Nuts & Bolts
February 18, 2019
Speaking of standardized assessments, it has come to my attention that some/many (I'm not sure, exactly how many) feel intense pressure regarding these state assessments and that this feeling originated from me. It is not my intention to create feelings of anxiety (or other negative feelings) around testing or our school's scores. It is my intention to work together smarter, not harder, and to show more student success on our standardized assessments. It is my intention to figure out why our students are not meeting with success on these state assessments, fix the problem, and increase our success. I'm not asking for perfection; I'm asking for progress.
The school rankings came out recently and indicate that last school year we were performing in the bottom 5% of all public elementary schools in Utah. This is not ok. We owe it to our students, their families, the community, and each other to do better. We know that our students are not actually the bottom 5%; and we need to start showing that. If we are in the bottom 5% again for this school year, we will start losing some of our autonomy and the UT State Board of Education will become involved in our school improvement plan. If we are in the bottom 3%, the state will become very involved in our operations.
We don't need to be an "A" grade school ever. I don't think that's realistic for us because that requires "kill and drill" type pedagogies and we are not willing to sacrifice child centered Montessori education of the whole child. I do expect us to not be a "failing" school, according to state measures. Progress, not perfection.
I am confident that we will make progress in our standardized assessment scores because I believe that we have outlined excellent school improvement goals and initiatives to achieve these goals. Our goals will be realized because of your positive, growth mindset, and full support of those initiatives.
Thank you for
- suggesting, revising and implementing new curriculum,
- writing engaging lesson plans linked to standards,
- analyzing data and following the child to create personalized learning experiences,
- implementing IEP goals and working in concert with special education staff,
- identifying children and following the SIT process,
- adhering to the behavior plan,
- practicing taking benchmark tests and debriefing with students,
- implementing reading and intervention groups,
- using math vocabulary cards,
- loving students and encouraging them to do and be their best.
Have a beautiful week,
Calling for UMC Presenters
Plans for our 17th Annual Utah Montessori Conference are underway. We are considering a 1960’s era theme of “Peace, Love and Montessori.” If you have an idea for a workshop or know someone who might, please fill out/invite them to fill out the form below and return to me by March 4th. Thank you for your support!
Duna Strachan, MEd
Utah Montessori Council
I frequently hear that there is a lack of grace and courtesy in our building. Most recently, this was discussed at our advisory meeting. There were several reasons brought up that could be causing this phenomena. I would like us to try to address this by recognizing grace and courtesy when we see it happening.
This week I would like to pose a challenge for you to recognize students, families, and colleagues walking in the hall with grace and courtesy. Let us take great care to model this and to look for it in others this week. If you're not sure what grace and courtesy looks or sounds like walking in the halls, please ask for a lesson.
2/18/19 - School closed
2/19/19 - PLC Meetings
2/19/19 - Classic Skate Night 5-8:30pm
2/20/19 - Box Top Store
2/21/19 - Parent Ed Night on Executive Functioning
2/25/19 - History Week
2/26/19 - Schoolwide Spelling Bee
3/1/19 - Starbase Graduation
3/1/19 - MAPA Meeting, 8:45am in the Conference Rm
3/1/19 - Family Ski Night, Powder Mountain
3/4/19 - Staff Meeting
3/5/19 - PLC Meetings