School Board sees Sherwood student presentation, plus update on district test scores

A boy at Sherwood Elementary School demonstrates a math problem on a video while school board members watch. The boy's shirt says "I don't quit, I restart."
A boy at Sherwood Elementary School demonstrates a math problem on a video while school board members watch. The boy’s shirt says “I don’t quit, I restart.”

The Edmonds School Board was delighted to hear a student presentation on Tuesday night from Sherwood Elementary School. The school recently won a 2016 School of Distinction award by the by the Center for Educational Effectiveness (CEE), which gave 94 such awards statewide for highest-improving schools.

To show off what is so great about Sherwood, Principal Christi Kessler presented a video starring a few of the school’s fifth and sixth graders. First, a few fifth graders spoke about grit and why it’s important to them.

“Grit means try again and try harder,” one boy said in the video. “If life is too easy for you, you need to find challenges so you can grow your brain.”

He went on to say it’s important to not think “I can’t do this,” but to continue thinking about the problem at hand.

“Even if you don’t get the answer correct, you can learn from your mistake,” he said.

The video also showed signs in the school saying “Change your words.” Phrases were paired together with ways to approach a problem to improve and stay motivated. For example, instead of thinking “I can’t do this,” it’s more helpful to think “What am I missing?”

Two students then showed two different methods to do a basic subtraction program.

“Learning about grit, that is something that is going to stick with you for the rest of your life for sure,” Board Member Susan Phillips said.

Four of the students in the video as well as more than a dozen teachers and staff members from Sherwood Elementary were in attendance to receive a banner declaring “2016 School of Distinction.”

Sherwood Elementary School staff, teachers and students stand with their School of Distinction banner.
Sherwood Elementary School staff, teachers and students stand with their School of Distinction banner.

Following the student presentation, Executive Director of Student Learning Lara Drew and Director of Assessment, Research and Evaluation Brandon Lagerquist gave a presentation on the 2015-16 state assessment results.

Overall, the district performed above the state average in English Language Arts for grades 3-8. Math scores were also just above the state average for grades 3-6 and for Science Grade 8. However, the district was below the state average by three percentage points for Math Grades 7-8.

There will be some changes to assessments this school year, including the re-inclusion of a biology state assessment requirement to graduate and the continued phasing out of math “end of course” exams, which will only be available for high school juniors and seniors who have not yet met the math assessment requirement.

To see the full Power Point presentation given to the school board, click here.

Also at Tuesday night’s meeting:

  • Approval of an agreement with Greene Gasaway Architects for design of the roof replacement at Woodway Campus and increase to project budget by $400,000.
  • Acceptance of a Public Works contract for the roof replacement at Cedar Way Elementary.
  • Dedication of right of way on 236th Street Southwest to the City of Edmonds for the Madrona School replacement project.
  • Approve Scriber Lake High School “School of Life” project.

–Story and photos by Natalie Covate

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