September 2018 Newsletter


Dear Phoebe Families,

If it were possible to bottle up all of the excitement and energy that goes into the first few days of school and then sell it, we’d certainly be rich!  As always, thank you for a start to this year that reflects your investment in this community and to our school – it’s clear to me that everyone is ‘all in.’ As you schedule this busy month, please mark on your calendars the first PTO General meeting of the year (9/5 at 6:30pm in the cafeteria), Back to School Night (9/12 at 5:45pm on the blacktop), and Family Movie Night (9/14 at 6:30pm, bring blankets!).  

This year, we are refining the way we look at academic achievement.  Traditionally speaking, academic achievement is presented as a ‘snap shot’ for a particular year – a percentage of students who met or exceeded standards, and a percentage of students who nearly met or did not meet standards. Unfortunately, that data lacks context – How did individual students do?  Where did they start? Are individual students trending up or down? Digging deeper, we can look at our progress over four years using our standardized achievement scores to make the case that we have improved as a school:

  • We have gone from 77% of students meeting ELA standards and 74% of students meeting Math standards in 2015 to 87% of students meeting ELA standards and 81% of students meeting Math standards last year.  
  • More students have mastered and are exceeding their grade level standards (57% of 3rd-6th graders in ELA and 52% of 3rd-6th graders in Math) than ever before.  

However, that information does not tell us enough if we are going to meet the needs of each student and continue to grow.  This year, we are defining achievement in terms of how much an individual student has improved by year’s end, not just their scores in a given year.  Furthermore, we are identifying trends in achievement for students over their time here to better align our resources and interventions.  The work is exciting and our staff enters this year energized to take on the challenge. If you would like more specifics, feel free to send me an email or stop me in the hallway any time!

Finally, I have attached informational pamphlets for our district’s wellness policy that will provide you with updated guidelines for nutrition at school.  Should you need additional information, feel free to contact the office or your student’s teacher. Additionally, all the flyers for afterschool classes are included for you to fill out and return to the front office.

I hope you to see you out at all of the community events in September, have a great month!


Mr. McGill