Award Year: 2017
The Old Post Road School community educates all students to excel and become productive citizens.
- Black/African American: 3%
- White: 85%
- Hispanic: 7%
- Asian: 3%
- Native American: 1%
- Two or more races: 1%
- ELL: 4%
- Economically Disadvantaged: 22%
Fifth graders prepare for an egg drop contest.
Nestled midway between Boston and Providence, the Old Post Road School is a kindergarten-Grade 5 school housing close to 450 students in Walpole, Massachusetts. Students come from many backgrounds and bring wonderful perspectives to the classroom. As the Old Post Road School faculty has embraced the RTI model, resources such as Title I assistance, Reading and Special Education intervention, ESL services, and Educational Support Personnel instruction have been integral for student success.
During the past several years, all four elementary schools in Walpole have closely focused on the delivery of mathematics instruction within the classroom. Because results of standardized and formative assessments were lower than staff had hoped, a consultant skilled in math instructional practices worked closely with staff members for two years. Staff have come away with a firm understanding of the Eight Guiding Mathematical Practices as identified in the Massachusetts Math Curriculum Frameworks and how to utilize these on a daily basis within the classroom. Staff development time has been extremely valuable in helping to move classes towards the mastery of mathematical concepts. Additionally, the amount of instructional time in Math has grown to a minimum of seventy-five minutes per day at the Grades 1-5 level; thereby, allowing for much more in depth instruction and practice.
As a result of this major focus on math instruction, students understand that there are often multiple ways to solve a math problem. They know that they can break down problems and utilize a number of strategies to come up with possible solutions. Much discussion allows for a great sharing of ideas. This flexibility in mathematical thinking can be seen in all math classrooms. Additionally, it is noticeable that this fluid thinking carries over to other subject areas, especially in reading and writing. Consequently, there has been a very noticeable trend in higher results in standardized testing, including in the Massachusetts Comprehensive Assessment System (MCAS). With these results, it has been seen that student confidence and enthusiasm for math activities and experiences has increased. Often, students remark, "Math is my favorite subject of the day. I can't wait for it today"!