• The Schoolwide Enrichment Model (SEM) at Austin Elementary Top Ten Countdown

    This has been an exciting year at Austin Elementary as we have continued to move forward in our implementation of The Schoolwide Enrichment Model. One of the most significant additions to our SEM repertoire this year has been the launching of our school wide enrichment clusters. Fourth and fifth grade learners began their cluster journey in late October and culminated with an amazing Showcase at the end of December where they declared, “I believe in me!” They were soon followed by our second and third grade learners who began participating in enrichment clusters in January. They out did themselves at their Enrichment Cluster Showcase in March, where their message was “We can do anything!” While the journey is far from over, I thought this would be a good time to reflect back on a few of the celebrations, accomplishments, and special moments that have already made SEM at Austin Elementary so amazing. 


    Top Ten Quotes from our Learners about Enrichment Clusters:


    10. “It was so much fun and so exciting.  I love the Enrichment Clusters!”

    9.  “I cannot think of anything I would change in my cluster…except make it longer!”

    8.  “I got to enjoy a wonderful experience with students and teachers who love the same things I love!”

    7.  “I think the WHOLE DISTRICT should do enrichment clusters.”

    6.  “It was MY cluster.  It was like I was the teacher!”

    5.  “We learned how much fun hard work can be!”

    4.  “I got to be an archeologist!”

    3.  “I loved my cluster because I got to use my talents to help kids in Africa.”

    2.  “I will keep working on my cluster even when it is over because I like the way it feels in my heart when I am making the world a better place.”


    And the number one Enrichment Cluster quote…


    1.  “I actually feel very important right now!  I never feel that at school.”

    From the mouths of babes! How rewarding it is to hear our learners expressing such joy and excitement over their enrichment cluster experience.  However, lest you think SEM is only about having fun and feeling good, take a look at some of the things our Austin Mustangs are telling us they have learned!

    Top Ten Quotes About What They are Learning



    • “I learned how to take blood pressure, how to use a food chart, and how to keep my body healthy.”
    • “I learned how to edit films and add animation.”
    • “I learned that you have to work together on a project if you want it to work out.”
    • “I learned about some cool careers!”
    • “I learned how to do stop animation.”
    • “I learned about body systems, endorphins, and how to measure heart rate.”
    • “I learned trigonometry, measuring, and that you have to be very careful around dangerous tools.”
    • “I learned about circuits and solar energy.”
    • “I learned how to wrap an ankle and how to do reflexology.”
    • “I learned how to do the Heimlich maneuver, and I taught my friends.”


    The list could go on and on!  Our learners are working hard, discovering new interests, and finding ways to make a difference in our world!

    It has been a year full of growth, courage, hard work, and new horizons. Together, our educators and learners have forged new paths on our SEM journey.  Let’s take a look at what they have accomplished.

    Top Ten Celebrations and Accomplishments



    • Successful launch of Enrichment Clusters for 2nd, 3rd, 4th, and 5thgrades
    • Two incredible Enrichment Cluster Showcases with our learners acting as docents
    • All staff were trained in the“Why, What, and How” of Curriculum Compacting.
    • Opportunities to share our SEM vision and journey with several visitors including Laurel Mountain Elementary in Round Rock ISD, 16 educators from Coppell Middle School West, and several campus and district level administrators from Montgomery ISD.
    • Involvement of more than 20 parent and community volunteers as experts and consultants in E-Time and Enrichment Cluster experiences. Volunteers included an emergency room nurse, a paramedic, a police officer, an electrical engineer, a city council member, a landscape designer, a hearing specialist, a Tai Kwon Do instructor, and many more!
    • Clay Creators raised and donated $138.44 and four hand made puppy/kitten food bowls to Operation Kindness.
    • Fitness Frenzy organized a“Health Day” for Austin Elementary.
    • Digital Card Creators sent cardsof appreciation to local police officers and fire fighters as well as messages of encouragement to residents of a local nursing home.
    • Why Knot Wood working designed,constructed, and donated a new picnic table to Austin Elementary.
    • Coppell Kid Painters Guild donated original paintings of Coppell landmarks to a local McDonald’s restaurant and original artwork and messages of hope to a needy child in Africa.


    Our learners and educators are doing great things, and we are not done yet!  Our kindergarten and first grade learners will be embarking on their enrichment cluster journey beginning on Friday,April 12th.  They too will have the opportunity to explore an area of interest in depth and develop aproduct or service based on what they discover. Our youngest learners will be showcasing their accomplishments at the Kindergarten / First grade Enrichment Cluster Showcase on Friday, May 31st.  It is an event you will not want to miss!

    To learn more about the SEM journey at Austin Elementary, follow our SEM blog at www.learningmadesemple.blogspot.com. To become involved in this exciting journey,contact Liz Malone at 214-496-7335. Ms.Malone can also be contacted through email at lmalone@coppellisd.com