Tuesday, July 10, 2007

It's an "A"!

In Florida’s accountability system Chets Creek has posted its seventh consecutive “A” and is once again one of 50 top scoring schools in the state! There is much to brag about with 94% of our students meeting high standards in both reading and math, but the statistic that is most impressive to me is that 97% of the lowest quartile made gains in reading! What that says to me is that we are doing what is right for our neediest students! 97%! WOW!

Being a kindergarten teacher, you might wonder why I am so excited about test scores, since I don’t really teach an accountable grade. In my school the scores or third, fourth, and fifth graders stand on the shoulders of what happens in our primary school. Everyone realizes that we are all interconnected. Our intermediate school stands on the foundation of our primary school as they stretch toward the pinnacle.

We have long known that students who come to us new are the ones that struggle the most. Students we have had since kindergarten do quite well over the years, so I’m proud of our Leadership Team, because they keep their collective finger on the pulse of each new student and pour over the data to predict trends and design specific short-term and long term interventions. They have the big picture. I am also proud of our Intervention Team (the 2006 “Chets Creek Team of the Year”!) as I look at that 97%, because they meet twice a week to look at at-risk students to make sure that no child gets left behind. They make suggestions, fill in the gaps, find the resources, push for parental involvement, and do whatever it takes. I’m proud of our Special Education teachers and our Coaches who also meet regularly to look at trends and then step in to offer safety nets for small group of students falling behind. We really believe that our best teachers have to teach our most challenged children, so we make that happen. Groups are fluid as they offer short and long-term solutions. Actually I don’t think there is a single teacher from kindergarten to fifth grade that doesn’t tutor on her own time to make sure that every single child in her classroom meets the benchmarks. We work really hard, so it is affirming to see the results. But… it’s time to roll up our sleeves for the new year. There is still work to be done!

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