District Update As We Begin 2nd Semester

Message From The Superintendent
Posted on 01/08/2018
Gaines

Welcome to 2018.  The first semester flew by and in a few short months we will be out for the summer.  As we kick off the semester there are a number of items for which we want to update you.

 

Middle Schools

Chromebooks for middle school students will soon be rolled out.  Students will not be assigned a Chromebook, but we will have enough that all middle school students could access a Chromebook at the same time.

Starting in August the middle schools will go to an 8-period day.  This will allow more choice of electives for middle school students.

 

MAP scores

Several letters to the editor have been in the paper recently regarding our MAP scores.  Test scores are publicly available on the Department of Elementary and Secondary Education (DESE) website going back to 2006.  The tests have changed over time and DESE’s website is clear that scores on the grade level assessments for 2015, 2016, and 2017 are not comparable to prior year assessments.

What we can compare is where we are relative to the state average.  That data is provided below.  The numbers represent our score in relation to the state average.  Positive numbers indicate above state average and negative numbers indicate being below state average.  There is no data for English II or Algebra I in 2017 across the state due to irregularities with the testing company.

 

           English Language Arts 
English scores 

Mathematics

Math scores

A complete summary of scores can be found here.  You can listen to Dr. Gaines go through the data on our YouTube Channel starting at the 1:21:00 mark.

Many are searching for blame for declining scores in the early part of this decade.  No single raindrop believes it is to blame for a flood and no single decision caused the decline.  It was the result of multiple decisions made over time that caused a decline in resources and focus other than academics.

 

We are in our second year of implementing our strategic plan funded primarily through Prop R.  It added support our English Language Learners and reading in the early grades; added funding for curriculum support materials; and is funding professional development for teachers.

New this spring will be access to FrontRow for all K-5 students for math.  Students can use FrontRow to reinforce topics or accelerate their learning.  It is individualized to the student.  Additionally, six elementary schools (Beasley, Bierbaum, Blades, Forder, Trautwein, and Wohlwend) will get math support in 4th and 5th grades through math support specialists working with students and teachers during math instruction time.  These teachers are slated to be in classrooms on January 18.

All of this work is grounded in our strategic plan.  It guides us across several dimensions.

 

Facilities

One of those dimensions is spending on facilities.  We recently asked the community about specific projects at buildings.  The results of that work will be available in the coming weeks, but we do have a plan for this summer.  The major expenditures below are slated for the summer of 2018.  There are also a number of smaller items that will be completed.

          Asphalt maintenance across the district

          Stair tread across the district

          Classroom ceiling work at MHS

          Replace turf and spray track at OHS

          HVAC work at OHS and MHS

          Roof work at OHS, Trautwein, and Wohlwend

          Replace Gym A floor at MHS

Summer School

Also in the summer will be a change to summer school.  Students attending summer school will no longer be in summer school for the grade they just completed, but rather the grade they will be in August.  For example, if a student is in 3rd grade now, he or she would attend summer school for 4th grade.  This means that students completing 8th grade in May could start earning high school credit this summer.  High school students use of summer school helps free up schedules during the school year.

Keep up to date on the latest events in the Mehlville School District through our many social media outlets.  Have a great second semester.

 

 

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