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UNDERSTANDING THE SCHOOL ENVIRONMENT

Student: Michael LeClaire School: Blackhawk Middle School Term: Spring 2017

Your site visit experience offers you the opportunity to learn how schools operate as a large community promoting the growth of a
learner. School environment is determined by the schools culture, its history, its belief in how to do things and what is worth doing.
Become familiar with the school environment by completing the table below. Accomplish this by using the host schools website, the
Illinois Public K-12 School Rankings based on the Report Card and school personnel interviews.

Demographics
The following elements look at the demographic information of a school.
The demographic information of a school can provide an excellent look at the diversity of the school environment.
What is/are the
Answer
Resource for the Answer: Persons name and title, document or website.
Current school enrollment

679 students
Claudia Escutia, school secretary
Percentage of various races and ethnicities
American Indian- .001%
Asian- .03%
Black- .029
Hispanic- 67%
White- 23%
Multi Racial- .02%
Claudia Escutia
Number of males and females as per school report card
363 females
316 males
Claudia Escutia
Percent of low income students

64%
Illinois Report Card on Northern Illinois University Website
Percent of students with IEPs

10%
Claudia Escutia
Percentage of English Language Learners
13%
Claudia Escutia
Composite percent of students who meet and exceed state standards
27%
Illinois Report Card
# of FTE (full time equivalency) teachers
46 teachers
Bsd2.org
School Organization
The following elements identify various aspects of the organization of the school.
By understanding the school organization, teachers can better plan their lessons and their day.
School Mission Statement

Maximize the unique potential of each child by honoring a natural curiosity and igniting a desire to learn.
Bsd2.org
Length of school day for students

7:45-2:55, 7 hours and 10 minutes


7:45-2:00, 6 hours and 15 minutes on early dismissal days
Bsd2.org
Length of school day for contracted staff
7:30-3:30, 8 hours
Bsd2.org
Number of minutes per class or time allotted for each subject
49 minutes
40 minutes on early dismissal days
Bsd2.org
Number of minutes for specials
Art, P.E., Music, etc.
44 minutes
Claudia Escutia
Elective classes offered

Spanish
Claudia Escutia
Extracurricular activities offered

Basketball, cross country, track


Claudia Escutia
Types of duties which teachers are assigned
Bus duty, hall duty
Claudia Escutia
Types of communication between the school, home, and community
Newsletter, email, phone calls
Claudia Escutia
Types of all-school or grade level assemblies
Author visits, variety show, book madness
Sue Vitale, Project Care Director
School colors and mascot

Green and Yellow, hawk


Claudia Escutia
Student and faculty dress code
Casual for students. Business-casual for teachers but they are allowed to wear school spirit wear.

Bsd2.org

Assistance
The following elements identify various types of assistance available to students and faculty.
Identifying and understanding the various types of assistance available to students and teachers provides a teacher with a greater
sense of community.
Student intervention plans such as Response to Intervention (RTI)
In order to provide the most effective education for ALL children, we believe we must start by providing effective instruction for
EACH child. To meet this goal the district adopted a three- tier approach to instruction. This process, known as Response to
Intervention (RTI), started when federal law established these practices as a way to identify and provide early intervention to
struggling students. Each tier provides additional support beyond the core curriculum. Students needing additional support
academically and/or behaviorally will be monitored frequently to ensure students meet grade level expectations.

Tier I: The classroom teacher differentiates instructional strategies and/or materials to help each child become successful and monitors
progress continually through formative assessment. This might include differentiated work assignments, special seating, conferring,
etc.

Tier II: School Intervention Team develops individual academic support and review progress
for 9-12 weeks. This might include additional time with specified staff, tutorials, Saturday School, or before/after school support.

Tier III: Involves more frequent and additional help.

District 2 employs Reading, Math, ESL and Special Education staff to further support student learning.
Sue Vitale, bsd2.org
Provisions for students so that they can participate in extracurricular activities (e.g. transportation)
The school provides transportation in the way of a bus system. The school also provides uniforms for sports like basketball and
volleyball.
Bsd2.org
Types of technology available for teachers
Laptops, iPads, smart boards
Sue Vitale
Types of technology available for students
Each student receives a Chromebook, and has the whole library at their fingertips
Sue Vitale
Types of professional development available to staff
Institute days
Sue Vitale
Policies
The following elements provide a greater understanding of the policies that exist in a school environment.
Read and summarize the Schools digital etiquette policy for students.
Students are expected to use computers and mobile devices as instructed by the teacher or administrator to complete assigned tasks or
other activities specifically assigned by the teacher. Use of passwords or other user names other than ones own is strictly prohibited
and will result in the loss of privileges. Students and parents are required to sign an electronic network user agreement which outline
student privileges for the Internet.
Bsd2.org
Staff credentials to sponsor extracurricular activities
Must have a background in that particular activity. If the club involves the subject they teach, teachers are more qualified
Sue Vitale
Philosophy of the school library or learning center
The Learning Center is an essential component of the instructional program. A District Librarian ensures a high-quality library media
program with two learning center assistants at each school overseeing the day-to- day operation and management of the learning
center. Students have access to a varied and engaging book,
magazine, and video collection as well as updated technology to reinforce media and information literacy for all students. The District
also employs a Media Specialist and a Technology Specialist whose focus is collaborating with classroom teachers to effectively
integrate 21st Century learning and teaching into the instructional program. An Instructional Technology Assistant provides additional
support at each building.
Bsd2.org
Study hall policies for students and teachers
Before each school day begins, student meet with one of their teachers for MARS class. MARS stands for Math and Reading Skills.
MARS is about as close to a study hall as Blackhawk has. Students can work on some homework, but usually teachers hand out
worksheets that help them practice their math and reading abilities.
Lisa Cooper, 7th grade social studies instructor
Lunchroom policies for students and teachers
Students have one assigned lunch period per semester. There are many different meal options, including free and reduced lunch.
Students are expected to eat in a respectful manner, and to pick up after themselves. If too much garbage is left upon the floor
habitually, school staff may enforce assigned seats during lunch.

Teachers are allotted one lunch period per semester as well. They can leave school grounds if they prefer, eat in the teacher lounge, or
eat at their desk if they wish. Newer teachers may have shortened lunch periods accommodate study halls or other activities.
Bsd2.org, Sue Vitale
Hallway policies: during class time and between classes
During class times, students in the halls must have a hall pass. Each student gets 10 passes per semester. Passing periods are very
quick and students are expected to be ready for each class and be in their seat by the time the next class starts. Teachers observe the
halls, and make sure students are respectful, and getting ready for their next class.
Lisa Cooper
School discipline policy

Blackhawk uses a steps program. These steps are numbered 1-10 with 1 being the least severe consequences, and 10 garnering the
most severe consequences. The more a student misbehaves, the higher among the step system he/she will advance. Some acts of
misbehavior garner major consequences, and will push a student up multiple steps at times. Here are some examples

Minor offenses like public display of affection, gum/food/drink use, and failure to follow directions are step 1 offenses.

Major offenses like arson, brining weapons to school, drug use, and battery could very well end up being a step 10 offense, and will
likely result in expulsion.
Bsd2.org
Emergency procedure plans (fire, tornado, evacuation, and lockdown)
Fire and disaster drills are carefully planned at each school. Students frequently practice the drill so they become familiar with the
routine. The schools cooperate with the fire and civil defense groups in planning for disaster drills. If there is severe weather at or near
dismissal time, the children will be kept until the danger has passed and parents will be notified through the emergency phone message
system, the email alert and social media.
Bsd2.org