linton-stephanieby Stephanie Linton
Oquirrh Hills Community School Coordinator

As you walk into Oquirrh Hills Elementary, it is hard to miss the giant lighthouse in our front hallway, signifying “Lighting the Way to a Brighter Future.” But, what’s more impressive, are the hand-colored paper boats surrounding it.

Teachers and students have been striving to reach a school-wide goal of 15 percent growth in math and reading. Teachers have been diving deep into the data, studying the pre-tests, and altering their teaching to meet the individual needs of their students. They have even been staying afterschool to help tutor students who screened particularly low. Students have been filling out feedback books after meeting with their teachers, building classroom growth charts, setting personal goals, and in the case of one of our fourth grade classrooms – they have been chanting “BE CONFIDENT” and shouting goals in the hallway before they take their tests.

The boats mark math achievements for many students. Students who made the most growth (not the highest score, but the biggest gains in each classroom) got to put a boat by the lighthouse. One classroom had a three-way tie, and more ties happened in two other classes – making a total of 31 boats!

What was really amazing was the growth. Out of just the 95 students attending our afterschool tutoring program (who were identified as performing well below academic standards), 14 scored proficient on their first of four Math ACUITY tests. One of those scoring proficient went from 0 percent to 85 percent, and another from 30 percent to 95 percent, and yet another from 20 percent to 88 percent. An additional 52 students made enough growth to move up one or two tiers, moving them out of the intensive category.

There are still a few more tests to go to see overall school growth, but this snapshot was an encouraging boost to all involved in making it happen, especially the students!

Way to go Oquirrh Hills! Thanks for lighting the way and LIVING UNITED!