Message from our Superintendent
The middle of our school year has passed without much ceremony or attention. In spite of all of the talk about how COVID has impacted education, the economy, and other parts of our lives, we’ve found reasons to be proud and to celebrate achievement in our schools.
Pete Perez, our assistant superintendent, and John WIseman, our Director of Professional Learning, recently gave our school board a mid-year update. They prepared a presentation that pulled together a wide variety of data from all of our schools to show how our students have progressed during the school year so far. We’re happy to say that COVID and distance learning haven’t really slowed us down much at all.
Daily student engagement has been high. Every one of our schools has reported over 90% of their students engaged in learning activities on a daily basis. Desert Oasis High School led the way with almost 97 percent. This tells us that our students, teachers, and families have made a huge commitment to learn this year, no matter what the challenges are.
The mid year look at student assessment data is also very promising. Grades 3, 5, 7, and 8 take the STAR assessment in reading and math each year so we can measure progress and make any adjustments that might be needed. I’m happy to say that all of these grade levels are keeping pace this year with what we saw last year. In fact, our middle school students have exceeded last year’s assessment in math.
At the high school level, our 10th and 11th grade students have higher passing rates than last year, and our 9th and 12 grade students are keeping pace. This year we have met our goal of having 100% of graduating students participate in a financial literacy course, and 42 percent of our high school students are enrolled in classes that present an opportunity to earn college credit before they graduate from high school. The investment our community makes with our Educational Programs & Operations levy helps make these classes possible.
These are great reasons to celebrate and reflect on the positive outcomes we’re seeing. Our students and staff deserve congratulations for their accomplishments so far. I’m excited to see how the rest of the school year turns out. A video clip of our full mid-year report is available at www.OthelloSchools.org.
Let me encourage you to not let the daily bad news that seems to dominate the media bring you down. Positive things are happening in Othello and in our schools. Great job students, parents and teachers.