Schoolwide Plan

Division Name:  Fredericksburg City Public Schools

School Name:  Hugh Mercer Elementary School

Date:  10/20/22

Select One:       Initial Plan                         Revision

Title I schools implementing schoolwide programs must develop schoolwide plans per Section 1114(b) of the Every Student Succeeds Act of 2015 (ESSA).  Guidelines for plan development include the following:

  • The plan should be developed with the involvement of:
    • Parents;
    • Other members of the community to be served;
    • Individuals who will carry out the plan, including teachers, principals, other school leaders, administrators, and paraprofessionals present in the school;
    • The local education agency;
    • To the extent feasible, tribes and tribal organizations present in the community; and
    • If appropriate
      • Specialized instructional support personnel;
      • Technical assistance providers;
      • School staff; and
    • If the plan relates to a secondary school, students and other individuals are determined by the school;
  • The plan should be available to the Local Educational Agency (LEA), parents, and the public; information in the plan should be in an understandable and uniform format and, to the extent practicable, provided in a language that parents can understand; and
  • If appropriate and applicable, the plan should be developed in coordination and integration with other federal, state, and local services, resources, and programs, such as programs supported under ESSA, violence prevention programs, nutrition programs, housing programs, Head Start programs, adult education programs, career and technical education programs, and schools implementing comprehensive support and improvement activities or targeted support and improvement activities under section 1111(d).

The ESEA requires four components to be included in the schoolwide plan. The template below provides a framework that may be used to develop and/or update a schoolwide plan. For each component, the narrative section in the template should be completed in sufficient detail to document how the component has been thoroughly and thoughtfully addressed. Schoolwide plans should be reviewed annually and revised as necessary to promote continuous improvement and to reflect the school’s initiatives to upgrade the entire educational program of the school.

To maintain focus, eliminate duplication of effort, and promote comprehensiveness, schools should operate under a single plan if at all possible. A school that already has a plan for school improvement might consider amending it, rather than starting over, provided that the existing plan was based on a comprehensive needs assessment and can be revised to include the four required schoolwide components. This template can be used by schools with existing Indistar® plans to reference indicators and tasks in the Indistar® plan that are related to the schoolwide components.

Directions:  Complete each of the four components by following these steps: 

  • Access the Title I Schoolwide Plan template on the website.
  • Provide a narrative response that describes how the school has addressed the requirements for each component; and
  • Submit the plan as directed by your LEA Title I Coordinator.


Schoolwide program resources, including USED guidance on Designing Schoolwide Programs, Supporting School Reform by Leveraging Federal Funds in a Schoolwide Program, and Title I Fiscal Issues, can be accessed at the Title I website under Guidelines and Procedures/Federal Guidance.


List the name and title of each stakeholder who participated in developing this plan.

Name of Stakeholder


James Snyder




William Wishard


Assistant Principal


Keesha Keels




Cindy Hurley


Principal’s Secretary


Jill Yeboah-Kankam


Literacy Coach


Nancy Collins


Math Coach

Ashley Van Tassel


Instructional Data Coach

Tyshawnda Silver


SPED Coordinator


Albert Jacoby





Component 1 §1114(b)(6): 

A comprehensive needs assessment of the entire school that takes into account information on the academic achievement of children in relation to the challenging state academic standards, particularly the needs of those children who are failing, or are at-risk of failing, to meet the challenging state academic standards and any other factors as determined by the local educational agency.

Evidence: A systematic effort involving multiple stakeholders to acquire an accurate and thorough picture of strengths and weaknesses of the school community, thus identifying student needs through a variety of information-gathering techniques. A data analysis summary must be included which incorporates benchmarks used to evaluate program results. The results of your data analysis must guide the reform strategies that you will implement to improve instruction for all students.


The Hugh Mercer Elementary School faculty and staff members strive to have all students perform at a grade level within their core academic subject areas prior to moving to the next grade level.  To achieve this goal of academic success, we provide after-school remediation and in-school intervention programs.  To address grade level academic goals, all grade levels meet during a common planning time to discuss instructional planning and access student needs within the subject area.  Weekly meetings with math and reading coaches will continue to analyze assessment data to guide instructional and remediation plans.  Specialists will focus on PD and classroom support for teachers in specific areas of need based on data.  Title I funds have supported personnel (literacy coaches, reading paraprofessionals).  To improve our students’ reading proficiency, we continue the use of the reading groups and guided math groups in classroom instruction.  In addition, interventions are reviewed and updated annually, and assessment tools are aligned to the state’s Standards of Learning.  

A needs assessment is performed each year through the review of student and teacher data, communication from parents and community, and the previous Title I plan and school-wide comprehensive plan as well as additional improvement plans required by the state.  A committee reviews this data and updates the Title I schoolwide plan annually.  At least three sources of student data: achievement, absenteeism, and social emotional needs were used in the needs assessment.  Student data was then disaggregated by subgroups and used in the decision-making process to attend to deficiencies in instructional strategies.  Emphasis was made to effectively meet the needs of the historically underserved populations in the School Improvement Plan.  The plan included strategies to address the needs of all children in the school through counseling.  The needs of low-achieving children and at-risk children were particularly addressed. 

When looking at academic achievement data, Hugh Mercer is at level three in science with a pass rate of 48.24%.  Student engagement and outcomes (chronic absenteeism) is level three with 49.94%.  Our level three achievement gap groups are black students in math (61.68), Hispanic students in English (65.79), and student receiving special education services in both math (46.67) and English (55.17). 

Professional development opportunities were provided to principals, teachers, and paraprofessionals in the areas identified in need of improvement. Strategies learned from these activities were developed and applied.  Data from parents and community members was also used in the needs assessment. To adequately represent the perceptions of each group, efforts were made to ensure a high response rate.  Current improvement efforts, strategies, resources, and interventions were examined for their effectiveness in meeting the needs of the students.  Data was reviewed to find correlations between student progress and achievement. 

In the end, our goal is for the school and community, through coordination and integration of federal, state, and local services and programs work as partners to support high achievement for all students. 

Budget Implications:

Budget implications that arise from the comprehensive needs assessment is rank ordered at the building level. Then representatives from each site attend the annual grant writing meeting where budget requests for the upcoming year are analyzed. There is no additional cost to complete the needs assessment.


The effectiveness of the annual needs assessment is reviewed mid-year and at the end of the year by the administrative team.


Component 2 §1114(b)(7)(A)(i):

Provide a description of schoolwide reform strategies that provide opportunities for all children, including each of the subgroups of students (as defined in section 1111(c)(2)) to meet the challenging state academic standards.

Evidence: Scientifically-based research strategies based on identified needs and designed to raise the achievement level of all students on content standards.  Provide information on how the selected strategies will increase student achievement in underperforming subgroups, if applicable.  Include a description of how the reform strategies will be evaluated for effectiveness.


Using the balanced literacy approach as outlined in each schools’ Title I plan, HMES implements evidence based instructional practices for literacy including Professional Learning Communities (PLCs), shared reading, Success Maker, small group instruction, and SPED teacher balanced literacy training.  These instructional programs address the reading and writing needs identified on various assessment instruments including PALs, quarterly assessments, MAP, SOLs, unit tests, and performance-based assessments.  Literacy coaches’ model instructional strategies and evidence-based best practices in the classrooms.  These programs are chosen based upon similarities across grade levels so that intervention support received is consistent from one grade level to the next, thus ensuring student achievement.  Title I funds are used to provide tutoring for all students identified as needing additional reading support.  The achievement is monitored through MAP assessments, PALS, unit tests, performance-based assessments, assessments and other class assignments.

HMES uses evidence-based math strategies and instructional programs as outlined in each schools’ Title I plan. These programs include Calendar Math, small group instruction, Success Maker, iReady, Guided Math, and What I Need (WIN) time for all students.  These instructional programs address the mathematics needs identified on various assessment instruments including VKRP, benchmarks, MAP, unit tests, SOLs, and performance-based assessments.  Math specialists’ model instructional strategies and evidence-based best practices in the classrooms. These programs are chosen based upon similarities across grade levels so that intervention support received is consistent from one grade level to the next, thus ensuring student progress.  The achievement is monitored through MAP assessments, unit tests, SOLs, performance-based assessments, benchmark assessments and other class assignments.

Teachers will use flexible math groups to provide instruction for all students as well as differentiation strategies for students needing additional support.  They will also have access to instructional technology to support their needs in the classroom such as iPads, laptops, and Smart Boards.  Student achievement will be monitored using MAP assessments three times a year, quarterly assessments, and on-going classroom assessments.  A full-time math specialist is funded using Title I funds to support classroom teachers with PD needs and as well as to support students with supplemental instruction as needed.  They will also have access to instructional technology to support their instruction needs in the classroom. Multi-cultural language support will be provided in EL classes as well as part of the world language program.  Literacy Coaches and instructional paras work with teachers and students to better address supplemental instruction in addition to My View Savvas resources and strategies for literacy.  Students will access SuccessMaker through Cleaver to work on daily literacy skills.

A division STEM coordinator will aim to improve student achievement in science by providing classroom teachers with STEM lesson plans, hands-on enrichment activities, and resources to build STEM kits for each grade level.

The Academic Review process identified the need for a formal communication plan for FCPS. The findings during this experience lead the division to create a timeline for implementation and responsible staff members. Further, the surveys will be updated to align with research on the types of questions to ask when seeking constructive feedback from the community.  Math Specialist, math paraprofessionals, and math interventions and programs will address the achievement gaps in math as shown by our 2021-2022 Math MAPS score data.

Budget Implications:

Money to implement programs for Tier II instruction. Tier I instruction is covered through local funds.  We have budgeted $90,000 for our Math Coach and $80,000 total for our two math paraprofessionals.  We have budgeted $180,000 total for our two Literacy Coaches.

Professional development to support staff training for iReady, Savvas, SuccessMaker, and Hampton City Schools resources.


Each federally funded program is evaluated annually for effectiveness.  Title I staff are observed and evaluated annually.  Student achievement data is examined to evaluate program effectiveness.  Quarterly data days and student assessment data will aid coaches and administrators in monitoring program effectiveness.


Component 3 §1114(b)(7)(ii): 

Provide a description of schoolwide reform strategies that use methods and instructional strategies that strengthen the academic program in the school; increase the amount and quality of learning time; and help provide an enriched and accelerated curriculum, which may include programs, activities, and courses necessary to provide a well-rounded education.

Evidence: Scientifically-based research strategies or activities that strengthen and enrich the academic program by: extending the school day; embedding reading and/or mathematics curricula into other instructional areas; or other strategies as appropriate.  Include a description of how the reform strategies will be evaluated for effectiveness.


The Professional Learning Community (PLC) model at Hugh Mercer Elementary School allows teachers to develop the knowledge, skills, and access resources necessary to ensure that all students will be successful and achieve academic excellence.

Hugh Mercer Elementary School began Professional Learning Community coalition and developed framework in the summer of 2022.  As a school, we strive to deliver our instruction through VDOE aligned and concept-based teaching and learning.  We make connections across content areas when appropriate, and teach the content required in our Standards of Learning through concepts.  In addition, we focus on the essential skills and knowledge provided by VDOE.

At Hugh Mercer, we believe that all teachers will teach reading.  We utilize instructional strategies that address language and vocabulary in all disciplines, and we find ways to support our students’ home languages. 

HMES has implemented Second Step, a social emotional program as well as STEAM opportunities.  STEAM lessons are provided to classroom teachers to enrich their science, math, and social studies lessons.  Virtual and in-person field trips enforce the curriculum and provide authentic experiences for student K-5.  STEAM lessons have been created and are being taught every Friday during WIN (What I Need) block. These lessons help to enrich our instruction regarding science, math and social studies.

The STEAM Coordinator will work with grades K-8.  The focuses will be on interdisciplinary instruction for science, technology, engineering, arts, and math for all students. An emphasis will also be on science and math while integrating them into other instructional areas such as English.  STEAM education offers students a mindset and skillset valued in any profession. It teaches students to be flexible, detect patterns, find connections, and evaluate information. Our goal is to provide hands-on, project-based learning experiences in which students use 21st century skills collaboratively to solve real world problems. Through this process, students will learn essential 21st century skills while meeting the expectations of Virginia’s Profile of a Graduate. The result being increased student achievement in math and science.

There will also be a family engagement component. We will offer opportunities for families to enhance their involvement in STEAM activities.

Budget Implications:

The PLC steering committee received training and follow visits from the FCPS Dept. of Teaching and Learning.  STEAM Coordinator


Each federally funded program is evaluated annually for effectiveness.  Effectiveness of remediation and interventions will be measured by student achievement scores and standardized test data.  Teaching and Learning will visit Hugh Mercer and observe PLC planning and instructional blocks.


Component 4 §1114(b)(7)(iii): 

Provide a description of schoolwide reform strategies that address the needs of all children in the school, but particularly the needs those at risk of not meeting the challenging state academic standards, through activities which may include—

  • Counseling, school-based mental health programs, specialized instructional support services, mentoring services, and other strategies to improve students’ skills outside the academic subject areas;
  • Preparation for and awareness of opportunities for postsecondary education and the workforce, which may include career and technical education programs and broadening secondary school students’ access to coursework to earn postsecondary credit while still in high school (such as Advanced Placement, International Baccalaureate, dual or concurrent enrollment, or early college high schools);
  • Implementation of a schoolwide tiered model to prevent and address problem behavior, and early intervening services, coordinated with similar activities and services carried out under the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (20 U.S.C. 1400 et seq.);
  • Professional development and other activities for teachers, paraprofessionals, and other school personnel to improve instruction and use of data from academic assessments, and to recruit and retain effective teachers, particularly in high-need subjects; and
  • Strategies for assisting preschool children in the transition from early childhood education programs to local elementary school programs and, if programs are consolidated, the specific state educational agency and local education agency programs and other federal programs that will be consolidated in the schoolwide program.

Evidence:  Scientifically-based research strategies or activities such as student support services; behavior intervention systems; tiered systems of support; teacher recruitment and/or retention activities; or other activities as appropriate.  Include a description of how the reform strategies will be evaluated for effectiveness.


HMES analyzes behavior incidents throughout the school year and collaborates with parents, mentors, and other staff to support the needs of students.  The Safety/PBIS Committee collaborates with the administrative team to analyze the types of referrals being written and teachers who are writing the referrals.  Professional Development is planned when specific teachers need support.  When additional student intervention needs occur, day therapy services and counselors are considered.  These students may also be referred to building level teams which look at the whole student to provide suggested interventions to the teacher(s).  A tiered system of support provides differentiated instruction and interventions to support all supports across three levels.  Students receive specific support to address their area of improvement.  PBIS implementation continues.  Staff are trained in ACEs.  Attendance meetings are held with parents weekly throughout the school year. 

After school remediation in math and literacy will begin for recommended students beginning in the third quarter.  After-school clubs will also start in the third quarter.  Our after-school programs aim to increase math and literacy understanding, while club will provide enrichment activities and strengthen student connections to the school. 

Students and families in PreK programs are provided opportunities to begin their transition to kindergarten prior to the start of school.  The FCPS Regional Head Start students have a field trip to the kindergarten school and classes in May each year.  Also, a rising kindergarten parent night is held each April for parents to ask questions of the kindergarten staff and tour the building.  Further, a Head Start registration event is held specifically for kindergarten students as well as a kindergarten registration event held at the school.  These events are communicated through an alert system, newspaper ads and online and have designated staff for EL support during the registration process and community outreach for EL families at various sites where FCPS staff are available to answer questions.  Finally, Kinder Camp sessions are held prior to the start of the school year.  These weeklong camps are held at the kindergarten site and are open to students prior to the first day of kindergarten. 

The rising sixth grade students do a building tour during the school year at Walker-Grant Middle School.  During this time the students are afforded the opportunity to see the building, the teachers, different activities, and the school overall.  Hugh Mercer administrators will join other FCPS staff for local and regional job fairs to recruit highly qualified staff.

Budget Implications:

Interpretation for families is provided through local funds.  Summer school staff and extra duty pay for after school clubs and remediation.


The evaluation will take place through sign-in sheets for the number of families involved in activities, feedback for SPED advisory meetings, SHAB meetings, SEAC meetings, and principal roundtable discussions.  Behavior data is examined by the PBIS and administrative team each quarter.  SOL and other assessment data will be examined for program effectiveness.