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Cypress Elementary School in Osceola County Accepted
as Member of Successful
Cypress Elementary School in Osceola County has been accepted for membership
in a national network of K-12 schools committed to school improvement and high
academic achievement for all students. The Successful Practices Network, sponsored
by the International Center for Leadership in Education in Rexford, NY, which
was created by Dr. Willard Daggett, is a not-for-profit collaboration of good
schools that are striving to become great schools. Through the Network, the
professional staff of Cypress Elementary School will exchange best instructional
practices, successful methodologies and peer support with other member schools.
Poinciana High School in Osceola County is also a member of the Successful Practices
Network Executive Director Ray McNulty describes the collaboration as "a
way to link committed educators and district leadership with like-minded practitioners
across the country. Even the best schools can't be expert in every aspect
of school improvement. At the same time, these schools have enormous expertise
in specific areas to share. The idea behind the Network is to connect schools
with other schools that can offer needed expertise and possible solutions."
Network members identify their own improvement priorities and technical assistance
needs, as well as the experience and know-how they can share with other schools.
Each school works through an assigned Network liaison to establish contact with
other schools and with master teachers and senior consultants who can provide
research, data and approaches that otherwise might not be accessible to local
Cypress Elementary had its site visit on September 24th by Peter McBride, where
he noted that Cypress is a model of a caring, safe and nurturing learning environment
and that the school's leadership and staff work tirelessly to support the diverse
and significantly at-risk student population. He also made reference to the
school's "Essentials" clubs/art/movements programs, which every grade
3-5 student participates in during the school day every Wednesday so that students
can participate without interference from after-school commitments and family
schedules. McBride also noted that the school stands behind its motto of "Everyone
Is Someone At Cypress", and that the school's staff is passionately dedicated
to the belief that all students can learn and all students deserve life-enriching
opportunities to engage in activities that match their interests.
One of the school's most unique programs is called CARE (Cyrus Assists Reading
Education), which features Cyrus, a Newfoundland and certified therapy dog,
that visits the school and promotes reading, language development, and care-giving
skills as important parts of the learning process. Results have shown that by
bonding with the lovable Cyrus, students develop nurturing skills as they learn
to respect and care for a pet.
Cypress Elementary School is featured in the November 2005 issue of the Successful
Practices Network Monthly Magazine for its accomplishments. The school is located
at 2251 Lakeside Drive in Kissimmee, Florida.