year in review

                                                                              School Year 2021-2022 in Review

School year 2021-2022 was a busy one in the district!  As we look back on the many accomplishments of this year, we are so proud of our students, teachers, administrators, staff, and so many others who made this an amazing year! Here are just a few of the highlights. 

At the District Level

  • Broke away from the County consortium and established our own consortium (Arizona Rural Schools Consortium), providing a savings of around $70,000
  • Completed a full renovation of the middle school cafeteria, foyer, bathrooms, and gymnasium
  • School year 2021-2022 was a busy one in the district! As we look back on the many accomplishments of this year, we are so proud of our students, teachers, administrators, staff, and so many others who made this an amazing year! Here are just a few of the highlights. (for more highlights, check out the following link to our website: https://www.sjusd.net/article/762374)
  • At the District Level --At a time when other districts are struggling with learning loss due to Covid, every one of our grade levels scored above (often well above) the state averages on State testing. As an example, 86% of our 3rd graders scored proficient or highly proficient on the math portion of the state (AASA) test, while the average around the state was only 39%. 
  • Broke away from the County consortium and established our own consortium (Arizona Rural Schools Consortium), providing a savings of around $70,000 
  • Completed a full renovation of the middle school cafeteria, foyer, bathrooms, and gymnasium 
  • New batting cages were installed at the middle school thanks to the following people: PERKINS CINDERS: donated aggregate, the cement and labor DW DUSK: donated labor for cement and finish work TEP, SRP and TRISTATE: donated the poles EW PARKER: set the poles Other various contractors donated money for the pitching machines, nets and hardware. Kasey Nelson hung the lines and nets and organized and orchestrated the project (thank you!!).
  • Named football stadium, Mike Morgan Stadium
  • Created a district-wide writing program, with a paper and digital format
  • Installed new playground at the middle school
  • Pursued and received the Final Mile Project grant, allowing for high-speed internet in St. Johns
  • Created a new app for the district that will help parents, teachers, and community members keep up-to-date on all things SJUSD
  • Updated our district website
  • Transitioned to a new point of sale software that will make it easier to track money in the district
  • Revised our professional leave policy
  • Installed district-wide security system
  • Created and offered ACT prep class at the high school, along with life-prep class focused on helping students apply to college, fill out FAFSA forms, learn basic financial literacy skills, etc.
  • Utilized grant money to purchase new computers for teachers (to be purchased in batches over the next few years).
  • Created new policy regarding professional staff members who do not complete their contract



At the high school, here are a few new things we added:

·       Elective Classes

o   Life Prep - Finances

o   Life Prep - College Readiness

§  With this class, we also instituted the use of Methodize Test Prep which is designed to help students better prepare for the ACT.

o   Guitar

o   Media

o   Journalism

·       MPOWRD

·       Functional Skills Class - Cooking class for some of our higher-needs students

·       Merchandise Store in the front office

·       Increased focus on social media presence

·       Brought back the woodshop program

·       Mrs. Burdick's famous boat races are back

·       Our culinary class began a catering group

·       Varsity coaches choose their staff all the way down to 7th grade

·       1st Annual Murph challenge (Coach Blank)

·       1st Annual Academic Awards Night (replacing honors day)

·       Summer clubs/programs

o   Woodshop

o   Gardening

·       FFA Chapter and CTE Agriculture beginning

·       Focus on effective use of the school calendars

·       Substance abuse counseling on campus for those suspended for substance use

 

Here are some of the achievements of our high school students

  • ACADEC
    • Runners up at Regionals
  • Sports
    • Volleyball - Region Champs
    • Girls Soccer - Semifinals
    • Girls Track - State Champions
  • Individual Students
    • Brooke Smith earned Valedictorian and Lizzie Farmer earned Salutatorian
    • Tyler Tillman was selected to serve on the AZ Dept. of Education Student Advisory Council
    • Tyler and T-Jei were in the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade in New York as a part of the Spirit of America Productions Cheer Team
    • Afton Cox - Football Regional Defensive Player of the Year
    • Lizzie Farmer - Volleyball Regional Defensive Player of the Year
    • Kyson Price - Wrestling State Champion
    • Band/Orchestra Regionals
      • Evan Gardner was first chair at cello.
      • Xavier Jessop was second chair viola.
      • Alex Nockideneh was second chair cello.
      • London Montoya was second chair alto sax.

 

At the Coronado and Middle School:

 

  • 86% of our 3rd graders scored above proficiency on the AASA (State) test, around 40% higher than the state average.
  • New additions to our campus this year include new cafeteria tables, a new playground, and two new copy machines!!! All of which have been a huge benefit and blessing to our students and staff.
  • New gym, cafeteria, and bathrooms at the middle school 
  • Every grade level scored above (often several percentages higher) the state average on ELA and Math sections of AASA (State) test.
  • This year we also adopted a new reading intervention program that aligns with our reading curriculum, called mClass Intervention.  It has been fun watching students progress in their reading skills throughout the year.  
  • We had two very successful family curriculum nights this year!  Reading Under the Stars took place in October and Family Math Night took place in April.  Both nights were well attended and it was great to see all of the community support for our school.
  • Mrs. Tara Crosby did a fantastic job again this year, putting on a total of 24 music programs.  Two for each class, one in December and one in May.  They were well attended and the students worked so hard and performed so well.
  • Our band, choir, honor choir, and orchestra concerts and performances were excellent! 
  • With the help of Regina Hitchcock, we were able to purchase quite a bit of garden stuff and teachers and students had fun helping to grow things in our garden!
  • We also had a lot of fun celebrating the little things this year, like Red Ribbon Week in October, encouraging students to stay away from harmful substances, 2's Day on Tuesday Feb. 22, 2022, and Dr. Seuss's Birthday on March 2nd.  
  • One other fun addition to our school year was our Caught Bee-ing Good assemblies.  When students or staff members caught students being good, they gave them a ticket and each quarter tickets were drawn and prizes were handed out to our wonderful students!  

In our Special Education Department:

 ·       Two training groups of special education staff members  completed Crisis Prevention Intervention Training (CPI). CPI certification is important because it trains staff on how to address disruptive behavior from students, to include appropriate forms of restraint. CPI training is a court approved program for enforcing corrective behavior.  

·       Our department began speech and language teletherapy in 2021-2022. Teletherapy was necessary due to not having an in person speech and language pathologist. The program has been a huge success! With the use of teletherapy, we have been able to have an effective and energetic speech and language pathologist. I have heard nothing but praise about our new speech and language pathologist, Petronella Newhard.  

·       We continued to support mental health for special education and general education students in crisis with the support from Kathy McGuire, PhD, licensed professional counselor. Kathy has done an amazing job. Having a licensed professional counselor on campus has supported many students in crisis. 

·       Our Special Education Department created special education libraries at the middle school and high school. Age appropriate and academic level appropriate books were ordered with ARP money. We also ordered books on tape to support chapter books so that the student could read the chapter book while listening to the book read to them. Ordering appropriate leveled books for our special education students has supported a passion for literature for all students. 

·       The Arizona Department of Education gave us the 2021 Post School Outcomes All-Star Certificate. St. Johns Unified School District has met or exceeded Arizona’s Statewide Participation Rate Goal of 80% and Statewide Engagement Rate Average of 71.8%. 

·       Arizona Department of Education provided us with a 100% compliance grade for our preschool program. The compliance was with Teaching Strategies Gold. TSG is the state required assessment tool for preschool students. 

·       Keri Anway and Luz Winter completed a dyslexia training program, and are now certified dyslexia specialists. For the next school year, more special education teachers will complete the training so that our special education teachers are better able to support students with dyslexia. 

·       In January, we opened a new special education office at the high school. The office was used for psychoeducational testing conducted by Jim Staffnik, counseling from Kathy McGuire, and an office for the Special Education Director. The new office is a movement towards providing easier access to special education at the high school. Thank you, Steven Palmer, for welcoming us to the high school. 

·       In January, Ginee Scarborough was hired as a high school special education teacher. Ginee has done an exceptional job. She and Bonnie Stradling formed a powerful bond of communication and support. Mary Raykovitz also created a bridge of support for Ginee from the junior high school. The sharing and connecting between schools was a positive shift for our school district. 

·       The high school began its remedial program for special education students in the spring semester. After assessing the special education program at the high school, it was determined that a more target specific program was necessary for students needing support in the areas where they were deficient. We are still in the baby steps of the program, but will have it in full force in the fall. The remedial program will pre assesses students and then target their instruction in the areas needed. The program also provides much needed data that shows students’ growth.  

·       In 2021-2022, we began an adaptive cooking class for students with more significant disabilities. In the fall of 2022, we will expand the class to becoming a functional skills class. This class is important because it better supports the needs of students with more significant disabilities. Students with more significant disabilities need a classroom where they are taught skills that will support them after leaving high school. The students with more significant disabilities will continue to have inclusion classes where they will have the opportunity to be in a classroom with their same age peers.