Tuesday, May 12, 2015

May 2015
Dear Parent/Guardian,
The 2014-15 school year has flown by!  Congratulations to you and your student(s) for making it through the year.  I wanted to keep you updated regarding a positive academic change we implemented at Shadow Ridge Middle School (SRMS), during the 2014-15 school year.  After reviewing years of student achievement data, researching literacy interventions, and visiting a handful of other Denver Metro middle schools we increased your student’s literacy minutes.

We increased the literacy minutes, which changed the overall schedule from six to seven classes, with the Language Arts class broken down into a Reading and a Writing class.  We increased our six period day to an eight period day, increased to five core content classes (math, reading, science, social studies, and writing) two elective classes, and an intervention time before/after lunch involving additional literacy and math minutes for every student. 

The data from MAPS Assessments has indicated improvement.  However, we do need more than one year to view patterns and trends.  The benefits of having increased literacy minutes  will assist all students in the areas of reading comprehension, writing, and analyzing literature.  Increasing literacy and math minutes during advisory has also benefitted the students.  We will be using Moby Max for the upcoming years, in the area of math. 

The school day will remain the same time schedule implemented with bells.  All students will be passing from class to class at the same time, with all teachers out in the hallway.  The class periods will be approximately 50 minutes long with a 30 minute lunch and 17 minute intervention time attached to lunch.  We will continue holding Advisory on Mondays, Tuesdays, Thursdays, and Fridays.  Advisory will allow students to continue the silent reading time, online math, and have a “Home Room Teacher” at SRMS.

Our staff has embraced the change and is excited to move forward.  We are thrilled to make a positive change and move forward toward an increased focus on literacy.  The district has also been diligent regarding a district-wide literacy change.  You may follow the district’s guidance in our quarterly Five Star Journal or by reviewing the literacy plan on the district website.

Thank you for your continued support at SRMS, but most importantly your child.

Susie Wickham