Welcome and Happy Catholic Schools Week! I am eager to share with you all the great accomplishments at St. Malachy School this last school year. The new Catholic Schools logo is Learn, Serve, Lead, Succeed. Here are just a few ways in which St. Malachy exemplifies these four verbs every day in our building.
87% of students in grades 2-8 are proficient in Reading on Iowa Assessments.
85% of students in grades 2-8 are proficient in Math on Iowa Assessments.
100% of our teachers participate in annual professional development to improve their teaching skill set.
Students in grades K-2 serve our community by visiting nursing homes residents. Students read, play games and work on art projects with the residents.
Students in grades 3-5 serve our community by working at the Creston Food Pantry once a week. Students help by sorting food, organizing shelves and unloading trucks at the pantry.
Students in grades 6-8 serve our community by working at the Rectory ReRun. Students help by cleaning the ReRun, sorting incoming donations and working with the customers.
Older students demonstrate their leadership skills by leading young students through prayers and activities during our Advent and Lenten Angels programs.
8th grade students attend a Leadership Retreat at the St. Thomas Moore Center in Panora.
Middle School students are provided the opportunity to gain leadership experiences by participating in Civics Club, Concert/Marching band, Middle School Sports and many more.
Younger students read and serve at our weekly Mass
99% of Catholic School students in the United States graduate from High School
St. Malachy students are successful at Creston High School and beyond. Some our recent student accolades are: valedictorian, salutatorian, honor roll, homecoming queen, starters on varsity team sports, award winning musical ensembles, and lead parts in musicals and plays just to name a few.
St. Malachy teachers and staff provide unique opportunities to work on and be exposed to these ever so important ideas and values. The skills obtained throughout a student’s time at St. Malachy school help them become an amazing faith filled servant of Christ.
Another way we plan to share our accomplishments is by sharing our Annual Report about how we are doing here at St. Malachy School.
What is an Annual Report?
Every year, St. Malachy School and all schools in the state of Iowa are required to report to the Department of Education about the progress of our students.
Within the St. Malachy Catholic School insert in the Creston News Advertiser, you will find our 2016-2017 Annual Report to the public.
I look forward to all the things we have yet to accomplish at St. Malachy School. I am so blessed to be part of this great school and community.
Catholic Schools in the Diocese of Des Moines give the Information for Growth-Assessment of Catholic Religious Education (IFG-Acre) assessment as a progress monitoring tool for our Religion classes in grades five and eight. This assessment lets us know how well our students are progressing in their understanding of Catholic doctrine as well as their own beliefs and attitudes. This assessment does not report to us individual scores. Instead, at St. Malachy School, we receive a total class score of our 5th graders and 8th graders in an overall score, a score in each domain, and a total affective score. These scores allow us to review the work of Religion instruction in the whole school as this instruction builds across grade levels and over the years both at home and at school. Student scores below the 64th percentile suggest improvement is needed, scores between the 64th and 86th percentile reflect proficiency, and scores above 86th percentile indicate advanced knowledge.
Content Standards: Science
At St. Malachy School, along with all schools in the state of Iowa, we are in the third year process of adopting the Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS). This adoption process is preceded by professional development and collaboration with other science teachers in the Des Moines Diocese and surrounding communities. These trainings and conversations will help prepare our teachers for a solid implementation of the new standards. The NGSS presents three dimensions that will be combined to form each standard: Dimension 1: Practices, Dimension 2: Crosscutting Concepts, Dimension 3: Disciplinary Core Ideas.
The final step will be raising the necessary funds to purchase curriculum that is aligned to the NGSS. This curriculum will provide our teachers with the tools needed to provide our students instruction in the three dimensions the NGSS.
*if there are fewer than 10 students in a class then St. Malachy cannot publish achievement information.
Content Standards: Reading
In 2013 St. Malachy School purchased the Journeys curriculum by Houghton Mifflin. Journeys was our school’s first step on a path to implementing a Balanced Literacy program. Balanced literacy incorporates the elements of a Guided Reading program. A Guided reading program allows for differentiated curriculum which means instructions is designed for students with different needs within the classroom. Students spend time on fluency, comprehension, word study and the elements of literature. As noted by the data St. Malachy is pleased with the results of using the journeys curriculum and plan to continue to use this program moving forward. A new piece added in the 2017-2018 school year is a fluency and comprehension assessment taken by students three times each year. Teachers use these assessments to look at student’s score individually and decided what intensive strategies they can use to make sure all of their students become proficient in reading.