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School Enviornmental Analyssis

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Submitted By kuma1509
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School Environment Analysis Essay
Grand Canyon University: EDA 575
September 25, 2013

School Environment Analysis Essay Environmental /contextual factors refer to the characteristics of the learning environment that influences the effectiveness of instruction. They can be distributed into community factors, school and classroom environments and individual student characteristics (Harris, 2013). Such factors can have an effect in the teaching and learning process. After researching it is evident that these factors affect all schools in the country. Although every school is different due to their geographic, socioeconomic, ethnicity, schools and student characteristics, all school have the same factors that affect the teaching and learning process (McDoniel, 2009). Keeping these factors in mind and looking at my school, I would have to agree that these are important elements that influence the difficulties we face. The school is located in a rural area but is adjacent to a large city; in fact it is our state capital. Although the school is located in a rural area the students that attend our school are not necessarily students that live around the area. We have a mixed population. All students are bussed or driven to school. We do not have what is considered a neighborhood school. We get a population from nearby rural areas and from close by outer city population or urban. The school promotes attendance and provides incentives for students that have perfect attendance. We have a system that each teacher is required to call parents when a student is absent. If a student is absent more than two days in a row the teachers are required to report it to the office and administration will arrange for a home visit. Even though the students do not live close to the school, we get a reasonable amount of parent volunteers. Since school started the parent volunteer group has gotten being very active. We recently had a Grandparent’s Breakfast and we got a very good turnout. I think that promoting activities that include the families is a good solution to the community factors we encounter. Administration is very aware of the factors that are raised by the fact that our school population has to travel a few miles to get to the functions and they are constantly looking at different avenues to promote student and parental involvement. Another factor is the socioeconomic factors that play a major role in the school’s environment (Wah, 2003). We are a Title 1 school, with low-income families 98% free or reduced lunch, 95% Hispanic population, 2% White, and 3% Afro-American. Many students do not have an adequate nutrition at home. There are many children that are abused, neglected and might move a lot because of housing. Students come to school hungry and tired because of situations at home. Some parents are not able to help their children at home with school work because of the language or level of their education. Most students do not have the resources at home to help them with school work or homework. Some of the solutions the school and district is working with are the free and reduced lunch. All students get free breakfast every day. They have a hot healthy meal at lunch. Students have opportunities to work at the computer labs for research. English classes are offered to parents for free. The school is always working with parents by communicating with them and getting feedback to see what the school can do to support student success (Wah, 2003). Classroom and school environment is another factor that the school is aware of. The school’s climate sets the stage for the student’s day of learning. This year we changed our behavior plan. The school started using PBIS system (Positive Behavior Interventions and Support) it emphasis on school-wide systems of support that include proactive strategies for defining, teaching, and supporting appropriate student behaviors to create positive school environments. Starting this year we are working on proactive strategies. Before the students would walk in to the school and automatically they were reprimanded because their shirts were not tucked in. A lot of negative comments were the first thing they heard as they came in. Not that they were asked in a harsh or ugly way, but negative just the same. Another school factor is the classrooms. Although the school is only five years old, the school has state of the arc equipment, furniture and so on, but the class sizes are so large. The classrooms are a good size but not for 24 to 26 fifth graders in a classroom. The physical classroom itself can impact student learning as well as classroom management (Harris, 2013). Materials a lacking in some grade levels, such as in the Kindergarten and Pre-Kinder Bilingual classrooms. The school moved from an Early Exit / Spanish Support Bilingual program to a Traditional Bilingual program. Of course they forgot to order materials that would support that change. We have been in school since August 26th and we still do not have the adequate materials needed. Materials can be ordered and paid for the Bilingual Department. We as teachers need to constantly advocate for our students as well as for ourselves to get the resources and materials we need for our students to be successful.
Technology is another classroom factor we deal with every day. As technology becomes more important in our environment, the needs for technology skills are required from our students and our teaching. The state expects for us to teach those skills and yet the classrooms only have three computers for every 24 students. The school has a computer lab that each class has the opportunity to go for an hour every week. I feel that a solution for this problem is to schedule students to go at least every other day for thirty to forty-five minutes a week. Student’s individual characteristics play a big factor in the school and classroom environment. Students learn differently and have different needs, from special education, to ADHD, speech and special modifications. Teachers need to be aware of the different needs of their students and provide differentiated instruction. Use various forms of behavior management to motivate students with special needs (Harris, 2013). The school and district also provide the services for students with special needs. The need for equal attention the needs of all students are important and giving positive encouragement can help the students to improve their attitude of school. “Schools are not static entities; they are constantly evolving in predictable ways based on their history and current culture” (EDA575 Lecture 2, 2012). Administration and school staff can pinpoint areas that need improvement; they can select high-priority problems for correction, and implement a plan of improvement strategies. Once the plans have been implemented and completed, the school staff can analysis the results to determine whether to adjust or stop the corrective actions (Wade, 2001).

References
Harris, Amy. (2013). What Contextual Factors Will Influence Classroom Management? (eHow: K12 for Education Publication 7857038). Retrieved from http://www.ehow.com/print/info_7857038_contextual-factors-influence-classroom-management.html.
EDA 575 Lecture 2. (2012). Context for Leadership. Grand Canyon University.
McDoniel, Misty. (2009). Contextual Factors Effect the Teaching and Learning Process. (Yahoo Voices: Publication 4133517). Retrieved from http://voices.yahoo.com/contextual-factors-effect-teaching-learning-4133517.html.
Wade, Howard H. (2001). Data Inquiry and Analysis for Educational Reform. (ERIC Digest: Publication 461911). Retrieved from ehis.ebscohost.com.library.gcu.edu:2048/ehost/delivery?sid=95f54831-902a-4ad3-a66e-a125ae4f2866%40sessionmgr111&vid=2&hid=101
Wah, Penelope. (2003). Contextual Factors in the Classroom. (eHow: K12 for Educators Publication 7979910). Retrieved from http://www.ehow.com/info_7979910_contextual-factors-classroom.html#page=0

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