By Murray Siegel
In October, Arizona Department of Education released school letter grades. Three Maricopa schools received the highest grade of A: Legacy Traditional, Pima Butte Elementary School and Butterfield Elementary School, the latter two being Maricopa Unified School District schools.
Butterfield reached the A grade after having been a C school last year. What does it take to obtain the A grade?
Principal Janel Hildick said there were many contributing factors, including:
– A new math curriculum
– Override funds, which reduced class size
– An advanced fifth-grade math class
– An on-site school counselor
– The implementation of the PBIS Program to reduce discipline issues and keep children in classrooms learning
With these important tools, teachers could enhance student learning in English Language Arts, math and science. The school received 49.3 out of 50 points in the student-growth evaluation.
I sought reaction from Butterfield parents and faculty. One parent replied three of her children had attended Butterfield with one currently in fourth grade.
“For the last 10 years we have had the joy of watching Butterfield grow, change and excel,” she said. “The teachers we have had along the way have such a connection and personal interest in our children. Their passion and dedication prove their desire to see the student succeed.”
One teacher, who is the parent of three Butterfield students, said, “As a parent, you want the best for your children, and Butterfield has now officially proven what we have always felt about the school, which is that it provides an outstanding education for its students. I have so much invested in this school and we as a staff have worked so hard to achieve this kind of success. I know that my children are getting the absolute best education possible at Butterfield and It is a privilege to be a teacher there.”
Another teacher, who has one son at Butterfield and another in middle school, wrote, “The staff and students at the school are some of the most incredible people in Maricopa.”
She and her husband, both actively involved at the school, are proud to be Butterfield parents. Another teacher who is the parent of a third grader and whose daughter is at the middle school, responded, “I know that my child is more than just a number on a test; he is a student that deserves every opportunity to succeed. As a parent, I can’t picture my child at a better school. I am proud of what the staff and students have accomplished.”
One more Butterfield parent said she had a daughter at Butterfield in third grade and another daughter now at middle school. She wrote, “I didn’t need a grade to know how wonderful the faculty and staff were.”
Murray Siegel, Ph.D., has 44 years of experience teaching mathematics. He is in his fourth year as a volunteer at Butterfield E.S.
This column appears in the January issue of InMaricopa.