Principal's Pen

Susan Stubley, Principal

annualreportheader

Dear Parents and Community Members,

It is such a privilege to share with you our annual Report to the Community for the 2019-20 school year. We were thrilled to begin this school year with great news as Gateway received an “Excellent” state report card rating, and received the prestigious “Palmetto Gold Award” for academic excellence! This distinction was achieved because of several key factors; our unmatched support from you, our phenomenal stakeholders, the tireless commitment from our entire school team and of course the hard work and perseverance of our “Solid Gold Gators”! Gateway celebrates a successful collaboration with our stakeholders, and because of this, our school community continues to rise to the occasion in every circumstance and in any situation. There is no doubt that this school year brought with it unprecedented changes to our instructional routine given the extended closure. I believe that every challenge brings with it an opportunity for growth and renewed appreciation for things that we may take for granted. For me, personally, I cannot express enough gratitude to all of our stakeholders for providing devices for all students at every grade level!

Our 1:1 initiative began several years ago, and due to the availability of devices for all students, our children were confident and well practiced in accessing eLearning programs well before the closure affected us. Our students received valuable instruction on the expected and appropriate protocol to be responsible digital citizens, and this became overwhelmingly evident, as the closure continued.

During the 2019-20 school year, our students deepened their knowledge of using digital tools to enhance learning. Our classroom instruction included the use of Flipgrid, Gizmos, Nearpod, Quizlet and Kahoot! among many others. The faculty and staff at Gateway Elementary School attended monthly professional development sessions to improve our instructional knowledge in using digital tools to enhance student learning as well. This included professional development presented by our own staff members that was specifically targeted to address appropriate use at individual grade levels. As a result, our staff embedded content rich, innovative digital learning experiences into weekly lessons for our students that positively impacted student engagement and academic achievement. This practice was exemplified during the closure, and allowed our Gators to receive an eLearning environment that was exemplary..

In visiting Google Meet sessions, Google Classroom and SeeSaw sites, I can honestly say that our staff embraced the “new normal” and raised the bar in assuring that our students were immersed in challenging, innovative and targeted instruction. This new design included caring for the social, emotional and physical well being of our students. Our related arts team and guidance counselor were second to none in providing daily news programs, taped art, music and physical education sessions as well as reaching out to support families experiencing emotional and economic difficulties due to the sudden closure. Our Gateway families and community
stakeholders lifted each other up, through positive messages from student to student while in Google Classroom and Google Meets sessions, sending encouraging emails to our staff, and providing donations to support families in need. While it was not unexpected that our Gateway community would band together and rise to the challenge in support of our Gators, it was humbling to witness firsthand the level of support our students would receive. I have never been more proud to be a member of this amazing organization.

In closing, I would like to again share our school climate goals. Please do not hesitate to contact me if I can clarify any of our goals with you.

Academic Goals

Goal 1: The percentage of students scoring Meets Expectations and Exceeds Expectations on SC READY ELA will increase from 48.5% in 2016-17 to 55.7% in 2022-23.

Goal 2: The percentage of students scoring Meets Expectations and Exceeds Expectations on SC READY Math will increase from 59.1% in 2016-17 to 62.8% in 2022-23.

School Climate

Goal 4: Maintain at least 95.0% attendance rate for all students and all student sub groups from 2019 through 2023.

Objective: Continue to maintain at least 95.0% attendance rate for all students and all student subgroups for the 2019-2020 year. Teacher and Administrator Quality

Goal 5: Maintain 100% of teachers as highly qualified from 2019-2023.

Objective: Continue to meet qualification criteria for 100% of teachers in all areas of certification.

The school renewal plan includes elements required by the Early Childhood Development and Academic Assistance Act of 1993 (Act 135) and the Education Accountability Act of 1998 (EAA). We revise, monitor progress and adjust our goals within the plan annually in collaboration with our school faculty and staff, and our SIC (School Improvement Council).

Lastly, I feel that it is only fitting to again share our core values and beliefs. Our values and beliefs are the core of who we are, what we do, and how we think and feel. Values and beliefs reflect what is important to us; they describe what we think about educating our children, while continuing the focus of remembering that the hearts and minds of our children are of equal importance. Each school year, our staff revisits these guiding principles to assure that they truly reflect our current beliefs. We examine and align our instruction, curriculum, and assessment initiatives to meet the expectations of 21st Century learners. We think that it is important to include our values and beliefs in our annual report as they set the tone for all that we do, and remind us of our purpose as educators.

We believe…
● We believe all students and staff should be valued and treated with respect and dignity.
● We believe a safe environment is essential to the learning process.
● We believe all children and adults should be challenged to view life from different perspectives.
● We believe self-respect, discipline, and social skills should be modeled and reinforced at school.
● We believe family and community engagement in the learning process is an essential component for student success.
● We believe instruction should meet the needs of all students.
● We believe students should communicate ideas, collaborate productively, solve problems, think critically and creatively while consistently reflecting on their own thinking and learning.
● We believe that an effective learning community empowers all educators to make informed decisions and provides experiences through data driven planning to ensure the success of each student.
● We believe each member of our school community can be a successful, global citizen and 21st century lifelong learner.

Purpose
The purpose of Gateway Elementary School is to educate, prepare, and empower our students to become tomorrow’s leaders. We, as the Gateway community, will lead and educate to the best of our ability and seek opportunities for personal and professional growth in our mission for continuous improvement. Our students will become effective communicators, developing appropriate social and decision-making skills by collaborating with others.

Mission
The mission of Gateway Elementary School is to provide a diverse and individualized educational environment along with experiences that develop, guide, empower and mentor students to be confident, creative, collaborative problem solvers and responsible lifelong learners. We strive to provide our students with an atmosphere that models and teaches empathy, respect, and strategies for productive problem solving and developing a growth mindset. Our dedication to this mission will foster active, productive members of society and career ready leaders of tomorrow.

Shared Vision
The focus for our vision at Gateway Elementary School emphasizes the ability to recognize strengths within ourselves and in others. We provide meaningful experiences that empower students to analyze data, track their learning progress and utilize critical thinking and technology as tools for learning.

Sincerely,
Susan Stubley, Principal
Mike Geran, SIC Chair