Rooster Fellowship connects local educators to data-driven ideas
Author: Sheldon Reber
A group of 20 educators from the SCOE Rooster Fellowship gathered on Dec. 4 at Santa Rosa’s CoLab to participate in a presentation from Steve McCammon, Ed.D., president of The Schlechty Center in Louisville, Kentucky. McCammon shared data-driven ideas on designing purposeful classroom instruction to increase student engagement.
McCammon remarked during his presentation, “We unlock content areas for students when we design curriculum for them using a data-driven process.”
Mayra Sosa, family engagement facilitator at Elsie Allen High School in Santa Rosa, was there with five of her school colleagues. Sosa connects English learner students and families to community resources and helps students with their college and career choices.
The Rooster Fellowship goal for 11/12-grade English learners at Elsie Allen is to achieve a higher median score on the student survey question “what we worked on today in class is important to me.”
“My focus is on students who are chronically absent,” she noted. “We have students who come from very traumatic experiences, they want to learn, they want to be at school, but they have many barriers.”
Sosa observes that for her students the social and emotional aspects of their lives “is what’s really big for them. School is a place that students say they can get their food for the day. It isn’t just a place where they learn and get their credits for graduation. For many students it’s a safe place.”
“The thing I like about the Rooster Fellowship,” continued Sosa, “is learning about new systems of student engagement. We work with data and can see how and why students react to changes.” The goal of this is to find ways for students to become more engaged and help chronically absent students overcome barriers that prevent them from attending school.
Sosa participated recently in a classroom circle with her EL students “and when we talked they said we don’t want to do ‘quick writes’ all the time because they come from another class where most of the class is writing.”
Sosa’s students told the teacher they wanted to do more interactive learning. “The teacher implemented a couple of changes and she reduced the ‘quick writes’ and added some other components so now we’re seeing they are more engaged,” said Sosa. “We’ll look back at our student surveys and analyze the data. I feel that’s the difference in how to increase student achievement.”