Monday, August 31, 2015

2015 August Letter Home to Parents/Guardians

2015 August Letter Home to Parents/Guardians:

Dear Students, Parents, and Guardians,


We would like to take this opportunity to welcome all to the 2015-2016 school year. As the summer comes to a close, we would like to share some information from last year and some exciting news for the upcoming school year.


Each year, federal regulations by the United States Department of Education require that schools provide a letter to parents prior to the start of the school year, conveying certain information, which includes the school’s status in the federal accountability system.  Usually that would include information gained from the statewide assessment results.  However, this past year the state of Vermont transitioned to a new assessment (Smarter Balanced Assessment Consortium or SBAC). This past Spring was the first time students in grades 7, 8, and 11 took the SBAC assessment. That information is not available to schools this year within a timeframe that would allow for its inclusion in the this letter. However, early indication shows that our students were above state average on this assessment. It is also important to note that Vermont has received a waiver allowing the Agency of Education (AOE) to disregard the assessment results for accountability purposes in this first year of administration.  Therefore, our school’s Adequate Yearly Progress (AYP) status has not changed from what it was this past year, which was Corrective Action Year I.


Federal and state assessments are not the only measure of a healthy school. Here at Hazen, we seek to understand student growth and development from a whole child perspective. That includes local assessments, reports on student behavior, and student surveys on climate. We are excited to report student growth on local writing assessments and growth on benchmark assessments. In addition to students report feeling more connected to their school than in the past, data on discipline referrals to our behavior support center have dropped roughly 50% over the last 3 years. Overall, our school is seeing tremendous growth and we are dedicated to making this continuous improvement sustainable. We will accomplish this by moving towards a system of proficiency-based learning. We have also improved our grading and reporting system that will be consistent across grade levels and shows students academic skills, as well as academic habits. Finally, we are expanding on our youth and adult partnerships to incorporate student voice in our decision-making processes. Please see included in this packet our updates on grading and reporting, as well as additional information on Act 77 Flexible Pathways, Personal Learning Plans and Proficiency-based Learning.


We welcome you to be part of the conversation about our students growth. To learn more about the exciting things happening please visit our website: www.hazen.ossu.org or on Facebook and Twitter.


Sincerely,


Michael D. Moriarty M.Ed.
Principal  


John C. Craig M.Ed.
Associate Principal