Trotter Elementary

Mairead Nolan, Principal
135 Humboldt Avenue, Dorchester, MA 02121
Phone: 617-635-8225
Directions via Google Maps
Access via MBTA Public Transit
BPS Report on Teaching & Learning for Trotter Elementary

Partner University: Boston University
Family Community Outreach Coordinator:
Karen Harris
Number of Students: 382

Step UP Activities

  • The Boston University Initiative for Literacy Development (BUILD) grew and was strengthened in its second year. Tutors worked with children in grades specified by the principal to support one-on-one literacy interventions. They were trained to engage children through a ìpoetry academyî and through interactive writing during classroom time; in the after-school program, tutors worked with students using the SmartTALK kits provided by Harvard University. Training for tutors in the use of the SmartTALK materials was provided by Harvard.
  • In its second year, BUís Dads Read provided two six-week evening book clubs (fall and spring) for students in kindergarten through third grade and their adult male mentors. Each session focused on reading and writingórereading the book selected the previous week, discussing the book to summarize its important parts, and working with a new non-fiction book on the same topic. At the end of the fall session,  families gathered at the Grove Hall Library, where they met characters from "Between the Lions." In the spring, a barbecue and a presentation by Creative Creatures was the capstone event. Dads Read distributed nearly 300 books to students during the year.
  • Boston University launched a new effort to address the facet of the Accelerated Agenda dealing with childrenís mental and physical health. Throughout the spring, the dean of the School of Education facilitated monthly professional-development sessions for grade-level teams of teachers that focused on understanding childrenís disruptive behavioróanalyzing the behavior, identifying the goals of the behavior, and  developing strategies for redirecting the behavior so that children focus on learning.
  • In January a member of BU's School of Education faculty began work with the Trotter School's literacy coach and the fourth-grade professional learning community in preparation for the MCAS long composition. After scoring practice compositions by students in all three fourth grades, the BU coach shared the results with teachers and, based on the results, provided instructional materials for teachers to use to strengthen students' work.
  • A pen-pal program was launched in the spring between students in one fourth-grade class and students in BU's School of Education's elementary education methods course. The exchange of letters provided Trotter students with an opportunity to write for authentic purposes and the BU pre-service teachers with an informal opportunity to learn about childrenís letter-writing abilities. Pen pals met each other face-to-face in April at Science Across the City on the BU campus.
  • The Boston University Goldman School of Dental Medicine continued to deliver the Smart Smiles oral-health program at the Trotter. The Goldman School presented workshops on oral health and gave toothbrushes and toothpaste to students in kindergarten, second and fourth grades. These presentations were followed by individual dental visits for 55 children who signed up for services through the Smart Smiles program.
  • Hearing screening tests were administered to kindergarten students in the spring by BUís Sargent College. A number of children were found to have outer- and/or middle-ear problems, as well as hearing loss. Recommendations for medical or audiological follow-up were made for each child who received a "not passing"result.
  • A Boston University leadership coach provided on-site support for the principal and assistant principal on a weekly basis throughout the school year. The coach provided data-driven analysis of the 2008 MCAS performance for grades three through five and professional development for fourth-grade teachers aimed at preparing students for the test. In addition, the coach served as a sounding board for the principal as she undertook management changes at the school and addressed the need to reform the schoolís culture.
  • Harvard supported two after-school programs (70 children) at the Trotter, providing a fall orientation to the SmartTALK program for all after-school staff (City Year corps members and BU BUILD tutors), as well as a second semester training for BUILD tutors. HASI provided one full SmartTALK kit  including more than $3500 worth of learning materials, games and activity guides for use in the Trotter after-school programs, as well as supplemental learning centers used by City Year, and supplemental ELA materials used by BUILD. In addition, a HASI staff member conducted weekly coaching visits from  November to May at the Trotter to further solidify the inclusion of the SmartTALK materials and philosophy in the after-school programs.