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Hendersonville increases to a Value 4 within Tap program

hendersonvillebeeTwo years ago past Superintendent Leila Williams was offered an opportunity for two schools in Colleton County to join the National based TAP program after two Beaufort County schools dropped the program. She offered it to Bells Elementary and Hendersonville Elementary. Each school had to explain the program to its staff and then take a vote. Both schools decided to accept the challenge.

The TAP program is The System for Teacher and Student Advancement. It is a data based and data driven program. Teachers are broken into groups known as clusters. Each week Ellen Fender, Master Teacher at Hendersonville Elementary, meets with each cluster for one hour. During this time they go over new methods and techniques the teachers can use in their classrooms to help teach their students. It is also a time for reflection, a time to talk about things that worked well or maybe not so well from the week before. Four mentor teachers are also part of the program. They also serve as classroom teachers. Any teacher at the school can apply to be a mentor teacher. Applicants go through a rigorous selection process that includes meeting basic qualifications and demonstration expertise in learning and instruction, curriculum development, assessment and leadership. Students are tested at the beginning of the year and then again at the end of the year so data can be gathered to see if student growth is occurring.

TAP is also an incentive based program. Teachers will receive a bonus based on three different levels. The first level is teacher observation. Teachers have three observations per year by different people in administration. The second level is student growth within a teacher’s classroom. The third level is overall student growth for the school. It is still unclear how much each teacher will receive but one thing is for sure, it will be a good bit more of a bonus than last year when the school earned a value of only 1. Teachers at Hendersonville were told of their increased value at a meeting held in the schools media center. They buried their old value and hope to never see it again. “The excitement in the room was contagious,” said Fender when the teachers were told their new value.

Tasheena Allen, principal, said, “We are making progress at Hendersonville and I could not be more proud of the staff for working so hard the past year. The staff is working well together as a team and it is starting to show. I can’t wait until we can celebrate with the kids because they are the ones who earned this.”

 

Christie Slocum (510 Posts)