Talon News - Good Local News



September 8, 2017

School grades are out and we have some mixed reviews. Both Lydia Rippey and McCoy did a great job and stayed at a B. In fact both improved their overall point totals and are just a couple of points away from an A. Though Park slipped from a B to a C, they had some growth in proficiency this year in some areas and in the area they really concentrated on this past school year they showed growth. The consistent Professional Learning Communities (PLCs) work and teacher action plan implementation at the elementary schools are making a difference in student learning. This is promising because we know that this is the right kind of work and important for our students. Vista Nueva High School stayed at a C, but also saw improvement in their overall point total from a year ago. Though a small staff, the unique collaboration, PLCs and strong relationships are proving to make a difference.

Unfortunately, Koogler Middle School for the second year in a row received an F and Aztec High School for the first time in several years fell from a B to a D. Obviously we were disappointed with the grades, but we already have processes for change in place. I have full confidence that our talented hard working staff at both schools will make needed changes and this time next year there will be much to celebrate. We will look into the data, find out what is causing the issue and address it, that I can assure you.

It is like I always say, we own our grades, good or bad, and now we need to look at some of the things we are doing well and use them to move us forward and fix those things that we are not doing well and improve. There is a sense of urgency to fix things at all sites for the benefit of our students and we will do them systemically across the district. We cannot hope our way to improvement; we need to control the things we can, worry only about those things, and do our very best to turn them around by being a part of the solution. Our staff will not play victims, but instead will be victors in all of this and will make improvement. We need to stay true to our foundations of Relationships, Relevance, Rigor and Purposeful Collaboration. 

It is important also to understand that our schools are a lot more than just grades, but at the same time this is what is posted and most visible, so we need to create a culture that allows our students to shine, and one that makes them want to shine, like many other schools do when it comes to PARCC every year. It starts with relationships, one student at a time. So this year we are focusing on building strong relationships with our students. Every teacher in the district has developed and turned in to their principal a greeting plan. This plan is how they will greet their students at the door each day as they enter the classroom. It is more important today than ever before that we not only know our students, but that we know their story. We can't teach them if we don't reach them. John Wooden said it best, "Small things make big things happen."

As we look at the overall report card of our district, we are not happy with the results, because we are far better than this. We have challenged our staff and students by asking them what are we going to do about it? We cannot change the past, but we have full control of our attitude, our effort and the energy we put forth to change the future. It is up to every one of us going forward. This is the way our success as a school is measured, so we must take pride and do our very best to show what great teaching and learning is taking place in our schools when it comes to the PARCC this year. It is important for our teachers, students and our district.

ALL IN, ALL THE TIME. Not just a saying, but what we owe our students.


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