Schools may choose to describe up to two additional pieces of information about how their school is supporting students. These self-reported indicators are not factored into school accountability calculations but provide the opportunity for schools to highlight successful programs or practices in addition to the indicators included in school accountability.


MWMA Early Literacy Data

MWMA has chosen to focus on early literacy, in particular phonological awareness, based on 3-year longitudinal data indicating that these crucial foundational skills were not being sufficiently mastered by students—inadequacy in phonological awareness hampers the mastery of phonics and negatively impacts subsequent reading accuracy and fluency. Through solid and explicit core instruction, use of the P.A.S.T. diagnostic to identify skill gaps and target interventions, supplemental use of Imagine Learning language software, and ongoing professional development and instructional coaching for teachers (including 7 teachers in process of receiving their reading endorsement), we drastically reduced the percentage of students who failed to master phoneme segmentation by the end of kindergarten (see Table 1). We also increased the percentage of students who maintained adequate progress in nonsense word fluency during their first grade year (see Table 2). As a group, all elementary K-6 students at MWMA held their ground in composite reading scores during the 2018-19 school year, as measured by the Acadience reading assessment (formerly DIBELS). Overall, students maintained proficiency levels from the beginning to the end of the year, indicating a year’s worth of reading growth, and this represents an improved result over our 2017-18 scores (see Table 3). Scores continue to increase.


Social, Emotional, and Executive Development

The Montessori philosophy focuses extensively on social, emotional, and executive development for students as well as academic skills. MWMA measured executive function skills based on research indicating that Montessori classrooms foster non-cognitive skills including executive function, creativity, and self-regulation. We used the Minnesota Executive Function Scale to assess executive function--working memory, cognitive flexibility, inhibitory control, and attention--in our first grade students at the beginning and end of the school year. Our students use individual work plans to plan, organize, and track the work they complete; they are held accountable for choosing, initiating, and completing work, and checking it off with a teacher. They also complete and present interest-based projects and have opportunities to be mentored by older students in the classroom. At end of year, our first graders compared favorably on the MEFS assessment to national norms (see Chart 1). Scores across time show that their progress from beginning (Time 1) to end of year (Time 2) showed significantly more than normal expected growth for the time period (see Chart 2). This indicates that our 54 first graders increased their working memory, cognitive flexibility, inhibitory control, and attention over the course of the school year to a significantly greater degree than expected from typical developmental growth.