Every teacher, staff member, parent and ESPECIALLY student should be proud of what they’ll see in the following information. Every March I excitedly await our Iowa Basics Testing results not because I put an overwhelming degree of importance on the scores (after all, we form the entire child here), and not because I feel these scores define who we are as a school.
I get amped about our scores because I believe they validate a process that is Christ-centered, family-focused and community based: we soar together, for our children.
And so I’m excited to unveil this explanation of our data in the following list format:
Those Who Need Us Most
Since 2015, our number of CRC kiddos who score in the bottom quartile of the country has diminished (from 17% to 15% to 14% to 12%). In 2019, however, the needle jumped dramatically: Due to our WINGS Team, differentiation in classrooms, and a commitment to meet kids where they are, that number is now at 5%. In short, the kids who need us most are getting the help they deserve. I cannot put into words how impressive this work is, nor how much it will be aided by the addition of Assistant Principal Jenny Bykerk.
Our overall score is up again for the third consecutive year; this time by 0.12%. That number seems small, but remember how hard it is to move the needle with this large of a population. Especially recall that our population is up over 30%; in 2018-19 alone we added over 20 transfers (many of whom came to us with specific academic needs).
Remember our math score concerns? Well, we read the data right, made the adjustments and...
- Math is up over 9% points as a school, our single greatest jump in any one area.
- Most importantly, we have shrunk the number of kids at the low end and grown the number in the top quartile.
Year two of growth
- In 2018 our students took a huge 5% jump; in 2019 we pushed on that number again – raising it by 1.54%. No fluke here; CRC Science is here to stay.
- Your gift of the CRC Science Center (science lab) has made an incredible impact on the learning of students, our future scientists.
While we did not see growth in this area in 2019, we continue to be an incredibly strong Language Arts school (especially in Written Expression).
Where Do We Need to Drill Down
Vigilance is key as we study our numbers and see trends to address.
- Despite incredible growth, Math contains our largest percentage of kids lagging behind. Still plenty of work to do!
- Social Studies needs work, and so I am asking the CSFA to invest $12,000+ on new texts, curriculum development and direction. Miss Alexis Johnson will chair this important work.
Why It's Coming Together
Planning our work and working our plan, doing it together with a focused curriculum approach, and the persistent work of our teachers, staff, parents and kids = A shared mission!
As I told our staff when we met to discuss the numbers: Remember – it’s one week of testing. This influences our work to some degree, but doesn’t dictate it. One thing is clear – we’ve got an amazing group of teachers leading great young students. The needle is moving due to our focus on each child, differentiation, and keeping a growth mindset.
Finally, I want to point this out, and it’s newer data: The average CRC student sees a 20% drop in their reading scores between May of the current school year and August of the next. That’s the trend on a national level, and it’s doubly troubling because reading impacts learning in all subjects! In other words, our kids are losing a fifth of their reading skills during the summer. Only you can help reverse this trend: PLEASE create routines that include reading, reading to each other, audio books, and limited screen time. Help us help your kids; a little bit goes a long way come August – we’d prefer to hit the ground running rather than taking a step or two back right away.