We are settling back into our routine here at school after the unexpected week off. I hope you all made it through with minimum damage and power restored. As you may have heard, Sarasota County Schools will not have to make up any days lost to Hurricane Irma. Because of referendum dollars, the district was able to add minutes daily to the required minimum giving them more than enough to make up for the time lost. At SAA, because of our extended day, we are far over the required amount of time. We have 1,350 instructional hours scheduled for the year and the minimum is 900. A special thank you to the staff and parents who helped clean up the playground and took down the plywood after Irma passed through.
We just received word that we attained 5-Star status again this year along with 16 other district schools. A special thank you goes to Kelly Marsh who puts together our book each year showing that we have achieved all 26 of the goals set for the year. The reason to strive for five-star is that it provides state-wide recognition for the school. It shows that the schools’ community and the school itself are dedicated to their students’ success through collaboration of all groups involved with the school. Thank you to all of the teachers, students, and parents who helped make this possible. The school will be recognized at the Oct. 3 School Board meeting.
Every year the SAC members and a teacher committee work together to write the annual goals for school improvement. Last year we concentrated on our math success rate as measured by the FSA. We had a community business partner who supported us financially, providing the funds to encourage students in developing math fluency and the math competition in May. We were very pleased to see that because of the students and teachers hard work supported by the parents, SAA raised its percentage of proficiency from 60% in 2016 to 72% in 2017. Our math gains (the percentage of students who improved) were even better - 61% in 2016 to 76% in 2017.
This year, we are looking for a community business partner to support our science program. We would like to see the same gains there. One way to encourage students in science is to provide more real life and hands-on activities. We have already started by incorporating the gardening into the weekly K-4 class schedules and forming an after-school gardening club. Speakers are scheduled to work with these students and tentative sponsors have been identified. We would also like to expand the robotics and coding classes for all of the elementary classes. At the middle school level, you will see the students engaged in more direct experiences as well. The sixth graders are working in modules combining print resources and investigation and have scheduled field trips supporting science topics. We have added high school physical science for the 8th graders, allowing them to earn a high school science credit upon successful completion of the course. A business partner (or partners) would be a wonderful source for revenue to support the programs, but we would also like to see scientists, engineers, and other related professionals (including gardeners) come to our school to talk to and work with the students. If you or anyone you know would be interested, please have them contact me or Kelly Marsh. We would be so delighted to have your help.
Please refer to the school calendar for new dates for canceled activities. We have rescheduled fall pictures, skating, and back to school nights. Don't forget - next week is Spirit Week. Next Wednesday, the SAC will meet from 4:15 - 5:00 in the administration building.
Have a great week!