Summit's Model Program and Practice

SCHOOL OVERVIEW

Summit Intermediate School is a wonderful place for kids. A part of the Etiwanda School District, Summit Intermediate is a neighborhood school located in the foothills of the beautiful San Gabriel Mountains. Our school serves just over 1,100 students in grades 6-8. Though Summit originally opened as a rural elementary school in 1967, it transitioned to an intermediate school in 1994. Since then, Summit has become near and dear to the hearts of many students, staff members, parents, and community members.  


Summit celebrates our diverse community of learners. Our students are 12.1% African American, 0.5% American Indian, 7.4% Asian, 4.8% Filipino, 41.9% Hispanic, 4.2% Two or More Races,  0.1% Pacific Islander, and 28.7% White. In addition, 3% of our students are English Learners, 0.3% are Foster Youth, 5.8% are Homeless, 36% are Socioeconomically Disadvantaged, and 16.4% are Students with Disabilities. We are the Summit Sharks!


Our school prides itself on creating a safe and positive environment, where all students can be successful. At Summit, we have created and maintained a positive, student-centered culture that we believe sets us apart from other schools. We love to celebrate our students, work to provide both academic and social-emotional support,  and we are passionate about equity. All students are exposed to a broad curriculum and utilize technology on a daily basis. Kagan Cooperative Learning Structures are employed daily in classrooms to facilitate student engagement and learning.


Our students are highly involved in activities on campus. There are many opportunities for our Sharks to connect, including: spirit wear competitions, lunchtime activities, Multicultural Day, Summit's Talent Show, the Spelling Bee, the Geography Bee, Battle of the Books, Shark Elite, and Intramural Sports. During the school day, students have access to broad courses of study such as: Home Economics, Drama, Robotics, Animation, Financial Literacy, College & Career, Environmental Science, Spanish, Art, Public Speaking, and Current Events. Some students participate in year-long electives like Leadership, Band, Yearbook, and Video Production, called Shark Bytes. Our staff teaches students the importance of community outreach, as well.


We have tremendous family involvement, at times hosting more than 500 attendees to our parent engagement and education events. We have an active Watch D.O.G.S. (Dads of Great Students) program, along with an amazing PTSA (Parent Teacher Student Association), who works tirelessly to support our staff and students, even taking over our annual fundraiser. The level of support is phenomenal!


Summit’s academic achievement is directly related to the excellent programs and practices put in place to enhance our school culture and support students, along with the dedication of our amazing staff and families.

DESCRIPTION

Name: Summit Intermediate School Positive School Culture...Leading to Student Achievement”


Length of Program/Practice: Less than 2 years


Target Area: Chronic Absenteeism and Dropout Prevention, Closing the Achievement Gap, Education Supports, Parent, Family, and Community Involvement, Professional Development


Target Population: All students


Strategies Used: School Climate, Parent Engagement, Data-Driven Decision Making Social/Emotional/Behavioral Support, Professional Development, Implementation of Academic Standards Basics (Teachers, Instructional Materials, Facilities)


Programs to Improve School Culture

Creating and sustaining a positive school culture has been a focus of the current leadership team and staff. We believe students will achieve their best when their social-emotional needs are addressed, and they are engaged in and excited about school. As a result, we have endeavored to improve the existing school culture. We believe that positive relationships with caring adults change lives!  We have intentionally developed and fostered a positive school culture, with a broad offering of academic and extracurricular activities, so all students feel welcome, find a place to belong, and experience success.


Our first area of focus was the implementation of new programs and practices to improve school culture, in addition to strengthening those already in place. We began Tier One implementation of Positive Behavior Intervention and Supports (PBIS), with the idea that all students can be successful when adults explicitly teach, model, practice, and reward expectations. We created a school-wide matrix reinforcing these expectations in the classrooms, hallways, office, and other important areas on campus. We have worked to build and sustain a strong PBIS team, adding strategic members and establishing regular meetings. The Summit staff collaboratively created our Statement of Behavioral Purpose: Summit Intermediate School is dedicated to creating, practicing, and sustaining a positive school culture, where students are supported to develop a personal responsibility for excellence. Students are empowered to achieve their academic, social, and emotional potential by all members of our school community. All staff made the commitment to make site decisions with this statement in mind. The staff adopted three positively stated expectations: Be Safe, Be Responsible, and Be Respectful. High quality, strategically placed, professional signage was purchased to ensure our PBIS expectations are visible throughout campus. We have created a reward system to recognize students who successfully demonstrate our behavior expectations, utilizing our PBIS Gotcha Tickets for student recognition and rewards. In an effort to recognize students who go above and beyond in demonstrating our PBIS expectations, we celebrate by giving these students a Positive Referral and a positive phone call home from administration, along with other treats and rewards. This is by far one of the most effective ways to reinforce and encourage the positive culture we want everyone to experience here at Summit.


Safe School Ambassadors (SSA), a program that harnesses the power of students, is another program that makes Summit a great place to be. Based on the premise that students are the majority of the population, and they set the social norms at a school, SSA empowers them to create a positive, safe environment for kids. Students learn conflict resolution skills and strategies to positively influence their peers. The Ambassadors first complete a two-day training and then meet monthly, in what are called Family Groups. At these meetings, students refine their skills and collaborate with both peers and adults to solve problems taking place at school. Though this program has been in place for years at Summit, we worked intentionally to grow the program, ensuring that an increased number of students were trained to make a positive difference at our school.


Rachel’s Challenge is also an impactful program at Summit. Rachel’s Challenge starts off with an assembly presentation based on the life of Rachel Joy Scott. Rachel, a girl who believed that kindness could change the world, was the first victim of the Columbine High School shooting in 1999. Each year, every grade level attends this life-changing presentation, helping students consider the impact they have on others and challenging them to leave a legacy of kindness. After the assembly, students sign a banner “accepting” Rachel’s Challenge. Many students join our Friends of Rachel Team (FORT) to perform acts of kindness in the school, community, and world. Rachel’s Challenge has had an enormous impact on the way students treat each other at Summit. Every year, Summit celebrates Kindness Week, a time set aside to focus on kindness and anti-bullying. Activities are led by our FORT students. Summit students are greeted with positive messages written on their desks and all over campus. We have dress-up days, lunchtime activities, and students work to complete the Great Kindness Challenge, performing Random Acts of Kindness. In addition, the FORT students visit a local retirement home and one of our feeder elementary schools to support activities and tutor younger students. Finally, FORT also has a New Student Welcoming Committee who receives new students with a gift and a school tour. These are just a few of the many things that the FORT students do to make Summit a positive place for students and staff.


A site practice that sets Summit apart is our Awesome Arrival, which was first implemented in the 2017-2018 school year. Students from FORT and Leadership class partner with staff to make this incredible event happen. Every six weeks, we meet in the bus lane early on a Friday to welcome students to school. Students are met by staff and students dancing to our positive playlist, cheering, holding positive, inspirational signs, and being greeted with, “Happy Friday! Have a great day!” It is the best way to start the day, and we know that it is a major component of our positive culture.


A Focus on Attendance

Attendance is an area of focus at Summit Intermediate. It is our belief that by creating a positive school culture, along with building positive relationships with students, they are more likely to come to school on a regular basis. In addition, one strategy we use to increase attendance is to offer incentives to students with perfect attendance. Another effective strategy we utilize is the implementation of a schoolwide art competition, promoting the importance of good attendance. To support students with chronic absenteeism, our counselor also conducts small groups focused on addressing barriers preventing students from coming to school on a regular basis.   


Student Recognition

At Summit, we take every possible opportunity to celebrate students. We have Honor Roll, Renaissance, and California Junior Scholarship Federation (CJSF), all programs that recognize excellent grades and outstanding citizenship. Our Student of the Month program gives teachers the opportunity to nominate students who exemplify outstanding behavior. Our Leadership class recognizes each student with a birthday card and treat. These are some of the many ways we work to ensure every student feels special and valued.  


Academic Support

We have a successful system of support for academics. In addition to receiving support in core classes, our students are homogeneously grouped into Universal Access classes during the school day to receive support at their identified skill level in both Math and Language Arts. Our staff works to ensure students have access to support or extension of the core curriculum, based on individual needs. Some students also attend a flexible support elective to gain further assistance with academic strategies to build success. This year, we have added additional instructional aides to support classes serving students who are most in need.


Another layer of support is our Student Services Assistant, who works on building relationships with our unduplicated students and others in need of additional support. In an effort to support increased numbers of students, we were able to make this a full-time position this year. The Student Services Assistant works to support students before and after school, acting as a liaison with teachers, focusing on students’ targeted areas of need, tutoring, and helping to build organizational skills. One example of the support provided to students is the Backpack Rescue, where students are supported in the cleaning and organizing of their backpacks, folders, and school supplies. Students working with our Student Services Assistant have the opportunity to earn Shark Bucks that they can spend in the Student Store. Students attend field trips to visit colleges and are able to attend an incentive field trip, if goals are attained. Our Student Services Assistant also hosts an annual College and Career Fair, providing students time to interact with college representatives and professionals in fields of interest.


Our school counselor works closely with our Student Services Assistant and all other stakeholders in an effort to close the achievement gap, support academic growth, and ensure students are performing to their greatest potential.   


Our staff works diligently to engage all students in our community. In an effort to support those most in need of assistance, staff identifies students not making adequate growth and creates a Plan of Action for Student Success (PASS). Teachers build positive connections with the students and their families, and create strategies to address educational gaps.


After the school day, students are still able to access support. Students may attend our Homework Lab to receive help on daily assignments and peer tutoring. In addition, we have a targeted Math Intervention program to remediate gaps for students most in need.


Our goal at Summit is to provide focused, intentional instruction to ensure every student achieves his or her potential.


Social-Emotional Support

We also have a strong system of support to address the social-emotional needs of our students. We offer both individual and small group academic and mental-health counseling, and students are encouraged to seek support when needed. Small groups and classroom guidance lessons are based on identified needs from a student survey and run by both our school counselor and mental health counseling intern. For example, over 50% of our students reported that they struggled to deal with stress. Therefore, our school counselor presented classroom guidance lessons focused on helping students understand different types of stress and provided positive coping strategies to address this concern. Students are also supported by a team of Educationally Related Mental Health Services (ERMHS) therapists. We are also fortunate to have a full-time school psychologist readily available to support students.


It is very important to our staff to ensure that every student feels welcome and has a place to belong at Summit. In an effort to support students who struggle with social skills and building relationships, our counselor started a program called “Lunch and Games,” inviting students to bring their lunches to the MPR to play board games. With the help of staff, encouraging students to participate, this program has been extremely successful, drawing an average of 75 students per session.


Parent Engagement

Summit prides itself on an astoundingly high level of parent engagement. We have an extremely active and supportive Parent Teacher Student Association (PTSA), and we have excellent attendance at our annual Parent Engagement events. Barbecue, Board Games, and Basketball is one of our school community's favorite events. Summit families begin the evening with dinner, prepared by staff members. This provides the opportunity for families to enjoy each other’s company, while sharing a meal. After dinner, students and their family members choose to play board games or participate in pickup basketball games, organized by our P.E. staff in the gym. We also hold Donuts with Dudes and Galentine's Day, where students can bring family members, mentors, coaches, or other adult role models for donuts, coffee, a photo opportunity, and other fun activities. Additionally, our dedicated P.E. Department hosts a Family Fitness Night, guiding families in active games and physical movement, proving that it is fun and rewarding to be active together.  PTSA Family Dine Out Nights, held monthly, are another opportunity for families, staff, students, and community to spend time together and support our school. Open House is an event that is greeted with great enthusiasm every year. Both students and staff plan and prepare for this outstanding family event offering classroom visitations, food trucks, carnival games, and more. This event is paired with our 5th grade orientation, and as a result, many incoming families attend. Our parent engagement is incredibly strong, and we believe it is a major component of our positive school culture.


Parent Education Events

It is essential that we give parents the support they need. Annually, we utilize our parent survey results to direct our parent education nights. Last year, we provided support for our parents geared towards students’ responsible use of social media by hosting #icanhelp and a showing of Screenagers. This year, we focused on technology, math, language arts, and Gifted and Talented Education (GATE), helping parents support and extend learning at home.


Staff Commitment

Summit has an outstanding staff, made up of individuals who truly care for students. We have a perfect balance of experienced teachers and those who are new to the profession. As a staff, we are constantly looking for ways to improve our practice and meet the needs of our students, while striving for excellence. We are working to improve our cultural proficiency, inclusive practices, and Universal Design for Learning. Teachers collaborate in Professional Learning Communities weekly to analyze data and improve practices. Teachers regularly give of their own time to support students before and after school.


School to Home Communication

We have worked very hard to improve the level of school to home communication. We believe it is essential to build positive, supportive relationships with parents. We send a weekly dialer and email via School Messenger, our communication system, informing and alerting families of current events, updates, and available opportunities. Students and parents have access to the AERIES Student Information System to review grades and assignments, empowering both to stay involved. In addition, we maintain multiple social media accounts (Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter) and both school and teacher websites to keep parents connected.


Summit Intermediate...A Place for All Students

Our programs and practices demonstrate that we are focused on students and creating a place where all are welcome. Upon entering our foyer and office, large pictures of students from all cultures are on display engaged in activities ranging from reading to playing sports. It is very important to us that students feel valued and see themselves in our environment. Summit’s focus on school culture begins when we bring our incoming 6th graders on site for both our engaging 5th grade orientation and our W.O.W. (We’re On our Way!) welcome event prior to the start of school. It is essential for our Sharks to know they are valued from the time they enter the gates of Summit Intermediate!


Additional Model Program and Practice Information

Summit’s vision of a positive school culture was developed based on the premise that students learn best when they feel valued and welcome and when they are engaged in and excited about school. Though Summit has been a high achieving school, we believe and know our students can achieve at even higher levels, and we strive to do everything in our power to help them do so. As a result, we have worked and continue to work to ensure we create and maintain a positive, student-centered school culture.


In order to foster Summit’s positive school culture, there were many essential resources needed to implement the necessary programs. First of all, it was imperative that our staff be united in their positive support and belief in our students. Our staff communicates this value daily. Secondly, we prioritized funding to pay for additional hours for staff, program implementation, assemblies, along with student rewards and incentives. It was also a priority to fund conferences for our staff and release time for intentional planning.


Summit’s deliberate focus on a positive school culture benefits not only targeted populations, but all students. If students’ social-emotional needs are met, they are more likely to come to school and work to achieve their potential. By creating a positive school culture, we are also preventing chronic absenteeism and minimizing the need for suspension. We are confident that our model program and practice creates our positive school culture and ultimately leads to student achievement.


Though our model program and practice supports all goals in our Local Control and Accountability Plan (LCAP), it is most closely aligned with Goal 3 - Engagement: “Cultivate a positive school environment and systems of supports for student personal and academic growth; and build on the engagement of parents as stakeholders in their child’s education.” At Summit, this goal is at the heart of everything we do, and our efforts to create and sustain our positive school culture are evidence of this.


IMPLEMENTATION AND MONITORING

Creating and sustaining a positive, student-centered culture began with intentional conversations between our staff and the administrative team. Thankfully, we are fortunate to have an exceptional staff who believes in the importance of a student-centered culture. Our staff is always open to changes and improvements to our programs and practices.


We recognize the importance of including all stakeholders. As a result, we have involved students, staff, and parents in the process of building a positive school culture. Decisions are made collaboratively with the staff at staff meetings, grade level meetings, leadership meetings, and via informal input.  We also involve students in the effort, working with student groups to identify areas in need of improvement, gain input, and brainstorm ways we can better support our Sharks. Parent advisory groups, such as School Site Council and PTSA provide valuable input, as well.


We communicate our message about Summit’s positive school culture by deliberately marketing the great things happening at our site. We accomplish this via regular communication to our families and community, utilizing dialers, emails, and social media. We also intentionally communicate positive messages, including support for both staff and students, in the Weekly Wave (our weekly communication to the staff) and also on meeting agendas. We work hard to ensure staff feels valued by the use of staff incentives and appreciation. We celebrate our students and staff whenever possible.


Building capacity in our staff is essential. We practice a growth mindset and regularly bring in experts to coach our staff, whether it be content-related, support for inclusive practices, or social-emotional support. We work tirelessly toward reflecting and improving our practice.


Our implementation and monitoring of program effectiveness is ongoing, and part of our cycle of improvement.  As noted in the following section, data from stakeholder surveys, academic assessments, the California Dashboard, as well as anecdotal data are used to strengthen outcomes for our students.  


RESULTS

As a staff, we utilize multiple measures to continuously monitor and improve our practice. We administer student, parent, and staff surveys annually. Results from the i-Ready diagnostic assessments, given three times per year, provide useful information, as well. Additionally, behavior and attendance data, along with the CAASPP scores and indicators on the California School Dashboard, help us monitor our progress. We regularly review data at staff meetings, PLC meetings, leadership meetings, and PBIS meetings in an effort to monitor the effectiveness of our programs and practices and identify students in need of additional academic and emotional support. We analyze and reflect upon data to identify areas in need of improvement and adjust our programs and practices as needed. Data from multiple measures indicates that our model program and practice has been effective.   


Annual Survey Data

The results of our 2018 parent survey were very positive. The percentages below indicate those who selected Strongly Agree/Agree on a sample of questions.

Summit focuses on students’ character.

95%

Summit wants students to succeed.

86%

Students feel safe at school.

89%

Summit’s teachers encourage students on a regular basis.

89%

Students receive the resources and support they need.

86%

The following are selections from the open-ended section of the parent survey:

  • “Overall, I think Summit is doing a great job. The teachers and staff all seem to be genuinely vested in the kids, their education, and their best interests…”
  • “Summit Intermediate has done an excellent job in providing an educational and social community for our sons.”
  • “Summit is a great school that I have been completely impressed with. I see the principal out frequently among the students, there is a good feeling on campus, communication is awesome. I am super happy with it. Love the programs it offers and staff.”
  • “Awesome school and district.”
  • “Thank you for the support and care with the children.”
  • “Great school and great teachers.”

The results of our 2018 student survey were very positive, as well. The percentages below indicate those who selected Strongly Agree/Agree on a sample of questions.

I want to do well in school.

97%

I care about my school

84%

My school wants students to succeed.

93%

Students from different cultural backgrounds become friends.

87%

Students receive the resources and support they need.

83%

The staff encourages participation among students.

89%

The prompt for the open-ended response for the student survey was, “What do you enjoy most at school?” A sampling of answers include the following:

  • “It’s an open and welcoming environment…”
  • “That all my teachers are nice and they are willing to help me.”
  • “I enjoy the staff here because most everyone is nice, polite, and respectful to students and other staff.”
  • “I enjoy how much the teachers and principals care for the students.”
  • “I enjoy my teachers and knowing my staff and principals care about my safety and how I am doing. I also enjoy learning new things.”
  • “Learning new things with really good teachers.”
  • “Able to see my friends and able to come here knowing I am safe, and the teachers are very helpful.”

Finally, the results from the 2018 staff survey were another great indicator of our positive school culture. The percentages below indicate those who selected Strongly Agree/Agree on a sample of questions.

Students want to do well in school.

90%

Summit wants students to succeed.

98%

At my school, staff strives to keep a bully-free environment.

97%

Summit’s teachers encourage students on a regular basis.

97%

Students receive the resources and support they need.

86%

Open-ended responses from staff were not applicable to school culture.


i-Ready Data

Based on data from the second window of our i-Ready assessment of the 2018-2019 school year, students have demonstrated progress in both Reading and Math. In Reading, students in the Hispanic and Multiple Race student groups have shown more growth in the percent of students on or above grade level than all students. In Math, several target student groups have shown a larger increase in the percent of students on or above grade level than our overall student population, including students in the African American, Filipino, and Multiple Races groups.


Attendance and Behavior Data

We exceeded our attendance goal of 97% last year, ending at 97.09%, and we are currently exceeding our goal of 97% for 2018-2019 year, with a current attendance rate of 97.58%. In addition, both our suspensions and office time-outs have decreased, along with our suspensions involving fewer students, as compared to this time last year.


CAASPP Data

We are happy to report that our overall percentage of students meeting or exceeding standard in both English Language Arts and Mathematics increased.


CAASPP Results: Percentage of Students Meeting/Exceeding Standards

English Language Arts

Mathematics

2017

2018

2017

2018

64.08%

66.7%

48.26%

49.34%



California School Dashboard Results

The indicators on the California School Dashboard are helpful to gauge our progress, as well. Summit Intermediate Dashboard indicators are green in the areas of Chronic Absenteeism (3.4% chronically absent, declined), Suspension Rate (0.8% suspended at least once, maintained).

Chronic Absenteeism

Suspension Rate

2017

2018

2017

2018

No data available


The indicators on the California School Dashboard are also green in the areas of English Language Arts and Mathematics for both 2017 and 2018. In addition, our student population demonstrated growth in both subject areas in both 2017 and 2018.


English Language Arts

Math

2017

2018

2017

2018


In English Language Arts (ELA), we had many student groups demonstrate growth in 2018. Students classified as Homeless, Socioeconomically Disadvantaged, English Language Learners, Filipino, Two or More Races, and White increased. Our African American, Hispanic, and Asian student groups maintained.  Our Students with Disabilities group declined. We have been working diligently as a staff to address this, bringing in experts to coach our staff, sending staff to conferences, and providing release time. Our staff is committed to improving our practices to ensure we are serving all populations effectively.


In Mathematics, many of our student groups demonstrated growth in 2018. Students classified as African American, Homeless, Socioeconomically Disadvantaged, English Language Learners, Filipino, Two or More Races, and White all increased. Our Hispanic student group and Students with Disabilities maintained. Though there is still a discrepancy between several of our student groups and our performance of all students, we are making great progress in closing the achievement gap.


As a staff, we use data from all sources mentioned to celebrate successes and identify areas in need of improvement. Though our results on all measures demonstrate growth and evidence of efforts to close the achievement gap, we still endeavor to improve our practice. In an effort to work towards continuous improvement, we strive to adjust and refine our practices and learn more about our students and better methods to support them and address their needs. We have regular discussions about the importance of being responsive and intentional with our practice. One way we will work to better meet the needs of student groups not making adequate growth is through continuing training on cultural proficiency, inclusive practices, and Universal Design for Learning. With our positive, student-centered culture and an intentional approach to improve instructional practices, we are confident that the excellent achievement and growth demonstrated by our site will only continue. We are thrilled about the success of our model program and practice and look forward to the future at Summit Intermediate!