Thank you for your unending support! Your students are here on time, ready to learn and are reaching for success every day! It is a pleasure to work with each and every one of our Jewell Scholars and their families!
At Jewell, we believe it is our mission to serve your scholars in a way that makes them ready for high school, college and career. While we urgently work as a team to get better for your scholars every day, what we’re doing is never enough. We constantly implement researched best instructional practices in the pursuit of reaching our vision, which is: Jewell Elementary accelerates the learning of every student, every day! Developing resilience, creativity and critical thinking, we empower our students to change their community and their world! We are getting better, but we are not there yet.
I’d like to take a few minutes of your time to get you up to date on our progress at Jewell. By now, many of you have probably noticed the big banner on the front of our building. That banner was awarded to us this year for our results on state testing (CMAS-growth), our attendance rates, our behavioral incidence rates, student satisfaction rates and parental satisfaction rates.
Our big celebration is our growth in both Literacy and Math across grade levels! A student growth percentile defines how much relative growth a student made. The Colorado Growth Model serves as a way for educators to understand how much growth a student makes relative to a student's "academic peers." More specifically, the Colorado Growth Model essentially compares each student's current achievement to students in the same grade throughout the state who had similar CMAS scores in past years. The model then produces a student growth percentile.
Typically, the 50th median growth percentile is considered one year of growth. The 20th percentile or lower is considered low growth and the 65th percentile or higher is considered high growth. The 65th percentile is often looked at as a year and half’s growth compared to students at the 50th percentile who are considered to have made a typical year’s growth.
This score has some things in common with the children's height and weight percentiles that pediatricians share with parents. Percentile scores have a relatively straightforward interpretation: A child that is in the 76th percentile in height is as tall as or taller than 76% of other children of the same age.
Jewell’s growth percentile for Math this year was the 58th percentile. This means our students grew academically in Math more than 58% of the other students of similar demographics across the state. Jewell’s growth percentile for Literacy this year was the 65th percentile. This means our students grew academically more than 65% of students of similar demographics across the state.
We are also closing our dissagregated gaps, which means that ALL of our students are making the same amount of growth, no matter their demographics. Traditionally at Jewell, students of color, students who receive free and reduced lunch, English Language learners and students with disabilities lagged somewhat behind in growth in both Literacy and Math. This year, we can say that those gaps were significantly moved towards closing (see attached SPF (School Performance Framework)), as all of our students in every demographic scored about a year and a half’s growth.
The growth model is not the only thing that is measured by the SPF (School Performance Framework), however. Achievement is another very important measure of growth. While our students are growing quickly academically, many of them have not yet reached proficiency in reading or Math. Proficiency is not about how that recent test score compares to all the other test scores. Proficiency is about meeting grade level standards. Students with test scores that are very low can receive high growth scores if they are gaining, even though they may not have reached grade level proficiency as of yet.
While we almost doubled our proficiency rate in Math in the 2017-2018 school year, we moved from 8% proficient to 15% proficient. 15% Proficient is not nearly good enough. Our goal is that 100% of our students are proficient in Math in any given year. We believe we have started down the path to this goal.
In Literacy, we gained 10% proficiency in the 2017-2018 school year, going from 17% to 27% proficient. This is not nearly enough, but the state recognizes us as Approaching Proficiency in this category.
We will continue urgently on the path that we are on. We continue to work for your children and to create systems and structures to make sure that ALL of our scholars get what they need to be successful. We continue to work to make sure that your child wants to come to school. That they are social-emotionally balanced and happy. That they learn through solving hands-on problems and through deep discussions around reading and real world topics. We continue to make sure that our scholars set goals around their own educational/vocational dreams. We believe that our departmentalizing of grade levels (each teacher teaches a different subject), allows our teachers to get better at one content so that they become experts in their content. We believe in our “Walk to Learn” period in which every student gets a second taste of reading instruction…at their level, with kids of similar levels (whether it be English Language Development, catch-up intervention, pushing grade level or extension for above grade level)-so that we can tailor our instruction to what your child needs.
Lastly, we believe in our scholars, our teachers and our parents…and in building strong relationships between the three so that our students can be successful through college and career. We can only do this if we partner with one another, if we become each and every child’s “village.” Thank you for all you do and we promise to keep moving forward. Your child WILL be successful at Jewell!