Friday, November 30, 2012

Highlight of the Week
Assessment Gains Are Cause for Celebration!
The School Advisory Committee approved the school’s unified improvement plan (UIP) this week.  Each school in the District is required to create a UIP each year based on the school’s state assessment results for the previous year.  I was happy to report that Gold Rush students made tremendous gains last year on the Transitional Colorado Assessment Program (TCAP)!  Student achievement, or the percent of students scoring proficient or advanced on the state assessment, rose substantially in reading and math last year. For example, 89% of third graders and 90% of fifth graders last year scored proficient or advanced on the state assessment in reading.  Wow!  The data also show that more students are making typical and high growth from one year to the next in both reading and math.  The percentage of students making typical and high growth in reading grew 12 percentage points from fourth to fifth grade in reading and 13 percentage points in math.  Cimarron Middle School Principal, Mrs. Tarbell, recently affirmed that our students are prepared for middle school math.  She shared that 84% of current students are receiving either an A or B in math this year.  I could not be prouder of Gold Rush students, faculty and parents for their hard work and collaboration.  I believe that our collective efforts are responsible for the school’s gains.  I also believe that we have many reasons to celebrate!

Restorative Practices
Gold Rush’s educational assistants were recently trained on restorative practices during their last monthly meeting.  Restorative practices are a way to restore peer relationships that have been damaged as a result of peer conflict.  This approach allows students who were wronged to have a voice by allowing them to share  how they felt and what they believe will allow them to move forward.  It also ensures that the individual that harmed another realizes the implications of his/her actions on others and teaches them a way to create a new plan for responding to a similar event in the future.

 Those mediating conflict using restorative practices ask those who are demonstrating challenging behaviors questions such as the following:

·      What happened?
·      What were you thinking at the time?
·      What have you thought about since?
·      Who has been affected by what you have done and in what ways?
·      What do you think you need to do to make things right with those you have hurt?

The mediator also helps those harmed by asking…
·      What did you think when you realized what happened?
·      What impact has this incident had on you and others?
·      What has been the hardest thing for you?
·      What do you think needs to happen to make things right?

The educational assistants, teachers and administrators will use restorative practices to address student conflicts to ensure that individual relationships are mended.

Mark Your Calendar!
* 2013-2014 Feeder Calendar Community Meeting
        Tuesday, December 4 at 6:30 PM @ Cimmeron Middle School
        Topic: The pros and cons of all feeder schools moving to the split fall break
        modified calendar

* Kindergarten Registration
   Wednesday, December 5 at 6:30-8:00PM @ Gold Rush
   In addition to your registration forms please remember to bring a copy of your
   child’ birth certificate, immunization record and proof of residency

* Preschool Registration
   Click here for additional information.

Winter Reminders
As I am learning, the Colorado weather can change drastically over the course of the day!  Please make sure to send your child to school with a warm coat so he/she is comfortable.  Please also remember that students are required to have a doctor’s note if they need to stay indoors during the winter months due to an illness or prior condition.