Oakland Terrace Elementary students will be greeted by a new face on their first day of school. There's a new principal on campus.
Principal Lendy Willis moved from Deerpoint Elementary to be the principal at Oakland Terrace, a school who's earned a "D" grade the past two years.
He's got some big plans for his new school. They're big plans with proven success. This past school year, Willis helped teachers and students at Deerpoint bring the school's grade up from a "C" to an "A," while about half of the district's schools only maintained or dropped a letter grade.
"The superintendent came to me and asked if I would be willing to take on a huge challenge."
He accepted the position, as well as six teachers who made the move with him.
"I am not going to create Deerpoint at Oakland Terrace. That is not my goal. My goal is to come over here and learn the kids, learn the culture, learn the teachers."
However, students and families will notice some changes in the classrooms.
"Effective feedback to kids on goals that they've set, using common assessments to determine whether or not they've achieved those goals, and for teachers to use that for reflection, the research is pretty clear that those things have very significant, can bring about very significant gains in student achievement."
So, familiar and new teachers will be incorporating these new teaching methods and the state's Common Core Standards into their classroom when students return in less than two weeks. Willis feels it'll be positive change for everyone as they "set the stage for success" at the school for visual and performing arts.
A little fun fact, Willis was a military brat and moved around with his family, but he attended first grade at Oakland Terrace.