Until next time,
Adams County Youth Initiative
GUEST BLOG: Dr. Richard Patterson, School District 27J Director of Student Achievement and Professional Learning
Honing in on 8th grade Math, as one of six Cradle to Career indicators, we are very excited about the increase from 8% met/exceeded grade level expectations in 2016 to 23% in 2017 also showing growth in the cohort group of students’ data from the previous year.
This 23% also beat the State average of 21% in 8th grade Math. Moreover, the median growth percentile for 8th grade Math was the highest of each grade, just missing the 50th percentile at 49.5.
Still more, Stuart’s 2017 School Performance Framework designates Stuart as a Performance school!!
Stuart Middle School Embracing Continuous Improvement to Impact Student Achievement
As the principal of Otho E. Stuart Middle School in School District 27J (SD 27J), from July, 2014 to June, 2017, we took on numerous changes in systems, structures, and processes to improve overall student achievement by specifically focusing on adult learning.
In 2014, Stuart’s 3-Year School Performance Framework (SPF) was Priority Improvement and the 1-Year SPF had just crept over into an Improvement rating. Historically, Stuart was consistently below State grade level proficiency levels and medium growth percentiles on the previous CSAP/TCAP assessments.
Math was of particular concern because each year’s scores were significantly below State averages and fell each year students were in middle school.
Building a Culture of Continuous Improvement
Stuart Middle School Team’s Continuous Improvement Focus: Engaging Students In Their Own Learning
In using the Continuous Improvement Process, we identified low student engagement and a lack of ownership of their work as a root cause for low math achievement. Starting small, we tested having students own charting their own performance in the classroom and started to see results. One by one, we then started building capacity across all classrooms as teachers saw the power in involving students in monitoring the progress of their learning… to own their learning.
We allowed the freedom in how teachers made individual sense of the PDSA cycle and how they used it differently across the school. We soon discovered that there was a variety of ways in which staff was involving students in goal-setting, charting and monitoring their progress toward the goals, and reflecting on their results. We had a laser-like focus on these results and had high hopes of students performing better on the State PARCC assessments.
Check out a video we made capturing some feedback from our students regarding performance data in the classroom, the intervention we administered using the Continuous Improvement process.
Gains in Student Achievement Worth Noting
Learn More About Additional Efforts Taking Shape