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 2017-2018 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 fourth year 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 in this transition was to purchase new NGSS aligned curriculum. We were able to purchase our curriculum for our students in grades K-8 for the 2018-2019 school year. We chose a program called Science Dimensions. This program puts students in charge of their learning and enables teachers to seamlessly guide their students on this new instructional path. This unique design means better engagement, deeper understanding, and greater student achievement in science inquiry and engineering skills.
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 piece added in the 2016-2017 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 decide what focused, personalized strategies they can use to make sure every student becomes proficient in reading.
In 2014 St. Malachy School purchased the Go Math curriculum by Houghton Mifflin. Go Math is a comprehensive Grade K-6 mathematics program developed to support the Common Core State Standards for Mathematics and the NCTM Curriculum Focal Points. Teachers also supplement their math curriculum with Dreambox Learning. This is an adaptive, online K-8 math program designed to complement classroom instruction. Our hope is Dreambox online math will provide the increased assessment results we are seeking.