A Message from the Principal – March 2021
National Reading Month
The month of March is always a special time. For many, the month represents the beginning of spring and at times the unfortunate extension of winter. The college basketball tournament (i.e. – March Madness) takes place and we enter the fourth quarter of the academic year. However, another important aspect of March is that it is National Reading Month. Over the course of the month, students in our building are able to participate in a reading challenge and have the opportunity to hear some of their favorite stories from staff members around the building.
The building-wide reading challenge will start on Monday, March 15, and last until Monday, April 12. During this time, I am personally challenging the students at Morningside STEM Elementary to read 273,140 minutes. To help us achieve this goal, all students in grades K-2 should read or be read to for 15 minutes every night. Students in grades 3-5 should read a minimum of 20 minutes each night. Students will track these minutes using the reading logs that were sent home on March 12. Additionally, the reading logs have been included in the newsletter on the following page and posted on our Facebook page in case families need more copies. All reading logs should be signed by parents/guardians and returned to classroom teachers each Monday. The class that has the highest percentage of students that meet the goal each week will win a class prize. There will also be a top-secret grand prize at the end of the event for the class that has the highest percentage of students that meet the goal. In addition to the reading challenge, staff members will be taking turns reading some of their favorite stories to students.
The February newsletter also contained data related to literacy progress made throughout the building. In literacy, the percent of students proficient from fall to winter increased by roughly 10% on the Fastbridge Screeners. Since the February newsletter, students have also completed the Fastbridge Screeners for math. Roughly, 44% of students at Morningside STEM Elementary met the benchmark and were considered proficient. This is a decrease of roughly 1% from the fall testing window when 45% of students in the building were considered proficient. As a staff, we have analyzed the results and continue to focus on actions we will take to support students and provide them with intentional instruction to meet their needs. Specifically, we are focusing on using number sense routines at the beginning of every class to promote problem solving and the application of key concepts. The staff is also continuing to collaborate on utilizing the new Into Math series to further individualize instruction for students. We do believe that taking these steps and continued effort will result in students making gains this spring. Again, our building’s goal is to increase the percent of students proficient by 7% from fall to spring on the Fastbridge Screeners.
As always, please take time to read the contents of this newsletter and important events and dates that relate to the students, staff, and building. If you have any questions related to any content in this newsletter, please do not hesitate to contact us at (712)274-4048.
Soar Eagles Soar,