The expo, which highlights the department’s ongoing Education System Improvement Process (eSIP) initiative, featured a wide range of booths that showcased many of the department’s divisions and programs.
At one booth, Office of Instructional Technology Director Clinton Stapleton spent the day talking to students and parents about the department’s new website.
At another, Ulla F. Muller Elementary highlighted its work on improving reading. After looking at its testing data, school staff noticed reading comprehension was among the students’ weakest areas. Addressing this through the eSIP process, teachers and staff are reading more in the classroom and asking for students to read 12-20 books per year.
The data collected through eSIP also made teachers and administrators more conscious about staff absences and the importance of maintaining a continuous presence in the classroom.
Representatives from the department’s State Office of Special Education talked about potential federal funding available for parents and schools, while the St. Thomas-St. John Insular Superintendent’s Office kept its booth well stocked with parent-friendly pamphlets, handbooks and other materials.
“Most recently, we were given limited funding that allowed us to hire some critical staff, including two librarians, as well as math and English teachers,” said Assistant Human Resources Director Nicole Jacobs. “We know that there are still areas that need attention, but this has given us a good start in terms of filling some vacancies in the schools.”
Now in its second year, eSIP is Education's official school improvement planning effort, which focuses on collecting data, finding solutions and introducing relevant programs that target teacher and school leader effectiveness, positive school culture and student achievement.
The eSIP Expo for St. Croix comes to Sunny Isles Shopping Center Amphitheater on Saturday from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m.