A Model School: Coyote Ridge Elementary

This is a repost of an article originally published in The Post Register in July 2006.

My author visits in the Roseville/Antelope area were most enjoyable.”

Teachers need to model effective learning behaviors. Students examine the instructor, then learn and grow through reflection, imitation, and interpretation. As with human beings, schools also can be held up as role models.

Since the ideas presented in my last TalkBack, about school newsletters, prompted numerous responses from grateful and concerned educators wanting to hear more, I’ve decided to highlight a model school. The goal here is to enhance the many good practices that are already being implemented inlocal classrooms.

Coyote Ridge Elementary is one of California’s Distinguised Schools. I worked closely with it’s principal, Michelle Harmeier, a few years ago while performing author visits in the Dry Creek Joint Elementary District. The district lies in the suburban Roseville/Antelope area of northern SacramentoCounty, and southern Placer County.

Coyote Ridge is a school with a vision. Strong partnerships between students, parents, staff, and the community enrich the core curriculum program.

Program highlights for last school year include: improving academic achievement in the areas of English/Language Arts and Math; enhancing co- curricular and enrichment programs; building assets in students and staff; and implementing an Accelerated Reader program.

9781935249511_p0_v1_s260x420What Effective Schools Do is designed as guide to assist educators with activities for implementing a continuous school improvement system through application of the seven correlates of effective schools: 1. High expectations for success 2. Strong instructional leadership 3. A clear and focused mission 4. Opportunity to learn/time on task 5. Frequent monitoring of student progress 6. Safe and orderly environment 7. Positive home-school relations The ten chapters provide a comprehensive description of practices that enable educators to build and sustain a school culture that accommodates the learning expectations and needs of all students. The correlates of effective schools represent the knowledge educators need to successfully teach all children. Taken together, the correlates are more than just theory; they are what effective schools do.

Reading practice quizzes are the foundation of the Accelerated Reader program. They help teachers measure students’ comprehension of books they read independently, with an adult, or have read to them. The objective of this program is to help teachers motivate and monitor reading practice. They ensure a successful, positive experience if the student has read a book at the proper reading level.

The district’s web site includes a School Calendar, a , an Accelerated Reader Book List, and an Accelerated Reader Book Level List, for Coyote Ridge Elementary.

My author visits in the Roseville/Antelope area were most enjoyable. Harmeier acted as a liason for four schools, and I visited one each day. The students engaged in whole group readings and Q & A sessions with me, followed by breakouts with small groups in the different grades. In the individual classrooms, I heard and critiqued student creative writing. After I left, teachers had me interact with different classes as students wrote in questions and posted their material on my children’s literature and literacy website.

Such author visits, literature studies, and book discussions can be used to help students deepen their understanding of their own cultural backgrounds, as they connect to the backgrounds of others. Students and their families learn that people like themselves are found in print. Making sense of print takes on a new dimension for all involved.

Such partnerships are also going on in Idaho Falls. Brian Arave, Director Community and Foundation Relations for School District 91, deserves special thanks for his enthusiastic outreach. My family looks forward to many more meaningful experiences as the school year begins.

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