Improvement Activities

“Let us make our future now, and let us make our dreams tomorrow’s reality.”
-Malala Yousafzai

At Maplewood, we want our students to determine their own futures, not have their futures determined by others. To this end, we believe that education is the key to a bright and fulfilling future for our students. It’s like a Willie Wonka Golden Ticket! Our children are entering a world that is much different than the one many of us experienced. We want our students to be fluent readers, creative thinkers and great problem-solvers. We want them to push themselves and reach their highest potential.

Here at Maplewood, we focus on improving instruction and increasing student achievement in a variety of ways.

Goal Setting
In both reading and math, teachers analyze their data and create grade level goals and classroom goals. Both content areas have two goals – one goal designed around a standardized test and the other goal focused on curriculum. For instance, in reading, teachers may use their DIBELS assessments and their Read Well (K-1) and Journeys (2-6) curriculum. Throughout the year, reading and math goals are Progress Monitored. Teachers are not waiting until the end of the trimester or the end of the year. Progress Monitoring is an ongoing process in which teachers are consistently working with their students and focusing on key skills that must be mastered by the end of the school year.

Maplewood teachers meet regularly in Professional Learning Communities (PLCs). These teams meet on a weekly basis to discuss student data and create intervention and enrichment groups based on students’ needs and skills. These teams are critical to ensuring that ALL students are making progress and receiving intervention and enrichment opportunities.
Our PLC Teams at Maplewood are as follows:

  • Preschool
  • Kindergarten
  • First Grade
  • Second Grade
  • Third/Fourth Grade
  • Fifth/Sixth Grade

RTI Groups
The first 30 minutes of each school day is focused on RTI (Response to Intervention) and Essential Learnings – working with students who are not yet at grade level and providing those students who are at grade level opportunities to advance/enhance their skills.   This work is based on the Four Key Questions of RTI:

  • What do we want kids to know?
  • How do we know if they have learned it?
  • What do we do for kids who haven’t learned it?
  • What do we do for kids who have learned it and need something else?

Essential Learnings
This year, throughout the Puyallup School District, teachers are creating Essential Learnings. This is based on the RTI work of Mike Mattos. Essential Learnings are those critical skills that students must master in order to be at grade level and prepared for the next grade. At Maplewood, we are working on Essential Learnings in both Reading and Math – approximately five for each content area.

As you can see, Goal Setting, RTI, PLCs, Essential Learnings and Progress Monitoring are all connected. They work together to ensure that we are providing our students with the best education possible. To this end, please know how much we need YOU! Your support is invaluable not only to us, but, most importantly, for your child. Promote the importance of education in your home and keep in touch with your child’s teacher. Support your child’s teacher and appreciate his/her expertise, dedication and knowledge. We need to be a team in order for our students to achieve at high levels! The following is a quote from someone who knows a little bit about this…

“Talent wins games, but teamwork wins championships.”
-Michael Jordan

Maplewood’s Essential Learnings
English Language Arts (ELA) & Math

ELA - Demonstrate basic knowledge of one-to-one letter sound correspondence.
Math - Fluently add and subtract within 5.

First Grade
ELA – Decode CVC words.
Math - Fluently add and subtract within 10.

Second Grade
ELA - Read with purpose and understanding.
Math - Fluently add and subtract within 20.

Third Grade
ELA - Compare and contrast.
Math - Fluently add and subtract within 1000.

Fourth Grade
ELA - Compare and contrast.
Math - Fluently add and subtract multi-digit whole numbers using the standard algorithm.

Fifth Grade
ELA - Finding main idea, with supporting details and summarizing.
Math - Add/subtract fractions with unlike denominators as equivalent calculations with like denominators.

Sixth Grade
ELA - Finding main idea, with supporting details and summarizing.
Math - Connect ratio and rate to whole number multiplication, division and problem solving.


  • Kindergarten: Explores and experiences beat in song and movement.
  • First Grade: Identifies and uses long and short sounds and silence.
  • Second Grade: Applies a steady beat to count musical phrases using quarter notes and rests, paired eighth notes, and half notes.
  • Third Grade: Demonstrates eighth, quarter, half, dotted half, and whole notes.
  • Fourth Grade: Demonstrates whole, half, quarter, and eighth notes and rests.
  • Fifth Grade: Demonstrates sixteenth, eighth, quarter, half, and whole notes and corresponding rests.
  • Sixth Grade: Demonstrates the ability to maintain a steady beat and accurately performs written rhythms in an ensemble.

Parent, Family, and Community Involvement
Each of our schools strives to engage with the community (PSD School Board Direction – Communication, Engagement and Involvement).  Specific examples/plans of this parent and community engagement can be found by clicking here to see the school’s annual performance report. 

Use of Technology
In each of our schools, technology is a primary tool to facilitate instruction and these tools have a positive impact on student learning. Technology also allows our school to communicate effectively with parents through a variety of innovative means. We also use various district software applications for student intervention as we continue to develop Response to Intervention (RTI) systems in our school.

We use the following software applications for this work:

  • Blackboard/Edline websites: Contains teacher instructional materials and guidelines; communication for parents, and student access to instructional materials.
  • STAR ­Reading and Math Assessments: Diagnostic assessments to provided benchmark indicators on student performance in reading and math.
  • PerformancePLUS: Repository for all state, district, and building assessment data; data available to analyze student performance by school teams.
  • Blackboard Connect: Communication tool to inform parents on important school information and student learning events.