Elementary Transition Update 10/24/17

Dilworth Elementary Families,

 I am very excited about the progress made toward the opening of Dilworth Elementary School: Sedgefield Campus/Latta Campus in the 2018-2019 school year.  Over the last several weeks, many important milestones were accomplished, helping to ensure a smooth transition into a successful school year for students and families.  We are excited to announce that over 150 families attended our Prospective Parents Open Houses, held at both campuses in early October.  Parents were able to meet with school administration, as well as spend time with our parent panel to ask questions and hear more about our amazing program.  Additionally, a Principal’s Coffee Chat was held last week to provide further opportunity for discussion and clarification.  To summarize in a word, SYNERGY has taken hold and we are charging forward toward a great 2018-2019 school year.  

Thank you,

Terry Cerio Hall, Principal

Elementary Transition Updates

School Naming

The CMS Board of Education voted unanimously to rename the combined Dilworth and Sedgefield elementary schools. Our new name will be Dilworth Elementary School: Sedgefield Campus and Latta Campus. This change will take effect for the 2018-2019 school year.

With the official name being announced we are now able to more effectively market our new school. Signs have been ordered to show support for the new school and should begin appearing in yards throughout all neighborhoods in our enrollment zone. If you would like one, please email dilworth.sedgefield@gmail.com.

CMS Transportation met with the Dilworth and Sedgefield Student Leadership Teams (SLT), PTA, and Elementary Transition Team representatives. As a result of these productive meetings, CMS Transportation Department released a final feedback form. This form was sent home in early October, with only those students assigned to the “new” Dilworth Elementary School for the 2018-2019 school year. The response was overwhelmingly in favor of having students who would be attending the K-2 Sedgefield campus ride separately from those attending the 3-5 Latta campus.

A recommendation was made to have the bell schedules staggered by 15 minutes to provide parents a full 45 minute drop-off window to transport students to each campus. At this time, the Sedgefield campus bell time would be 7:45a.m. and the Latta campus bell time at 8:00a.m. CMS Transportation plans to have a final recommendation to Superintendent Clayton Wilcox by the end of October. Please, go to www.cmslistens.org for updates regarding transportation.

Academic Facilitator Collaboration
We will continue to ensure the academic bar remains high. The teaching teams at both schools are participating in combined professional development in Literacy and Math. Both schools have created Instructional Leadership Teams (ILT). Teachers were chosen to participate based on their exemplary teaching ability and eagerness to share best practices with their colleagues. They attend monthly training together, alongside the Eastover team, and then redeliver the valuable information to the entire teaching staff.

The Academic Facilitators from both schools are working collaboratively to create and implement common planning and instructional expectations for both Sedgefield and Dilworth this school year. The Math Facilitators have developed pacing guides and grade level plans for the newly adopted Math program.

Our Literacy Facilitators have conducted classroom visits and grade level planning sessions at both schools to ensure common instructional expectations. Morgan Walker, the new Sedgefield Literacy Facilitator who came to us from Selwyn Elementary, planned and delivered a Reader’s Workshop Training to all K-5th grade teachers and will continue to provide best teaching strategies throughout the year.

CMS has provided an outside consulting firm to lead our Cultural Diversity Training, for the combined staff, beginning in October and continuing through February.

Leadership Team Collaboration
Combined School Leadership Teams (SLT) met on October 4th. This was the first of 4 combined SLT meetings that will take place throughout the school year. The combined SLT will work collaboratively to inform CMS regarding decisions that support the students and families of our new paired school.

Parents often ask what the difference is between the SLT and PTA. The PTA focuses on school culture, parent involvement, and community engagement, while the SLT focuses on the School Improvement Plan (SIP) which includes; academics, safety/discipline, and long-range planning. While the SLT and PTA often work together, each has an independent focus and objective.

Community Partners and Involvement
We are excited to announce that Myers Park United Methodist Church will continue its partnership with Sedgefield Elementary School and with the combined school moving forward. Myers Park United Methodist sponsors For the Love of Reading and Champs tutoring/mentoring programs at Sedgefield. Other community partners currently supporting the school are Augustine Reading, Read Charlotte, Heart Math, Freedom Church, and Sedgefield Methodist.

The Dilworth Elementary Outreach committee will provide sister school support throughout the 2017-2018 school year. Thank you so much to Dilworth families for donating 10,260 items to assist the Dilworth Outreach Committee. Outreach will be able to provide support with over 700 snack bags for current sister school families!

Elementary Transition Team
The Elementary Transition Team is a Dilworth PTA committee that will support and offer input as requested by Principal Hall and CMS leaders. The committee is a place for Dilworth and Sedgefield parents to voice thoughts, concerns, and ideas around the elementary transition. The role of this committee is to offer a place for discussion, provide updates to our parent community as available about the changes to our elementary schools, and offer input to the changes when asked. The committee chairs will share updates and reach out to committee members about specific areas of input when asked by school leaders. The committee will report directly to the PTA President and share updates at monthly PTA Exec meetings as well as Student Leadership Team (SLT) meetings when appropriate.

Elementary Transition Team members brought forth the name of our new paired school, Dilworth Elementary School: Sedgefield Campus and Latta Campus.

  • Over the summer, Elementary Transition Team members submitted 78 paired school name suggestions.
  • A meeting was held with Elementary Transition Team members on 7/25/17 to discuss the suggested names and to put forward top recommendations to the official Naming Committee.
  • Dilworth Elementary School: Sedgefield Campus and Latta Campus was one of the top recommendations generated by this team.

The Elementary Transition Team was instrumental in influencing CMS Transportation’s final feedback form and recommendation. The ability to directly influence a school’s transportation plan is extremely rare and we appreciate all of the feedback from Transition Team members.

  • Following the initial Transportation Survey, Elementary Transition Team members provided feedback. All feedback was aggregated and presented at a small group meeting with CMS Transportation.
  • The group invited to the meeting was intentional in selection to include a variety of representation; working parents with children who participate in The After School Enrichment Program, parents who have children who participate in Tom Sykes programs, parents who will have children at both campuses, and parents currently in a walk zone.

Beginning in November, we will formally organize the following sub-committees to further aid in the elementary transition: Community Engagement, School Culture, and Communications.  If you would like to be part of these sub-committees, please make sure you have joined the  Elementary Transition Team by emailing your name to dilworth.sedgefield@gmail.com.

Upcoming Parent Meetings

  • November 2ndat 9:30a.m. at Dilworth – Rising Kindergarten Prospective Parent Coffee with Principal Hall.  We plan to begin with a brief kindergarten classroom tour and then coffee with Principal Hall.  This coffee will discuss the pairing but also answer some general kindergarten questions.
  • November 16that 9:30a.m. at Dilworth – Kindergarten and First Grade Parent Coffee with Principal Hall.  All parents are welcome to attend, but this coffee will specifically focus on questions parents might have regarding the children transitioning between campuses more than once.
  • December 7that 6:00p.m. at Dilworth – Coffee and Conversation with Principal Hall.  This event will be for all families who are interested in the paired schools or have any additional questions.

Despite the fact that some of these events are targeting “prospective parents”, our current parents who have concerns or questions about the pairing and are making decisions for their children are welcome to attend as well. We hope that anyone who needs conversation or answers to questions, will attend these coffees.

Thank you for your continued support!

Terry Cerio Hall, Principal
Molly Bilderback, Elementary Transition Team Chairperson
Mary Heath Swanson, Elementary Transition Team Chairperson