4102 Vacation Lane
Arlington, VA 22207
703-228-6440
Fax: 703-247-3162
Wednesday, April 23, 2014

School Improvement Plan

Our Vision:

The Stratford Program, in partnership with the community, is a caring, stimulating environment where students achieve their highest potential for participating in and contributing to society in their homes, workplaces and communities.

Our school is safe place where we respect individual differences and care for everyone. Excellence of performance is a goal for both students and staff alike, and where the school, our parents and families and the community work together to maximize student growth. We strive to maximize potential for functional like skills, vocational preparation, personal health and wellness, and other skills required for daily living across environments now and in the future, with the development of diverse communication skills to accomplish these tasks and seek help when needed. We also strive for high achievement in an academic program that covers all areas of academic achievement, with an emphasis on functional application of knowledge and skills in these areas.

School Introduction and Overview:

History

Stratford is the only self‐contained program in Arlington Public Schools, for students, in grades six to age 21, who have significant cognitive disabilities. All students have some level of cognitive disability with some having comorbidity with other disabilities such has blindness, autism or deafness. Over the past five years, the Stratford program has experienced a great deal of change. In 2004, a new principal came to Stratford after the previous principal having been here for many years. The staffing has been reduced and classroom teachers have changed. Stratford’s student population has stayed steady at around 40 students for the last five years. Stratford serves a diverse student population. The school’s diversity has changed over the years; however the student population continues to closely reflect that of the county. Stratford’s ethnic representation includes 17 white, 7 black, 9 Hispanic, and 6 Asian. Free and reduced lunch rates have decreased from * in 2002 to * currently.

Attributes

There are many attributes that contribute to the community of the Stratford Program. Stratford’s teaching staff implements techniques that encourage active learning. Students are engaged in hands‐on activities in all curricular areas. We emphasize what a student can do and encourage growth in all areas of development.

Stratford recognizes that children learn and grow in different ways and at different paces. Stratford’s teaching staff supports and implements a differentiated approach designed to accommodate and support each child’s learning style and abilities.


Stratford is the only school/program with our own school bus that we utilize throughout the school day and school year. A vital component of our program is being engaged in the community. We practice travel training, reading maps and learning how to order and pay for food at a restaurant. We utilize many job sites within our Arlington community for students to learn various job skills.


Stratford supports teaching a student at his/her level. We encourage all students to be as independent as they possibly can. Stratford’s teacher computer lab has gone mobile, using wireless laptops to support the lab and the flexibility to travel with the laptops where student facilitated technology is needed. Stratford Program has a six week summer school program, which is dictated by IEP goals.

Stratford’s music and visual arts program is an important part of each student’s instructional day. Adapted physical education instruction is ninety minutes a week for most students depending on their IEPs.


A large attribute to Stratford are the special activities and opportunities for parental involvement. The Parent Action Committee (PAC) is getting up and running this school year. Parents helped with a landscaping project, Thanksgiving dinner and a holiday breakfast for the staff.


Parents at Stratford have many opportunities to volunteer at their school. We host pot luck dinners, informational meetings and have other volunteer opportunities such as in the classrooms or library. Field trips are a great opportunity for parents to share experiences with their children as well.


Special Programs

 

We have an artist in residency program here at Stratford. This school year our artist will be making birds with the students out of recycled materials. Parents will be invited to an opening for this art exhibit.

Unique Characteristics

 

Stratford’s Functional Life Skills Program (FLS) serves students with significant cognitive impairments coexisting with significant deficits in adaptive behaviors. The areas that are addressed by this program may include daily living skills (i.e. emerging feeding skills, dressing, and hygiene), communication (i.e. pre‐symbolic or emerging symbolic skills), motor/mobility (i.e. positioning, equipment needs, safety issues), and sensory development (i.e. tactile, vestibular, auditory and visual stimulation and tolerance).


At Stratford we are friends of the environment. We are teaching our students and community the benefits of recycling by having our own recycling program, art made of recycled materials and our students are in charge of recycling paper, plastic and metals. A couple of times a week students pick up the sorted materials from each room including the office, in the school.


Stratford is fully accredited by the Virginia State Accreditation standards.


Staff Overview

Average Years of Teaching Experience

At the Stratford Program, the average years of teaching experience is fifteen years, ranging from this year being a second year teacher to a teacher with twenty‐nine years of teaching. Stratford has 11 teachers and a total staff of 46. The teaching staff consists, five and a half special education teachers, a .5 transition specialist, one teacher of the arts, one home economics teacher, one adaptive physical education teacher, a .5 English as

Second Language teacher, and a .5 librarian. We have a few members who work at Stratford as part time staff splitting their week between other schools.

Staff Certified in Appropriate Content Areas

All staff members are certified and licensed in the areas that they are teaching.

Advanced Degrees

Six of the 11 have master degrees and the principal has her doctorate. Professional Development Plans All staff with continuing contracts have well‐developed professional development focusing on continuous staff development. Many of the teachers use a collaborative model, sharing learning and professional development opportunities.

Student Overview


Chart of Students by grade level
By Special Population
VAAP 2001-08

Standards of Learning Assessment


Stratford’s Virginia Alternative Assessment Program (VAAP) scores are sent to the student’s base school and thus we do not have to meet accreditation, thought we work hard with all of our students to assure they do the best that they can do.

One challenge that the staff of Stratford consistently works on is the challenge of convincing our parents that it is beneficial for their child to participate in the VAAP. This is a very important goal for Stratford and Arlington Public Schools as a whole. In years past, the VAAP was directly correlated with a student’s IEP goals, which made perfect sense to all involved. Now VAAPs are correlated with ASOLs, which can be troubling for some of our parents and students. For our students with severe cognitive disabilities we struggle at times to find ASOLs which are appropriate for them. There is little to no correlation between ASOLs and a student’s IEP goals. This is a continuing issues for some of our student population.

In reviewing the testing trends for Stratford Program, we note the following implications: we continue to achieve, we need to continue to assess the data to determine instructional strategies and as our number of students increase we need to determine best strategies to support these students in attaining the Arlington Public Schools curriculum to succeed on the state tests even if they were not exposed to the Virginia curriculum.


3 Year Goals for Stratford Program



By 2008‐2009, Stratford Program will focus on the following goals and objectives based upon the Arlington Public Schools Strategic Plan

 

Rising Achievement:

Goal 1: Ensure rising achievements for all students on standardized tests and other measures of performance that exceed state and federal standards.

  1. Basic interest inventory with most classes.
  2. Enable students to explore interests within a reasonable environment.
  3. Students will share interests and talents such as restaurant and cooking shows on TV.

 

Eliminate the Gap:

Goal 2: Eliminate gaps in achievement among identified groups (Asian, Black, Hispanic, and low‐income students, students with disabilities and English language learners).

  1. 1. Eliminate the gap in VAAP scores

Responsive Education:

Goal 3: Prepare each student to succeed in a diverse changing world through instruction and other school experiences responsive to each students’ talents, interests, and challenges.

  1. Data collection on job sites.
  2. Students explore various job skills.

 

Effective Relationships:

Goal 4: Build effective relationships with parents and the community so that they know about and actively support the education of our students.

  1. Staff and/or student of the week will take visitors to where they need to go.
  2. Stratford ambassadories will welcome special guests and families.
  3. Holiday thank you to businesses.
  4. Fact sheet about Stratford to give to families

 

During 2009‐2010, Stratford Program will focus on the following goals and objectives based upon the Arlington Public Schools Strategic Plan

Rising Achievement:

Goal 1: Ensure rising achievements for all students on standardized tests and other measures of performance that exceed state and federal standards.

  1. Cultural Themes/Cultural Days in classrooms
  2. Cultural snip its on TV.
  3. Family tree info from each student.
  4. Have guests come and speak about their culture.

 

Eliminate the Gap:

Goal 2: Eliminate gaps in achievement among identified groups (Asian, Black, Hispanic, and low‐income students, students with disabilities and English language learners).

  1. Eliminate the gap in VAAP scores

 

Responsive Education:

Goal 3: Prepare each student to succeed in a diverse changing world through instruction and other school experiences responsive to each student’s talents, interests, and challenges.

  1. Data collection on job sites.
  2. Students explore various job skills.
  3. Do picture inventories with students.
  4. Student clubs on Friday afternoons to enable students to explore interests.
  5. Notebooks on student vocational profiles.
  6. Stratford students join HB clubs.

 

Effective Relationships:

Goal 4: Build effective relationships with parents and the community so that they know about and actively support the education of our students.

  1. Staff and/or student of the week will take visitors to where they need to go.
  2. Stratford ambassadories will welcome special guests and families.
  3. Staff e‐mail address on the website.
  4. Have art., PE, Art and home living on the website.
  5. Holiday thank you to businesses.
  6. Fact sheet about Stratford to give to families
  7. Welcoming packet from our PAC


By 2010‐2011, Stratford Program will focus on the following goals and objectives based upon the Arlington Public Schools Strategic Plan

Rising Achievement:

Goal 1: Ensure rising achievements for all students on standardized tests and other measures of performance that exceed state and federal standards.

  1. Students will share interests and talents such as restaurant and cooking shows on TV.
  2. Cultural Themes/Cultural Days in classrooms
  3. Cultural snip its on TV.
  4. Family tree info from each student.
  5. Have guests come and speak about their culture.
  6. Peer buddies with HB students.
  7. Cultural potluck dinner in the Spring
  8. Relationship with private school – Rivendale School

 

Eliminate the Gap:

Goal 2: Eliminate gaps in achievement among identified groups (Asian, Black, Hispanic, and low‐income students, students with disabilities and English language learners).

  1. Eliminate the gap in VAAP scores

Responsive Education:

Goal 3: Prepare each student to succeed in a diverse changing world through instruction and other school experiences responsive to each student’s talents, interests, and challenges.

  1. Data collection on job sites.
  2. Students explore various job skills.
  3. Do picture inventories with students.
  4. Student clubs on Friday afternoons to enable students to explore interests.
  5. Notebooks on student vocational profiles.
  6. Stratford students join HB clubs.

 

Effective Relationships:

Goal 4: Build effective relationships with parents and the community so that they know about and actively support the education of our students.

  1. Parent Come to School Day.
  2. PAC fund raiser.
  3. Invite community members to a field day (police, firefighter).
  4. Traveling theatre group – Cherrydale.
  5. Thank Business partners.
  6. Website fund raiser/Stratford website.
  7. Literature to potential families

 


 
 
Last Modified on October 5, 2010