Community Council & School Grade

 

Hello Parents,
 
I wanted to email you and pass along two items that should be of interest to everyone. I apologize for the length, but wanted to get the information out to you.
 
First, our School Community Council Elections are completed. We would like to welcome our two newest representatives Susan Carter and Summer Tremelling to the council. Please feel free to contact them or any other member of the council (myself, Suzy Gatherum, Tim Benson, Tammy Hulet, Karen Johnson and Jennie Hendricks) for anything related to the community council, the school improvement plan, or School Trustland expenditures. Our first meeting will be September 16th at 3 pm in the school main office conference room.
 
I want to thank all those parents that expressed an interest in being involved in the community council elections. It was inspiring to know that there were a dozen that stepped forward and said they would be willing to help. THANK YOU!
 
Many people have been talking about the School Accountability Report Card information that came out last week. Some have asked my opinion.  I thought I would take just a minute and explain my thoughts on the subject.  For those that don’t know, schools have had different versions of an accountability report issued based on standardized test scores for many years. Most recently it was in the form of an AYP Report (adequate yearly progress). Some people may recall the No Child Left Behind act and the report that was generated from that.
 
This year the state mandated (through the Utah Legislature) that schools be labeled with an A, B, C, D or F grade based on the data.  In Utah there were three boundary high schools that received an A. There also were a couple of Early-College high schools that received an A rating. Canyon View received a C grade on the report. We received 521 points out of 750. The cutoff for a B was 522 points.  Does one point really translate into being transformed from a “C” to a “B” school when you look at the whole picture?
 
The way that points on this Report are generated are from end of level testing in Math, Language Arts and Science. Other points are allocated based on the school graduation rate. Points are allocated based on “Growth Points” that are generated from a comparison of student scores from one year to another when compared to peers from around the state. Finally, growth points are awarded based on a comparison of student growth for students that were below proficiency levels the prior year.
 
Do I feel that Canyon View High School is a “C School?”  Not at all!  A few months ago the school was noted as the 8th Best High School in Utah by U.S. News & World Report. This report was based on the same students, the same programs, the same teachers, the same community. There are some inherent difficulties in trying to label a school as A, B, C, D, or Failing. The legislature has attempted to do just that in order to paint a picture for parents and communities.  I believe the end result is a fuzzy picture and I would expect that the reporting system will again be changed by the legislature this upcoming session.
 
My hope is that you will take the time to truly understand what is going on within Canyon View High School. It is no secret that we, along with the rest of the state, struggle in mathematics testing. The Community Council has looked to address this concern as part of our School Improvement Plan.  We will continue to work to improve in this area.  
 
There are areas that are not measured in this report that are a fundamental part of who we are and what we do at Canyon View.
 
Above all I hope you know that we look at each piece of data (whether it is reported by the newspapers or not) and look for ways to make changes that will be a positive impact for our students and community.  We constantly look for opportunities to improve. And we will always look to enhance the experience for each of our students.
 
Thank you for your continued efforts on behalf of your student and all those at Canyon View High School.
 
Let me know of any questions you have or of any assistance I may be able to provide your student.
 
Sincerely,
 
Rich Nielsen