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September 27th, 2023

macarthur elementary jump startStudents at MacArthur Elementary School participate in an activity as part of this past summer’s Jump Start session. The USD 480 elementary school teachers all reported success with their Jump Start Sessions from this past summer. Courtesy photoELLY GRIMM • Leader & Times


The 2023-24 school year has been in session for a month now, but for some teachers in USD 480, discussion has been taking place about this past summer’s summer school results. 

Monday evening, teachers from the USD 480 elementary schools talked to the USD 480 school board about how this year’s summer school session went. 

“This summer, we had 95 students who were signed up for Jump Start, and of those 95, we had 79 who attended daily. Our average daily attendance was 63 students, and we had 35 students with perfect attendance. Each week consisted of a theme that was used within the classroom learning, and our prizes also included themes of Circus, Animals, Outdoors, and Movies,” Sunflower Elementary School 4th grade teacher Sasha Arganbright said. “With our mClass reading data, all the students had intervention daily with mClass lessons, and they used Amplify online for the week. Each student completed interventions with their teacher. Of the 94 students, 70 percent of them improved in at least one skill area. In iReady math data, out of the 94 students, since we also did the iReady minutes and worked on their lessons, 90 percent of the students had an average of 70 to 100 percent of their lessons completed at the end of summer school. Some of the skills taught were shapes, addition, subtraction, multiplication, and division. Students were progress monitored June 14 and June 27. mClass intervention lessons were updated at these times and students were provided with new intervention skills. Something we incorporated for this year was PE, but we had it as more of an enrichment activity than just a straight typical PE class during school. Throughout the summer, the students completed projects including making elephant toothpaste, researching about circuses, building tightropes, team building, animals, nature walks, ands lots of other great ideas, and it was a lot of fun.”

Interventionist/ESL teacher Erica Threatt then talked about how things went at Meadowlark Elementary School. 

“This summer, 96 students were enrolled in Jump Start, and we averaged 84 students each day. The class size averaged about eight students, because we wanted to keep that small, and each classroom had a teacher and a paraprofessional. 31 students had perfect attendance, and those students were rewarded a Taco Bell coupon. Students also participated in 30 minutes daily of an extra activity which included art, music, physical education, Makerspace, and library time, so every day had something different they could do,” Threatt said. “With reading, all students received whole group reading instruction for 30 minutes, small group reading instruction for 30 minutes, and Amplify Reading online for 15 minutes daily. All students were progress monitored twice for pre/post data. 58 percent of students improved their score in one skill area and 35 percent of students improved their score in two skill areas. With math, all students received whole group instruction for 30 minutes, small group math instruction for 30 minutes, and iReady online program for 15 minutes. All students had the goal of passing at least two lessons in iReady weekly. 33 percent of students passed two or more lessons three out of four weeks in Jump Start. We called every Thursday our experience day. The first Thursday, we had community members from Hugoton bring their 4-H animals, and the students learned about pigs, horses, cattle, rabbits, and lambs. We learned about the different opportunities 4-H has to offer, and that was a really cool experience for them because some of the students had never seen those animals before. The next Thursday, we went to the Liberal Memorial Library, and we learned about the summer reading program, took a tour of the library, and listened to a few read-alouds. The third Thursday, we got rained out – we were on the bus to where we were going to go, and that’s when the storm blew in. Then the final Thursday, we went to Mary Frame Park to learn about the Recreation Department. We got to explore the Robotics Program and build with LEGOs. The Recreation Department staff informed us of fun activities we can do at the Recreation Center.”

Lisa Foster then talked about the results at MacArthur Elementary School. 

“We started with 80 students enrolled in Jump Start, but we actually started with 66 and ultimately ended with 56 students attending Jump Start. We averaged 87 percent attendance every day, with our biggest numbers being in kindergarten,” Foster said. “We had drawings for small prizes daily for those in attendance, and we had 16 students end up with perfect attendance, so they ended up with a small prize for that. For reading, students spent 30 minutes a day receiving instruction on needed skills as identified through Amplify mClass. We were able to create small groups of two to four students working on each skill. 70.4 percent of the students made progress on skills on mClass. With math, students had 30 minutes a day where they were able to work on their iReady Math personalized path. By the end of summer school we averaged 83.16 percent of students making their weekly goals on iReady. The classes also utilized our Action Based Learning Labs for 30 minutes each day. We also had a fun day on the last day, and we were all really proud of how all the students did.”

Louisa Gonzalez then shared how Jump Start went at Prairie View Elementary School. 

“For the 16 days of summer school, our learning goals included being able to achieve growth in mClass selected skills using mClass Progress Monitoring. For math, our goal was to achieve growth in math using iReady on math facts on either addition, subtraction, multiplication or division based on student needs, and our goal was for them to pass two or more weekly iReady math lessons,” Gonzalez said. “With reading, we went to the mClass Groups, and they also used some SFA reading resources, Learning A-Z, and teacher’s choice, and for math, we used iReady, whole groups or small groups depending on the teacher’s choice. Every Monday also included some enrichment from the community, and that included K-State Health & Nutrition, Farm Bureau, and a few others. We started with 96 students enrolled, but we had 85 who started Jump Start. We had 70 percent average daily attendance, with 17 who ended up with perfect attendance, and they were awarded a free daily pass to Adventure Bay Water Park. With reading, out of 72 students who were progress monitored, 75 percent of them achieved target growth in at least one skilled area. With math, 75 percent of the students in attendance passed two or more iReady lessons at least three of the four weeks. Like everyone else, we were really proud of how all the students did by the end of the summer.”

Kaitlyn Ralston then concluded the presentations by talking about Jump Start at Cottonwood Elementary School. 

“Our enrollment was 106, but when we started, we had 71 who came. From those 71, our average attendance was 85 percent. We did have PE time, each student received 20 minutes of PE time each day, and during this time, the students learned team building skills, participated in community service projects, and also did traditional PE activities,” Ralston said. “With math, all students completed iReady math lessons daily, and those lessons were on their personalized learning path geared toward their individual needs. We had an 87 percent of iReady lessons passed. With reading, all students received 30 minutes each day of small group instruction to work on skills identified through mClass, and of the 90 students, 45 percent improved in at least one skill area. We also focused a lot on enrichment and more hands-on work, and one of the bigger activities we did was helping clean up around town with people from the City of Liberal after the big storm that came through, and that was to help them keep that community service in mind, and a lot of the students said that was a highlight for them.”

USD 480 Board Vice President Kathy Fitzgerald praised the teachers’ work from the summer. 

“I know it takes a lot of work and time to do summer school, so I want to say thank you to each and every one of you for using this summer to do that,” Fitzgerald said. “I see there was fun and education involved throughout the entire time, and I have to give you guys a lot of praise for everything you were able to do.”