The vision of RTRA is “to become a premier education system in rural Uganda where children are learning and sharing their gifts with the world”. In an effort to make regional change, we have established the Association of Turnaround Schools (ATS), which strives to set standards for high quality education throughout the Kalungu District and the Bukomansimbi District. This association includes 37 schools, reaching over 350 staff and 10,000 students.
Marilyn Webb, RTRA board member and principal in Tennessee’s Williamson County Schools, worked alongside 50 ATS teachers last month, and reflected on her time by writing:
“The focus of the association is to foster collaboration of headmasters and teachers from the member schools to raise the standard of education and improve achievement in all the schools.
Teachers and headmasters from the ATS schools have met multiple times during the past year to collaborate, share ideas, set common goals, and plan together. Most recently, more than 50 ATS teachers came together for four days to create common assessments in reading, math, science, and social studies for students in P5, P6, and P7 (the equivalent of 5th, 6th, and 7th grades). These assessments will be given in October at the beginning of 3rd term in all 37 ATS schools. Once the assessments have been administered and scored, teachers from the ATS schools will come back together to analyze the results of the assessments, using item analysis to help them identify strengths and weaknesses in student learning and share ideas for improving future instruction and student achievement. The teachers also have plans to create common assessments for the remainder of the primary levels (P1-P4) and moving forward to administer common assessments in all four subjects at all levels (P1-P7) at least once during each of the three terms of the school year.
Administering common assessments and analyzing results together, sharing successes and ideas for improvement, is one of the most powerful ways to improve the effectiveness of instruction. It is considered best practice and is something that many schools and districts in the United States have been working on implementing during recent years. I am very excited about the potential for the use of common assessments to increase student achievement in all 37 of the Association of Turnaround Schools!”
We are proud to have educators that are invested in the long-term success of our students and our school. The ATS is already creating regional change throughout the two districts in which it operates, and we look forward to seeing how this grows and expands in the coming years.
In order to invest in our students, we must invest in our teachers. Are you interested in supporting RTRA educators? We invite you to sponsor a Raise the Roof Academy teacher!