The following are excerpts from an article in the Napa Valley Register [CA] (10-17):
"Shouting with joy and dancing around are not technically part of the curriculum at Carneros Elementary School. But these days, staff at the school on a rural lane among the vines southwest of Napa are celebrating some very good news. Last month, the school climbed off of the federal government's official list of troubled schools, as defined by the No Child Left Behind Act. That means test scores for Carneros students are on a dramatic upswing…"
"We had a huge change in the way we worked together," said Drago. "We started making time for collaboration. We'd bring in substitutes, and the regular teachers would spend the entire day doing long-range planning, looking for best ways to teach concepts and looking at assessment results. Drago's team also embraced "Academy for Success," a series of strategies for Program Improvement schools. These sessions consisted of numerous weekend and summer meetings. "
""We decided we needed to start talking to our kids about a future," she said. "We don't want our kids to be done with school and only earn minimum wage." She said staffers asked two questions of students. First, "What do you want to be when you grow up?" And secondly, "Where do you want to go to college?"
"With 184 kids, Carneros is one of Napa's smaller public schools. Drago said the small student population helped turn things around quickly. "Being a smaller school had a huge impact on our success" said Drago. "We don't lose kids, nobody falls through the cracks."
"Carneros families also get credit from Drago. "The parent community supports our school. The parents support and trust the teachers," said Drago."
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