Rosalind Garcia is fiercely proud of the work of the Lincoln Basset Community School team of teachers and staff. “Lincoln-Bassett is a pearl in the oyster,” she said. “We are a hidden gem.”
Garcia is referring to the tenacity and resourcefulness of her colleagues, who she says do whatever it takes to keep students focused and learning. “They're in it for the children,” she said. “That's evident every day.”
Garcia takes pride in the way LBCS teachers are working together to close the learning gap caused by the pandemic. They found they needed to pick up the pace of instruction in mathematics and literacy, so they scheduled full-day, grade-level meeting time so teachers, with the support of instructional coaches, could plan entire units of study in one sitting, first in math and then in literacy. “We wanted to move away from week-to-week planning and to organize it such that teachers could walk away at the end of the day with a planned unit—or at least the start of planned unit and a sense of what needed to be highlighted in instruction,” Garcia said. “Going forward, each grade level will have two planning days at the beginning or end of every marking period to plan for literacy and math.”
Garcia believes Lincoln-Bassett’s progress monitoring has gone well and credits colleagues in the offices of Academics and Instructional Leadership (Ivelise Velazquez, Viviana Conner, Lynn Brantley, and Edna Logan) with being a regular presence in the school. “They support us not only in our progress monitoring but in professional development, as well,” Garcia said. “They came in and modeled small group instruction for teachers, then met with those teachers to debrief, and led grade level meetings as follow-up support.”
Being one of five Set for Success schools, LBCS has taken advantage of available resources to build a scholastic literacy library, which features brand new books at all levels that teachers use for small group instruction, as well as enrichment and intervention lessons. Another initiative, which used funding through the Connecticut Commissioner’s Network (2014 – 2019), was the creation of a STEM lab, stocked with materials and curriculum in use from kindergarten through grade six. “All students have STEM as one of their specials,” Garcia stated proudly.
To advance all of these activities, Lincoln-Bassett relies on a cohort of community partners, which include churches, fraternities, and other groups. “Depending on what the need is, we have different partners we can reach out to,” noted Assistant Principal Stephanie Skiba. The school will host outdoor family engagement events in May and June. Community partners will assist in organizing these events and will themselves be honored at the school’s 2nd annual Family Fun Day in June. “We cook out, we have a DJ, play games, wear LBCS t-shirts (a color for each grade level) and give away books and summer learning materials to all our families” said Garcia. “Many of our families attended this event and look forward to this year’s celebration.” she added.