Dewey Public Schools

Posted: Jan 16, 2020 2:14 PMUpdated: Jan 16, 2020 3:02 PM

DMS Principal Discusses State Report Card Results

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Garrett Giles

Dewey Middle School Principal Brent Massey presented on the schools 2018-2019 State Report Card results in a recent Board of Education meeting.

During that presentation, Principal Massey said chronic absenteeism is an issue. He said he feels as if he has made more phone calls to parents about absences this 2019-2020 school year than he has in his entire career.

When the call is made, Dewey Middle School is doing what they can to tell parents that the school cares about their student’s success and well-being. Principal Massey said kids can do their homework at home, but if a students is not with an excellent, certified teacher, they are going to miss something. He said classroom engagement is important in this day and age.

To help balance this out in the classroom, they are setting more limitations on cell phone usage in school. Principal Massey said unless a phone is being used for academic means, it is not allowed at any time during the day. He also said that they are going to do a better job of cutting back of middle of the day classroom announcements to avoid further distractions.

Principal Massey said they did semester test exemptions if the kids at the middle school had five absences or less and a letter grade of “B” in their class to get kids to come to school. He said they are going to do everything that they can to get students to attend class.

Letters have been sent home to battle chronic absenteeism as well. Streamlining communications has been helpful for Dewey Middle School as they talk to parents as well. Officer Jimmy Gray will also be involved if needed because of a new ordinance that was passed by the Dewey City Council in October 2019. If parents fail to bring their child or children to school, they could receive a citation from the Dewey Police Department.

Star Reading and Math Assessments are given on a monthly basis. Principal Massey said this is used to see where a student is on a math and reading level. He said they can set up the tests to the point where they can target specific skills a student may need to hone in on.

This was not happening in each sixth, seventh and eighth grade math class, but that is changing for the school. Principal Massey said they trained last summer so everyone knows the language of reports that can be run with Star Reading tests, how to look at the data, and what the data means. He said each test that is given is different and they have to weed through the obstacles.

In bi-weekly meetings, Principal Massey said they have been able to have specific meetings on specific students based on where they are at in their assessments. From there, he said they will decide what interventions need to be taken. This is determined on a case-by-case basis.

Principal Massey said every child is different academically, which can be challenging, but the process they have developed is helping them help their students. He said they have focused in on certain test taking strategies like how a student can look at an assessment, how they can a student pull out information that is being asked of them, and how a student can constantly improve. This is to help the students at Dewey Middle School reach a deeper level of thinking.

For the results of the 2018-2019 State Report Card for Dewey Middle School, look below:

Dewey Middle School (Overall Grade: C):

  • Academic Achievement (D)
  • Academic Growth (C)
  • English Language Proficiency Progress (N/A)
  • Chronic Absenteeism (C)

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