Survey: Loring Students Having Positive Experiences in School
School Committee members heard a State of the School Address from Loring Elementary at its Wednesday night meeting.
Loring Elementary is on a positive track and consistently meeting student needs, according to the principal and assistant principal, who provided a “State of the School” address to Sudbury Public Schools Committee members, who said they were impressed by the school’s performance.
“I always like coming here, for some reason. This is one of my favorite places to be,” said Committee Chair Richard J. Robison about the change of the meeting’s venue from the usual Senior Center location to the Loring School on Woodside Drive.
Assistant Principal Stephen Wiltshire talked about the school’s atmosphere of physical and emotional safety, which he said allows students the comfort to take academic risks.
“It comes down to the word 'Connectedness,'” Wiltshire said. “We talk about this a lot, and it’s a word that’s important to me.”
He said a student’s chance of success is more likely when he or she feels connected to the school, while explaining Loring’s core values: Responsibility, Respect, Caring and Best Effort.
“I’d be willing to bet that if you walked around and randomly asked kids about the Core Values, they’d be able to name them,” Wiltshire said, mentioning examples of how the school seeks to emphasize the core values whenever possible.
Wiltshire said a recent survey indicates that students overwhelmingly report feeling comfortable and welcome at the school. He showed a chart that indicated that the percentage of students who feel welcome is well into the 90s, with 97 percent agreeing that they have a positive relationship with an adult at the school. He said in the rare cases when a student doesn’t report a positive relationship with at least one adult, he or she will be assigned a “silent mentor.”
The survey found that 100 percent reported that expectations and rules toward student behavior are clear.
Wiltshire reported that Loring has unusually high rates of parental involvement and community support, both of which help to bolster the school’s success.
While Loring appears to be on track, Principal Steven Silvestri said there is also a school improvement plan in place to enhance the school’s continued success in the future. Silvestri said the plan focuses on four goals, which are to promote the concept of the core values: improve mathematical skills, improve language arts skills and address physical and building needs.
“Our goal was to tie everything together, so I am really pleased with the direction of our School Improvement Plan,” Silvestri said.
The School Committee also heard an update from organizers with the Loring Parent Teacher Organization, which helps the school with extras and enhancements and works to unite the Loring Community with fun events throughout the year.
Organizers said recent purchases include ceiling fans for the dining room, which helps to circulate the air and is especially helpful in the early fall and late spring, when temperatures can be high. The PTO also plans to install a new flat-screen TV in the lobby, which will show announcements and photos from school events.
The next meeting of the Sudbury Public Schools Committee was set for Dec. 5.