January 22, 2019

Dear Horizons Community,

We are proud to share our good news about the academic achievement of our students!  Our School Accountability Committee (SAC) reviewed our 2017 CMAS, fall 2018 literacy and school climate data. Here are some celebrations:

John Irwin School of Excellence:  We have been awarded this designation in BVSD based on our Exceeds Expectations rating on the Academic Achievement indicator of the School Performance Frameworks reflecting exceptional performance in Math, English Language Arts, and Science. (View more information on the School Performance Framework in SchoolView.) This designation was made possible given our school’s commitment to 76% CMAS participation last spring.  We look forward to continuing as a John Irwin School with increased participation in CMAS this spring!

Readers Extraordinaire!  We just completed our mid-year review of our literacy data.  Students in each classroom experienced exceptional growth throughout the fall.  Highlights are: Our 3rd grade students have grown this semester from 78% to 94% on reading level.  Our 4th grade students have grown from 62% to 92% on reading level. Our 8th grade students have grown from 61% on reading level to 78%!  Thank you to our incredible teachers, literacy and MTSS interventionists, and special education teachers for supporting our students to be able and excited readers!

Social Emotional Learning!  Our new school counselor, Sherry Davis, jumped right in this fall with resources and support for students and teachers. Lessons have included skills in emotional regulation, making friends, being an upstander, and building healthy relationships.  

Areas for Growth:

Our achievement and school climate data also revealed important areas to focus on for improvement and growth.  Our school goals, submitted in our Horizons Unified Improvement Plan (UIP), include:

Literacy Excellence:

Goal one is to continue to consistently implement the Lucy Calkins Literacy program in all K-8 classrooms. This is an exciting reading program that encourages teachers to co-plan and reflect on instructional lessons, methods, and assessment practices while identifying and responding to students needing support or intervention.  We will be watching our spring IReady data and ELA CMAS achievement data to celebrate our progress.

Eliminate the Achievement Gap:

An additional goal we have set is to make sure all students in Horizons K-8 have equitable access to instruction, assessment, intervention, and support practices that will result in achievement and growth scores on the Colorado Measure of Academic Success.  We are striving to have all students meet proficiency standards in math and ELA. Exceptional students who are on plans for ELD, 504 or IEP support services will achieve academic proficiency at levels that match peers who are not on learning plans. Currently, there is a gap in achievement and we are working to close that gap.

Support Emotional Development:

To create our school-wide Social and Emotional Learning goals, our School Accountability Committee (SAC) and whole faculty reviewed our school climate survey results.   82 % of students in grades 2-4 reported that “students in my school get mad when they disagree with people.” Additionally, 57% of elementary students reported that “they are teased picked on, made fun of, or called names.” Emotional regulation is a developmental area of growth, and we will focus on increasing skills in emotional regulation and decreasing behaviors that result in harm to others.  Our action steps are focused on helping teachers and students with consistent emotional regulation tools provided and used in K-4 classrooms, focusing on positive behavior, and offering specific feedback to students when they improve their skills. We are also increasing peer-to-peer learning programs for our students such as Dare to Care, Allies in Diversity, Diplomats, Peace Jam, and Green Team. Watch for future announcements from these student-initiatives.

School Engagement and Participation:

In our school climate data, 54% of  5-8 students reported negative responses to “I regularly participate in extracurricular activities offered through this school such as school clubs or organizations, musical groups, sports teams, student government, or any other extra-curricular activities,” and 43% report negative responses to “There are lots of chances for students at this school to get involved in sports, clubs, and other school activities outside of class.” To increase engagement and participation, we will be surveying students for their ideas and interests in extracurricular activities and clubs and working to offer choices based on student input.  Our goal is to increase the % of positive responses to both questions to above 60% and to provide new experiences for our students.

Thank you to the whole community for your support of your school goals and our our students.

Best,

Horizons K-8 School Board and Faculty

Annie Blankenship, Cecilia Davis, Cory Pavicich, Elizabeth Coleman, Frank Bruno, Jaime Schlomberg, Julie Dye, Katelyn Grant, Lauren Tracey, Paul Martin, and Teran Sittner

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Happy October Horizons Families,

The fall air is crisp and the school year feels full of growth, color, and excitement.  Our September at Horizons upon community building and establishing a growth mindset as students explore new challenges. Students eagerly anticipate Outdoor Education trips, and return full of courage, altruism, and a heightened sense of cooperation. October finds students engaged in deepened learning and goal-setting.  

We hope you might be able to join us for a future Council meeting.  Council is an opportunity to meet new families, be involved in initiatives at our school, and learn about our programming.   Join us to learn more about our community, the work of our committees, and our exciting new programs. Future meetings (6:30 – 8:00) dates are: November 15th and January 17th.  Watch Skylines announcements or visit our website here for Council information and agendas.

Learning in our building is alive with community norms and classroom routines, STEAM and art projects, reading and writing workshops, real-world math tasks and partnership between grades as students meet their buddies.

This renaissance year promises to be full of renewal and growth. In May, our BVSD bond project kicks into high gear, and students and families will walk into a new “heart of school” space and cafeteria. In addition, we’ll be turning our computer lab into a new flex learning space, expanding our maker culture. Some of our “vintage” systems will also experience an upgrade. A huge thank you to the teams of people who are working to make this a reality.

We hope to see everyone at our Annual Harvest Dance on Friday, October 26th at 5:30.  Join us for fun, dancing, costumes and a community celebration of our changing season!

Warmly,

Lauren and Cece

 

 

 

Happy October Horizons Families,

The fall air is crisp and the school year feels full of growth, color, and excitement.  Our September at Horizons was focused upon community building and establishing a growth mindset as students explore new challenges. Students eagerly anticipate Outdoor Education trips, and return full of courage, altruism, and a heightened sense of cooperation. October finds students engaged in deepened learning and goal-setting.  

We hope you might be able to join us for a future Council meeting.  Council is an opportunity to meet new families, be involved in school initiatives, and learn about our programming.  Future meetings (6:30 – 8:00) dates are: November 15th and January 17th.  Watch Skylines announcements or visit our website here for Council information and agendas.

Learning in our building is alive with community norms and classroom routines, STEAM and art projects, reading and writing workshops, real-world math tasks and partnership between grades as students meet their buddies.

This renaissance year promises to be full of renewal and growth. In May, our BVSD bond project kicks into high gear, and students and families will walk into a new heart of school space and cafeteria. In addition, we’ll be turning our computer lab into a new flex learning space, expanding our maker culture. Some of our vintage systems will also experience an upgrade. A huge thank you to the teams of people who are working to make this a reality.

We hope to see everyone at our Annual Harvest Dance on Friday, October 26th at 5:30.  Join us for fun, dancing, costumes and a community celebration of our changing season!

Warmly,   

Lauren and Cece