July is upon us, and while we are trying our best at DAA to take a much needed break, our minds are already on next year, the new goals we have set, and all the new steps we will take to achieve our mission and provide the best possible education for our amazing students.
A lot of people say that Year 2 of a new school is the hardest year, and in many ways they are right! This year was hard, but in all the best ways, and hard work pays off. We do want to take a moment to share with all of our supporters some achievement data that we are so proud of! Our teachers, families, and our students worked worked diligently together to make some truly amazing gains.
On the NWEA MAP test, a nationally normed assessment, our students absolutely floored us with their growth this year in reading and math. As we sat back and watched, our kindergarteners, first graders, and second graders not only were able to answer questions that addressed skills and concepts from their own grade level standards, but they showed perseverance and problem solving to figure out complicated concepts that they may never have even seen. At DAA, we don’t just focus on test scores, but we are seeing how when we focus on exploration and problem solving and when we instill self confidence in our students through project based learning, it shows in tests too.
Every single one of our crews exceeded expected growth by significant amounts! Every single one of our crews were well over the 90th%ile for growth when compared to students across the country. This means that students at DAA are growing faster academically than almost all other students in the entire United States! What is most exciting is that our students’ proficiency percentiles have also soared to be higher than most students across the country. We are proving that students in Detroit can perform just as well as students anywhere and are capable of anything!
Another metric that we are proud of is our score on our annual Implementation Review through Expeditionary Learning, which rates our practices across key indicators of strong schools. In our second year our score is 87, which surpasses what is expected for a third year school! We are in striking distance of a score on par with EL schools who have achieved credentialing status, and we are committed to getting there in Year 3!
Year 2 was amazing. The DAA community, internal and external, showed our DAA Habits of Character to put some great kids on a pretty exciting trajectory. We are proud and grateful, and we can’t wait to see what Year 3 will bring!