Letter to the editor: Let’s support the students
– Lately, I’ve noticed that some of the more prominent local news stories have put our schools and students in a less than flattering light. While I realize that our students may not win every football game and that there are actual problems from time to time with a small number of troubled students, I think it would be wonderful if we could have regular news coverage of the positive things happening at our schools too.
For example, most of our PRJUSD elementary schools hosted events last week celebrating the fall season. These events included festivals and trunk-or-treats which offered an incredible community-building experience for our neighborhood schools and their families. Promoting family connections at school sites is one way for us to encourage the children of our community to engage with their friends, teachers, school staff, and administration. I believe these positive connections to school make kids want to be there and encourage them to learn during regular school hours.
Several schools recently completed or are getting ready to host their fall fundraisers too! Virginia Peterson just completed a successful Fun Run, Pat Butler is hosting theirs this week, and Winifred Pifer students will be selling Otis Spunkmeyer Cookie Dough for the next 3 weeks. The Elementary schools also just received their Cross Country Award Banners which soon will hang in Multi-Purpose Rooms, and all of the Elementary schools were recently awarded Judges Choice in the Pioneer Day Parade.
Additionally, state test scores were recently released for all of our schools and several showed improvement. While we aren’t yet achieving the high levels of proficiency that the community desires, some schools achieved substantial year-over-year gains!
Winifred Pifer Elementary’s scores went up by 7% in English Language Arts (ELA) and 11% in Math, the highest gains in the district. Virginia Peterson Elementary improved by 6% in ELA and 6% in Math. Kermit King posted a 6% increase in ELA and Georgia Brown’s ELA score was 4% higher in Math. Nearly every school performed better than the previous year and while there is still a lot of work to be done, I think it’s important to celebrate these improvements and give credit to the teachers and administrators who were responsible for pushing students to achieve! We cannot expect our numbers to change overnight, but we should celebrate the small actions taken every day that add up to result in students’ improved academic progress over time.
There is probably more that I’ve left out too! There are ALWAYS exciting things happening at our schools and I think we should talk about them more! Rather than putting so much focus on all the things that are wrong, let’s shine a light on all the things going right!
Parent of 2 PRJUSD Elementary Students & Winifred Pifer PTA President
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