Superintendent’s April 12, 2023 Update

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Dear APS Families,

I hope you had a wonderful break! We look forward to a strong finish to the school year and remain focused on helping every student grow and progress. As a follow-up to my recent updates on mathematics, here is a summary of how our students are progressing in elementary English Language Arts (ELA), including strategies to support those needing extra assistance.

Elementary English Language Arts: We are pleased to see growth across all grade levels. Elementary Literacy DIBELS (Dynamic Indicators of Early Literacy) midyear data shows:

  • 23% of the students who received additional support progressed from below basic to the strategic or proficient level.
  • Overall, 69% of students are meeting grade-level benchmarks in literacy, an increase of 2% compared to the beginning of the school year.
  • English Learner (EL) students in level 1-4 increased in proficiency by 2%
  • Black students in grades K-2 increased in reading proficiency by 4%.

Data from the elementary Lexia Core5 personalized learning computer program shows:

  • 53% of students were working on unfinished learning at the beginning of the year, and 23% of these students have moved on to grade-level material.
  • 36% of students with disabilities advanced at least one grade level of material.
  • 46% of EL students advanced at least one grade level of material.

We are focused on ensuring every student reaches grade-level benchmarks in reading. It is concerning that 20% of 5th graders scored below grade level on the reading assessment. Teams reviewed the data and developed action plans to support each student in this range.

Every student who scored below grade level in reading is now receiving the following support:

  • Individualized reading intervention plan, based on areas of concern
  • Interventions targeting specific reading needs
  • Small group or one-to-one instruction
  • Before/after school opportunities for learning through small group tutoring or extra practice
  • Access to additional learning materials or applications
  • Weekly progress monitoring and regular assessments
  • Extra support and resources to help them succeed in the classroom, such as text read-aloud options on the iPad

If you have any concerns about how your student is progressing, please contact your child’s teacher or school principal who can share more information. Next week I will share a progress report on middle and high school ELA.

Purple Up! Month of the Military Child: I invite you to join us in recognizing our military-connected students this April during the Month of the Military Child (MOMC). Please show your support for them this month by wearing purple on April 19. Purple combines each branch’s colors into one: the Air Force, Navy, and Coast Guard all use shades of blue, the Army uses green, and the Marines use red.

Thank you and have a wonderful week!


Dr. Francisco Durán