Dear Campus Middle School students and families,
It’s hard to imagine that we’re on the latter end of first semester! Our time with your students has gone by quickly and we have had a great academic year so far. Our staff has been diligently working to engage students in meeting and exceeding the new Colorado Academic Standards and demands of the common core. Students have been working hard and have shown progress in mastering those standards.
There has been much conversation around mathematics and the streamlining of math courses to Cherry Creek High School. Let me assure you that there have been a great deal of productive conversations and the outcomes have been positive. Over the past three years, growth in math has increased as a result of purposeful and intentional planning among teachers in addition to the effort our students make in order to achieve. Campus Middle School has a rich tradition of meeting the student’s needs where they are and we will continue to do so.
Conversely, our most recent data in reading over the past three years has shown a slight decline; thus, we are beginning to put more attention and emphasis around reading in Language Arts classes, reading to learn, and reading in the content areas. Our school Unified Improvement Plan (UIP) is in construction and will outline root causes and plans to improve growth in reading over the course of the next several years.
Language Arts teachers are implementing new strategies to help students master the common core standards, read to build knowledge, and they are increasing non-fiction reading within the classroom. We are beginning to train content area teachers to guide students in close reading strategies in order to help students build knowledge through content rich information/reading. We are increasing reading time in school in order to help students write to include evidence from complex texts, and we are emphasizing the learning of academic language within classes. Last, we are reviewing our schedule to determine how we might integrate more reading into the school day.
As partners in your child's education, we want to make you aware of what you can do to help your child continue his/her growth in reading. One thing you can do at home is to ensure that your child reads every day.
Here are some simple tips:
-Make sure that your child has a quiet place to read.
-Create a routine for your child to read (time and location) and make sure that your child reads what interests him/her so that reading is fun, interesting and meaningful.
-Talk to your child about reading.
Things that you can do to engage your child in dialogue about the text are to -
• Make a prediction.
• Ask a question.
• Clarify something you had misunderstood.
• Make a comment.
• Make a connection.
In addition, we know that you want your children to succeed and advance during his/her school years before you see them venture off into the world. Use the following guidelines in determining your child's schedule for reading at home.
To maintain current level of reading: Read 100 minutes/week.
To grow as a reader: Read 250 minutes/week.
To be ready for Advanced Placement classes: Read 500 minutes/week.
To be in the 98th percentile: Read 650 minutes/week
We will be unveiling some very exciting news about a school-wide reading initiative soon and will continue to keep you apprised of any additional strategies or efforts to support our students in their growth in reading. Please don't hesitate to contact us if you have any questions.
Dr. Enrique Rosales