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Harry Sharp Family School leverages PD for Common Core instructional alignment

by Jerrill Adams

Evelyn Ruiz has been the principal of the Harry Sharp Family School, which serves grades pre K-7 in the Camden City School District, for the past 13 years. Mrs. Ruiz is known for engaging with students and parents personally, and knows each child by name. They come to her for academic advice, hugs, or just to share how their day is going because they know she will always take the time to listen.

As a first-year ANet partner, Mrs. Ruiz chose to focus on instructional priorities that will lead to Common Core alignment and instructional change. In literacy, her school leadership team decided to focus on complex texts and text dependent questions. In math, the team decided to focus on major work of the grade and creating high-quality math tasks during lesson planning. 

Their key to success: professional development. Teachers joined together in October to learn about how to utilize the PARCC-aligned interim assessment data on myANet to plan from Standards. They were most excited about using the Schedule of Assessed Standards along with their Eureka math curriculum to gain insight on which topics to focus on within the vast CCSS.

I have seen evidence of the PD provided by ANet utilized in the classroom. Having ANet has added a different dimension to teaching and learning at Sharp… with the PD, teachers feel supported in implementing these changes.
— Evelyn Ruiz, principal

After completing the first round of interim assessments, teachers and leaders joined together to celebrate success and identify additional areas of focus in order to adapt their instructional plans. Mrs. Ruiz was excited to share that one of their special education classrooms scored the highest in the school with almost 50% mastery on the interim. “We are now digging in with close reading to have better understanding of our passages to find the key understandings,” the students declared proudly.

Jerrill is an ANet coach in New Jersey.

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