Tuesday, February 23, 2010

DBA results

Our students take the District Benchmark Assessment three times a year (fall, winter, spring) to assess progress in mastering the NM Content Standards and Benchmarks. The test gives us a good idea how our kids stack up. The winter math DBA results show our kids doing extremely well compared with the district average.
Grade Taylor- Math APS Average
6th 61.9% correct 59.3% correct
7th 57.1% 54.4%
8th Algebra 55.3%
66% 49.9%
Our reading scores were also competitive
Grade Taylor - Reading APS Average
6th 64.3% correct 65.2% correct
7th 59.9% 59.97%
8th 70.5% 67.6%
These tests provide teachers with a standard-by-standard analysis of each student’s strengths and weaknesses. Teachers have been working in departments to analyze these data. In reflecting on the data, I am pleased that math scores exceeded district averages and that reading scores were competitive. As teachers review data, they will make adjustments and we will continue to see scores rise in the spring. Parents play a key role in helping your kids succeed on these tests by encouraging them to do their best. The DBA test is important within the district because it gives us a snapshot view of what standards we need to reteach. Accurate data leads to accurate re-teaching. Accurate re-teaching leads to improved learning. Parental support is crucial to helping your kids do well on this assessment. Have a great week!

Dress code updates

One way that middle school students express their individuality is through their clothes. One way that school leadership helps provide an orderly environment is through the school dress code. These two aims- expressing student individuality and ensuring a safe distraction-free learning environment – can at times conflict. That has been the case with some frequency this spring. Allow me to say that 95% of our kids follow the dress code day in and day out without exception. Kudos to these kids and their parents for supporting our dress policies and helping enforce them. But there are few who like to push the envelope every day. The most frequent dress code problem is saggy pants on guys. Mrs. Meyer and I have just started a crusade to eliminate sagging at Taylor by writing up chronic saggers. Saggers will receive one day of lunch detention for the first offense and repeat offenses will lead to stiffer consequences. The second most frequent “wardrobe malfunction” is failure to wear a polo shirt. Students know by now that polos are required. Failure to have the proper shirt will also lead to lunch detention. Students have been asking me to declare a Dress Down Day next week. I am pleased to report that we do want to recognize the efforts of students to comply and we are announcing a dress down day for Wednesday, Feb. 17.

Recruiting trips

I am a fanatical college football fan (Oregon Ducks) and this week is a high point of the offseason because this is the week high school seniors sign letters of intent. It is the culmination of months and even years of recruiting young men to play football for their team. Coincidentally, this week is also a high point in my school year because I too spend considerable time and energy recruiting 5th graders to attend Taylor. Monday night we hosted a gym full of fifth graders and parents showing them the delights of attending our artistic and energetic school. Wednesday I spoke to all the 5th grade classes along with counselor Michele Chapman at Corrales ES about why they should attend Taylor. Thursday Mrs. Chapman and I paid a recruiting visit to Los Ranchos Elementary. Today we are off to Alameda ES and next Tuesday we will conclude our recruiting tour with a visit to Seven-Bar ES. Our message is simple: At Taylor you will receive a well-rounded education in a safe rigorous school committed to the fine and performing arts. I thoroughly believe in our school and am committed to attracting the best and brightest from our feeder elementary schools. Thank you parents for sending us such great kids!