Strong teacher-student relationships sit at the core of Shackelford Elementary achievements. With a foundation of individualized learning methods, every student is primed for long-term success.
A strategy to prepare students with bright futures has been practiced to the point of excellence. Shackelford teachers carefully work to identify learning setbacks and establish appropriate intervention strategies to successfully close the gaps. Progress is documented, and data is closely monitored to determine which approaches are most effective.
Shackelford staff attributes a two-year consecutive “A” rating from the Texas Education Agency to the implementation of individual learning styles. Shackelford principal Rusty East said the ultimate goal is to have teachers facilitate students leading in learning by monitoring and adjusting instruction based on student feedback and informal assessment.
This philosophy can be witnessed by merely observing teacher classrooms. Not one class looks the same as another as teachers re-arrange seating to make students more comfortable and successful — this provides a personal feel to education.
The campus has a low teacher turn-over rate, and employees exercise consistency in instruction and intervention. A tenured counselor also serves in the administration team, which adds a stronger emotional and social layer to the campus. Parents can be assured their child will be paired with the ideal teacher as the campus counselor interviews each student to better understand their learning styles.
Another pertinent strategy to the “Shackelford Way” is character education, which allows students to suggest and develop various impact projects. Students organized fundraising opportunities from collecting money for childhood cancer, creating toiletry bags for nursing homes, and gathering toys for firefighters to deliver to needy children.
Student-created initiatives are also introduced to improve morale. As students experience leadership roles that make them feel important, their voices and ideas are heard.
The campus is exceptionally family-oriented, which creates a comfortable, happy atmosphere. The close-knit relationships help connect individuals to create trust emotionally and academically.
Teachers not only have high expectations of their students but also of themselves and lead by example.
Shackelford Braves focus on a growth-mindset through a positive behavior system with the main focuses being structure and procedure, so everyone is aware of expectations that have an outcome of success. Students are awarded Brave Bucks that they can earn, sell, buy, and trade to create a real-world application.
The campus hosts a college and career day twice a year and focuses on different post-secondary endeavors monthly. Shackelford prepares its students for success in their remaining years at Waxahachie ISD. Fifth-grade students even sign a “stay in school” contract and are later awarded the opportunity to apply for a Shackelford scholarship upon high school graduation.
Students at Shackelford carry a strong work ethic reflected from their teachers that can be translated into independence and care. Those on the outside see it as excellence, but Braves understand it as the “Shackelford Way.”