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Phase 1: School Profile from Public Data

Karen Lea Branch 12 August 2013

First Impression:
My first visit to West Bertie Elementary was purposely scheduled so that I could meet with the principal. When I arrived, he was waiting for me at the front entrance. His efforts in doing so made me feel very welcomed and at ease. He began by providing me a complete tour of the building and grounds. He pointed out what each classroom was used for and which teacher was assigned to that room. He was planning to make some changes in room assignments and asked my opinion in placement. I was surprised to find the school layout as it was. There were some classrooms, kindergarten and first grade, that were all connected by a common storage area. The area looked as though it was used to store student coats and book bags. The rooms were very neat because most items were packed for the summer. The floors were clean and shiny as though they had just been waxed. Since my visit was over summer break, I was unable to meet all the faculty and staff, but I did meet the administrative assistant and the custodian. The two were very pleasant and welcomed me to the school. They both stated that they were looking forward to me working at WBES. The custodian even stated, When you get in your office, let me know if you need anything. After the tour, the principal and I engaged in conversation about his expectations and my job description. He did not attend the initial meeting for principal mentors and had many questions. I answered what I could and provided him the contacts for NELA staff for the remainder. I left several hours later with a great first impression! I had acquired a map of the school and a list of the faculty and staff. I was looking forward to what promised to be a rewarding, learning experience!

Front entrance of building:

Facilities: I have the pleasure of being assigned to West Bertie as a Principal Intern for the 2013-14 school year. I have toured the school twice already. Once with the principal as a guide, and a second time on my own so I could learn the floor plan and location of assigned areas to staff and faculty. While on my self guided tour, I talked to the staff and faculty that were on the premises to find out all I could about the facilities and the people that are a part of its daily operation: past and present.

Map of West Bertie Elementary

West Bertie Elementary School was built in 1961, but the existing structure has gone through many changes since that time. The school was originally designed to be a K-2 institution. Two other schools, (J.B. Bond 3-5 & Roxobel-Kelford 6-7), existed in the same geographical area that are now included in the district lines for West Bertie. In 1975, a building wing was added to the structures that once existed on West Bertie campus. In 1977, the school became a K-8 institution and the two other campuses were abandoned. During the 1977-78 school year 530 students attended the K-8 school. Below is a picture of the school in 1979.

West Bertie Elementary School on March 22, 1979

In 1984, the school was nearly destroyed by a tornado that ripped through the center of the property. The county rebuilt only the portions of the building that were destroyed with the exception of the gymnasium. The addition added in 1975 and the cafeteria, were not damaged by the natural disaster and still remain today. The facilities are used now for Pre-K through grade 5 classes, and one EC selfcontained classroom. The CADA Head Start program, one of two in the county, is located on the far left of the property. The three year olds that attend the program use the cafeteria in the main building for lunch. The facilities are also used for the PTSO to hold their meetings and the YMCA uses the gymnasium for basketball practice and games after school and on Saturdays. The picture below shows the grounds as they exist today. It is evident that there is a missing building where the gymnasium stood before the tornado in 1984.

Satellite Image of West Bertie Elementary School (Image taken within a 10 day window of August 22, 2013)
The building is opened from 7:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. Monday through Friday. Visitors must access the building through the main entrance where they will be met with a security camera and a button that must be pushed to request entry. Visitors must have a photo identification to enter. There are a few places on the campus that could be improved with proper funding. The Media Center could use a makeover to become more inviting for students. An area designated for students to read in a comfortable atmosphere, brighter paint in strategic areas, and updated technology would be a few improvements. Also, adding new tables, plant life, and feeders to attract birds or other small wildlife could improve the picnic area outside the main building. The cafeteria could become a healthier place by removing the dust-laden flags that decorate the ceilings. Below you will find photographs taken during my self-guided tour. The school is neat and clean and one of the most welcoming schools I have entered in this school system. Benches and rocking chairs are places at the front exterior or interior entrance. The Mission and Vision statements are clearly visible to all that enter. The cafeteria is adorned with flags from various states. There is a picnic area that has great potential for student use.

Photos from my first visit:

Student Population: Demographics:

West Bertie Elementary houses grades Pre-K through 5 with a current enrollment of 352 students. The population consists of 3% Hispanic, 4% White, 92% Black. As for gender 48% of our students are female and 52% are male. West Berties School lunch program serves 412 students. This total includes 60 students from the Head Start program. With 94% of our population receiving free or reduced school lunch prices, West Berties Title I classification for 2013-14 school year is School-Wide Title I Program. The total number of economically disadvantaged students in the county is 2052.

The budget for the previous school year has not been available to me. There is a new principal on campus this year and he has not been able to locate the old budget. The budget for 2013-14 School year is below. When the data becomes available, a comparison will be added to this section.

School Curriculum:
West Bertie Elementary School is an educational institution that serves students in grades Pre-K through five. The schools academic curriculum includes English Language Arts, Math, Social Studies, Science, Health and Physical Education, and Music. It is governed by Bertie County Schools, which operates several student services, human resources, and public information and communications departments. The districts schools provide special education and related services to individual with disabilities. Teachers are expected to arrive at 7:40 each morning so that they may be in place to greet students at 7:45 a.m. Below you will find the daily bell schedule and a copy of the Master Schedule for this school year. Specific time frames are included for core curriculum. In the schedule, Encore indicates the allotted time for students to participate in Physical Education or Music while teachers engage in daily planning sessions. Once per week teachers must attend required PLCs.

Daily Bell Schedule:

Master Schedule:

Achievement: What is the student data/achievement?

West Bertie Elementary currently tests students in grades three through five using North Carolina End of Grade required tests. The tests include Reading, Math, and 5th grade Science. Students will be participating in Read to Achieve assessments. The graph above indicates that most years since the 2008 school year, students as a whole have steadily increased proficiency in Math and Reading with a slight dip in scores the 2011 school year. West Bertie lists data for 8 of the 14 student groups on the ABCs EOG tests. The schools Performance designation is School of Progress, High Growth *Current testing data for the 2012-13 school year is unavailable. Links for three prior years of data are provided at the bottom of this page.

Culture: Teacher Working Conditions Survey results are available for the 2010 and 2012 surveys. Below you will find portions of the data used for comparison. The complete reports are available by selecting the links at the bottom of this page. 2010 Survey Results:

2012 Survey Results:

The data above indicates that trends in teacher working conditions improved in some areas and declined in others. Teachers indicated that they had less access to instructional materials, but had increased access to technology in 2012 than in 2010. There is also an indication of decreased access to office equipment, professional support personnel, and less working space. Although discipline/incident reports can not yet be accessed through PowerSchool for West Bertie, the survey indicates nearly every category under Managing Student Conduct shows significant increases.

The school provides quarterly awards and celebrations that change yearly. The most recent of these are posted on the schools website.

Calendar: Obtain a copy of the school calendar, daily schedule (for students and faculty - start time, periods, lunches, etc.), regularly scheduled meetings, etc.

School Web Site/Communication:

Component Webpage highlights students Links to school calendar School vision/mission statement on the web page School contact information (including principal, nurse, guidance counselor, teacher e-mail) Information about Common Core Student Handbook Current School Improvement Plan included Link to School Activities (Multiplication Bee, Read Across America, 100th Day of School) List of School/Student Awards (Honor Students, AR awards) Parent friendly Brochures or newsletters Letter from Principal(s) x x x x x x x x x

x x x

The schools website is managed by the Media Coordinator at the school. Teachers, other faculty and staff, and the PTSO officers provide the website manager with updated information that she posts on the site. The website is currently not updated to reflect the faculty and staff changes for the upcoming school year and the events that are displayed are outdated. The website lacks a section that would provide parents with useful information in their efforts to support their child while attending West Bertie. Other documents are not posted on the website that could be useful to parents and community members seeking information on the progress of the school, how they could contribute their efforts, or handbooks that could easily be accessed through this medium.

Links to Teacher Working Condition Surveys 2010, 2012: Links to NC School Report Cards for West Bertie Elementary School: 2011-12 2010-11 2009-10