Curricular & Spiritual Connections 2-05-21

Picture taken pre-COVID19 on Feb. 13, 2020

Promoting St. Paul’s
St. Paul’s seems to be one of those best kept secrets here in Waverly. One of the best ways to promote our school is by word of mouth. Having been in public education for many years it is with much gratitude that I have the opportunity to be a part of such a great parochial school. There are so many amenities: prayer in the classroom, 1:1 devices, family engagement, Fruit Values expectations, field trips, EWALU, Capstone, weekly worship and two educators in each early childhood classroom.

St. Paul’s provides an ecimenical learning environment that has a history of almost 150 years filled with tradition. It’s like a second home where lifelong friendships of parents and students are grown and nurtured. With registration just around the corner, now’s the time to share the good news. Talk to your friends, encourage them to visit the website, give us a call and sign up for our Kindergarten and Preschool Meet & Greets. Registration for the 2021-22 school year begins next week for church and school families.

How Do We Know?
How are our students doing and how do we know? We might collect anecdotal notes, do some formative assessment, make an observation or give a chapter test.  All of this data is valuable information in understanding what our students are ready for.

A more formalized measure that is utilized across the state of Iowa is the Fastbridge Assessment. FAST stands for Formative Assessment System for Teachers. At St. Paul’s FAST is given to every student K-6th grade three times a year to identify our students who are on track to reading and understand math with proficiency and those students who need additional help. Benchmark standards (i.e., “cut scores” or “targets”) are built into the system to assist in determining which students are at risk for academic failure, on target for success, or may need enrichment instruction.

During the next few weeks we will be conducting this universal screening with all of our kindergartners through 6th graders. FAST Reports are instantly available to evaluate student performance against local norms, mastery criterion, and predictions of risk to meet proficiency standards on state tests. The results should be ready to share with parents at Parent Teacher Conferences.

In preschool, we formally assess our students utilizing Teaching Strategies Gold. Children begin to develop early literacy, early numeracy, and social-emotional skills needed for kindergarten while they’re still in preschool. The teachers collect information, record notes, and take pictures and upload the information into GOLD documenting student progress on the 38 research based objectives which are early predictors of school success. The teachers do three check points each year. This year the teachers are also piloting the IGDIS assessment which is a more objective measure of student progress.  The myIGDIs help our teachers quickly and accurately assess this development so we can intervene early and provide all learners with targeted support for success.