SCHOOL UPDATE – August 2011 – St Margaret’s Parish

Saint Margaret’s School is up and running for the coming school year!  We are very happy with our staff for this year.  Steve Gresback, our new principal last year has been getting
rave reviews from students, parents, and the school commission.  All teachers grades 1 through 5 are state certified.

The test scores are in for last year and we are extremely pleased.  St Margaret’s’ School students had the highest scores in the State of Wyoming for the ACRES test for knowledge of their faith, religion and ethics.  The Dibbles reading test scores showed impressive
growth in all grades with year-end scores being predominantly ABOVE AVERAGE.  The PAWS test scores came in even better with NOT ONE student below basic in any subject with the vast majority at least proficient and a significant percentage advanced!  For those of you who were concerned about academics at St Margaret’s School…we are back!

This summer our teachers with guidance from Joanne Flannigan, who has a doctorate in curriculum, have begun a long term study of our curriculum.  The first thing they
learned was that we have a good curriculum.  They are learning to better define and articulate meets and measures, skills and concepts.  This is leading them to added continuity, more effective exercises and more focused lessons.  All this will bring
yet more improved test scores.  We are excited!

Of course we have to remind everyone that this is a Catholic school.  We are teaching the Catholic faith to our children.  It is our solemn obligation to pass our faith on to our
children and grandchildren, to bring them to church and teach them our religion.  Saint Margaret’s School stands ready to help you meet that obligation.  (Remember that thing about the millstone?)

Reflectively, over the last several years we attempted to be more inclusive with our enrollment.  While a worthwhile goal and we helped some students who really needed the help overall we were not successful either academically or financially and our service to our own parish suffered for the effort.  Last year we returned to our core objectives of providing religious education and academic excellence for our own children.  Within those
parameters non-parishioners are still welcome.  We discovered that our teachers are not special education teachers.  Only by exception and with dedicated family cooperation and support can we accept “at risk” and special education students.  With those changes
our school atmosphere became more peaceful and pleasant, a better place to learn.  As a result academic performance surged as evidenced by the test scores.  The only major thing left to repair is enrollment and that is up to you.

This Thursday, August 18 is our Open House and Registration from 4:00 to 8:00 PM.  Come sign up, take care of your uniform needs and other business to be sure your student is off to a flying start for the coming school year.  

Mike Zirbel                                                                                                                                             St. Margaret’s School Commission

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