Last week we had a family engagement night involving our One School, One Book project. The night was a culmination of a month’s worth of activities that centered on Wonder by RJ Palacio. Our stu-dents, teachers and community had engaged in lessons, making book marks, self portraits, rock paint-ing, writing, reading and discussing. Something that began as a vision from one of our teachers (Cheryl Miller), turned into something pretty amazing. The family engagement night brought in about 125 peo-ple to just have some fun discussing the book, enjoying a little pizza and eating some treats. I am grate-ful for the efforts of so many on behalf of our youth and I look forward to the potential we have in the future to bring another One School, One Book project to Jason Lee.
This past month also brought our mid year iReady assessments in math and reading. A wonderful op-portunity for our students to demonstrate the learning they have achieved this year and to take a tem-perature check for efforts done and still needed moving into the second half of the school year. The results were promising. The great thing about iReady is that we can measure growth, in addition to progress in relation to standard. In both reading and math we have seen significant growth from the fall to the winter assessment windows. With expected growth in math pointing toward a 12 point gain for an entire year, our students grew at an average of 13 points in the first half of the year. For reading, expected growth is 14 points for the whole year and our students averaged 15 points gain from fall to winter. Those are very, very encouraging results. Students come to Jason Lee at many varying levels. Many are often below or well below the benchmark standard. For us to help students reach that stand-ard, we must have students growing beyond one year’s expected growth. Often, we need multiple years of growth, each year, to help them meet the benchmark standard while in middle school.
Each day, each week, each month, we are working to build capacity in our students, teachers and school to reach our two focus areas. First, to improve our culture and climate so that learning can be supported (our One Book, One School project was another step along that course). Second, to provide high quality instruction that gets results for student learning. I believe that as we continue to stay the course, we will continue to see better and better results. More and more students will see the doors to student success opened where they can become lifelong learners, responsible decision makers and car-ing and contributing members of society. Thank you to this community for continuing to support our work and to be partners in the efforts to transform Jason Lee Middle School. I have learned from my 24 years as an educator that the work of school improvement takes time, focus and belief for us to achieve sustainable results. I look forward to the continued work and hope that you each will look for-ward to being partners in it too.
Do a great month!!!