By Michael Scott, Director of Teaching and Learning
Hutchinson Public Schools has much to celebrate. As we prepare for the beginning of a new school year, teachers and staff have begun their planning for students’ return. One preparatory meeting in regard to student achievement took place on August 15 and 16 at Hutchinson Middle School. A group of teachers and administrators from West Elementary, Park Elementary, the middle school, and the high school gathered to review data such as student achievement on assessments, student growth on assessments, and attendance rates.
Goals were set to increase achievement for all students, and then action plans were created in order to meet each building’s goals. Some of the discussion points from this meeting are the following:
Overall, Hutchinson Public School district’s students performed above the state average for all MCA’s in reading, math, and science at all grade levels. In fact, for the 2016-2017 MCA’s, students in grades 4 and 5 for both reading and math and grade 8 for science had their best ever performance on the MCA’s in comparison to the state average. This is a testament to the hard work and dedication from ALL of our staff, students, and parents. We also affirmed the interventions we should continue and confirmed ones to add in order to reach proficiency for all of our students. We have much to celebrate but aren’t satisfied until all students reach proficiency.
Each building also shared a celebratory year in review. West, Park, and the middle school shared data showing excellent growth in reading and math from fall progress testing to spring progress testing. These results are an indication that the intervention and supports we currently have in place are making a positive impact on student achievement.
West Elementary and Park Elementary staff shared they are implementing a new literacy curriculum this fall in grades K, 1, and 2. Moreover, they are also continuing existing and adding new intervention programming to meet mental health and behavioral needs of their students.
Hutchinson Middle School and Hutchinson High School are continuing with Check and Connect, a program where students are receiving extra support for improving attendance. In addition, the middle school has had great success with the ISB (Individual Skill Building) where students meet daily for 30 minutes for reading and math growth.
Hutchinson High School was again nominated by Newsweek as one of “America’s Best High Schools.” Moreover, The Washington Post named the high school as one of “America’s Most Challenging High Schools.” More students are not only taking Advanced Placement (AP) classes at Hutchinson High School but also passing the exams. The advisory period titled RAMP is also being modified to better provide academic intervention. Furthermore, TigerPath partnerships with the community are increasing as well as students taking electives in those pathways.
This certainly isn’t the entire list of celebratory items referenced at the student achievement meeting. Students are exceling in many more aspects of our mission: Excellence in Academics, Activities, and Character. As we celebrate Hutchinson Public Schools and prepare for the beginning of a new school year, parents, you are no doubt preparing (and possibly celebrating) because you will be sending your children back to school and getting back into the school routine.
In preparation for sending your children back to school and establishing routines, research has shown overwhelmingly that children need adequate sleep time (no fewer than 9 hours a day for elementary and middle school aged students and no fewer than 8 hours a day for high school aged students), miss no more than 10 percent of the number of school days (no more than 6 days a trimester for Hutchinson Public School students), and have time daily to connect with their parents about their school day. Please do not hesitate to contact your child’s school’s main office to be directed to the appropriate person with questions or concerns before and after the school year begins.
I wish you and your children the best as the school year begins!