Congratulations and thanks to all of our students for their participation in events recognizing and honoring our veterans. If you went to our SAA Facebook page, you saw the kindergartners and middle school who took part in classroom events and in the Sarasota Veterans Day parade. All of the middle school students walked in the parade and the High Voltage, the advanced choir, sang for the special ceremony honoring veterans. (You can see them on our you-tube channel.) It was quite an event and one Vietnam veteran came up to thank them for their rendition of "We Will Honor You", a song written specifically for Veterans Day. Every middle schooler but five who had previous appointments took part in the parade. I am so very proud of them.
You may have also seen on our Facebook page a photo of one of our sixth graders, Riley, who led a ceremony retiring our old flag from the pole in front of school. Thank you, Riley, for sharing that with us. If you have special items to share about your children, please send them to me. We love to highlight our students.
This week is the final week for food to be collected for the Mayors' Feed the Hungry campaign. Did you know that some of our Sarasota schools have as many as 93% of their students on free and reduced lunches? Even though our percentage stands at 41%, this is a wonderful opportunity for students to recognize they can be a helping part of the community by bringing in an item to share. Each classroom has a box to fill; please see if you can help.
This past week we received a letter from Gov. Rick Scott commending us for being in the top 10% of Florida schools for improvement in mathematics achievement from 2014-15 to 2015-16. We had a 9% improvement rate ranking us 20 out of 379 combination K-8 schools and 238th of all 3197 schools. In overall mathematics achievement (those who scored 3 or higher on the FSA) we did not rank as high. This then leads to one of our SIP (School Improvement) goals for this year. We want to raise the percentage of students who show math proficiency by at least four percentage points. As I said before, we are using the "Extra Math" program to increase fluency of basic facts. Only 7th and 8th graders have access to a calculator for the math assessments, making it so necessary that the younger students know their math addition and multiplication facts. Please try to review them at home to supplement what the teachers do at school. Keeping up with the i-Ready math is another way to reinforce basic skills. Congratulations to the algebra class which had a 100% of the students score at proficiency level on the first benchmark test and to the 7th and 8th graders who showed 80% of the math students proficient. (On the 8th grade physical science test, 90% of the students were proficient!) This is only one way of showing that students are learning what they need to learn to be ready for the next level of study, but it is an important gauge of their progress. It not only tells the students how they are doing, but it gives valuable information to the teachers so they can address areas of weakness.
The Governing Board meets Monday at 8:00 in the administration building for this month's regular meeting. This week the middle school students go to the Asolo Theater on Tuesday evening to see Guys and Dolls. The students who achieved Honor Roll will be recognized at an ice cream party on Wednesday. Congratulations to those students whose names are listed on the website.
Have a wonderful week!