I want to start off by saying how fortunate I am to serve as the Principal at Morgan Middle School. I have a great faculty and staff that go out of their way to help students develop and grow academically and as individuals. I say this because I feel that with the recent release of the state’s new Utah Comprehensive Accountability System (UCAS) report, (replaces the UPASS and AYP reports that the state used to meet federal accountability guidelines) some may be confused by the results. The UCAS report combines each school’s proficiency (possible 300 points) and student growth or progress (possible 300 points) scores for an overall grade.
Each year students participate in end of year testing. This testing is designed to identify each student’s level of proficiency in Language Arts, mathematics, and science and measures their growth from the previous year. The results from the end of level testing in the spring of 2012 showed that MMS students achieved a high level of proficiency broken down as follows; 91% were proficient in Language Arts, 88% were proficient in mathematics and 86% were proficient in science. These are outstanding results when you consider the overall state proficiency is 84% proficient in Language Arts, 69% in mathematics and 72% in science. Due to our high rate of proficiency, MMS scored 268 out of 300 possible points.
In the area of student growth/progress the state has identified the following benchmarks; 175 points are considered good, above 200 very good, and above 225 is excellent. MMS students obtained progress scores of 217 in Language Arts, 200 in mathematics and 211 in science. This indicates our students are growing/progressing in these subjects. This data helps us understand there are still some areas of improvement that we will continue to work on. The 300 points possible for growth were further broken down into overall student growth for 200 points and the growth of students that were below proficiency for 100 points. MMS scored 100 out of 200 on overall growth and 58 out of 100 in the area of growth for students below proficiency for a total score of 158/300 in growth.
In order to help our students continue to grow and become proficient, our staff has implemented intervention and enhancement opportunities for all students. Interventions provide additional instruction for students who are missing or struggling with assignments and concepts. Enhancements provide students that are caught up and proficient in their classes to participate in activities that expand learning opportunities in an exploratory and academic manner. It is our goal for all students to have the opportunity to reach their potential and with the implementation of PLCs, interventions and enhancements we are on the path to reach that goal.
In closing, I would also like to share that we, as educators, appreciate all of the help and support that our students receive within their families. Without family and community support for students, we would not be doing as well as we are. Thank you once again for allowing us to work with your students.