Dear APS Families,
As we approach the end of the third quarter, I want to share some updates on the ways we are working to ensure every student is progressing and achieving grade-level goals. At the start of the year, we shared an overview of the tiered system of support which guides the services and support each student receives in reading, math or other subjects.
Teachers continue to deliver high-quality classroom instruction to meet the needs of all learners. Students identified as needing extra support at the beginning of the year have also received small group or one-to-one support to achieve their goals. We use mid-year assessments (tests) to monitor student progress in reading and math. We were encouraged by the mid-year math data, which showed that:
- Fifty-six percent of students scored in the Proficient or Advanced range on the mid-year Math Inventory assessment, up from 39% at the beginning of year in grades 1-8.
- Students scoring in the Below Basic range dropped from 35% to 23% in grades 1-8. This means that about 1,800 fewer students require intensive individual assistance with a teacher or specialist.
- On average, APS students are 10% ahead of the expected progress rate for this year (0.6%).
This progress occurs through daily instruction and support from teachers, assistants, specialists and counselors in the classroom, combined with extra academic support we have put in place. Teachers report increased student confidence and higher levels of engagement in students receiving these supports, which include:
- Specialized math support in high-needs schools from specialists trained in research and evidence-based programs
- Individual and on-on-one support from the classroom teacher or a specialist
- Dedicated after-school support, or extra small-group tutoring assistance as part of an intervention plan
- Access to additional learning materials or apps
- Coaching and instructional walkthroughs for teachers and Math Coaches throughout the school year
- Frequent progress monitoring and regular assessments
Key areas of continued focus, based on data, include:
- Continuing to support teachers to build classroom communities and engage all students in rigorous experiences
- Continuing to provide professional learning and development to the math coaches who have a great impact on mathematics teaching and learning in all buildings
- Continued implementation, training, and support of the new mathematics resources, resulting in a greater use of high-quality materials in math classrooms You can view Math Inventory and other student data on the Student Progress Dashboard.
In the coming weeks I will continue to share areas of progress and opportunities for growth in other areas, including for students with disabilities, and in the areas of elementary and secondary English Language Arts.
Enjoy the rest of the week and thank you for your partnership.
Dr. Francisco Durán
Superintendent of Schools