‘Best is yet to come’: Superintendent shares student success data with staff

Friday afternoon, LCS Superintendent Matt Wandrie shared some exciting news about student success data with the entire staff.
Staff —
It’s no secret that, over the last several years, we’ve endeavored to raise the bar for our students. We’ve all seen more than our fair share of changes, structurally, academically and everything in between. We’ve asked a lot of our students, and of ourselves, with only the promise that our diligence would result in better outcomes for the students we serve. We have stretched our resources in times of financial hardship and aspired to offer our students more academic opportunities than ever before.
LPS_v2_CMYKToday, I’m proud to say that through our hard work, dedication and focus on best instructional practices, we are seeing incredible breakthroughs in student achievement. By any objective measure, the tide is turning in Lapeer.
Thursday evening, at our monthly work session, Executive Director of Curriculum and Instruction, Michelle Bradford, shared our 2016-17 student assessment data with the Board of Education. We have much to celebrate and we will do so publicly in the next few weeks.
Until then, here are just a few of the many tremendous returns from the 2016-17 school year:
• Out of 16 M-STEP assessment areas (grade/subject), our students improved in 15. No other District in Lapeer or Genesee County improved in more than 12. 
• Our average percentage growth (6.31%) was nearly twice the next highest growth district on the M-STEP. 
• LCS was the only district in Lapeer or Genesee County that did not decline in any assessment area on the M-STEP.
• Our students scored above the state average in ELA (3-7), Math (3-5) and Science (4 and 7).
• Lapeer Community Schools is the top-performing district in Lapeer and Genesee County in 5th grade math. 
• Lapeer High School students scored above the state average in PSAT (9-10) and SAT. 
When the state releases its list of Reward Schools for 2016-17 in the next few months, we hope to have more great news to share. Last year both Murphy (year-over-year gains) and Schickler (Beating the Odds, year-over-year gains), were named Reward Schools. It’s a great honor and one that we hope to receive again.
Finally, it’s high time we acknowledge the truly outstanding work that has been done and continues at Schickler Elementary. What the staff and students at Schickler have done over the past few years is truly remarkable. Schickler is the embodiment of what we believe at our core: All students can learn.
As I stated above, Schicker is a Reward School; it’s one of a small percentage of schools in the state celebrated for “beating the odds.” When I came to Lapeer in 2011, I heard a lot of negative talk about the school. It was derided by many as a “city school,” which is a term as much about socioeconomics as geography. Fast forward six years and Schickler Elementary is our top-performing elementary school, and one of an elite group of elementary schools breaking down barriers that are prohibitive to prosperity.
In 2015, Schickler’s M-STEP proficiency was 30 percent. The following year it increased to 39 percent. This year, 54 percent of students were proficient on the M-STEP, making it the top-performing school in its peer group. The growth is staggering.
Far too often in our industry leaders are reticent at times when praise is due. This is not one of those times. The entire staff at Schickler has much to be proud of and we have much to learn from their example.
It’s hard to express in an e-mail the pride that we have in what’s happening in our school district. I’m looking forward to not only building on our successes, but also celebrating how far we’ve come. I’m grateful for all of you and for our Board, who have supported our plan to carry out their vision and stayed the course. The best is yet to come.
Have a great weekend and Go Lightning!!
Matt

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