Claremore Daily Progress

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August 6, 2013

New director brings state resources, programs to Mustard Seed

CLAREMORE — Former Foyil elementary teacher, Tallery Raglin, has been hired as the new director of Mustard Seed Christian Preschool.

Raglin served as a school board member for Mustard Seed during the 2012-13 school year. During that time, she also worked for the Oklahoma State Department of Education as an instructional coach, providing assistance to teachers and administrators in the state’s Common Core curriculum.

As an instructional coach, Raglin traveled to area schools in Mayes, Rogers and Tulsa Counties, observing teachers and providing feedback on instructional processes related to the implementation of common core standards.

“What I’m going to bring to Mustard Seed is a stronger staff where we’re more aware of what’s going on with the state department and what common core is doing for education,” said Raglin. “We’re basically mimicking the standards that public schools are currently implementing to make the transition easier for our students as they enter kindergarten.”

During the day, students’ curriculum will be more academic based, reinforcing what the children will be learning in kindergarten.

Raglin said the preschool will perform regular assessments of the students, which will be documented to show their progress. Students will be able to take the assessments with them to the next level, enabling teachers to have an understanding of what the children already know.

Because Mustard Seed is a Christian preschool, teachers and staff have added a daily Bible study section where children have the opportunity to learn about stories in the Bible and principles that they can relate to math facts or letter recognition, said Raglin.

Raglin plans to utilize the teachers she has assisted as an instructional coach for the state, to occassionally help with Mustard Seed programs.

Former principal of Verdigris Elementary, Jim Anderson, will visit the school once a month providing enrichment activities for the children. Anderson taught art in elementary and secondary levels before becoming a principal.

“(Anderson) may bring art-based activities to the classroom, but whatever it is, it’s going to be enriching what the teachers are already doing in the classroom,” she said. “We are also working on bringing somebody in to teach the kids plays, allowing us to offer dramatic play centers.”

Raglin was one of 60 instructional coaches sent out across the state last year.

“Area schools only have access to a coach whenever their schedule is available, but (Mustard Seed) teachers will now have the advantage of an instructional coach everyday,” said Raglin.

Common Core was established as an updated set of clear educational standards for English language arts and mathematics. Since adopted in 2010 by Governor Brad Henry, the State Board of Education’s instructional coaches have provided resources and professional development for teachers and administratiors for implementation purposes. Full implementation is set to take place at the beginning of the 2014-15 school year.

In addition to her work at the state level, Raglin’s educational backgroud includes a Masters degree in Education with certifications in elementary education, physical education, reading specialism, English, English Language Learners and administration.

Raglin said she is “so pleased” to be the new director of Mustard Seed. Her son Dagan was in the three-year-old program last year and will be in the four-year-old program this year.  School supply lists for both programs can be found online at Classes begin Aug. 19. Enrollment is still open.

For more information, call (918) 342-4585.

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