The Bentley Barker
News about the Bentley Community Schools, March 2019
The Supe's Scoop
Happy Spring Bentley Families!
It has been important to me to spend the better part of my first year getting to know Bentley—the students and families, the staff, the history, and the current practices. Having done that, I believe the greatest asset in Bentley is the people. The staff are committed, the students are our future, and the community clearly cares about the education and well-being of our youth. It is time now to look toward the future.
As the lead learner in this district, I am thinking about the ways in which we can harness technology to transform learning, for both students and staff. I am thinking about what we should keep, what we should revise, and what we should let go. I am inviting all stakeholders to help us co-construct the future of a modern learning environment for our Bentley staff and students.
For example, we will be thinking about instructional models. Moving from grade to grade by age is a model that came from Henry Ford’s assembly line. Sitting in rows facing a teacher had more relevance when the teacher was the source of knowledge. Times have changed tremendously. Ultimately, we no longer rely on memorization or a library to look up information because we can look it up on a phone or computer.
Having an educated citizenry is clearly important. How can we best approach learning and school? We need the input from you, the parents, staff, and students of Bentley. Please take time to share your thoughts by responding to this survey.
Thank you . . . for sharing your thoughts and for being active in the lives of our youth!
Kristy Spann, Superintendent
- Educator Ken Robinson talks about the necessity of human creativity and how schools impact this in a very compelling talk he gave in 2010, which is still quite relevant. If you have access to Youtube, you can watch it here.
- Rapid Doubling of Knowledge Drives Change in How We Learn
- Op-Ed: Knowledge Doubles Almost Every Day, and It's Set to Increase
Washington DC Trip
BMS students traveled to Washington D.C. in March to add another dimension to their social studies learning. Thank you Ms. Zell for coordinating this trip!
Barhitte Reading Night
Barhitte hosted their annual reading night for families to come in and score big with literacy. Thank you Ms. Weycker and Ms. Bush for organizing this event!
Distracted Driving Simulation
In March, the P.E.E.R.S. foundation visited the high school to provide our students with a chance to "drive" with distractions. Thank you Mr. Dickerson for organizing this event!
Washington DC Trip
Barhitte Reading Night
Measuring Student Growth & Achievement
How do you measure success? It depends on how you define success. Success could be a measure of: how happy people are, how engaged they are, how fast they are growing, how they are performing relative to their peers, how they are performing relative to a standard, and so on. When we measure how students are performing relative to a standard or to their peers, we are measuring achievement. When we measure how fast a student is learning, we are measuring growth.
This year, Bentley used the NWEA Measures of Academic Progress (MAP) test to monitor the progress of our kindergarten through 11th grade students. This test measures reading and math achievement and growth. It is given three times per year: once in the fall, winter and spring. It measures achievement using a "RIT" score, which is like inches on a ruler. Because this test is used across the country, it also tells us how our students are achieving and growing relative to their grade level peers. Further, this test also allows us to make predictions about how well student will perform on the MSTEP, PSAT and SAT.
It is important to note that these results are given as percentiles, not percent. With percentiles, 50 is considered normal and 35-65 is the normal range. Less than the 35th percentile is below normal and above the 65th percentile is above normal.
Recently, we got our mid-year results, which you can see in the table below. The Bentley growth scores, the scores showing how quickly our students are learning, were 49th in reading and 49.8th in math. This is typical for their peers in the U.S. Bentley is in the middle of all U.S. students for how quickly they are learning.
Bentley achievement scores relative to their peers across the country, are in the 44th percentile for reading and 37th percentile for math. These are baseline data for us. As we continue to use this test, we will be able to see how well we are achieving and growing relative to our peers. It is one measure of how we are doing. MSTEP, SAT and other scores provide other measures.
Ultimately, we want our students to achieve and grow. We also want them to be happy and engaged. Know that we are working on all these fronts to make Bentley the best place for our students.
NEW: Bentley Bulldog E-sports
Extra-curricular opportunities are a huge part of the school experience for students. Football, Skeet, National Honor Society, Band, Theater, FIRST Lego Robotics are just a few of the opportunities we offer. We have recently added e-sports to the list of offerings for Bentley students, both as a team and as a club.
Andrew England, Gavin England, Kieran Ferris, Robert Gullet, Dylan Jones, and Nick Lidstrand comprise the new Bentley Bulldogs e-sports team--this includes 5 members and an alternate--competing for college scholarships playing League of Legends. This new team is coached by Shayne Beggs and has a phenomenal 5-1 record. They hope to compete and win in the 2019 High School League and Championships sponsored by Lawrence Technological University where five $16,000 scholarships are up for grabs.
Not familiar with e-sports? It is the competitive side of online gaming and has an estimated global value of $900 million and growing last year, according to Barron's.
In e-sports, members must work together to solve real-time problems, applying math and strategy to come out on top. E-sports also serves as the gateway for many players to move into the tech industry job market through art, computer programming, animation, marketing and so much more. Nick Lidstrand said of the new team, "It helps us form a community around something we enjoy doing and is helping us enhance valuable skills like teamwork, communication, and critical thinking while learning how to improve after every time we play."
Coach Beggs sees this sport as a great way to hold kids academically accountable as they must meet eligibility guidelines in the same way we do for every other sport. Beggs added, "the kids are game planning--switching roles, communicating, problem solving--figuring out the best ways to compete."
Andrew England likes having the e-sports team because of the inclusion. "Not everybody can run a football or play basketball. It opens up an opportunity for kids to still join a team." His brother, Gavin, added, "Not everybody is athletically inclined. This opens a gateway to be involved in school."
You can see the League of Legends Week 5 Recap and League of Legends Week 3 Recap here, where our own Bentley Bulldogs are highlighted. They are so good that they have been moved from Wild Card status to Division 5!!
- The meals we provide must meet federal nutrition standards. National School Lunch Program lunches provide one-third or more of the recommended levels for key nutrients.
- Reimbursable meals must provide no more than 30 percent of calories from fat and less than 10 percent of calories from saturated fat.
- The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s research indicates that children who participate in the National School Lunch Program have superior nutritional intakes compared to those who bring lunch from home or otherwise do not participate.
Our Food Services department works hard to provide our youth with healthy and tasty meals every day. They know the students and look out for the students because they care--even coming in to make an impromptu meal during the week we canceled school! Pictured above are Suzie Martinbianco, Jean Kish, and Candy Rowe. We're fortunate to have such a dedicated team of people ensuring our children get the nourishment they need for breakfast and lunch every day.