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Board of Education Recap September 27th, 2017

News from Sheridan School District No. 2

Contact: Mark Stevens


303-495-8699 (mobile) • 720-328-5488 (office)

News Release?

Sept. 27, 2017

Two Schools Review Performance and Plans

Alice Terry Elementary School principal Joe Hayes and Fort Logan Northgate School principal Nelson Van Vranken reviewed the academic performance of their schools for the Sheridan Board of Education at its meeting last night. The two principals also provided an overview of the plans for improvement at their schools.

Superintendent Michael Clough told the board that the presentations are part of an ongoing series to discuss “what’s happening with the data and what we plan to do with it.”

Common themes emerged from the work at both schools, particularly around a need to focus on mathematics instruction and to improve teamwork among faculty and staff.

Alice Terry Elementary School

At Alice Terry Elementary School, the focus is on three things this school year—collective efficacy, collaboration and well-being, Hayes told the board.

By collective efficacy, said Hayes, the idea is to organize and execute courses of action as a whole staff working together. “We can overcome some of the mitigating factors like

socio-economic status by the power of what we’re doing and how we’re doing it,” he said. The school is working on “systemic and structural shifts and upgrades” to improve instruction.

Overall, said Hayes, literacy scores are in relatively good shape but mathematics “needs work.”

The school is working to shift resources to students who need intensive work. The school serves students in Kindergarten through second grade and a reduction from five classes to four classes at the first-grade and second-grade levels has allowed the staff to offer classes that focus on STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts, and Mathematics) experiences.

“Well-being,” said Hayes, “is paramount” and the staff is working with students on self-awareness, social awareness, decision-making and relationship skills. The school has instituted attendance awards for students and staff, added a full-time counselor, and a time every morning called “Front Porch” allows teachers to “focus on community and problem-solving,” said Hayes.

Hayes noted “areas of concern” including struggling readers at first and second-grade, transience among students, “increasingly diverse” behavioral needs, and math achievement levels.

However, Hayes noted increasing number of students reaching benchmark levels on assessments of early literacy skills and that 40 percent of all students demonstrated more than one year of growth in reading last year.

Fort Logan Northgate School

At Fort Logan Northgate School, principal Van Vranken said the school is focused on “increasing opportunities for all learners.” He noted that the state test (PARCC) sets a “very high level” for student achievement and “requires kids to do far more rigorous things than the old test used to do.”

On the positive side, Van Vranken noted that students moving through the Fort Logan Northgate, which serves grades three through eight, showed an increase in literacy achievement year after year. For a school that serves a high percentage of second-language learners, he said, that bucks the normal trend. However, mathematics achievement remains below state levels.

Teacher retention at the secondary level (grades 6-8) is strong but teacher turnover in the primary grades (3-5) is too high—nearly 50 percent in the last two years. Van Vranken said the school seeks to build a school culture “focused on professional learning” with data teams and team planning, with an eye toward offering “engaging lessons that include a high degree of academic conversations combined with student writing.”

A new elementary literacy program is built around award-winning literature and culturally relevant topics, he said. The new program, which addresses both reading and writing, expects a high level of engagement and sets a high degree of rigor.

Colorado Association of School Boards Conference

Sheridan Board of Education members plan to attend the annual Colorado Association of School Boards conference in Colorado Springs, being held from Nov. 30 to Dec. 3. Unknown yet is who will attend, based on election results (Nov. 7).

Staff Attendance

Superintendent Clough noted progress in reducing staff absenteeism. So far, he said, absences are down about 11 percent. “We are not at the 15 percent yet, but I think that’s good,” he said.

Pupil Count

While still in the “estimate phase,” Superintendent Clough said the pupil count appears to be about 80 students below projections. The official Colorado “count day” is Monday, Oct. 2. The drop in student enrollment could require a budget adjustment of $375,000.

Sheridan Celebrates

Board members and schools will participate in Sheridan Celebrates on Saturday, Sept. 30.

District Goals

Superintendent Clough said he received no significant feedback on three draft goals presented earlier this month so they are now confirmed as the district goals.

· Sheridan School District will increase academic achievement as measured by comprehensive state assessments including: PARCC, PSAT and SAT by:

a. 10 mean scale points if below the 10Th percentile* for PARCC;

b. 7 mean scale points if below the 20th percentile* for PARCC;

c. 5 mean scale points if above the 20th percentile* for PARRC.

d. 25 composite points for both PSAT and SAT

· There shall be an increase in academic achievement of 10 percent of students deemed at grade level in math and reading for grades K-2 as measured by Iready.

· Student attendance shall improve by 1 percent from current rate of 91.1 to 92.1 for all grades as measured by Infinite Campus end of year report. The 1 percent attendance goal represents 1.7 less days reported absent when averaged across all SSD2 students preschool through grade 12.

· Staff absences (all instructional days included) shall decrease by 15 percent from a 2016-2017 (17.7 days missed) to 15.0 days. It should be noted that this goal includes all days including daily leave, FMLA, school and district business.

(*Percentiles can be located on the 2016-17 school performance frameworks for same students—quasi-cohort.)

Consent Agenda

All consent agenda items were approved.

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Sheridan School District NO.2
4150 South Hazel Court
Englewood, Colorado 80110
email: info@ssd2.org
phone: (720) 833-6991
fax: (720) 833-6650