Kevin P. Inge
King/Robinson Inter-district Magnet School is a K-8 school located in the Newhallville section of New Haven, Connecticut. Martin Luther King School and Jackie Robinson Middle School merged in the 2004-2005 school year. Both schools moved into a new school building during this time. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., of course, was the outstanding civil rights leader. Jackie Robinson was the first black baseball player to complete in the major leagues. King/Robinson is an International Baccalaureate school. This program provides a curriculum, which allows students to develop the knowledge, attitudes, and skills they need to participate effectively in life in the 21st Century. The course objectives include skills and processes as well as a framework of concepts; the aim is to ensure that students are not only knowledgeable about a subject area, but also develop a genuine understanding of principles and an ability to apply these in new contexts, in preparation for further learning. It emphasizes the development of the whole child: affective, cognitive, creative and physical; its effective implementation depends on the school's concern for the whole educational experience, including what children learn outside the classroom. Intercultural awareness is a major part of the International Baccalaureate program. This concept is concerned with developing students' attitudes, knowledge and skills as they learn about their own and others' social and national cultures. It not only fosters tolerance and respect, but also leads to empathy and understanding. The International Baccalaureate program takes a holistic approach to education. It inspires teaching and learning that includes and extends traditional school subjects. The program emphasizes disciplined study of traditional subject groups. Students learn to see knowledge as an interrelated whole.
King/Robinson is a uniform school. Our school mascot is the jaguar. The school colors are maroon and yellow. It has a student population of about five hundred students. The student population is 90% African-American, 7% Spanish-speaking, and 3% other. Many of the students who attend King/Robinson come from impoverished backgrounds. I grew up in the Newhallville section of New Haven and can relate to many of the struggles inner-city children encounter. Many of the students are faced with tremendous obstacles in their lives, whether real or perceived. They often do not know how to successfully approach or handle the adverse situations they find themselves in. Some students are not even aware of their plight. Frustration and anger are frequently a part of their daily lives. Many of these students cannot see beyond their circumstances or environment. Many of the students have misconceptions about their future and they are discouraged with their present. A good percentage of these students excel academically. We have before school, after school, and Saturday school programs to enrich academic achievement. The staff at the school is committed to the betterment of the children.
I've recently completed my fifth year of teaching. I've had several teaching assignments over this time span. In my first year I taught 6th grade language arts and science. During my second year I taught a 5th grade self-contained classroom. In my 3rd year I taught 6th grade science. In my 4th year I taught a 6th grade self-contained classroom. Finally, this past school year, I taught a 7th grade reading intervention program called Read 180. Read 180 consists of a software program, audio book station with classroom library, and a small group instruction area. The students rotate from station to station. Students spend approximately twenty minutes at each station. Before the program begins I usually read to my class for about five minutes. As I model for the students they demonstrate reading strategies such as predicting or inferencing. The software program monitors student activity throughout the school year. Students begin the program by taking a scholastic reading inventory test. This test determines the student's reading level. Once this level is identified differentiated instruction begins. Students are given a list of books they may read/listen to from the classroom library. The computer program begins students on reading exercises on their level. This usually alleviates the frustration many struggling readers encounter when they read. Before the students even read a passage the computer shows a video to ensure that students will have prior knowledge about the topic. There are nine disks the students can go through. Each disk has four segments. A student must complete the video zone, reading zone, the spelling zone, and success zone to go from one segment to the next. The video zone, as mentioned before, is a video to activate and build prior knowledge. During the reading zone students read passages silently and vocally. The computer records and monitors their readings for accuracy and fluency. Each passage has a set of spelling words the students must master before going to the next level. Students must be able speak and spell the words accurately. Finally, the success zone assesses the students' comprehension of the information read. This is very helpful information to the teacher as well as the student. Teachers are able to give students more adequate support. We're able to differentiate our instruction to meet the needs of all our pupils. Students are often motivated by their scores and work diligently to increase them. Our school's annual reports showed a major improvement in reading scores across the board.