With many kids feeling the impacts after all the school changes last year, San Tan Charter in Gilbert is taking extra measures to ensure the success of all their students.
Sarah Laramie, principal of the school K-6 Recker Campus, said she feels that the school has a “moral imperative” to help support students as they get caught up after COVID-19.
“Our students deserve to have all of our time and talent devoted to helping them succeed,” she said.
Laramie also noted that the teachers are taking several approaches to help the students such as staying later to offer extra time to help with assignments and being intentional with their planning to make sure adequate time is devoted to academics.
Before the start of the school year, Laramie said she and other staff members analyzed the school’s test scores from the last two years in order to pinpoint gaps in the students’ knowledge.
“We began the year with a data walk to look at the trends in data in the last three years. With this knowledge at hand, we crafted our goals for the year out of our school mission statement,” she said.
Brandon Tauscher, principal of the school’s 7-12 Power Campus, said they spent tens of thousands of dollars on a new English Language Arts curriculum as another way to help get students caught up.
“The curriculum is powerful in that it is able to differentiate to students’ levels to help everyone access grade-level content, even if students may be missing some foundational skills in reading,” he said.
Tauscher also noted that their goal is to have students up to their current grade-level by the end of the school year.
At the Power Campus, Tauscher said staff met in-person two weeks before the school year began to learn more about the in-house assessments they would use.
He explained that these assessments provide teachers ways to group kids for interventions and see where students specifically need help.
Teachers at the Power Campus also participated in training this summer to become ACT-Certified Educators as they prepare to help students on the recently-adopted ACT test for 11th grade and the ACT Aspire 9th grade, its new statewide assessment.
Many of these changes came after listening to the input from parents who were worried about their child’s academic progress.
“Parents have been very concerned with getting students caught up and seeing it in black in white in our data was a powerful motivator for all of us to institute some changes,” Laramie said.
Laramie and Tauscher said they are both pleased with the support from the entire staff in regard to their new adaptations.
“They not only are willing to go above and beyond in support of their students but also keep generating more ideas on how to support our students. Our teachers’ and staff’s excitement and dedication are palpable this school year and I cannot wait to see all of the results from their hard work,” Laramie said.