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The Arc- SJA's School Blog

MAP Reading Test Scores

November 14, 2018
By Mrs. Jennifer Guzman

Dear Parents,

Time flies when you are having fun…and learning! In mid-September, our Kindergarten through 8th grade students took the Measures of Academic Progress (MAP) Assessment. This assessment measures individual academic growth and provides schools with grade level averages. The results offer valuable data on how SJA compares to the Toledo Diocese; all based on the fiftieth percentile national norm.

Students in grades 2-6, also took the STAR reading assessment at the beginning of 1st quarter. The STAR reading test provides data to help teachers determine Accelerated Reader (AR) reading ranges.  The STAR assessment is given at the beginning of each quarter to progress monitor students throughout the year.
I am pleased to share the fall MAP and STAR reading assessment results:

As you can see from the fall MAP and STAR reading assessment results, our students are doing well!  But we can always do better!!

During our recent professional development days, our team of teachers discussed ways to ensure the reading success of each student.  As educators, we believe in a cycle of continuous improvement which includes evaluation of current programs.  Currently, one of the biggest components to our reading program at SJA is the Accelerated Reader (AR) Program.  Through discussions we realized that, over the years, this program has slowly deviated from its original intention; to be used as a supplemental reading support. In essence, we have been focusing too much on the process of the program vs. the goal- improving the students’ reading skills. 

As the old saying goes…”practice makes perfect!”  The function of the AR program is beneficial for encouraging ongoing reading practice, supporting students at their individual reading level, and collecting data for teachers to plan their instruction. But in and of itself, it is not enough. So we have developed a strong plan to get us back on track to supporting our goal- improving the students’ reading skills.
Reading should be fun! So in “NEW”-vember, we are kicking off a new approach to independent reading...

  • In the upcoming weeks, you will notice is a difference in the way AR is recorded in RenWeb. Beginning with 2nd quarter, AR will be a separate category in RenWeb and on the student report cards; no longer directly impacting a student’s reading grade.  
  • Students’ will continue to receive individual goals for each quarter but will be encouraged to go above and beyond!
  • There will be more leniency with student book selection.  While it is a confidence builder for students to work strategically within their reading range, teachers will be less structured about the step-by-step process. Students (and parents) will be encouraged to focus on the bottom half of their reading range at the beginning of the quarter and the upper half of their reading range for the second half of the quarter. 
  • Initially students are encouraged to take an AR test on their book. However, if a student has chosen a book that is not in the AR system or has not successfully passed the AR (with a 70% or better), teachers will offer alternatives for reading credit. Some possible alternatives include, a written book summary, an oral book summary with the teacher, re-take of the AR test with 1:1 adult support, or (for grades 5 & 6) an alternative assessment through

In addition to individual classroom incentives, we are excited to share that students will have the opportunity to earn school-wide prizes and recognition for meeting and exceeding their goals! The first chance to earn a prize will be at the end of 2nd quarter.  All students who met and/or exceeded their goal will earn a collectible mystery prize and lanyard. Then, for the remainder of the year, they will have 2 opportunities per quarter to add to their mystery prize collection. The culminating event, at the end of May, will be a Rubber Ducky Reading Regatta!! Students will earn their duck for the regatta by successfully meeting their goals for the year. Think cute rubber duckies, squirt guns, sun, and fun! This will be an awesome time that the students won’t want to miss.

This is all part of a broader plan to continue improving upon:

  • Early development of phonics skills, phonemic awareness, and sight word fluency
  • Commitment to ensuring all students meet, and exceed, reading proficiency thresholds 
  •  And most importantly building a life-long love of reading!

We thank you for placing your trust in us as educators and for your on-going support! 



SJA Volleyball

October 18, 2018
By Priya C.

Fall sports tournaments start this weekend for soccer and volleyball.  SJA 6th grader journalist, Priya, wrote an article for the SJA Scoop about the 7th grade volleyball team and their advice to young athletes.  Their first tournament game is Saturday, October 20th at 1 pm in the SJA gym.  All are invited to cheer our Warriors on!

SJA Volleyball
The seventh grade SJA volleyball team is doing well this season.  The players said they think they will go far in the championship.  The volleyball players know not to get discouraged when they lose.  The players who were interviewed said they need to go for everything and communicate, then they will be "golden."

One player who was interviewed, who wished to be referred to as number five, was asked what she would tell younger volleyball players.  This is what she said, "Let me tell you something little kid, you got to believe in yourself and your team, and never be discouraged."

SpongeBob once said, "If you believe in yourself, and with a tiny pinch of magic, all your dreams will come true. Winners aren't people that never fail, but people that never quit.  When you fall down, you always get back up, never stay on the ground."  



Meet Mrs. Schrock- 6th grade teacher

September 26, 2018
By Jackie Terrill

For the 2018-2019 SJA school year, we have been blessed to have 4 new teachers join our community.   Let's meet Mrs. Schrock, our middle school math teacher.

Name: Karen Schrock

Educational Background and Credentials:
Undergrad in NY ~ SUNY @ Cortland - Elementary  & Early Secondary Education with a concentration in Spanish 
Masters from BGSU in Guidance & Counseling

Tell us a little bit about yourself, your family and your teaching history.
I grew up in NY State ~ Saratoga Springs area.  My dad was an elementary school principal and thus education was in my blood.  My first teaching experience was 5th & 6th grade.  I was an elementary guidance counselor for half of my career and my love of math brought me back to the classroom at the junior high level for 11 years. 

Why do you choose to teach at St. Joan of Arc Catholic School?
I love the religious emphasis on daily learning.

Tell us about a meaningful moment with a student.
I am very happy when a former student sees me and remembers that I was their 6th grade math teacher. Helping students persevere on understanding a concept and seeing the light bulb go off is very gratifying!

What is your favorite unit/topic/project to teach and why?
I really love to teach division of fractions and area and volume of 2-D & 3-D figures.   I like using hands-on activities with students to help them connect the concept to the application of the algorithm or formula.

What do you hope students will learn from being a part of your classroom?
Math is a skill that can be mastered ~ just takes a little longer for some but it can be mastered!

How do you motivate your students to be active learners in your classroom?
I move around from table to table to observe students’ involvement or question and encourage them when they seem to hesitate.  I always say, “Give it a try!  What’s the worst that could happen?  If you’re stuck…... try it from a different approach.” 

Meet Ms. Cherry

September 12, 2018
By Jackie Terrill

For the 2018-2019 SJA school year, we have been blessed to have 4 new teachers join our community. Let's meet Ms. Kahla Cherry, SJA's Computer Teacher:

Educational Background and Credentials:
I graduated from Bowling Green State University with a Bachelor’s Degree in Inclusive Early Childhood Education and have also earned an Early Childhood Generalist Endorsement for the 4th and 5th grade.

Tell us a little bit about yourself, your family and your teaching history.
I am from Toledo, Ohio and have attended Catholic schools from 1st through 12th grade, first at All Saints then at Saint Ursula Academy. I have one younger sister and a two-year-old Siberian Husky. I have previously worked for the City of Rossford’s Summer Camp and have been officiating CYO volleyball games for the past 10 years. I student taught at Elmwood Elementary in Bloomdale (preschool) and at James J. Hilfiker Elementary in Gibsonburg (second grade).

Why do you choose to teach at St. Joan of Arc Catholic School?
I chose to teach at St. Joan of Arc because of how positive the environment is. Everyone has been so welcoming, and there is a wonderful atmosphere of support throughout the school.

Tell us about a meaningful moment with a student.
Last year I had a student who marched to the beat of his own drum. He struggled to stay on topic, especially during science class.  We started a unit on space, and I had expected this unit to be much the same as any other. However, when we began learning about stars, I was surprised. This student was engaged and excited. He offered up a lot of information, and there was a brightness to his eyes I had not seen in other classes.

What is your favorite unit/topic/project to teach and why?
I love teaching about space. Last year, I taught a unit about stars and the solar system. The students caught on to my enthusiasm, and I always had a new fact to share about the planets, the moon, and the stars to share each class period.  My favorite project during the unit was when the students designed and named their own constellations.

What do you hope students will learn from being a part of your classroom?
I hope my students will learn how to be smarter and safer users of technology. I also hope my students learn how to make connections in Computer that will extend to their other subjects as well.

How do you motivate your students to be active learners in your classroom?
I motivate my students to be active learners by teaching topics they are interested in as well as expressing my own excitement for what we are learning.

Recent Posts

11/14/18 - By Mrs. Jennifer Guzman
10/18/18 - By Priya C.
9/26/18 - By Jackie Terrill
9/12/18 - By Jackie Terrill
9/5/18 - By Jackie Terrill