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School Improvement Committee Report & Members

Tryon Elementary School Improvement Plan



The following report is presented to Superintendent Bill Miller, District Staff and the Board of Trustees of Polk County schools.

Administrative Staff:

William J. Miller


Aaron Greene

Curriculum Director

Charlotte Sullivan

Finance Officer

David Scherping

Technology/Accountability Director

Mike Melton

Student Services

Kathy Harding

Preschool & Nursing Director

Mary Butler

Child Nutrition

Emily Bartlett

After School / 21st Century Program Director

Board Of Trustees:

Geoffrey Tennant--Chairman

Sherry H. Page-- Vice-Chairman

Lucinda T. Allen

Rick N. Covil

James W. Cowan

Judy N. Jackson

Rhonda Corley

Page 1

Safety Plan

1.  All personnel will report any unknown person in the building or on the grounds.

2.  Whenever conditions require that the campus be vacated, everyone will walk to Roger’s Park.  All bus drivers know to come to Roger’s Park to take students farther away if there is a need.  Extra buses will be called for if necessary.

3.  Contact 911 if a dangerous situation is spotted.

4.  Utilize information from the school nurse to aid in caring for health and safety of students.

5.  If there is a bomb threat, walk to Roger’s Park and assemble in the amphitheater and wait for further instructions.

6.  Teachers will become familiar with all information in cumulative folders concerning the health of their students.

7.  In case of a potentially severe injury on the playground, send other students away.  Send one or two students to the office for help.  Do not try to move injured students.  First aid kits available for playground.

8.  Call 911 immediately in case of a possible abduction.

9.  The principal, secretary, resource room teacher, or AG teacher will accompany children to the hospital.

10.  Emergency numbers:

         Gas                                           1-877-776-2427

         Water                                                  859-6654

         Electrical                                             894-5938

         School Superintendent                        894-3051

         Poison                                      1-800-848-6946 or 1-800-222-1222

         St. Luke’s Hospital                              894-3311

         Emergency                                                   911

Page Two


11. Close supervision—ALWAYS

12. Everyone should report all potential dangers to the principal.

Have at least one lock down practice per year.

13. P.E. teachers are to send for help in case of an emergency and/or radio for help.

14. Tornado plan in place and will be practiced two times per year.

15. Medication log/procedure for dispensing and storing of medications.

16. Utilize at risk plan to care for the instructional and academic safety of children.

17. School staff and administration will supervise all children at all places as a preventative measure.  Will work with parents if there is a problem.

18. Emergency procedures will be posted in every classroom.

19. Call the county office when the situation dictates.

 Tryon Elementary School’s Best Practices:

1.  Provide children with as much time as it takes to master the skills of reading, writing, and arithmetic to the maximum extent of their ability.

2.  Put into practice our belief that students must have many practice opportunities if they are to acquire the skills needed at the next level.

3.  Communicate with the parents and form a partnership to provide learning opportunities for children.

Page Three

4.  Seek quality volunteers to work with the children.

5.  Continue the After School Program.

6.  Continue the summer programs.

7.  Continue to search for ways to help ESL students with their language barrier.

8.   Provide teachers ample time to work with students by eliminating as many interferences as possible.

9.  Emphasize NCSCS and the Common Core Standards. Make reading and literacy a priority.


Letter to teachers:


   Let's do something really innovative.  Let's survey our children to see what they think would make them love to read more. What do you like about reading? What do you not like about reading? Give the choice of choosing a book that will really interest them vs. a book they read because they have no choice.

       Ask your children would they read more if they were allowed more time to read what interests them vs. a book they get points for.


If we are truly about children reading to become better students and more enlightened people, then why should everything about reading be a test? 


      Sometimes just let them read their book and share verbally about the book. (Tell me what you are thinking…)

     Try Book Commercials. This is where the children read a book and do a commercial for the class on why they too should check out this book. 

      Page Four

In Reader’s Workshop

We should be giving children the opportunity to read for the joy of reading.

Using drama and/or plays 

Using Reader's Theater

Integrating all curriculum

Please help children develop the love of reading. Learning should be a joyful experience!  Common Core will be more reading and more writing and more writing about what they are reading. We need to give children more TIME to read and write.

Thanks so much,

William A. “Ott” Sizemore

At Risk Plan

Students who are failing in school, are absent or tardy often, get into trouble, have trouble making friends, can’t read on grade level, or have serious problems at home are often considered at risk.

School can do these things to help:

1.  Give extra help to students who are struggling academically.  Teachers should use  volunteer tutors, after school, summer school, lots of motivation and encouragement.

2.  Teachers should used appropriate levels of reading for each child. Students should never be humiliated or embarrassed in or out of class. Teachers need to monitor each child’s attendance by contacting parents. Keep them believing in themselves.

3.  Give students daily encouragement and motivation.

Page Five

4.  Teachers should use self select and appropriate levels of literacy.


5.  Utilize guidance and counseling to keep them motivated.

6.  Teachers should learn everything you can about the students so that you can use that information to help them.

7.  Teachers should recognize that the only time a student has for reading may be at school.

8.  Teachers should provide plenty of time for a student to read and write at school.

9.  Teachers should help students with social relationships.

10.  Teachers should make an effort to work with the parents/guardians of these children.

11.  Teachers should utilize ways students learn best and provide opportunities for them to learn in their own learning style.

12.  Teachers should encourage students to eat breakfast and to get enough sleep.



Letter to Parents:

Dear Parents:

There are times when things happen to families that might cause a child to be late or to miss school, however, excessive tardiness and absences does not only affect that one child, it can affect the entire class.

Below is our school tardy and absence policies.  If there are unusual

circumstances, please call me to discuss the problem.  I am sure that we can find a solution.

                Page Six


5-9 days tardy - a note will be sent home.

10-14 days tardy - a warning letter is sent home and a conference will be requested.

15 or more days tardy - the case will be referred to the Truancy Magistrate.


Over 10 unexcused absences - a student must have a doctor’s excuse.

10-14 unexcused absences - a notification will be sent home.

15-17 unexcused absences - a conference will be requested with the Principal.

18 or more unexcused absences - the case will be referred to the Magistrate’s Court.

Curriculum Focus 2014-2015

We will work on writing through all subjects and focus on integrating our new chromebooks through Science Tech books, Classworks and integrated projects.


                       Page Seven

System Wide Goal:  High Student Achievement

School Improvement Goal:  Increase and improve the emphasis on character development.

___Planning      ___Climate      ____Staff Development     ____Curriculum and Instruction   ____Communication


Time Frame

Population Served

Budget Resources

Persons Responsible

Indicator of Success

1. Each class will work at having positive relationships among students.


All students


Classroom teachers

Decrease the number of student

behavior problems referred to


2. The teacher will find ways to encourage students to be caring of each other.


All students


Classroom teachers

Decrease in student conflict

3. Have students write about being a friend.


All students.



Classroom teachers

Decrease in student conflict.

4.  Have students write a statement about kindness of other students in class.


All students



Classroom teachers

Decrease in student conflict.

5.  Have students participate in stage performances.


All students



Have all students participate in

some type of school performance

6.  Tryon Elementary School will continue to work with community-sponsored organizations/clubs, which promote character development.


All students



Decrease in student conflict.

Our School theme for this year is How Full Is Your Bucket?


All students


Mr. Sizemore

Faculty & Staff

Student Comments

8. Cultural experiences through literature, discussion, and Spanish lessons.


All students



Staff /student  comments

9.Back to School BBQ


All students


Mr. Sizemore


Staff /student  comments

10.  Continue and expand school wide recycling program.


All students


Ms. Evans

5th Grade Students

Volume of recycled goods.

11.Old Timey Christmas


All Students


Mr. Sizemore


Staff/Student Comments

12. 50’s Sock Hop


All Students


Mr. Sizemore


Staff/Student Comments




All Students


Mr. Sizemore


Staff/Student Comments

14. Winterfest


All Students


Mr. Sizemore


Staff /student  comments

15. We Made It!


All Students


Mr. Sizemore


Staff /student  comments

16. Don’t Wait To Be Great!


All Students in grades 3-5


Mr. Sizemore


Staff /student  comments

17. PTA Programs-Students perform


All Students


Mr. Sizemore


Staff/student comments

18. Christmas Sing along


All Students


Mr. Sizemore


Staff/student comments

19. Continue to emphasize anti-bullying for a better school.


All Students


All Staff



Page Ten

2014-2015 List Of Agencies Helpful To Tryon Elementary:

Thermal Belt Outreach Ministries: 134 White Drive, Columbus NC 28722

First Baptist Church of Tryon: 125 Pacolet St., Tryon NC 28782

Tryon United Methodist Church: 195 New Market Rd., Tryon, NC 28782

Rotary Club of Tryon(Gift of Life): P.O. Box 923, Tryon, NC 28782

First Baptist Church of Landrum: 300 E. Rutherford St., Landrum, SC 29356

New Testament Christian Fellowship: 1521 E. Rutherford St., Landrum 29356

Dollar General(Tryon Store #12279): 332 S. Trade St. Tryon, NC 28782

Church of the Holy Cross(Crandall Fund): P.O Box 279, Tryon, NC 28782

Greer Community Ministries: 738 S. Line St. Ext, Greer, SC 29651

Owen’s Pharmacy: 38 N. Trade St., Tryon, NC 28782

St. Luke CME Church: 462 Markham Rd. Tryon, NC 28782

The Mail Room: 156 N. Trade St., Landrum, SC 29356

WMU of Tryon First Baptist: 125 Pacolet St., Tryon, NC 28782

Principal’s Summary:

Tryon Elementary School is located at the foot of the beautiful Blue Ridge Mountains at the edge of town of Tryon North Carolina in Polk County.  Our student population of over 475 students is comprised of very diverse backgrounds. We have about sixty percent of our children that would qualify for free and reduced lunch. The diversity can be seen in about 15 percent African Americans, 20 percent Mexican Americans, 55 percent caucasians and the remaining children of various ethnic groups. Twenty-Five percent of students receive special education and/or Title One services.

Most of our children live within fifteen miles of the school. However, more children live on the outskirts of the town limits than in town.  Within the city limits, Tryon has a high population of retirees that have moved here for the quaintness of our small town that offers several restaurants, antique stores and provides several cultural events throughout the year. Our faculty and staff numbers around 75.

Page Eleven

This includes teachers, teacher assistants, bus drivers, office staff, custodians, lunchroom staff, itinerant support, and administration. Our teacher/student ratio in Pre-K - First grade is approximately 1 to 10. This includes a teacher and a teacher assistant in a class of 20 students. In grades Two - Five our ratio averages about 1- 22.5.

School Purpose:

School Motto: “ Don’t Wait To Be Great”

Mission Statement - Tryon Elementary School in partnership with students, parents, and community, is dedicated to preparing and inspiring students to be a literate, responsible member of a diverse society where learning is a lifelong process.

Belief Statement-  Tryon Elementary school believes:

                               *That every child is unique.

                               *That every child deserves a balanced education socially,                    physically, emotionally as well academically.

                               *That every child deserves to feel safe and respected.  

                               *That every child is a stakeholder in his/her education.

                               *That high expectations are in order for every child to achieve the best of their capabilities.

Goal Statement- The Goal of Tryon Elementary School is for each child to have a balanced education in an environment that adheres to Physical, Social and Academic Best Practices.

Page Twelve

Academic Assistance for students:

Academically Gifted - One teacher

Resource - Two teachers

Title One - One Teacher/Program Director

                  One Teacher

                  Two Title One Tutors

Special Education - One Pre-K and One Elementary Teacher for self-contained handicapped children.

Speech - 1.25 teachers

Volunteers for Reading and Math:

Family Preservation - Two days each week

After School Program - Allows students to get help with homework.  The homework center stays open until six o'clock Monday through Thursday.

Student Leadership:

Lunch with Leaders” for each fifth grade student.

“Team Leadership”  Each Fifth Grade Student has a school service job for 40 minutes each week.  Examples: Tutoring younger children in reading and math, recycling  projects, Library and Office Assistants.

“Don’t Wait To Be Great” recognition program each six weeks.

Terrific Kids - for grades K - Second Grade

Reader’s Theater

Page Thirteen

Notability Achievements:

Tryon Elementary School has received the following awards the past three years:

 2012-13 Top Ten Percent Title One Recipient in N. C.

 2011-12 Top Ten Percent Title One Recipient in N. C.

 North Carolina  School OF Excellence:  2009-10  2010-11 2011-12

The past four years has seen a transformation in the teaching of reading and literacy.  Our emphasis has been on Balanced Literacy and differentiation for all students.  Leveled Reading and Self-Selection of books has insured more children reading for pleasure and comprehension.  

                                                     Staff Development

Our staff development the last couple of year’s has centered around the teaching of reading with a book study of Donalyn Miller’s “ The Book Whisperer” in 2012-13. Last year we  concentrated on Best Practices in the teaching of literacy. 2014-15 our school is “ Writing Across The Curriculum”.  This year “Writing Across The Curriculum” will be our School Goal

Mrs. Kim McCool was given the task of coordinating our Title One Literacy Program and Common Core standards in 2011.  Her knowledge and dedication has been immeasurable in our school reading program.

Our school vision for the next three years is to continue with integrating Common Core across our curriculum.  It is important for Tryon Elementary to concentrate on Early Childhood Literacy, Critical Thinking Skills, “Scaffolding” students to learning without frustration, while learning good work ethics in their academic growth. This includes allowing our advanced students to reach their full potential with a rigorous curriculum that is both exciting and challenging.

Page Fourteen

Additional Information:  

Tryon Elementary School takes great pride in our Community Outreach programs and special events. The following is a chronological calendar of events for our school year. Each of these events has been met with great success in allowing parents, children, and the community be stakeholders in our educational process.

Our year begins with a free BBQ for our school family.  It is always held in September in conjunction with “Meet Your Teacher” night.  Grades three - five  sing selected songs.  The local band, ”Project  X “, performs as parents and students enjoy an outdoor concert while enjoying their meal and sitting in outdoor chairs and/or blankets. The past three years we have averaged over 500 in attendance.

Oktoberfest is held during the first half-day of the school year as our students and parents enjoy a Fall theme.  During the day students travel to different stations, taking in such events as dance, storytelling, High School athletes giving motivational speeches, and Art events.

In November, we enjoy our fifth grade play, produced and directed by the professional drama company The Bailey Players. This year’s play is “The Nutcracker Prince”.

Maybe our most anticipated event each year is “Old Timey Christmas”.  Each year after Thanksgiving, we decorate our school in lights and decorations. The week of Christmas break we have an evening where our courtyard turns into a Christmas Village. This night includes shops of all kinds including the popular ”Hot Chocolate Stand”, singing and caroling around the water fountain in our courtyard, hayrides drawn by two Clydesdales in the back. We always conclude this evening with Fifth Grade leading everyone in “Auld Lang Syne”.

Page Fifteen

In February, we present Winterfest during the second half-day of the school year. This is a day similar to Oktoberfest, with different events.

For one week during the end of March we have  “Fifties Week” with a study of history of world events and popular music of the 50’s. We celebrate with a Sock Hop. This is a fun event as we enjoy dressing in 50’s attire, drinking cherry cokes, eating ice cream floats and dancing.

In late May we celebrate the end of EOG week with a day of outside activities.

Other events throughout the year are: Music by our Kindergarten - Second grade children, talent show, pageant play, and art week.


Ms. Sue Belden sponsors our “Don’t Wait To be Great” events. Each teacher nominates two to three students several times each year that have exemplified great character. These events are held in our library decorated by our librarian Mrs. Jamie Kilgore. A slide presentation is displayed with pictures of each child.

Other events are: Literacy Night with parents, Writer’s Workshop for parents, Anti-Bullying/Coping Strategies for Dealing with Childhood Stress workshops, and several Title One Literacy Nights where parents of Title One children come and enjoy dinner and free books to build their home library. These events have played a very important part of connecting with parents while letting them feel a part of their child’s education at Tryon Elementary.

Page Sixteen

Tryon Elementary Grade Level Instructional Goals:

Principal’s Goals:

The principal will monitor the implementation of Common Core Unpacking and Best Instructional Practices for Tryon Elementary School in 2013-14. In 2014-2015, The principal will oversee “WAC” - writing across the curriculum.  Each month a different grade level will offer “A Teaching Moment” for monthly faculty meetings. This is to be pre-determine from teacher surveys on what they would like to see.


*The principal will meet weekly with the Tile One and Common Core Coordinator.

*The principal will meet with each grade level three times each six- weeks grading period to discuss student's progress.

*The principal will meet with EC teachers to monitor modifications for EC and Title One students.

*The principal will send  instructional information each six weeks grading period to parents for a better understanding of our school instructional program.

*The principal will review each benchmark test to monitor progress of students.  

The principal will read two selections from each child in the school to monitor writing for 2014-2015.

The principal will begin an initiative to have a Library of  “Teachable Moments” by

Tryon Elementary teachers that can be checked out as needed.

Teachers & TA's 2014 - 2015


Pre K


Christen Smith

Betty J Durham



Lisa Brown


Caroline Smith



N Hill

Jessica Clark

Jenny Brown



L. Dover

Kaye Hall



Lisa Pack


J. Wilkins

Dottie Wilson



S. White

Andrea Fisher


W. Jackson

Yvonne Bruce



Debbie Bailey


W. Owens

Rhonda Brown



C. Edwards


D. Constance




M. Sharpe



L. Justice


A. Upton


J. Schweitzer



A. Godley


P. Mullinax


J. Edwards


K. Prady



K. Crosby


A. Sellers


J. Waldrop


E. C.

L. Lance

Raegan Edwards


S. Johnston




Pilar Pace

E C. self cont.

C. Lynn

Heather O'Connor

Meredith Durham


Title One

Tutor -T1



Kim McCool


Joy Robbins

Angela Bohan

Emma Yankovich



Music Rm





Sue Belden

Jamie Kilgore

Debbie Covil

D.Fisher L.Asst.




B. Moore



Kelly Dailey


Emily Riddle


Page 19

Bullying :

Tryon Elementary School takes a progressive approach to Bullying.

We feel Bullying is best handled by our school working with children to give them a positive attitude about themselves and their peers. Each case will be handled individually while maintaining the intent of this policy. Consequences will reflect the manner of the incident.  Several school programs we offer students as an alternative to bullying such as:

Don’t Wait  To Be great

Student Of The Day

Reader’s Theater

School Plays

School/Community activities.

Parent workshops for Bullying. 2013, 2014.

Guest speakers.

Definition and discussion were found @ www.stopbullying.gov

Bullying is unwanted, aggressive behavior among school aged children that involves a real or perceived power imbalance. The behavior is repeated, or has the potential to be repeated, over time. Both kids who are bullied and who bully others may have serious, lasting problems.

In order to be considered bullying, the behavior must be aggressive and include:

  • An Imbalance of Power: Kids who bully use their power—such as physical strength, access to embarrassing information, or popularity—to control or harm others. Power imbalances can change over time and in different situations, even if they involve the same

  • people.

  • Repetition: Bullying behaviors happen more than once or have the potential to happen more than once.

Bullying includes actions such as making threats, spreading rumors, attacking someone physically or verbally, and excluding someone from a group on


Types of Bullying

There are three types of bullying:

  • Verbal bullying is saying or writing mean things. Verbal bullying includes:

    • Teasing

    • Name-calling

    • Inappropriate sexual comments

    • Taunting

    • Threatening to cause harm

  • Social bullying, sometimes referred to as relational bullying, involves hurting someone’s reputation or relationships. Social bullying includes:

    • Leaving someone out on purpose

    • Telling other children not to be friends with someone

    • Spreading rumors about someone

    • Embarrassing someone in public

  • Physical bullying involves harming a person’s body or possessions. Physical bullying includes:

    • Hitting/kicking/pinching

    • Spitting

    • Tripping/pushing

    • Taking or breaking someone’s things

    • Making mean or rude hand gestures


In closing, I would like to thank all those that go the extra mile Tryon Elementary School. It is people like you that make our school special.

William A. Sizemore

The entire staff of Tryon Elementary School had an opportunity to view the School Improvement Plan as well as offer comments and suggestions.  The following parents were also involved in the process:

Holly Turner

Greg Turner

Raegan Edwards

Elvira Albarran

Andrea Webber

Jasmine Pena

Annie Hostetler