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September 2014 M T W T F S S « Aug 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 29 30
Dear Families & Friends,
Today the Missouri Department of Elementary and Secondary Education (DESE) released its annual data regarding student achievement on the state’s Missouri Assessment Program (MAP) exams administered this past April. As in past years, the results for the students of St. Louis Language Immersion Schools (SLLIS) demonstrate significant academic growth and performance. Opportunities for growth continue to drive our instructional efforts in 2014-2015 school year and beyond. We’d like to take a moment to highlight both our successes and opportunities.
Annual Performance Report (APR) Score
DESE’s overall evaluation of each public school comes in the form of an Annual Performance Report (APR) score, which is actually a percentage of points earned by an individual school on a variety of performance measures. A school’s status as “unaccredited,” “provisionally accredited,” “accredited,” and “accredited with distinction” is based on this APR score. By law, charter schools are not subject to accreditation statuses; however, DESE does provide APR scores to all public schools so that we can compare performance in charter public schools to traditional public schools.
In the 2013-14 academic year, SLLIS earned an APR score of 81, well above the minimum score of 70 required to earn “accredited” status. This is the first year that our APR calculation incorporated our students’ academic growth. Overall, that growth is propelling our APR upward. In our revised school charter, approved in January 2014, SLLIS established an APR goal of at least 90, which warrants “accreditation with distinction.” Therefore, the instructional team at SLLIS will continue their commitment to increase both students’ annual Academic Growth and Absolute Performance on MAP exams, two factors that constitute much of the APR calculation.
An additional factor in the APR calculation that all members of the SLLIS community can help us improve on is Student Attendance. While all-day absences certainly play a role in our attendance data, SLLIS’s APR score was negatively impacted by students arriving to school late and leaving early, thereby missing critical instructional time. With a greater fidelity to Student Attendance expectations, our strong Academic Growth could have boosted our overall 2014 APR score as high as a 95.
Continued Growth in Communication Arts
We now have three years of MAP test data for The French School and The Spanish School (The Chinese School students will take their first MAP exams in 3rd grade). Even this small sample of data is confirming that our students’ progress in Communication Arts is tracking with the initial, rigorous goals we established when we founded SLLIS – goals which were informed by data on student performance in other full language immersion programs both nationally and internationally.
As the attached MAP Data Summary details, the percentage of students testing at the Proficient or Advanced levels increases by approximately 10% per grade level: 30.1% for all SLLIS third graders, 40.5% for all fourth graders, and 50% for all fifth graders. This performance meets the developmental goals SLLIS established and DESE endorsed in our new charter. Our five-year goal is that, by 2019, 75% of all SLLIS eighth-graders will test at either the proficient or advanced level, and 54% of all third graders will, as well. We plan to continue our trend of positive performance growth.
Benefits of piloting our Daily 5/Café literacy model to lower grades appears to be evident in the increased percent of third graders who tested at the Proficient or Advanced level in 2014. This fall, we are extending the Daily 5/Café literacy program to all grades, and in all languages.
Aligned with our Absolute Literacy Priority for the 2014-15 academic year, SLLIS has implemented an additional instructional change. We have repurposed resources from our after-school programs to in-class instruction with the addition of literacy coaches in English, Spanish, French and Mandarin. These coaches co-teach and model for all excellence to all instructional leaders in both literacy practice and related analysis of student performance data. To meet our rigorous expectations for English and immersion language performance, we needed to strengthen our literacy efforts. We expect this focus to improve student performance in Mathematics, since many of the MAP questions are “word problems” that require proficiency in literacy skills.
Persistent Challenges in Mathematics
SLLIS student performance on the MAP Mathematics exam did not match the results achieved on the Communication Arts exam nor did it match the goals established in our new charter. The percentage of all SLLIS students testing at Proficient or Advanced was 30.4%; the results for The French School overall were slightly higher (34.6%), and for The Spanish School slighter lower overall (28.6%). On a positive note, stronger performance was evidenced by our third graders (44.3% in TFS, 32.3% in TSS), which positions them well for continued positive growth.
Once more comprehensive data is made available by DESE, efforts to isolate negative trends in Mathematics sub-skill proficiency will be undertaken. Through our participation in the Charter Accelerator Network analysis last spring, we learned that we need to raise our expectations for all student performance and elevate the rigor of our curriculum. In response to that analysis, we will evaluate students’ math progress every six weeks and respond to those results as quickly as possible for real-time improvement. Heads of School and instructional leaders have started the process of emphasizing increased rigor with all instructional staff for all students.
Our instructional teams across TFS and TSS are already deeply engaged in reviews of the newly released MAP data. Additionally, a comparison of MAP data to NWEA and other school-based assessment results is underway. On a student-by-student basis, this comparison will help our team to understand both our students’ and teachers’ successes and challenges, and to identify individualized strategies for increased student growth in the coming years. Individual MAP score data has been mailed to all families of students who tested with SLLIS in Spring 2014. The mailing includes the scores, how to interpret them, and how they complement the work of your child’s teachers.
Overall, we are proud of the gains our students have made over the past year, and we recognize the opportunities for continued growth. We are excited that the SLLIS-wide data analysis that is now underway will help transform the education and the lives of all of our students.
Rhonda Broussard Steve Sanchez President Chair, Board of Directors
2014 SLLIS MAP Data Summary
% Proficient or Advanced
The tables below detail, school-by-school and across all SLLIS schools, the percent of students who tested at either the “proficient” or “advanced” levels on each applicable 2014 MAP exam, which means that the students performed at or above DESE’s statewide achievement goals. Note that MAP exam administration begins in third grade; since The Chinese School had not yet enrolled third graders in 2013-2014, its students did not participate in the spring 2014 MAP testing.
Communication Arts — % Proficient or Advanced
Mathematics — % Proficient or Advanced
Science — % Proficient or Advanced
Note: The MAP Science Exam is first administered in 5th grade.
Cohort growth is the change in the performance of a particular group, or cohort, of students over time. The tables below detail, school-by-school and across all SLLIS schools, the growth in the percent of students scoring at the “proficient” or “advanced” levels on the MAP exams over the years in which those particular students attended SLLIS.
Presenting our student performance data in terms of cohort growth more accurately illustrates the type of academic growth that individual students experience at SLLIS; it presents a longitudinal view if performance from particular students over time. Cohort growth data also enables SLLIS to track student performance against the internationally respected research that documenting how students perform in other high-quality language immersion educational environments. Accordingly, below we provide data on our two longest-attending and annually tested cohorts:
- Cohort #1 is comprised of students who attended SLLIS consecutively for 3rd, 4th, and 5th grades, from 2011-2012 through 2013-2014.
- Cohort #2 is comprised of students who attended SLLIS consecutively for 3rd and 4th grades, from 2012-2013 through 2013-2014.
Cohort #1: Communication Arts
|Cohort Year #1:2011-20123rd Grade||Cohort Year #22012-20134th Grade||Cohort Year #32013-20145th Grade|
|The French School||26.3%||56.30%||45.5%|
|The Spanish School||24%||42.9%||52.6%|
Cohort #1: Mathematics
|Cohort Year #1:2011-20123rd Grade||Cohort Year #22012-20134th Grade||Cohort Year #32013-20145th Grade|
|The French School||26.3%||37.5%||27.3%|
|The Spanish School||40%||28.6%||31.6%|
Cohort #2: Communication Arts
|Cohort Year #1:2012-20133rd Grade||Cohort Year #22013-20144th Grade|
|The French School||30.6%||51.4%|
|The Spanish School||20.3%||31.8%|
Cohort #2: Mathematics
|Cohort Year #1:2012-20133rd Grade||Cohort Year #22013-20144th Grade|
|The French School||16.7%||20%|
|The Spanish School||27.1%||15.9%|
St. Louis Language Immersion Schools had the pleasure of hosting His Royal Highness Prince Louis de Bourbon, Duc d’Anjou & his wife Princess Marguerite, Duchess of Anjou on their first visit together to St. Louis, at the invitation of Archbishop Robert Carlson. Last Saturday, our school’s Staff & Board leadership hosted the Prince & Princess as they toured St. Louis in honor of our 250th anniversary and as representatives of his ancestors: Saint Louis, for whom our city is named and Louis XIV, who served as king of France when our city was founded.
The Prince & Princess had the unique opportunity to visit The French School. After a reading a passage from The Little Prince in English, Spanish, & French, Prince Louis & Princess Marguerite entertained a variety of questions from our students in The French School & The Spanish School. We learned that they love horses, sports and their three young children – all of whom attend a biligual school in Madrid where the family resides.
The afternoon was spent in the company of Mayor Francis Slay at City Hall. In addition to offering the Prince & Princess a warm welcome to our city, Mayor Slay presented the couple with a key to our city and a proclamation of August 25, 2014 as Louis de Bourbon day in the city of St. Louis.
Founder & President Rhonda Broussard shares, “In keeping with the local & global focus of our schools, this opportunity allowed the members of our school community to forge a relationship with the Prince and Princess as well as leaders in the St. Louis international, diplomatic,and business communities.” In addition to the school visit and reception at City Hall, St. Louis Language Immersion Schools hosted a private dinner at the Saint Louis Club on Saturday evening. We offer many thanks to The Fox Family Foundation, The Jane & Bruce Robert Charitable Foundation and Mayor Francis Slay for making this evening possible.
About HRH Louis de Bourbon, Duc d’Anjou
Prince Louis Alphonse of Bourbon, Duke of Anjou, is the successor of the king of France and is direct descendant of Louis XIV. He is the son of Prince Alphonse de Bourbon, Duke of Anjou and of Cadix. He is also the great-grandson of King Alphonse XIII of Spain, and the cousin of King Juan-Carlos I of Spain. After studying at the Lycée Français in Madrid and graduating with a Bachelor’s degree in Economic Sciences, Prince Louis of Bourbon studied at the Centro Universitario de Estudios Financieros (CUNEF), Economic Sciences, with a major in Finance. He received a Masters of Finance from CUNEF and an Executive MBA from IESE in Madrid. Married since 2004 to Princess Marie-Marguerite, Prince Louis of Bourbon has three children. He resides with his family in Madrid and is the International Vice-President of Banco Occidental de Descuento based in Caracas, Venezuela.
August 23 & 24 mark the International Institute’s Festival of Nations in Tower Grove Park. We are proud to partner with the International Institute and are excited for another great year! With the support of US Bank, SLLIS will be overseeing the children’s arts & crafts area. And, as in past years, we have an enrollment & information booth located directly next to the arts and crafts activities.
We are looking for a few volunteers to support our booth and craft area. If you are able to volunteer, please sign up for a shift by clicking here. Children are welcome too – so please consider bringing your whole family down to the Festival of Nations for an amazing weekend full of good food, friends and fun!
Shifts will be confirmed with all volunteers by Thursday at 5PM, including information about location and what you’ll find at the booth. For additional information, please contact Molly Poe – 314-533-0975 ext. 2200 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
There will be No School on September 19 due to a staff Professional Development day. If you need child care, Club SLLIS is a fee-based child care program offered at our Papin location for all SLLIS students.
Club SLLIS provides educational and interactive programming for SLLIS students during weekdays during the school year when school is not in session. SLLIS student siblings are also permitted to enroll if they are in grades K-5. All Club SLLIS days will follow the same schedule and have designated themes. Four activity periods will be developed that incorporate developmentally-appropriate, enriching activities. Every Club SLLIS day will include a presentation by an outside performer that relates to the day’s theme, when possible.
The registration form can be found here. It is also available in every school’s lobby, at pick up from the Mosaic program and will be emailed to every family with email. For any questions, please contact Club SLLIS Coordinator, Lisa Berman, at email@example.com or 314-398-6839. Please return the form with payment no later than Wednesday, September 5th.
- TCS SAC Meeting – 6:30p-7:30p
- TFS Staff Appreciation Meal
- Festival of Nations in Tower Grove Park – come visit SLLIS at our information booth & kids craft area on both days!
On Monday, we had the great joy to open our doors for the sixth school year at St. Louis Language Immersion Schools – a celebrated milestone in the midst of the Mike Brown aftermath. Our students came to school as they do every day, from 40+ zip codes in St. Louis City and County, representing every type of diversity imaginable—family of origin, home language, economic class— ready to learn. In our schools we acknowledge that we all live in this “accordion” experience. We all wake up each day in our largely segregated communities with all of the messages and history that they bring, and we come to SLLIS. At SLLIS we expect everyone to suspend belief for a few precious hours. We expect our students to believe that our schools are the normal world and that making real relationships across our differences is all that matters. Then each afternoon, we return home to our segregated neighborhoods and lives. Our children are constantly navigating between these two worlds and it’s our job to give value to such relationships and make our normal world the reality.
Over the week I have heard from families who chose to have courageous conversations with their children about the week’s unrest and protests. Families who chose to engage their children in peaceful protest and vigils. Students who asked their families what they could do. Families who were scared for their children’s safety and chose to keep them at home. Families who didn’t know what to say to their children. Families who wanted to keep their children in blissful ignorance, safe in their bubble from the atrocities in our region. I am inspired by all of our families for their honesty, their vulnerability, their courage, and their voice.
In times of intercultural crisis, we can be impatient and focus on the immediate action and immediate change. We ask ourselves “Am I doing enough to change our society?” “What can we do to make life better for our children tomorrow?” “Can I, one person, change the world?”
I couldn’t stop crying on my way in to school this morning. I am supposed to be comforted by the nationwide vigils, peaceful protests, and beautiful displays of love and demands for justice that occurred last night. But vigils and protests will not keep my son safe. They will not keep more young men who look like him from being feared, profiled or vilified in our communities. After I began speaking with parents and going to all-school assembly today, I felt deeply why our school matters so much. We have to teach our children that they can trust and love people who are different from them.
This is what change looks like.
In peace and love,