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October Thoughts from the Principal

Thoughts from the Principal

The first month of school has been eventful and productive.  Already this year, our students have established baseline scores by taking the MAPS/DIBELS/etc. tests, our junior high and high school football and volleyball seasons are well underway, the FFA students have attended multiple conferences, many participated in the year’s first ‘Walk/Bike to School Day’, some of our students had the opportunity to participate in ‘Artist in Residence’, and by the time this goes to print, Homecoming Week will be in the books.   

   It is fun to see all the students return from their summer breaks, a year older, bigger and more mature (in some cases).  Each new school year brings with it a slightly different feel and student population, as we replaced last year’s eight graduates with seven energetic and eager 3-year old preschoolers. Our school is once again enjoying strong enrollment with over 215 students PK-12.  While many surrounding school districts are facing decreasing enrollments, and in some cases, consolidation, Idalia continues to enjoy enrollment levels at a near all-time high.  

   As we continue to receive and analyze assessment data from last spring, it has become increasingly evident that we have many accomplishments to take pride in.  Highlighting last year’s test results is the tremendous growth we showed in English Language Arts (ELA).  In 2016, just 35 percent of our students who tested were considered ‘Proficient’ in ELA. Of our students who tested in April 2017, 56 percent achieved proficiency.  This 63 percent growth in just one year is reflective of all the hard work our students and staff show daily.  As we set goals for the future, we would like to continue our success in English, while also emphasizing improvements in our math, PSAT, and SAT scores, all of which are currently slightly below State averages.  

   Beyond looking at assessment data to gauge the quality of our school, I put even more emphasis on intangible factors such as the way our students conduct themselves and interact with one another.  Our students continue to impress me each and every day.  Our school, like all others, experiences occasional issues.  Our students are not perfect and, at times, make poor decisions.  However, all things considered, I believe our school is filled with outstanding students and supported by great families and community members.  We have certainly “hit the ground running” here at the school, as we are anxious and optimistic to see what the 2017-18 school year has in store for us.

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