Endeavour achieves highest ranking in state

By Becky GINOS bginos@davisclipper.com

KAYSVILLE—Endeavour Elementary is soaring to new heights. The school was recently selected as the top school in the state based on composite language arts, math and science proficiency scores. “We ranked above 526 schools,” said Principal Traci Robbins. “It’s based on performance, proficiency rate and growth. Even the students who are scoring at 86 percent have to make growth improvements. That’s really an accomplishment. We looked at our growth on the top students and those who needed help and saw this big shift. We changed what we were focusing on.” The school has 940 students and each child has his or her own device, she said. “It’s a one-to-one platform. Our school received the Platinum STEM State Designation. The Utah State Board of Education determines that through site visits and observations,” said Robbins. “We applied for Silver but were pleasantly surprised to get Platinum. Davis County was the only one that got that designation.” Robbins believes the school’s success comes from student access to technology and blended learning. “We have ‘collaboration stations’ where students can do activities face-to-face, online or create independent projects,” she said. “We have to look at 21st century learners and critically think about how to get them the information through direct instruction from teachers and collaboration with peers. The application part is the most powerful.” Using trust land monies, Robbins said they’ve been able to form targeted study groups. “We’ve built a STEM program into the fourth, fifth and sixth grade curriculum. We’ve seen growth in the top tier kids who are already highly proficient.” Although some parents might be concerned that their children are spending too much time on devices and not with the teacher, Robbins said once they’ve observed how it works they’re supportive. “It’s a natural worry for parents,” she said. “We invite them to sit in a class and see what they’re (devices) used for. They’re surprised, they had no idea.” Technology is mixed with traditional instruction, she said. “We’ve trained our teachers to use technology in support of what they’re teaching, not to replace it. It becomes an assistance,” said Robbins. “Other teachers are using blended teaching. It’s a second layer of support. They might have four or five kids on a device and others are with the teachers.” Robbins said Endeavor’s success comes from using data not a program or software. “The teachers are looking at ‘how are my kids learning?’ Teams of teachers get together and based on students’ weekly performance have ongoing reflection of how the students are doing – not just at the end of the term. It changes the way they teach based on how the kids perform.” It’s a positive, cohesive faculty too, said Robbins. “They like each other. The parents love it that they know all the teachers and think they’re great,” she said. “I rarely get teacher requests.” Robbins is proud of the honor. “We’re going somewhere and doing something,” she said. “Over the last four years we’ve seen growth. Sometimes it’s hard to move that needle when you’re already up there.”


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