2017 SRHS Letter Grade Released

2017 SRHS Letter Grade Released
Posted on 10/06/2017
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The Arizona Department of Education publicly released letter grades for schools around the state today, Oct. 6, for the 2016-2017 school year.

Salt River High School earned a D, which is based on several factors, including student performance on the state’s assessment test, AzMERIT, a student growth and proficiency measurement tool.

Specifically, the SRHS score shows students in grades 7-11 lag far behind the state for both English Language Arts and Mathematics:

SRHS English Language Arts (8) & Math (16) percentages of students passing the AzMERIT assessment versus results statewide (39 and 40, respectively).

However, year-over-year assessment data indicate that nearly 40 percent of SRHS students demonstrated higher-than-average growth in both ELA and math compared to last year’s scores. Click here to download the PowerPoint Superintendent Dr. Louis Laffitte presented to the Education Board Oct. 2; the presentation shows comparisons of AzMERIT data.

In anticipation of this letter grade and percent passing results, Salt River Schools leaders have already been working to implement improvement plans to ensure better student achievement and success in the future, said Superintendent Dr. Louis Laffitte, Jr.

The Division recently relaunched its Curriculum and Instruction department, which is in the process of removing outdated curriculum from our schools and replacing it with curriculum aligned with state and national standards to meet appropriate levels of academic rigor. Soon, students and parents will see new textbooks and materials used in classrooms across the Division.

Additionally, the Curriculum and Instruction departmentSalt River Schools teachers and staff participate in ongoing professional development training. holds ongoing, Division-wide professional learning experiences for instructional staff, including administrators, teachers, aides and tutors, said Robert Gray, the new Director of Curriculum and Instruction. 

“The focus has been on something known as the Danielson Framework for Teaching, a well-respected and researched method of how to think about the whole process of teaching,” said Robert Gray, the new Director of Curriculum and Instruction. “Many teachers report the training is enjoyable and helpful.”

Staff professional development also highlights how to understand and use student data from both AzMERIT and the Northwest Evaluation Association (NWEA) to personalize and enhance every student’s classroom experience to meet individual student needs.

To this end, the Curriculum and Instruction team has increased the number of tutors available to support Community youth of all ages who attend Salt River Schools, as well as schools in surrounding districts.

“One of the challenges educators everywhere face is how to get student buy-in when it comes to their own academic achievement. To that end, we’re developing ‘student portfolios,’ a new concept here meant to engage student interest and ownership for things like grades, tests, college and career readiness and goal setting,” said new SRHS Principal Brian Mabb.

Mabb said the portfolios will be something useful to students, whether they’re applying for a job or a college scholarship.

“We’d also like the portfolios to be something the students eventually reach for when people ask how they’re doing in school, so they can brag a little, not just to parents, but the entire Community,” Mabb continued. “When there’s buy-in from students—when we show them that they are meeting the expectations of not just their parents or the Community, but themselves—we will see growth and, more importantly, confidence.”

Mabb stressed that his school’s commitment remains as strong as ever to teach all students at whatever level they are at and move them toward grade-level achievement. Click here to see the PowerPoint presentation Mr. Mabb presented recently to explain the Arizona State Board of Education's letter grade accountability system.

 Laffitte urged parents and guardians to engage on multiple levels with their students' schools and classrooms by attending upcoming parent-teacher conferences, participating in events and activities and volunteering. Parents are encouraged to discuss their child’s AzMERIT results with teachers and check-in about their child’s academic progress anytime.

“It’s important to remember that AzMERIT results are just one method of assessing student growth and proficiency,” Laffitte said. “At Salt River Schools, we prioritize not just reading and math, but science, social studies and culture and language, among other academic pursuits.”

Multiple options exist for parents and families to get more information and data regarding the SRHS letter grade and AzMERIT results. Check out our AzMERIT FAQs page and consider attending the next Salt River Schools Education Board meeting Oct. 16 at 5:15 p.m. when the board will discuss the letter grade and AzMERIT results.

Arizona’s New A-F School Letter Grade System – What You Need to Know

A Parent Toolkit from Expect More Arizona

Click here to view and download a PDF of the toolkit.

In addition to background on how A-F school letter grades came about, the toolkit includes answers to the following questions:

  • What does a school's letter grade mean for parents?
  • What exactly does the A-F system measure?
  • What does the A-F system NOT measure?
  • What does each letter grade mean?
  • What happens to D & F schools? 
  • How should parents use this information?

Still have questions? This PowerPoint from the ArizonaPTA, Arizona Educational Foundation and Expect More Arizona is specifically for parents and includes a quick guide on how to interpret and use AzMERIT data, a sample Family Score Report, learning videos, resource links and more!


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