LAHAINA - Woooo-hooooo! It's the end of the school year! What a year this has been.
HSA testing ended last week. All results are in. Earlier, I had mentioned that this was the "bridge" year in which the HSA test was made up of only Common Core-aligned items. Next year, the HSA will be called Smarter Balance.
When we switched over to Common Core Standards from Hawaii Content Standards III, we expected to see our scores dip. The problem was that we didn't know how much it would dip. There was talk that the scores would plummet. We were expecting the worst.
Here are the results: in HSA-Reading, last year's proficiency rate was 65 percent; HSA-Math was at 51 percent. At the end of the second attempt this year, reading is at 60 percent - a 5 percent dip from last year. In math, we are at 48 percent - a 3 percent dip from last year.
According to our Catapult Learning consultant, all middle and high schools' HSA scores dipped - not significantly, but a bit like ours did. Next year, with a brand new testing took, it is expected to take another dip. We will wait to see how significant, if at all, next year's results differ from this year.
Next school year, our English/Language Arts classes will continue to use the state-approved common core curriculum SpringBoard. Math will begin a new curriculum called Go Math. Math teachers will train in this new program during the summer, ready to implement it when school starts up again in August.
The Educator Effectiveness System (EES) was introduced and implemented this school year. It was a very "hairy" year for us all, but we got through it. The components were dropped down on us all at once. We all struggled - boy, did we struggle - but we did it together as a staff. Personally, no matter what you hear in the media, EES is a valuable system. I really like it. There is so much potential for instructional improvement. There is clarity. There is guidance with descriptors of expectations. We've learned a lot this year. It has been exciting to witness the positive transformation in our classrooms.
Congratulations to LIS student Frances Cabulisan. She placed second in this year's Maui Matsuri 2014 Manga Art Contest in the grade 6-8 category. Good job, Frances! LIS is very proud of you.
Congratulations to Lahaina News Editor Mark Vieth, the school year 2013-14 Lahaina Intermediate School Mahalo Award recipient. Mark came to LIS to receive his award on May 21 on the morning broadcast. Mark has been instrumental in getting LIS' monthly parent messages out to our families and to the Lahaina community by allowing them to be published in our community newspaper. We love you, Lahaina News!
At the end of June, I will be taking my leave from Lahaina Intermediate School. The feeling is bittersweet. I can't wait to be free! I joked with the staff at my surprise retirement party earlier this month. I told them I wouldn't miss them. In truth, that's the sad part of leaving. We have such wonderful, caring people on staff. Every one of them take the time to make careful decisions on behalf of our students, our children. We work and play hard. We all love LIS. It has been pure pleasure to be part of such a wonderful school. IMUA, LIS, IMUA!