Dear Johnson Parents and Guardians,

As the 2017-2018 school year draws to a close, I’d like to formally thank you for your continued partnership in making Johnson Elementary a premier school in Huron Valley. In 2016 we were recognized by the state of Michigan as a Reward School. This means that we showed greater growth (per M-STEP data) in that year than 95% of the schools across Michigan. Although in 2017 the state did not label schools as “Reward Schools,” it is important to recognize that we did even better in 2017 than the previous year! I encourage you to see for yourself by clicking the provided link. I know we will all be anxiously awaiting the 2018 M-STEP results and anticipate receiving them by late summer early fall. https://www.schooldigger.com/go/MI/schools/1899005575/school.aspx

In the spirit of continued growth, this year we set our “Jag SWAG (School Wide Academic Goal)” around reading proficiency with a focus on showing growth between three checkpoints – fall, winter, and spring. In fall, we tracked and celebrated the percentage of students at or above grade level. For the next two checkpoints, the focus was to celebrate students at or above grade level as well as those showing growth. I’m very pleased to report that from winter to spring, as a building 96% of our students showed growth! Below, you will see our “Tracking Jag SWAG” wall used to make our growth visible!

Moving forward, sustainability will be the key to our continued success. Collectively, our goal should be for all 380+ students at Johnson to reach proficiency as measured by any and every metric used to assess – NWEA, M-STEP, Fountas and Pinnell, etc. As lofty a goal as that may seem, anything less is unacceptable. This is where your partnership and dedication is crucial. In the spirit of continued growth, much talk and research has been dedicated to mitigating “summer loss,” and rightfully so. Summer learning loss is defined as the loss of academic skills and knowledge over the course of summer holidays. The loss in learning varies across grade level, subject matter, and family income. Research shows that when it comes to summer learning loss, math takes one of the biggest hits. On average, students lose about 2.6 months worth of grade level equivalency in mathematical computation skills during their summer break. Summer loss for reading varies across socio-economic levels. Low income students generally lose about 2 months of reading achievement. Middle income students experience slight gains in reading performances.

So, what can you do to mitigate summer loss? The answer is quite simple – keep good study habits alive and well over the summer! When it comes to helping stanch summer learning loss, parents have a key role to play. Learning loss is much less pronounced, if there at all, in families that enrolled children in classes, took trips to local libraries, participated in reading programs, or took advantage of other, often free, learning opportunities. Locally, Milford Public Library is a great resource for summer reading programs. More than anything, continue to read to, with, and by your child! Numerous studies have shown that children have much better reading outcomes when parents are involved in learning about and helping their children with literacy.

If you are interested in a structured program, I’d encourage you to look into a program out of Grand Rapids known as GRASP. This is a nine week summer program that will send you workbooks and scantron sheets for your child to fill out. When each section is completed, you send in the sheet and GRASP will provide you your results and a completion certificate. To learn more, go to: http://www.grps.org/grasp

I know that the best is still yet to come for Johnson. Thank you for your continued dedication to the success of our students. Have a safe and relaxing summer!

With Jaguar Pride,

Mr. Gignac Principal,

Johnson Elementary