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*Tour the WW Health and Wellness Complex, call the school.*Track Season is here, drivers be alert. *Accountability to School, Athletics and Assessments Starts With EACH OF US!

School Improvement 2016-2017 External Visit

Weeping Water Public schools has a mission, “…to empower each student by providing opportunities to become a successful, responsible, lifelong learner.” That mission isn’t taken lightly. In fact, there is a team dedicated to improving staff teamwork, motivating student-work, evaluate school activities, set goals, meet state standards and much, much more. This team of dedicated individuals is our School Improvement Committee.

Thursday, March, 16 Weeping Water Public Schools had visit from the Nebraska Department of Education (NDE) accreditation/school improvement team and we are proud to share the results. The external improvement team is a collection of individuals and educators who want to assist in making Weeping Water Schools S.O.A.R. The external team consists of Dr. Michael Montgomery of Leigh Community Schools. Dr. Montgomery was assigned to assist WWPS by the Nebraska Department of Education. Additional team members include, Caryn Ziettlow of Educational Service Unit (EDU) 2, Travis Lockyer of Sutten Public Schools, Dr. Danielle Buhrman of Grand Island and Margaret Sandoz of Niobrara Public Schools. Each member brings a set of skills and a passion for school improvement to the table.

Ziettlow and Dr. Burhrman were huge assets to the team. With Ziettlow’s area of focus being Professional Development in Writing and Dr. Burhrman having a doctorate in Math (with a focused expertise in School Improvement), WWPS was eager to receive feedback on our progress with our current district goals: Improving writing proficiency and improving math skills in the area of problem solving.

Weeping Water Public Schools is an accredited school. Meaning, WWPS complies with all the statues outlined in NDE’s Rule 10 of Regulations and Procedures of Accredited Schools. In being accredited, WWPS is required to have at least one external visit every five years. This year’s school improvement/accreditation meeting focused on test scores and district progress. Data confirmed that in the past five years, Weeping Water Public Schools have improved test scores in every subject area.

After reviewing data from sponsored retreats, attending workshops and taking advantage of the several professional development opportunities, Weeping Water Public Schools’ staff members created our bold mission statement; “The mission of Weeping Water Public Schools, as an integral part of the community, is to empower each student by providing opportunities to become a successful, responsible, lifelong learner.,” and district-wide goals. Setting goals and making statements is one thing, but after the external visit, it is clear WWPS K-12 staff members have put their words into action. During the external visit, their actions and efforts were proudly noted from students and staff members alike.

The NDE external team reviews the schools’ provided data, state data and meets with selected members of the schools’ staff and student body. Eager for the opportunity for students to have a say in improving their schools, staff members were asked to nominate a variety students to reflect on the areas of witnessed improvement, in addition to the areas of encouraged growth.

The Curriculum Director and Elementary Principal of Weeping Water Public Schools, Mrs. DeTurk highlighted the Schools’ areas of success and eagerly shared with staff:

  •  SPED and Title 1 numbers have declined-attributed to MTSS in elementary
  • Lots of work done with MTSS in documenting systematic processes, decision rules, and starting a leadership manual
  • Using Loretta Tabor (UNL MTSS Consultant) as a resource for implementation of MTSS
  • The middle school has allowed flexibility and creativity with the schedule to accommodate the needs of students
  • Creation of time for middle school intervention time and advisory time (Tribe Time)
  • Students talked about school being “fun” and “everything” about the school was great
  • Students said that the school was safe and there were not a lot of distractions to their learning
  • Students have access to college and career classes and experiences
  • The industrial arts program and facility was a strength - Writing is integrated into the program
  • Athletic facilities was outstanding
  • Strong commitment to early childhood education
  • Math teachers were noted as “helpful” and that students enjoyed their classes
  • Updating the PBiS (SOAR) program to include data collection and manual

In a cheerfully shared note DeTurk said, “thanks for making Weeping Water a great place for students.  It takes all of us and our hard work is paying off!!

Thursday’s meeting confirmed that great things are happening here at WWPS and as a school -we will continue moving forward. Though this schoolyear is winding down, the passion and drive to improve the schools for all Indians is unyielding.  As it is put best by High School Principal Gary Wockenfuss, “It’s a great day to be a Weeping Water Indian!”

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