Story and Photos by James Preminger, CCSD Public Relations
Eva B. Stokely Elementary School jumped two letter grades to earn a B on the New Mexico Public Education Department’s 2016 School Grade Report Card.
Rounding out the top School Report Card grades within the Central Consolidated School District were Judy Nelson Elementary with an A; and three schools who went from a C in 2015 to a B grade in 2016: Kirtland Elementary, Newcomb Elementary and Kirtland Central High.
“It’s pretty significant in a sense Eva B. Stokely Elementary jumped two grade levels. They went from a D, which was a 41.36, all the way to a B, which was a 68.85. That is just a substantial jump,” said Milo McMinn, the District’s coordinator of Data and Compliance.
“If you look at Eva B. Stokely Elementary grades overall, they showed an extensive growth in proficiency in English Language Arts and in math. In 2016, they almost grew 7 percent, which is fantastic.”
Eva B. Stokely Elementary, a pre-kindergarten through 5th grade school located in Shiprock, exceeded statewide benchmarks in school growth, student growth of highest performing students, and for an opportunity to learn, according to a statistical breakdown of its School Report Card.
“We were very excited, astatic, and very happy at the results,” EBS Principal Terri Benn said.
“When we first found out, we knew the results were a combination of many strategies, interventions, and changes we had made to the schedule, the curriculum,” she said, adding, “The students right now, and the teachers are talking, ‘what do we need to do now to be an A school?’”
This year’s letter grade, based upon an academic-growth model, is weighted 100 percent upon math and reading scores from last spring’s PARCC assessment, given to students statewide beginning in the 3rd grade and going through the 11th grade. School Report cards have been given since 2011, however last spring’s PARCC assessment was just in its second year.
The District’s overall PARCC scores gained 23 percent in English Language Arts and 15 percent in math as a direct result of districtwide curriculum and teaching efforts and strategy.
The Central Consolidated School District proclaimed Sept. 23, 2016 as PARCC Pride Day, and encouraged schools to celebrate student growth in math and reading on the PARCC assessment.
“We were very proud of Eva B. Stokely Elementary. We know how hard the teachers work, and the administrators. They just did an excellent job,” said Bernie Lewis, the District’s lead instructional coach for Curriculum and Instruction.
“We try to assist teachers with knowing what is going to be tested. We know that’s going to be the Common Core Standards,” Lewis said about the mission of the District’s Academic Coaches Office.
“We try to help teachers understand exactly what it is that students will be tested on, so they know how to prepare students for the PARCC. We try to assist them in understanding what students will have to do on the PARCC assessment to demonstrate mastery.”
Eva B. Stokely Elementary students, as well as teachers and staff, were enthusiastic having their class photos taken outside of their school to celebrate the two-letter grade jump on the School Report Card.
One photo was of the school’s 4th and 5th grade students, who were last year’s 3rd and 4th grade students who took the PARCC assessment, which led to the two-letter grade jump.
The second photo was of the pre-kindergarten through 3rd grade classes, while the third photo (taken on an early-release day after the students had left) was of the entire staff, including support personnel, in front of the school.
“The students are very excited,” Benn said, adding, “We work very hard to partner with the families, to make them understand that every minute, every second counts,” she said, adding that attendance and being on time to school had improved.