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Principal: Mr. Ashton Terry, Sr.
Assistant Principal: Ms. Erica Sanders

Principal's Update:
As we are approaching the holiday season, I wanted to update the Koa community on what I am thankful for.  First and foremost, I am thankful for the warm reception I have received from all of you!  Koala students and families have made me feel so welcome!  In addition, I am thankful to have an amazing new Assistant Principal, Ms. Erica Sanders, who is by my side everyday ensuring that the plans I have for our school are put into action.  Below, you will get to read her introduction to Koa!
I also want to update Koa stakeholders on how we have progressed in each area of this year's WE WILL motto.  In the five months since I became your principal a lot has been accomplished, and here are some highlights:
SHOW EMPATHY-We looked at students were had difficulty with behaviors last year, as well as students who were noted having other personal struggles.  With that, we have launched a Mentoring Program where each of these students has been assigned a teacher/staff mentor which serves as a support and role model.  Due in part to this program, we are decreasing discipline and suspensions.  We are on pace to decrease our referrals from last school year by 68.  We had only 8 instances of suspension during the first quarter this school year, compared to 19 suspensions during the first quarter last school year.
SHOW EXEMPLAR SERVICE-We have had several events to get families into the building and celebrate success.  "Donuts for Dads" in September was an event attended by over 150 families.  We had our first ever "Climbing Koala Awards" with a Hollywood theme to celebrate last year's FSA success.  We also invited families to take part in our first quarter "Koala-ty Awards" where students were recognized for excellent academics, behavior, and effort.  We are proud to host a variety of after-school groups such as Running Club, Inspirational Club, Dance, Battle of the Books, Music Club, and Tuesday Tutoring.  Because of our attention to exemplar service for families and students, we have increased our enrollment by over 40 students since August.
SHOW A GROWTH MINDSET-It is a priority that we motivate students to make positive choices at school.  Koa's teachers and staff have worked hard to increase positive referrals and decrease discipline referrals.  We have a very popular positive referral program, which includes our "Koala-ty Bucks" and store.  All students love being told when they do a great job!  Our teachers and staff are doing a great job in promoting this positive culture and giving our students the opportunity to grow as productive citizens.

BE INTENTIONAL-The school district has adopted the theme "Every Child, Every Chance, Every Day" for this school year.  Along with that, teachers are being trained to plan for daily opportunities of READ, WRITE, TALK, SOLVE (RWTS) to give students opportunities to read rich and appropriate text, provide written answers and explanations to questions, talk in teams and work together to accomplish tasks, and solve complex problems tied to standards.  We get visits from the district to check if our teachers are hitting RWTS in their classrooms, and data is recorded.  We have had two such visits so far.  In the second district visit, our teachers increased their use of each component of RWTS by 21% or more!
LEARN FROM DATA-We have looked at data from last year and this year to provide all students with the best opportunities to learn.  We are using this data to place students in appropriate intervention groups to help narrow learning gaps in Reading and Math.  Administration is having data chats with each grade level so we can identify areas of strength and where improvement is needed, to ensure our students are better prepared to move to the next grade at the end of the school year.  
LEARN FROM OTHERS-Each quarter, grade level teams are provided with three hours of coverage during a school day so they can come together as Professional Learning Communities (PLC's).  This time is used to ensure that best practices and consistency is seen in every classroom.  Each grade level has a "Personal Trainer" from the Leadership Team to help their PLC get the most out of their time together.  We also paired up with our neighbor school, Poinciana Academy of Fine Arts, to provide curriculum training to our PLC teams during the October 14 Professional Development Day.
Assistant Principal's Update:

Hello, my name is Erica Sanders and I am very excited to be the new Assistant Principal at Koa Elementary!  I have been in the field of education for 17 years, 13 of those right here in Osceola County.  My former position was Literacy Coach at Reedy Creek Elementary.  Therefore, I bring my expertise in the area of literacy to promote academic achievement for our students.
I am a proud mother of a beautiful 21-year old daughter.  As a mother, I understand the challenges parents face to ensure their child's educational needs are met.  My daughter participated in the exceptional education program while she was in elementary, middle, and high school.  It was through my partnership with the teachers and staff that my daughter was able to excel in school.  I am thankful and grateful that my daughter will be attending the University of Central Florida in the spring.  As a result of her educational journey, I can relate to parents and be an advocate for all students.
I am so happy to work with Mr. Terry to promote a wonderful educational experience for our students.  In addition, I am here to build positive relations with parents, teachers, staff, and the community.  Together, WE WILL move Koa Elementary to academic greatness.  Let's go Koalas!

To view KOA Elementary School Improvement Plan please Click Here

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