Mike Lootens Pic

Mr. Lootens' Blog

  • PRINCIPAL’S BULLETIN MESSAGE – NOVEMBER 17/18, 2018

    Posted by Kristen Bickett on 11/14/2018

    Included in my bulletin message for this week is a chart which compares our school’s scores on the Iowa Assessments with the 37 other diocesan grade schools that also took the tests in September.  All schools in the Diocese of Peoria have to take the tests in Grades 3, 5, and 7; most also take these tests in the other grades.

    Some observations from the accompanying chart:

    • Epiphany students averaged at least three points higher than they did in 2017. Averages in Math and English Language Arts averaged over five points higher than last year.

     

    • Epiphany Catholic School students scored above diocesan averages in every test taken in the assessment.

     

    • The Composite score for each class was at a Grade Equivalency of at least a grade and one-half over their present grade.

     

    • The Composite score for each class was above the 70th percentile; this was the first time for this to happen since the assessment was re-normed in 2011.

     

    • Special kudos to our 3rd Grade Class; their Composite scores placed them in the 87th This is the highest score of any class in my eight-year tenure at Epiphany.  Of the 29 students in the class, 14 scored above the 90th percentile.

     

    I could go on and on about how well our kids did, but we also realize that we will have opportunities to do even better.  Thanks to our STAFF for their dedication and hard work. Thanks to our PARISH and FAMILIES for their support. And finally, thanks to our STUDENTS for their hard work.

    May God Bless Our Parish Family!!!

    Mike Lootens

    GO KNIGHTS!!!

    COMPARISON EPIPHANY CATHOLIC SCHOOL AND DIOCESE OF PEORIA

    Iowa Assessments – September 2018

     

     

    READING

    ELA

    MATHEMATICS

    SCIENCE

    COMPOSITE

    Score

    Diocese

     

    Score

    Diocese

     

    Score

    Diocese

     

    Score

    Diocese

     

    Score

    Diocese

     

    8th Grade

    59

    (9.1)

    58

    (9.0)

    +1

    (+0.1)

    73

    (10.5)

    71

    (10.2)

    +2

    (+0.3)

    70

    (10.2)

    62

    (9.2)

    +8

    (+1.0)

    70

    (10.9)

    64

    (9.8)

    +6

    (+1.1)  

    70

    (10.5)

    64

    (9.7)

    +6  

    (+0.8)

    7th Grade

    74

    (9.5)

    59

    (7.9)

    +14

    (+1.6)

    81

    (10.0)

    69

    (8.7)

    +12

    (+1.3)

    69

    (8.6)

    57

    (7.7)

    +12

    (+0.9)

    67

    (8.8)

    62

    (8.2)

    +5

    (+0.6)

    73

    (9.3)

    62

    (8.2)

    +11

    (+1.1)

    6th Grade

    69

    (7.6)

    55

    (6.6)

    +14

    (+1.0)

    81

    (8.5)

    65

    (7.1)

    +16

    (+1.4)

    62

    (6.8)

    49

    (6.2)

    +13

    (+0.6)

    75

    (8.4)

    65

    (7.3)

    +10

    (+1.1)

    72

    (7.8)

    59

    (6.7)

    +13

    (+1.1)

    5th Grade

    71

    (6.5)

    64

    (6.0)

    +7

    (+0.5)

    82

    (6.8)

    71

    (6.2)

    +11 

    (+0.6)

    72

    (6.4)

    58

    (5.4)

    +14

    (+1.0)

    73

    (6.8)

    66

    (6.3)

    +7

    (+0.5)

    73

    (6.6)

    64

    (5.9)

    +9

    (+0.7)

    4th Grade

    80

    (6.0)

    64

    (4.9)

    +16

    (+1.1)

    83

    (5.8)

    69

    (5.0)

    +14

    (+0.8)

    72

    (4.8)

    56

    (4.3)

    +16

    (+0.5)

    74

    (5.5)

    70

    (5.2)

    +4

    (+0.3)

    78

    (5.5)

    64 (4.7)

    -+14

    (+0.8)

    3rd Grade

    88

    (5.2)

    61

    (3.6)

    +27   

    (+1.6)

    87

    (4.8)

    62

    (3.6)

    +25

    (+1.2)

    84

    (4.5)

    55

    (3.3)

    +29

    (+1.2)

    84

    (4.8)

    66

    (3.7)

    +18

    (+1.1)

    87

    (4.8)

    60

    (3.4)

    +27

    (+1.4) 

     

     

    COMPARISON BY TEST AREA EPIPHANY CATHOLIC SCHOOL AND DIOCESE OF PEORIA

     

                                  EPIPHANY                 DIOCESAN        DIFFERENCE                  DIFFERENCE

                                   AVERAGE                  AVERAGE                                         GRADE EQUIV.

     

    Reading                     73.5  (69.7)                 60.1  (60.3)       +13.4  (+9.4)                 +0.98  (+0.68)      

     

    ELA                           81.2  (76.0)                 67.8  (66.1)       +13.4  (+9.9)                  +0.93  (+0.67)     

     

    Mathematics            71.5  (66.0)                 56.2  (54.4)       +15.3  (+11.6)               +0.87  (+0.59)

     

    Science                     73.8  (70.4)                 65.5  (63.4)       +8.3  (+7.0)                    +0.78  (+0.52)

     

    Composite                75.5  (71.1)                 62.2  (61.3)       +13.2  (+9.8)                  +0.98  (+0.55)

     

    Numbers in parenthesis are averages and equivalencies for the September 2017 assessments.ITB

    Comments (0)
  • PRINCIPAL’S BULLETIN MESSAGE – 11.10/11. 2018

    Posted by ML on 11/7/2018

    The following is part of an article that appeared in the Washington Post in August of 2014.  The article, by Adrienne Wichard-Edds, centers on providing children what they need to have success at school while at the same time nurturing their abilities and independence. Parents need to find ways to foster independence, competence and an intrinsic desire to learn.

    Beginning in the late elementary grades the article suggests that:

    1. Resist the urge to save your kid. Allow your children the opportunity to experience adversity.
    2. Don’t obsessively check your kid’s grades online. Spend time with your kids setting up clear expectations and clear consequences.
    3. Encourage competence, not confidence. Competence is a feeling of confidence borne out of actual experiences.  Praise effort.
    4. Help kids develop goals—theirs, not yours. Kids need concrete goals of their own in order to grow and progress.  As a parent, check the where they are at and help them evaluate their progress.  This process in a key component of our junior high Student-Led-Conferences.
    5. Get in on the act. Parents can mirror expected behavior by setting their goals for the week and sharing them with their children.

    Times are so very much more complicated than when I was a child or even when my children were at this age.  As parents (and as educators too) we need to promote the growth of our kids.

    May the blessings of our Lord be with you all this week!!!

    Mary, Queen of Hope, Pray for Us!!!

    Mike Lootens

    GO KNIGHTS!!!

    Comments (0)
  • PRINCIPAL’S BULLETION MESSAGE—NOVEMBER 3/4, 2018

    Posted by ML on 10/31/2018

    During the second week in September, students at Epiphany Catholic School in grades 3 through 8 completed the Iowa Assessments as mandated by the Office of Catholic Schools of the Diocese of Peoria. Scores for these assessments are included in this week’s bulletin. These tests act as a summative assessment of student learning and where shared with parents at the recently completed Parent/Teacher and Student-Led Conferences.  More importantly, the staff of our school will take some time to disaggregate the data to determine strengths and weaknesses of our curriculum, check for adequate growth in each student and other practices. 

    Generally speaking, our students did very well on these tests and we thank them for their efforts.  Also, I would like to take this opportunity to thank the faculty and staff for their tremendous efforts on behalf of the students of Epiphany Catholic School.

    May God Bless All,

    Mike Lootens

    GO  KNIGHTS!!!

    Iowa Assessment

     

    Comments (0)
  • Principal's Message 10/24/2018

    Posted by ML on 10/24/2018

    The following was penned in collaboration with Bridget Lanham, the director of the Katherine Marie Albee Early Learning Center (KMAELC).

    The Kathryn Marie Albee Early Learning Center is a Reggio Emelia-inspired preschool that provides a balance of technology and nature.  The inspiration for the natural elements of our center came from preschools in the town of Reggio Emilia, Italy which houses some of the most successful preschools in the world.  The schools of Reggio Emilia are known for their aesthetics of beauty and peaceful learning environments that leave children with a sense of joy and motivation.

     One of the key components to the design of the KMAELC is large, spacious windows that keep the children connected to natural phenomena and the outside world.  We bring nature into our classrooms with live plants, animals and “found” objects that lie freely on natural wood shelves.  

    The walls of the classrooms were painted in monochromatic Earth tones that are used to create a calm, comfortable space for learning.  The walls also serve as a backdrop for the children’s paintings and drawings as well as religious pieces of art that remind children and adults that this is a faith-based learning center.  There are mirrors present and photographs of the children throughout the center along with children’s work displayed that give the children a sense of ownership and security in the space. 

    The rooms are prepared with organized spaces that have intentional purposes, allowing the children opportunities to explore and use creativity and imagination.  There are dramatic play areas, building areas, writing tables, art and expression areas, math centers and science centers.  The centers are spaces for the children to work in small groups—building on their communication skills, peer relationships and problem-solving skills, all key components in the learning process of a young child. 

    KMAELC students weekly journey to the K-5 building for instruction in our Music classroom and we are exploring ways to increase the integration of our preschool into the programs offered in other areas of our school.  Children also have the opportunity to learn about nature in the adjacent outdoor classroom, a National Arbor Day Foundation certified facility.

    If you have any questions about the Kathryn Marie Albee Early Learning Center please contact director Bridget Lanham or me.

    Mary, Queen of Hope, Pray for Us,

    Mike Lootens

    Comments (0)
  • Principals Message

    Posted by ML on 10/17/2018

    Dear Epiphany School Families, Members of the Parish, and other Friends,

    The following thoughts offering tips for readying students for school are taken from the October 2016 issue of Today’s Catholic Teacher in an article entitled A Parent Guide for Positive Student Performance: Prepare Today for Tomorrow. The article’s author is Sr. Dr. Pat McCormack.

    Weekday Routine

    Plan a workable weekday schedule. Wake to a calm routine that includes sufficient morning time for a good breakfast, lunch preparation, commute time, and an opportunity to review the day’s after-school schedule. Consider preparing lunch and laying out school clothes the night before. Provide a heavy-duty cardboard box for your child to store school bags, projects, signed papers/permission slips, other materials needed for school.

    If wake-up time is a daily hassle, get ahead of the problem! Explain to your child that it seems obvious that an earlier bedtime is necessary. No doubt there will be some disagreement. At that point ask your child to suggest a solution to the problem, the goal being to wake up alert and cooperative. Agree to try the child’s solution for one week, explaining in advance that if the plan fails, bedtime will be 15 minutes earlier in the week ahead. Should that not provide sufficient rest time, you will provide 30 minutes extra sleep time during the following week. This approach puts the decision into the hands of the child. It is respectful and supports growth in autonomy and self-regulation.  I hope these tips offer some helpful ideas to prepare your student for a productive school-day.

    Also, congratulations to Coaches Keith Evans, Mark Cervantes and Jonathon Rolling and our Boys Cross Country squad for qualifying for the IESA Class A State Cross Country Meet held at Normal’s Maxwell Park on Saturday—October 13, 2018. Team members include Daniel Becker (5), Alexander Evans (7), Mason Hart (7), Jose Joseph (7), Joey Leffers (8), Daniel Morris (7), Josh Pagan (8), Ryerson Pirtz (8), Michael Williams (6) and Gabe Zacharias (6).

    May the blessings of Jesus Christ be with you and your family,

    Mike Lootens, GO KNIGHTS!!!

     

    Comments (0)
  • PRINCIPAL’S BULLETIN MESSAGE – OCTOBER 13/14, 2018

    Posted by ML on 10/10/2018

    As the calendar flips to October, thoughts turn toward student progress and the end of the first trimester grading period in November.  Again this year in the junior high at Epiphany Catholic School, we will utilize student-led conferences.  Our students are being prepared to lead conferences with their parents that look at the school year to this point.  Student portfolios will include work which the student believes to be their best and also examine examples that could have had better effort.  Their academic progress along with scores on standardized testing will also be reviewed.  Finally, academic goals for the year will be set and reexamined in the spring. 

    The National Association of Secondary School Principals cites the following advantages of student-led conferences:

    1. They tend to encourage students to accept personal responsibility for their academic performance.
    2. They facilitate the development of students’ organizational and oral communications leading to increased self-confidence.
    3. Reinforces the school-home relationship often times promoting increased discussion and dialogue.

    We are excited about these conferences and I would like to thank our junior high staff for the great deal of research and work in developing this approach for our school.

    Parents should have received a communication from the school concerning conference dates, times and procedures for signing up.  Please contact me with any questions.

    Have a great week!!!

    Mary, Queen of Hope, Pray for us!!!

    ml

    GO KNIGHTS!!!

     

    Comments (0)