Mrs. Nieburg’s News

October 30, 2016

October 30, 2016
“The Heart of St. Paul … Growing Together in Faith, Knowledge, and Virtue”

Dear St. Paul Families:

Another beautiful weekend … wow, can we squeeze a few more of these in before the drudges of winter?

On Wednesday evening of this past week, I spoke to the members of PTO about the results of our most recent ITBS scores. I have since received many notes and comments from parents encouraging me to publicize these in my weekly bulletin board. So the following is a shortened version of my report to the parents on Wednesday evening.

To begin with, I spoke of how to read the reports that you have received this weekend about your child’s performance. It is important that you understand what each of these numbers represent. The Power Point presented at the meeting is listed on Links. Please take the time to look at the explanation of the numbers so that it is clear for you when reading your child’s report.

The second half of my presentation deals with how our children performed as a whole in the different areas represented on the test. This year we were offered a wonderful resource called Data Manager which create multiple reports with the schools ITBS scores. One report that was of high interest to me was our students performance over time; in other words, what are we seeing as growth from our students in the areas of Reading, Written Expression, Conventions of Writing, Vocabulary, English Language Arts totals, Math, Computation, Core Composite, Socoal Studies, Science, and Complete Composite.

The report that you are looking at below constitutes the growth of our eighth grade class from their fourth grade year (2012) at St. Paul until their eighth grade year. (2016) When looking for growth over time, one must look at the same group of students over a number of years so I chose our current eighth grade class.

As you are looking at the chart below, the light gray line represents the National Norm Scores in each of the testing years. The dark black line represents the average score of this class in each of the perspective grade levels. You will notice that each year the arrow is on an upward trojectory. This is a really good thing. As educators this is what we hope to see … growth over time. What thrilled me was looking at the Written Expression, Conventions of Writing, and ELA Scores. There is a significant spike in scores beginning in the sixth grade and spiking to the top in both 7th and 8th grades. Now, this spike coincides perfectly with the introduction of the new writing program the first year that I came to St. Paul. To refresh your memory, in November of that year I purchased (through Title I money) a new writing program for every grade level. This was the year that the teachers were to try out the program. Since Mrs. Evans was familiar with this program, she chose to begin implementation right away. The scores are a definite reflection of this change. I am thrilled that we have seen such positive results in these areas.

We also changed our Math program that year. We have seen steady growth in the area of Math with the most significant growth in the area of Computation.

Another area of concern last year was Science. Mrs. Coyle and I reviewed the science data and realized that our children were lacking experience in the area of graphing and decyphering information from graphs. Mrs. Coyle took this on as her student goal last year and adjusted the curriculum to incorporated more graphing activities across the Middle School Science. The result was growth.

Now, I am not saying by any stretch of the imagination that we are finished with school and curriculum improvements. 21st century learning is constantly on the move and it is imperative that we maintain current educational practices. I would love to see the trajectory on each of these graphs start a few years earlier and a couple steps higher and then have a steady rise. But for now, I do feel that we are on the right track.

Tuesday, November 1st is a Holy Day of Obligation. Enjoy the day with your children. Until next week,

With blessings from my heart,





 Seventh Grade students – During the mile run last week, a seventh grade student was lagging behind. Instead of complaining, the entire class ran and walked with the student encouraging this child to complete the run. Great show of unity and support of each other.

 A Sixth Grade Student – During the Halloween Treat for choir, Mrs. B. noticed that she was one ice cream short. This 6th grade student stepped up and offered to give up her snack for a fellow student. Great display of kindness and generosity.

 Our Kindergarten Class – I have noticed many kind acts by our kindergartners towards each other. The example of the older students is rubbing off on our kindergarten class. WAY TO GO!

Monday, October 31
o WALK – A – THON – 12:45 p.m. – Permission slips are available in links
o HALLOWEEN PARTIES – 1:45 p.m. – Grades K-5
o MIDDLE SCHOOL COSTUME CONTEST – 1:45 p.m. – Parish Center

Tuesday, November 1, 2016
o Deadline to register for the “Holidays at Union Station.”

Wednesday, November 2, 2016
o All School Mass – Prepared by Mrs. Evan’s 6rd grade class – 8:00 a.m.
o All Soul’s Day
o Long Pants for Boys Uniform’s starts today.
o Pretzel Money due

Thursday, November 3, 2016

Friday, November 4, 2016 – Dress-down Day for School Pictures
o School Picture Day
o End of First Trimester
o 8th Grade Pretzel Day delivery – Order forms are on links and in our Newsletter.
o Trivia Night – Sponsored by Mother’s Club – 6:30 p.m. – at the Parish Center

Sunday, November 6, 2016
o High School Open Houses

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