Rainier View Elementary: Preparing Kids for the Future

Rainier View Elementary in Seattle is one of the most diverse schools in Washington state. Led by Principal Anitra Pinchback-Jones, the school has excelled while embracing its college and career readiness mission. And Rainier View’s staff believes in using high-quality assessments, like Smarter Balanced, helps improve instruction and student learning.

Rainier View Elementary, located in Seattle’s Beacon Hill neighborhood, boasts a student population featuring many different cultures and languages. It’s demographics consist of 42 percent African American, 27 percent Asian, 13 percent Hispanic, 12 percent of students with two or more races and 6 percent white. Additionally, 80 percent of it students qualify for free or reduced lunch.

“Rainier View Elementary is an amazing school where we witness students and staff experience joy every day while working hard,” Principal Anitra Pinchback-Jones said. “It’s just an enjoyable place to not only lead, but also partner with colleagues, students and the community to ensure all students are successful academically.”

The school’s state testing scores certainly back up the teaching staff’s dedication to the school’s mission. In grades 3-5 in reading, math, writing and science, Rainier View’s scores are far above the state average (based on 2014 state scores). And now with the Smarter Balanced assessment system, which includes classroom-room based tests that allow teachers to measure progress through the school year, Pinchback-Jones said her staff is excited to use the system to improve instruction.

“We can track progress. It’s very important to know where students are and how far they’ve grown within an academic school year,” she said. “As a result of (Smarter Balanced), students will receive feedback on their progress in school, so it’s always an opportunity to build the pride, the self-esteem with students.

“Our teachers are excited to assess using (Smarter Balanced). The results they get not only certify the learning, but also allows for our instructional team to analyze their instructional practices.”

Pinchback-Jones, who said her school had no issues when administering the computer-based Smarter Balanced assessment, said it’s “important to remember that this is new, this is our baseline year. It’s the first year for Smarter Balanced, so it’s an exciting time for education for the entire state.

“I’m just excited about our future.”