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Community and culture spark gains at Patterson Elementary

What are summative assessments?

Patterson Elementary School in Washington D.C.’s Ward 8 has long been viewed as an underdog: in 2013 and 2014, performance on summative tests was among the lowest in the district. Student performance increased in SY14–15, when Patterson outperformed a quarter of district schools in math and ELA. This progress in the first year of the new PARCC summative has the staff feeling excited and proud.

Principal Victorie Thomas

Principal Victorie Thomas

The school’s principal, Dr. Victorie Thomas describes instructional changes that have helped boost student achievement: “We focus on item analysis, short-cycle assessments, student work protocols, classroom walkthroughs and feedback, reteach plans, and reflections. The teachers are constantly looking at various pieces of data to drive their work.”

If I could be in their building every day to do the work of ANet alongside them, I would. They’re phenomenal. I just love the team, and the school community is amazing.
— ANet coach Lysa Scott

Patterson’s ANet coach Lysa Scott emphasizes the “amazing” community’s “all-hands-on-deck” culture. “From the minute you walk in the door, you sense they are a tight-knit community. Everybody in the building values everyone else’s role. Victorie and her AP were going into classrooms and doing small-group math instruction.”

Scott continues, “It’s about the vertical alignment: Teachers think about instruction a level below and above. They dig in and help each other plan lessons. It’s not ‘You just teach these kids;’ it’s ‘They’re all our kids.’ It makes you invested when you walk in.”


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