Rick Gantman, Superintendent
New School Year — Mount Baker schools are off to an excellent start this school year. Our custodial and maintenance staff worked hard all summer to have our schools in top condition for our students; our transportation and food service department continue to be among the best in the state; and our teaching staff is working together to ensure continuous improvement in student performance.
Student Achievement — Each fall the state releases the results of the Washington Assessment of Student Learning (WASL). Each year 4th, 7th and 10th grade students take the WASL. We do not compare one group of 4th, 7th or 10th grade students to the next; we do study the general trend of test results over long periods of time to determine the effectiveness of our educational program. While the general trend shows some improvement, the data show that we must accelerate the rate of improvement (please see the Curriculum Corner elsewhere in this newsletter). Furthermore, the new No Child Left Behind (NCLB) federal legislation sets high standards for school performance and Mount Baker must make progress to meet these standards.
As part of our improvement efforts, our School Board has directed staff to focus on two areas this year: student performance in reading and instructional practices that have proven to be most effective (please see Board Briefs elsewhere in this newsletter). We are looking forward to our increased focus resulting in accelerated improvement and excellence in all of our programs.