Four in “A” row! Yes, I am so very proud to announce that for the fourth straight year, Norman S. Edelcup Sunny Isles Beach K-8 has received an “A” grade from the State of Florida. How did we earn that “A” and what does it mean for our staff, our students and our community?
For the answers we have to look first at the data. In the spring of 2012 our students were tested in writing, reading, mathematics and science. Different grades take different tests, but everyone from our kindergartners through eighth grade experienced some type of assessments. However, only the FCAT scores from our 3rd through 8th students are used to compute our grade. The state tallies points based on the number of students who demonstrate mastery and the number of students who demonstrate growth. Based on the number of points a school accrues, a letter grade is awarded. This year NSE/SIB K- 8 surpassed last year’s total points and once again qualified for its “A” status.
If you followed the numerous articles in local papers, you know that the bar on this year’s tests was raised and the questions were more rigorous. So how did we accomplish our goals?
It was a cooperative effort of the hard working, dedicated staff, the involved parents, and the supportive community all focused on the goal of academic excellence for all children. Let me elaborate on that thought. Teachers came early and opened their classrooms for students who needed support; teachers instructed our students in an after school tutorial program; teachers offered a Saturday writing academy; teachers sponsored Saturday math bowls and science competitions, and the list goes on. Our parents joined the PTSA, our parents attended FCAT workshops, science fair workshops, Science and Math night; our parents supported our book fairs and attended Saturday Meet the Author events; our parents brought their children early and picked them up late so they could take advantage of extra help, and the list goes on.
The community attended our numerous activities from Student Government breakfasts to DARE graduation to Honor Roll Assemblies, our community funded our technology program, and our community responded to our overcrowded conditions, and the list goes on.
Yes, it takes a village and NSE/SIB K-8 is fortunate to have a caring, committed village of individuals who are willing to work in unison for the benefit of all.