To The Daily Sun,
A year and a half ago, Ashland Elementary School faculty and administration began a discussion about student learning and effective teaching. Through their efforts and commitment, Ashland is providing an educational program that continues to meet the needs of our students and maximizes the opportunities for student success.
Students at Ashland Elementary School have made tremendous academic progress since the beginning of the school year. Grades 1-5 have shown a 75 percent increase in reading scores and an 86 percent increase in math scores. Grades 6-8 show similar progress with a 65 percent increase in reading scores and a 72 percent increase in math scores.
Ashland's assessment program is based on state and national standards and student competency for each standard. Competency is determined by collecting evidence through performance tasks such as hands-on demonstrations, oral reports, tests and other written assignments. Each piece of evidence is then evaluated according to the student's level of understanding. To be considered proficient, a student must receive 85 percent or better on assessments. Since grades are no longer averaged, the report card has a different look. A student's report is a comprehensive document that indicates which academic standards he or she is working on and the level of competency. Parents can access their child's academic progress online or, if requested, a paper copy will be sent home.
This year Ashland introduced more technology across all school programs. Technology is used as a tool for learning and to report student progress. Students in the primary and intermediate tiers have access to Kindles as well as the computer lab. Middle tier students have access to iPads (purchased or rented) that are used during class instruction, for individual research and for homework assignments.
We believe that the school has done an exemplary job in providing numerous opportunities for students to interact socially. Some examples are as follows: All School Meetings, Annual Halloween Parade, Winter Recreation Program, Winter Carnival, Pajama Day — sponsored by the Student Council, Monthly SAU Dances, Field Day, and I Love to Read Week. Social skills are also addressed in each class as part of the learning process.
As candidates for the Ashland School Board, we ask for your support. We believe that student success requires quality professionals, sound curriculum and assessment, and well-informed educational and budgetary decisions.