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Dean Incentivizes and Inspires Students with Data Wall

As students roam the halls at South Pointe Scholars, one wall in particular stands out filled with certificates, figures, and charts adorned with stickers.

Data wall in hallway
The data wall at South Pointe Scholars sets specific, measurable, and relevant goals for students.

Each time they pass by on their way to the classroom or the bathroom they get a glimpse of their progress on the data wall created by Dean of Upper Elementary Carrie Street.
 
Street, in her second year at South Pointe Scholars, has made a quick impact in a short amount of time and has seen students respond positively as they track their improvement and set personal goals.
 
“The kids really honed in on it,” she said. “When a kid knows what their goal is, they’re more than likely to achieve it, especially if it’s in small measurable chunks separated out over time.

“We already had our parent-teacher conferences and it’s really cool watching the kids dragging their parents over to show them. They’re really proud of it. The kids are super excited.”

Student looking at his charted progress
South Pointe Scholars students can find their name on various boards to chart their growth.

Street had done something similar when she was a first-grade teacher at Canton Charter Academy for 11 years. She wondered how she could apply the student tracking she did for a classroom of 30 kids to a whole wing in a school and came up with the data wall at South Pointe Scholars, which incentivizes students by printing out and tracking their achievements in Lexia Core 5.

Each month they get to chart how many times they have leveled up. Individual students can earn things like a casual dress pass, and grades compete against each other to earn treats, extra recess time, or a pizza party. Regardless of what level they are at, Street is glad to see progress is being made.

Student with casual dress pass
South Pointe Scholars student Noah has leveled up five times in Lexia and is wearing a casual dress sticker to celebrate with Dean of Upper Elementary Carrie Street.

“Every day kids are talking to us about how they’re growing,” Street said. “We don’t focus on what level they’re at. Whether you’re at level 16 or level four, I care that you went from four to five to six to seven or 16 to 17 to 18.”

Street also has implemented fluency folders at South Pointe Scholars, which has outperformed the local district for eight years. For each of the 132 students in intervention, she put together a folder that helps them read and pronounce sight words. Street said students have improved noticeably in their aimsweb assessments and have realized the significance of reading fluency in the few months since introducing the folders.
 
Reading fluency folderCarrie Street’s reading fluency folders help grow students on their aimsweb assessment.

“A lot of the kids have grown a level or two in their reading,” she said. “We’re seeing an impact already, kids that are growing six words in a week, that’s really big. The kids are tracking their goals, the parents see where they’re at, and they’re realizing that their reading fluency is important.”

While Street enjoyed being a teacher, she feels like she has found even more of a purpose and a wider-ranging impact at South Pointe Scholars as a dean.

“I feel like I’m able to reach more kids and do more with this demographic, and I feel like my talents are used more being able to help and coach teachers and expand beyond just one classroom,” she said. “Now, I have an influence on nine classrooms.”

Keep up the excellent work, Mrs. Street!

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About South Pointe Scholars Charter Academy
South Pointe Scholars Charter Academy is a tuition-free, public charter school in Ypsilanti, Michigan, serving students in Young 5s through eighth grade. It is part of the National Heritage Academies network, which includes more than 100 tuition-free, public charter schools serving more than 65,000 students in kindergarten through 12th grade across nine states. For more information, visit nhaschools.com.


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