We are very eager to begin this new year and have a chance to either reconnect with or get to know your child for the first time. I want to take a bit of time to share some of the great news about B.I.C.S. and set the stage for more exciting things we have in store.
Throughout the 2016-2017 school year BICS staff, families, and students made a commitment to improving schoolwide attendance. We know the sky’s the limit when it comes to (what’s possible in the areas of) student achievement and personal growth, but first we have to make sure we are present and be engaged! All the stakeholders did more than their part and we experienced the highest rate of Average Daily Attendance in the school’s history! Our rate for the final recording period of the year was 95.3%! Impressive!
Our improvements in attendance combined fantastically with our yearlong focus on promoting engagement and instilling a schoolwide growth mindset. We are ecstatic about our gains in student achievement on multiple assessments. A record number of students demonstrated greater than one year’s growth in one year’s time in the areas of Math, Language, and Reading. In the upper grades (4th-8th) 78% of BICS students showed improvement in Math and Language Arts on the statewide CAASPP assessment. This is a fantastic accomplishment especially considering that our students take a more challenging assessment at a higher grade level each year!
At BICS, we are committed to constantly refining and improving our practices. While we continue to benefit from last year’s initiatives such as Peacebuilders, The Power of Engagement, and Growth Mindset, we are embarking on an in-depth study of John Hattie’s work entitled Visible Learning for Teachers. (I encourage all of you to research his works.) In Visible Learning, he highlights the practices that have been proven to have the greatest positive impact on student learning from thousands of studies on millions of students! In the upcoming months, we’ll be excited to share our efforts in “high impact” areas such as Clarifying Learning Expectations, Maximizing Classroom Discussion, and the Power of Student-Teacher Relationships.
As always, we will be looking forward to working with our families throughout the year. We are also always happy to meet new families, provide tours of our beautiful campus, and share the great things that are happening here at BICS. If you or anyone you know has an interest in becoming a part of Barona Indian Charter School, please don’t hesitate to get in contact with us!