As we get closer to the end of the year, we also draw closer to SAGE testing time. We will proceed this year much as we did last year where we will have the testing as late in the year as possible to give teachers and students as much instructional time as we can prior to the tests. The Language Arts writing test will be the last week of April, and all other tests will be the first two weeks of May. The third week of May will be make-up for students who missed any of the testing days. The school will be providing free breakfast for all students the week of May 1-5, so please encourage your student to take advantage of it.
As I wrote about earlier in the year, we would like to see all of our students take the SAGE exams this year. I have been having an on-going conversation with the faculty this year about student learning and teacher instruction. We are tracking how well we do on student growth. Student growth tells us if students learned the information required in a given class. Knowing our student growth helps teachers plan instruction for the following year. If students all met the expected growth, then a teacher knows they can add extensions to the curriculum the following year. If students didn’t meet the expected growth, a teacher knows they need evaluate their instruction and look for ways to more completely teach the curriculum. The student growth information teachers need is derived from student performance on SAGE testing; therefore, it is important for what we are working toward accomplishing for all students to take SAGE tests.
There are two pieces of information to review about SAGE testing as well. First, the state requires that any students being opted out of testing need to have the paperwork turned in PRIOR to the beginning of testing. Second, state law allows students to be assigned an alternative and equitable assignment if they have opted out of SAGE testing. I am asking each of the departments to create a curriculum review assignment that can be given to students who opt out of testing. Opting out of SAGE should not be viewed as an opportunity to allow students free time at school.
The main point of this, however, is that we have amazing students and a great faculty. SAGE is a tool that we can use as a school to improve what we do and how we teach, and we would like to use it to help us. For it to be used effectively as a tool, we need all students to participate in the testing.
Students have completed their third round of SRI testing for the school year. As a reminder, the SRI is the Scholastic Reading Inventory. It is a test that measures a student’s reading ability and reading comprehension. Each student receives a score on a scale that helps us know if they are well below reading level, on reading level, or above reading level. Granite School District uses the College and Career Readiness scale of the SRI which is adjusted a little bit higher than the regular scale (meaning, the scale has a higher expectation of students for them to be on grade level).
Our students did extremely well on the SRI this year! It was exciting to review our final report and see all the students and their scores and how much they improved during the school year. There were so many
students who made so much growth on the test that we have decided that we will be having a little assembly to recognize their achievement. Any student who had at least 250 points of growth during the school year will be recognized at the assembly, and that will be a lot of students. Our seventh graders end the school year with 63% of them scoring in the Advanced category, 8% Proficient, 18% below proficient, and 11% in the At Risk category. The eighth graders are 65% Advanced, 15% Proficient, 11% below, and 9% At Risk. The ninth graders are 60% Advanced, 23% Proficient, 10% below, and 8% At Risk. When we look at the overall data, we really focus on two categories: proficient and above and below. To do this we add the two categories so seventh graders are 71% proficient, eighth graders are 80% proficient, and the ninth graders are 83% proficient.
We are also able to track this data from year to year to make sure the student progress we see during one school year is not lost during the subsequent school year. This year’s eighth graders are 80% proficient while last year as seventh graders they were 71% proficient. This year’s ninth graders are 83% percent while last year they were 72% proficient as eighth graders. This is great progress from year to year.
As always, we encourage the students to keep reading! The number one thing that will make them better readers is to read. Please keep that in mind as we get to summer as well. It would be amazing if all of our students set a goal to read at least three or four books during the summer.
Congratulations to the MESA club! They went to their annual MESA competition and took second place as a team. The team competed in five of the seven events and did well in each of them. Six junior highs from Granite competed in the completion, and only Bennion outperformed us. We would love to have even more students involved in MESA (Mathematics, Engineering, Science Achievement) Club next year, so if you have a student interested in the sciences, please talk to them about this great club.
Great job to our students in orchestra. They had their festival this week and they earned straight Superiors. The kids put a lot of time into learning to play their instruments and then incorporating themselves into the orchestra as a whole. It can also ramp up the nerves knowing you are being judged and evaluated when you play, so for them to go to festival and play/perform so well deserves a lot of credit.
Great job to Ellie DeGroote, Anthony Hill, and Lahav Ardi for their work on their STEM Fair projects. These three students participated in the state STEM Fair. Ellie and Anthony will be moving their projects on to the national competition and Lahav took fourth place in his division.
Ballroom Dance Tryouts:
Ballroom Dance Company Tryouts will be next week. Workshops will be the 17th and 18th from 2:45- 4:00pm. Students will learn a Tango and Swing dance. The optional practice will be on April 19th from 2:45-4:00pm, and the official tryout will be on April 20 from 2:45-4:30pm. Ballroom Dance Company is for 8th grade students only.
Kiwanis Hope of America and Freedom Leadership Award:
To earn either the Hope of America or Freedom Leadership Award through Kiwanis Club of Sugarhouse, students need to pick up an application from Mr. LeRoy. The requirements for the Hope of America Award are that a student write a 200-250 word essay on ‘Citizenship’ and complete a 10-12 hour service project. The Freedom Leadership Award requires a 250-300 word essay and 12-14 hour service project. Students MUST apply with Kiwanis for consideration for the award, and the deadline to return materials to Mr. LeRoy will be May 1.