilson, "As we near the end of the First Quarter at Della Lamb, I am so encouraged by all of the great things that I see our teams and individual teachers doing to move our school toward its improvement goals."

JP School Improvement Specialist PJ Toburen has worked with Della Lamb for the past several years. "I am so proud of the faculty and staff at Della Lamb. They keep working to improve and their focus remains on providing an ever-improving education for the students."

Congratulations to the entire Della Lamb Charter School - we at JP couldn't be prouder of you!

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  • Grant-writing
  • Strategies for serving students with Autism
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