Superintendent's Update

October 2016

Parent Focus Group: October 24th 7 p.m. Strong Middle School Library.

Parents are invited to attend and participate in a focus group facilitated by Silver Petrucelli & Associates, as we plan for the next phase of considering our future school building and student needs. Members of the architectural firm have been examining our building conditions and current and future needs while keeping in mind the on-going trend of declining enrollment. The district is exploring the viability of shifting to two elementary schools Pre-K/K-grade 5 and a 6-8 middle school while maintaining a 9-12 high school. It is important to note that no final decisions have been made and there are several state requirements that would need to be met before any changes to grade configurations or buildings could be made.

A very important part of the planning process includes assessing the conditions and options in our existing buildings as well gathering information from important groups about their current and past experience and their vision for the future.

Building administrators and teachers have had the opportunity to share their experiences and viewpoints with members of the architectural firm. They have lead various school groups through a short presentation and a facilitated feedback session. We would like to offer parents a chance to participate in the same process while offering their unique perspective. Any parent regardless of the current school, grade or age of their child is welcome and encouraged to attend.

“Architectural programming is the thorough and systematic evaluation of the interrelated values, goals, facts, and needs of a client’s organization, facility users, and the surrounding community. A well-conceived program leads to high-quality design.” Robert G. Hershberger

Parent Focus Group

Monday, Oct. 24th, 7-8:15pm

Strong Middle School Library

Parents will have an opportunity to share their experiences and vision for the future to inform the architectural firm of Silver Petrucelli as they work with the district to create building plans for the future.
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Strong 8th grade step-up class of 2017

Our Architects are in the "Empathize" and "Define" Phase of Their Work

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2016-2017 Focus Areas: Student Achievement, Well-Being and Engagement

Student Achievement:

Many methods are used to gather information about students’ learning and progress over time. These include simply talking with students; observing them in a variety of settings while engaged in a variety of tasks; assessing their performance on projects, in-class work and presentation;and using informal and formal assessments including standardized assessments.

The following information is data we have recently received and have begun to analyze as we work towards continuous improvement in student achievement. The tables below provide a basic overview of our students' performance on the SBAC, CMT and CAPT Science, SAT's, and AP tests.

The SBAC is an on-line assessment given to students in grades 3-8 to assess students' achievement and growth on the common core state standards. There are 4 levels used to categorize students' performance and Level 3 indicates the level were students are meeting the performance expectation and Level 4 is exceeding the expectation. The chart below shows the percentage of students at each grade level for the last 2 years who have met or exceeded the benchmark. If your child is in grades 3-8 you received their SBAC test results on Friday October 7th. Please take some time to review the information that is sent home to you and be sure to call your child’s teacher if you have questions about the information you receive.

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SBAC Performance

The above data illustrates grade level performance in grades 3-8 over the course of the past two years. It also shows how the same group of students performed from year to year i.e. in 2015 35% of 5th graders scored at level 3 or higher in Math and when that same group was in 6th grade 54% of them scored at level 3 or higher. We receive reports that give us more detailed analysis of district, grade level, classroom and individual student performance and growth over time. We look carefully at these results and use them to improve our curriculum and instruction. We can clearly see that our students perform better in ELA than in Math and note the areas where we have made growth. We have set district learning targets as goals to guide our improvement efforts.
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CMT/CAPT Science

Our Science results on the CT Mastery Test (for grade 5 and 8) and the CT Academic Performance Test (grade 10) over the last several years have consistently demonstrated that 90% or more of our students score at an expected level (Proficiency) or above. Our students' performance for 2015 and 2016 showed that this trend has persisted over time. We are analyzing our performance in Science not only as a way to understand our curriculum and instruction in Science but as a means of improvement in other areas. This is an area of significant strength for us.
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The "new" SAT was given to students across the country in Spring 2016, and all Juniors in high school were required to take it. A 2400 rather than a 1600 point scale is now used and students are scored in the following areas: Command of Evidence; Words in Context; Expression of Ideas; Standard English Conventions; Heart of Algebra; Problem Solving and Data Analysis; and Passport to Advanced Math. High school leaders along with their staff have begun the process of analyzing the data and targeting specific improvement efforts throughout the school. Our performance in the first year of the "new" SAT demonstrates that Coginchaug students scored above the state and national average.
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Coginchaug High School currently offers 7 Advanced Placement (AP) classes including: American History, Biology, Calculus, US and Comparative Government, Language and Composition, Physics, Chemistry and Statistics. The table above indicates that the number of students taking AP courses has increased, the number of total tests taken has decreased slightly and the percentage of students scoring a 3 (passing score) has increased from 73% to 91%. We are able to see the link between the rigorous course curriculum and the high passing rate.


Regional School District 13 is committed to maintaining and enhancing physical, emotional and social safety in our school community. Additionally we want to be sure that all of our students experience a sense of connection or belonging. One of the action steps we are all taking this year is to pay attention to and use students' names whenever we are interacting with them. While this may seem like an expected and very simple act, we believe that in consistently using students' (and each others') names we honor their presence and strengthen the sense of well-being throughout our school community.