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February 22, 2016
by: Susan Griffiths

Charter Contract Renewal: ESAA School Goals

A Review of the School Goals for ESAA

Dear Parents, Staff, and Friends:

Five years ago, ESAA and the Sheboygan Area School District entered into a contract that states specific performance goals for our school. As we anticipate the renewal of the contract by the school board this Tuesday, we feel it is important to share an overview of our progress on existing goals. Ted Hamm reported on contract goals for Mosaic and IDEAS, and he has recently written about the core beliefs that provide the context for these goals within all three of our schools. This blog will provide an overview of the performance goals included in ESAA’s current charter school contract.

ESAA Demographics
We strive for our school demographics to be representational of the community our students live in. Two years ago ESAA moved to a new campus, changing our demographics from a school where the majority of the students lived in the neighborhood and walked to school each day, to a school located in an area further from the center of town and creating the need for students to be transported by families. We realized this limited the accessibility to ESAA for all students and implemented bussing this year. This has brought our demographics more inline with the district demographics. This diversity enriches the educational experience at ESAA. Learning from students of all backgrounds, allows a more well rounded, empathetic view of the world.

ESAA Demographics as compared to SASD averages: 2011-2016

Students with Disabilities

 

Economically Disadvantaged Students

 

ESAA

District

 

ESAA

District

2011-12

13.0%

15.4%

 

34.2%

51.1%

2012-13

11.6%

14.9%

 

35.4%

50.7%

2013-14

11.0%

14.25%

 

39.0%

52.3%

2014-15

13.5%

14.0%

 

40.4%

46.4%

2015-16

16.7%

TBD

 

55.0%

52.0%

 

ESAA Performance Goals
Goal 1: To improve the academic achievement of students.

This goal focused on the scores from three district or state assessments. The Phonological Awareness Literacy Screening (PALS) is an assessment given to Kindergarten through second grade students to measure risk of reading difficulties. The indicator included in this goal, more than 80% of grades K-1 students will score as meeting district standard on SASD Common Assessments, was met all four years in Kindergarten and one of three years in first grade. There has been improvement each year in the first grade scores, with the goal being met this year.

Both assessments included in the goal for third through fifth grade are no longer used by the SASD. The Measure of Academic Progress (MAP) was stopped last year. This assessment measured student achievement in both reading and math. Due to changes in the way the scores were calculated, the results were not applicable to the goal. Starting this year the SASD will use the ACT Aspire formative assessment to measure the growth in the areas of reading and math. The second assessment used as an indicator for this goal, the WKCE-CRT, was discontinued in year three of the contract. The indicator for this goal, Students will meet adequate yearly progress as defined by NCLB on all tested areas of the grades 3-5 WKCE-CRT, was met in two of the three years in the area of reading and all three years in math. Last year, the state replaced the WKCE-CRT assessment with the Badger 3-8. This year, students will take a new state mandated assessment, the Forward Exam.

As a school, we also assess students’ reading achievement and growth in first through fifth grade with the Fountas and Pinnell Benchmark Assessment. This assessment allows us to look at individual student growth over time. This has been difficult to do with the changes in other assessments. We will use Fountas and Pinnell, as well as the ACT Aspire growth data, and the Forward Exam to measure standardized test achievement in the upcoming contract.

Goal 2:  To enhance the personal/social competency development of students.
Both indicators for this goal, a 90% attendance rate and regular disciplinary actions of less than 20%, were met each of the three years they were measured.

Performance data serves as one way to evaluate where we are, and helps us better understand what we need to do to improve. The growth mindset that we set forth as a model for learning with our students is applicable to us as an organization as well. Even with the challenge of ESAA’s move to a new location and changing demographic, our test data has remained consistent with district averages.  This reminds us that the research based practices used at ESAA and our focus on creative and innovative thinking through engaging students in questioning and problem solving, not only provides a foundation where students meet standardized measures of achievement, but also allows students to use their thinking to solve problems that matter to them.  We are proud of many things that are not measured by this data, such as the confidence our students show in sharing their learning with their peers, families, and community members. This ability to communicate their thinking is a skill that will lead them to success long after they leave ESAA and the Sheboygan Area School District. As we look forward, we are excited to implement after school programming that will create space for students to further explore ideas and interests and create new understandings.

Sincerely,

Susan Griffiths

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