Monday, June 06, 2011

Mr. Karr's May Newsletter Article

May 2011
Dear King Families,
As we begin to close this school year, I look back at the last six years I've spent at King School with great fondness.  We've worked very hard to leverage change in areas where change was needed.  In particular our work in classrooms and with families around writing stands out.  In addition, I know the King staff and the School Improvement Team has supported learning strategies that support learning for all students – including students who have struggled in any given subject area.  Looking over the growth that has occurred, I am amazed.  I have a feeling of overwhelming appreciation for the focus on and support of learning that the King community has shown.
MEAP Achievement
In case you missed my previous eNotes communication about our MEAP progress at King, here is the current situation based on the fall 2010 MEAP achievement scores.  Reading and math tests are given to all 3rd – 5th grade students, writing is given to only 4th grade students, and science is given to only 5th grade students.  We are very, very proud of King students and how they performed on the test. We analyze the data from the test to help us understand what is needed next in our teaching.
3rd Grade
Reading - 96% proficient, 73% advanced
Math - 100% proficient, 84% advanced

4th Grade
Reading - 99% proficient, 70% advanced
Writing - 91% proficient, 42% advanced
Math - 97% proficient, 87% advanced

5th Grade
Reading - 97% proficient, 88% advanced
Math - 99% proficient, 91% advanced
Science - 92% proficient, 78% advanced
Based on the 2010 MEAP, Martin Luther King, Jr. Elementary School ranks as the sixth highest scoring elementary school and the twelfth highest scoring school overall in the State of Michigan.  We are a strong school community and these scores are certainly reflective of the commitment that exists from all stakeholders in the community to providing excellence in education.  
Thank you to the King staff and parents for their work in supporting our students.  Most of all, congratulations to our students for their fine efforts!!! 
Planning For 2011-12
Planning for next school year is in full swing, and this year things are certainly more complex as we come face to face with budget realities.  As I look at next school year at King, I am planning to start the school year with one less teacher than the 2010-11 school year, which is similar to what other Ann Arbor elementary schools are facing as well.  This is a direct impact of the budget complexities the district is—and has—been facing.  However, it is not clear exactly how this will impact the grade configurations at King.  As we move through the summer months, I will keep a close eye on enrollment.  Ultimately, the number of students enrolled in each grade for next year will determine what changes are necessary.  As in the past, you can expect a letter in late August with important information about the start of school including class placement information.
Ice Cream Social
I'm looking forward to the King School Ice Cream Social on June 10!  I hope all King families will plan to attend this annual end of the school year celebration.  Former King families are also invited provided older children act with the Lifelong Guidelines and Lifeskills in mind.
Kevin Karr