Sauk Trail report provides promising news

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Sauk Trail principal Chris Dahlk presented the year-end data for 2016-17 as part of Wisconsin's Achievement Gap Reduction (AGR) program requirements at the Board of Education regular meeting on Monday, June 26.

She noted literacy rates improved in all grade levels from the fall to the spring, with a 29 percent increase in proficient and advanced at the kindergarten level being the largest jump. There were also increases at all grade levels in mathematics, with kindergarten again having the largest increase at 27 percent.

She said a focus the past school year was on unintentional messages sent to children when trying to intervene with specialists and pulling a student out of the classroom. She said one way that was addressed was by more team coaching in classrooms across all levels.

"We worked on keeping the students in the classroom and we saw some really great results, not only with our neediest children but those right on the cusp,'' she said. "Teachers felt like it was one of the best years.''
Lots of planning is going into implementation of the school's dual language immersion program in the fall. She said some staff are in Chicago for bilingual conference this week.

"We are super excited to see how that also helps our English language learners,'' she said.

She said Sauk Trail sent out a survey about adult engagement and had more than 150 responses. A positive take-away from the survey is families are very happy with the relationships they form with Sauk Trail staff. She also noted an area that needs work is how to make learning more two-way, including having conversations about how adults can help their children.

She thought the first two weeks of the summer meal program have gone well. She also noted summer school takes place Monday-Thursday weekly at Sauk Trail so that has helped meal participation numbers. She said incoming kindergarten students plan to hold some playground play dates later this summer, and will take advantage of the meal program as well.

"We're happy with the turnout,'' Dahlk said. "We hope to build on that. ... We're feeling a lot of good energy right now. The next couple of years will be exciting.''