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February 21, 2016
by: Ted Hamm

Charter Contract Renewal: The Mosaic School's Goals

Dear Parents, Students, Staff, and Friends:

Earlier, I shared a blog with an overview of the data as it relates to the IDEAS Academy goals. The Mosaic School has its own set of goals. When reading this, it is important to remember that the essence of the charter school contract is a set of goals that the charter school must achieve in exchange for the freedom to implement its educational program. Recently, I shared a blog highlighting the educational program, essentially, one side of the charter school equation. In this blog, I would like to share with you an overview of our performance on our goals, including strengths and areas we are addressing. When looking at this, I believe it is important to remember that we, like any organization, are in a continual improvement process. We look at our data, determine our strengths in order to cultivate them, look at ways to address our areas for improvement, and, most importantly, continually look for better ways to measure the impact of our educational program on learning.

Demographics
First of all, I have commented in the past that charter schools best serve their communities only when they reflect the demographic makeup of the communities they serve. To this end, we have always kept a close eye on the demographics of our schools and specifically, students with disabilities and economically disadvantaged students. Below is a table outlining lower socio-economic percentages and students with disabilities percentages for Mosaic and the SASD. They demonstrate our commitment to representing the community we serve and demonstrate that there are areas where we over represent the SASD community.

Students with Disabilities

 

Economically Disadvantaged Students

 

Mosaic

District

 

Mosaic

District

2011-12

13.30%

17.90%

 

43.30%

51.70%

2012-13

22.50%

17.40%

 

49.20%

48.40%

2013-14

16.30%

17.90%

 

40.70%

50.30%

2014-15

20.90%

17.10%

 

41.80%

47.00%

2015-16

19.80%

16.70%

 

58%

51%

 

 

School Goals
Goal 1: Mosaic School students will perform at or above the the SASD average growth rate as measured by the Measure of Academic Progress in grades 6-8.
This goal was met 2 out of the 4 years in math and 1 out of the 4 years in reading. It is important to point out that due to small cell size Mosaic was only a two students off in reaching the reading goal in 2012-2013. Additionally, it is important to point out that the percentage of students meeting their growth targets in math has risen significantly from 30% in the 2011-2012 school year to 64% in the 2015 - 2015 school year. While we are cautious about using one year of data to gauge success, this is due to the continuous improvement cycle we use to look at our scores and modify practice.

As we look ahead to the new five year contract, the Measure of Academic Progress will no longer be used and, in fact, is no longer in use in the district. The ACT Aspire will be used to measure growth in our students from this year forward.

Goal 2:  Mosaic School students will perform at or above the SASD average of students meeting the advanced and proficient threshold on all WKCE tests.
This goal was met all 3 years in the area of reading,  2 out of 3 years for both science and social studies, and was not met for math. The measuring of this goal was limited due to a few issues. During the first year of the contract, the goal was not measured because the test was administered in fall and therefore did not measure the learning from the current school year. Math and reading were not measured last year due to a change in state law ending the use of the WKCE for math and reading and replacing them with Badger 3-8 for the 2014-2015 school year. The reporting of the data does include the results of the 2014-2015 Badger 3-8. The Badger 3-8 is now being replaced by the Forward Exam which will be administered for the first time this April.

One interesting trend in the data is the comparison between the Measure of Academic Progress (MAP) data and the WKCE/Badger 3-8 data. Where we did not meet the growth targets in MAPs, we met our goals on the WKCE/Badger 3-8. The reverse is also true. This demonstrates to me that where our students are not always meeting proficiency, they are meeting growth targets, and where our students are meeting proficiency, their growth targets (which are elevated) are not being met. As we move forward, our goal is to meet both goals in each area.

Goal 3: In the 2011-2012 school year 75% of Mosaic School students will receive a 3.0 or higher (4.0 standard rubric)on their project based learning evaluations. That number will rise 5% per year until reaching 90%. At that time we will maintain that percentage on a yearly basis.
This goal measures achievement within our Project Seminar course. This course brings together rigorous project work with our Habits of Professionalism and Habits of Mind. These projects require our students to go through a process of learning and modeling how people solve problems through engineering or express ideas through the arts by integrating concepts studied in their academics with the various engineering or art forms they are studying. The ability to be successful in this is the ultimate goal for our school.

For the current contract, we measured the success in our educational program through our rubric for our projects. This is a solid indicator of a student’s work within the comprehensive educational program including the project work integrated with the habits. The goal was met with approximately 50% - 60% of students reaching the two top levels of our rubric. When the third tier (still passing) of our rubric is included, 90% of our students show mastery or approaching mastery of the skills necessary to complete our program of study.

Goal 4: The Mosaic School will maintain a truancy rate equal to or less than the SASD truancy rate for middle school students.
As seemed to be typical for this five year contract, the way the state measured truancy changed in the middle of the contract. As a result, we changed the way we measured our goal and looked to have a 90% attendance rate for our school. This goal was met all 4 years.

Our biggest disappointment with these goals is that they do not, as of yet, represent the totality of our educational program. We believe that the way our kids learn teaches them habits that are the most important factor in their future success. I referenced this work in an earlier blog, and encourage you to read it if you have not yet done so. To be immersed in a school where students are actively engaged in their own learning, by constructing knowledge children have the opportunity to move beyond the learning of simple facts and concepts to a place where they are regulating their own learning. This gives them a truly lifelong ability to engage in any new learning and understand how to approach that learning with thoughtfulness and persistence. As we move forward with a new five year contract, we hope to measure our student learning as it relates to those skills.  

Sincerely,

Ted


February 21, 2016
by: Ted Hamm

Charter Contract Renewal: IDEAS Academy Goals

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Dear Parents, Students, Staff, and Friends, 

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February 17, 2016
by: Ted Hamm

Charter Contract Renewal Update

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Dear Parents, Students, Staff, and Friends:

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February 6, 2016
by: Ted Hamm

Charter Contract Renewal

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Dear Parents, Students, Staff, and Friends,

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January 31, 2016
by: Ted Hamm

Charter Contract Renewal

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Dear Families and Supporters,

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January 3, 2016
by: Ted Hamm

Raising Funds for our Students

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Creating opportunities for our students that enrich the school day and expand learning beyond a traditional model has always been core to our schools. We believe that in order to create high quality learning for our students we need to get them outside of the traditional classroom, bring professionals into the classroom, and provide opportunities for students beyond our own schools. To help us accomplish this, we have created the Étude Sessions as a way to raise funds for our school while enriching our own community by bringing high quality music to our community. This week is will be a big week for the Étude Sessions and our ability to fund these opportunities for our students. 

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December 14, 2015
by: Ted Hamm

Simply, Thank You

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Dear Families, Students, Staff, Supporters, and Friends

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November 29, 2015
by: Ted Hamm

Presentations of Learning: Thoughts as a Parent and Advisor

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Dear Families,

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November 25, 2015
by: Ted Hamm

Have A Playful Thanksgiving!

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As we head into Thanksgiving weekend, I want to wish everyone a playful Thanksgiving and encourage everyone to take time for a little free play. Free play is cited has helping build resilient children in a recent article titled, "How Free Play Can Define Kids’ Success". The article points out that creative play can help our kids develop resiliency by developing:

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September 1, 2015
by: Ted Hamm

First Day Reflections

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If you set up the right conditions in a school amazing things can happen. Today was one of those days at Mosaic. This year, we opened the school year with mini projects. The remarkable thing I observed today was our students’ ability to provide insightful observations, work collaboratively, and present their ideas in front of others. If today was any indication of the year we will have, it will be a great year for learning using the creative process.

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