Welcome to Swigert International School
Letter from Principal Tencate
August 22, 2014
Dear Swigert Families,
Welcome Back! I cannot believe that summer is already over. I hope you all had a wonderful break and enjoyed time with your families.
It was great to see so many of you at “Meet the Teacher Night.” I loved watching the students re-connecting with friends and former classmates, talking with their old teachers, and meeting their new teachers.
Before we highlight a few things for the 2014-2015 year, I’d like to celebrate our previous school year. It was an incredibly busy time and unfortunately we were we were very short staffed in multiple areas. However, this wonderful staff worked tirelessly to make the 2013-2014 school year a great one. When we received our TCAP results from the state, we saw that at both third and fourth grade we did very well!
However, the most exciting news came when we were notified that Swigert’s Median Growth Percentile ranked in the top five in the entire district! That is an amazing feat and one that makes us incredibly proud. Not only are our students performing well, we are continuing to grow and challenge them academically. Our growth percentiles were up to 29% higher than the state average and 25% higher than the district average. Superintendent Boasberg called to personally thank us for our efforts as a team on behalf of our students.
“Status data” or performance at one point in time is a good measure of your current students’ performance. However, growth or how the same students do from year to year is a better measure of how successful a school is at continuing to challenge and grow students’ academic abilities over time. There was only one other elementary school in the top five, the other three schools recognized were DSST secondary schools.
This is a huge celebration and we are thrilled to see how well our students performed! However, we still have much to do. Teachers arrived back to school on Monday the 18thand have been busily preparing to welcome your students to another amazing year here at Swigert.
On Tuesday, the whole staff boarded a charter bus and headed to The Nature Place, a conference center in Florissant, Colorado for a staff retreat. During the retreat the teachers had an opportunity to get to know their new teammates better, learn about each other’s working styles, and participate as teams in in problem solving and teambuilding activities that challenged us both mentally and physically. We also balanced our time at the center working on developing our writing units within the IB planners and digging deeper into the Common Core State Standards. This experience together was incredibly powerful as we reflected on ourselves as educators, our work with students, the power of strong teams, and the ultimate power in an organization united under a vision and mission that inspires us to be better collectively than individually.
I would like to extend an enormous thank you to the PTA and our Direct Giving Committee; as well as all of the families who have supported the school with any financial contribution. We could not have had such a powerful experience together as a staff, preparing for the year to come, without your financial support. Thank you!
As a staff we have also been working on developing consistency amongst grade levels. Our school has grown so quickly we need to make sure that teachers at each grade level are aligned both philosophically in their instructional practices, but in areas of communication and developing opportunities to invite parents into the school to highlight student learning.
We are working on developing an overview of each IB unit that will be posted on each teacher’s website to keep parents informed about student learning goals and possible home school connections, as well as to help educate parents on the many facets of the International Baccalaureate program. We have also identified one unit at every grade level for an “exhibition of learning.” This will be a unit where students showcase their work in the unit to their families. Each grade level has also identified a social action or service learning experience tied explicitly to a unit of study. Each year students will participate in at least one action project that connects to their learning for the year.
We are feeling very confident that this will be yet another amazing year!
Again, we are looking forward to welcoming your children to school on Monday. Please join Jen Woolf and me in the annual Swigert walk to school at 7:45 at the pocket park on 35th and Xenia at the Dog Picnic statue. We will depart for school at 8:00. I hope to see you all there!
Swigert International School
Be a part the SIS Walk of Pride!
A walkway of pavers has been installed in front of the main entrance to the school building and each year the blank pavers will be replaced with engraved personalized pavers. Students will appreciate seeing their names, or those of family and friends, as they arrive each day at school! The funds raised by this project will go toward providing many valuable resources to SIS students. Order now for installation of your paver before the school year this fall! Click this link to fill out your form with instructions for payment, or to ask a question:http://swigertpta.com/sis-pavers/
Check out the photos of Mayor Michael Hancock’s visit to Swigert!