School Improvement & Innovation Plan

Published September 2018

The Why

West Potomac is committed to graduating students prepared to use their talents, skills, and unique experiences to pursue a meaningful life in a global society. To make this commitment come to life, we recognize that we will have to remove barriers in the classroom that keep some students from fully participating in learning. Changing our instructional practices will help us to address and remove some of the barriers to learning that students sometimes encounter. We need to change how we plan, teach, and assess because:

  • Our lives have changed considerably in how we live, communicate, work, and interact within a globally connected world.
  • The Learning Model and Portrait of a Graduate move FCPS students and staff members to look beyond the high-stakes testing environment and grading with percentages. Instead, it asks us to help our students master the content and skills needed to be successful in the workforce of the future, a future filled with many unknowns.
  • The Learning Model, Instructional Framework with their emphasis on Portrait of Graduate outcomes changes how learning looks to us and our students.
  • The Learning Model and Instructional Framework ask us to consider how best to create a learner-centered environment. Technology supports face-to-face relationships that enhance true collaboration. This, in turn, allows for great cultural representation and provides students with multiple pathways to demonstrate their learning.
  • Equitable access to technology and to instructional practices that lead to both personalized and meaningful learning experiences for students. Using the Learning Model and Instructional Framework, we design instruction that provides students with opportunities for deeper understanding of content and the skills needed by the Portrait of a Graduate.

Adapted from the FCPSOn Website

How: Cultural Proficiency (Year 2)

Cultural Proficiency is essential for the creation of learner-centered environments, especially a safe and positive learning community. The Cultural Proficiency work also supports all students to access a high quality and rigorous curriculum, collaboration, student voice in how and what they learn, and student-led assessments. The Cultural Proficiency work is composed of two tasks.

1. Developing and leading professional learning to support all faculty to build supportive classroom and school-wide cultures.

2. Building collaborative team and individuals’ capacity to create and sustain safe and positive learning environments for all students through examining data, identifying strategies, and designing interventions.

The Cultural Proficiency team has responsibility for the first task, while the Equity Leads focus on the second task.

Connections to Division Initiatives

  • Strategic Plan: Student Success
  • Closing the Achievement Gap Framework

Portrait of a Graduate (Year 1)

As a result of the work we have done around PBL over the past two years, we believe that it is time to begin shifting the focus of this work to Portrait of a Graduate skills and attributes. In this first year of deliberate school-wide work and attention to POG, the team has two different kind of tasks.

1. Develop and test a pilot capstone project for 9th grade students (Purposeful Assessment).

  • Determine a plan and timetable to scale a capstone project to all 9th grade students based on their pilot work this year.

2. Develop and begin implementation of a plan to embed Portrait of a Graduate in our school and community—culture, planning, teaching, assessing, and reflecting.

Connections to Division Initiatives

  • Strategic Plan: Student Success
  • Closing the Achievement Gap Framework: Academic Support, Access to Rigor, College & Career Readiness
  • Secondary Literacy Framework

Innovation Goal— Learning Transformation (Year 1)

Technology integration touches on multiple areas of the Instructional Framework. In this initial year of work, the team has three tasks.

1. Ensuring that all faculty have migrated into the Google environment (Learner-Centered Environment).

2. Supporting faculty to implement the required digital citizenship lesson (Concept-Based Curriculum).

3. Supporting faculty at all levels – beginning, intermediate, and advanced in technology knowledge and skills – to integrate technology into units of study guided by the Instructional Framework (Concept-Based Curriculum).

Connections to Division Initiatives

  • Strategic Plan: Student Success
  • Closing the Achievement Gap Framework: Academic Support, Access to Rigor, College & Career Readiness
  • Secondary Literacy Framework

Disciplinary Literacy (Year 3)

The task of Disciplinary Literacy team is to develop and implement a plan to embed reading, writing, thinking, and discussing in our school and community – culture, planning, teaching, assessing, and reflecting (Meaningful Learning Experiences and Purposeful Assessment).

Connections to Division Initiatives

  • Strategic Plan: Student Success
  • Closing the Achievement Gap Framework: Academic Support, Access to Rigor, College & Career Readiness
  • Secondary Literacy Framework

Responsive Instruction (RI) – Year 3

The focus of the RI work this year at West Potomac is to strengthen our school as a safe and positive learning community (Learner-Centered Environment). Given the scope of RI at West Potomac (see diagram below), multiple teams are involved in this work.

  • The Advisory/RULER team has the task of developing and monitoring the implementation of the curriculum for the advisory period, including the RULER curriculum.
  • The Attendance Intervention team has the task of monitoring student attendance, identifying and intervening with individual students who develop attendance issues during the school year.

Responsive Instruction Graphic

Connections to Division Initiatives

  • Strategic Plan: Student Success
  • Closing the Achievement Gap Framework: Academic Support, Access to Rigor, College & Career Readiness
  • Secondary Literacy Framework: Behavior and Emotional Engagement

What: Desired Outcomes

As a result of this work, we will have more students engaged in learning more of the time. Building on last year’s success, we expect to lower the percentage of retained students, especially at the 9th and 10th grade levels. No more than 5% of 9th grade, and 2.5% of 10th grade students will be retained in June 2019.

Percent of Students Retained by Grade Level

Desired Outcomes Graphic

Appendix A

Learning Criteria

Advanced Accreditation

Accredit WP