Heart - Mind - Work

Heart - Mind - Work

Recent Data Paints a Positive Picture

As we write this letter in August, it offers us a chance to look back on last year, as well as look forward. In addition to maintaining many strong traditions, last year was a time of change at Randolph Union, including a new schedule with time for Call Back and Advisory, new Project Based Learning electives, more Independent Learning Opportunities, increased participation of students and community partners in our “deployed classrooms,” new parent and community discussion forums, increased efforts to prepare students for state tests - and more.

How have these changes, as well as the strong traditions we have maintained, impacted student achievement? The student achievement data that we gather over the summer is telling a positive story.

Improved SAT Scores: In 2016-2017, our students achieved on par with other Vermont Schools and outscored the national average. In fact, RU students have outscored national averages in one or more area 4 of the last 5 years.

Improved AP Exam Scores: 52% of students taking AP exams earned a passing score, which is the highest percentage in the last four years. Noteworthy scores came in AP Bio, with half of students earning "4"s.

Positive Links between Senior Project and PBL Electives: We are noticing trends in Senior Project scores, which are the result of rigorous evaluations by panels of teachers and community members. Students who take Project Based Learning electives are more likely to exceed expectations on Senior Project than students who do not. This is true of four out of five major components of Senior Project. Last year was no exception.

Higher GPA and Credit Accumulation: Each year we look at average GPA and how many credits the graduating senior class earned, on average. Last year our seniors graduated with slightly higher averages in these areas than in past years.

Diverse Portfolio of College Acceptances: RU students are accepted to an array of colleges every year, including some of the nation’s most prestigious and competitive schools. Last year RU students were accepted to several such schools. In the last three years RU graduates have attended an impressive list of schools: Columbia, Syracuse, Pratt School of Design, McGill University, Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, University of Chicago, UMASS Amherst, University of Vermont, College of the Atlantic, Hamilton College, Hampshire College, Macalester College, Middlebury College and St. Lawrence University.

Four-Year Graduation Rate Above State Average: For the second year in a row, we anticipate a 4-year graduation rate that is above 90% and above state averages. These are the highest 4-year graduation rates at RU in 10 years.

When a school is able to see improvements in graduation rates coupled with improvements in external measures, such as AP scores, SAT scores, and our college enrollment portfolio, it paints a school picture of which we can be proud. That said, we know we need to continue to make improvements and address concerns. We value parent feedback deeply as we work to build a strong school community. With this in mind, we have made efforts in to listen carefully to stakeholder feedback as we transition from last year to School Year 17- 18.