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Alice Coachman Elementary School 2009 NBR School

Dougherty County School District
Albany, Georgia

The approach to the Alice Coachman Elementary school is a sweeping circular driveway that leads to the front of the school. On school mornings, the driveway is crowded with parents delivering their children to school. Each car and every child is met by a member of the school staff who greets the child and the parents and welcomes them to another day of “teaching and learning.”

Principal Pat Victor’s philosophy of education is modeled on teaching and leadership practices she has experienced and drawn from previous assignments in high-performing schools in low poverty areas. Those practices, she feels, are just as applicable to a school in a high poverty area. With all but 5% of its student body eligible for free or reduced-price lunches, Alice Coachman Elementary School displays a fierce commitment to teaching and learning, consistently high expectations and student support, and the kind of outreach that binds parents and community leaders to the school.

The school’s mission is to provide students an opportunity to learn in a safe, orderly, and structured environment, with a strong emphasis on a firm foundation of knowledge, high academic achievement, and a variety of educational experiences that will lead to personal success.

NBRS program staff created four videos from a site visit to Alice Coachman Elementary School: Aspects of School Culture, on creating a coherent, student-centered culture, Distributed Leadership, on opportunities for teacher leadership, Parent Involvement, on engaging parents in supporting and extending school learning, and Community Engagement, on tapping community resources to further the school’s mission.