by Lauren Birge
Kearns Junior High Community School Director
At the end of August, everyone at Kearns Junior was eagerly awaiting the release of the Student Assessment of Growth and Excellence (SAGE) scores. SAGE is Utah’s statewide assessment of students that is aligned to the state’s core standards. Last year, the first time SAGE was given in Utah, Kearns Junior didn’t do as well as hoped on the test. Throughout the last school year, Kearns Junior staff and students worked tirelessly to improve the scores and get more students proficient.
When the SAGE scores were released on August 31st, everyone at Kearns Junior was very pleased. All of the SAGE scores at Kearns Junior went up a significant amount. In fact, Kearns Junior had the highest amount of growth out of any Junior High in Granite school district.
Our current levels of proficiency are:
- Language Arts: 24%
- Math: 25%
- Science: 30%
Part of the reason for this amazing academic growth is the high academic standards that Kearns Junior has in place for all students. If you are a student at Kearns Junior, you are expected to succeed academically. Currently, Kearns Junior has as its goal to continue the positive trend of academic growth that we had last year. We want all students to have the same amount of growth or more as last year.
To continue this upward trend, Kandace Barber, the principal at Kearns Junior, sat down with the faculty and staff last May to devise a plan to help students continue growing academically and to create a consistent culture of high academic standards at Kearns Junior. What the faculty and staff came up with is the newly instituted 3.0 Club. The 3.0 Club is a club that gives a lot of positive reinforcements and promotes an encouraging, academic focused school culture.
To get into the 3.0 club, as the name suggests, a student needs to have a 3.0 GPA. Currently, over 100 students are currently eligible for the club.
Midterm grades are just being calculated, but it is likely that another 100 students will be able to join the club at the start of the second quarter That means, at the start of second quarter, 40 percent of the student body will be engaged in the 3.0 Club
By the end of the year, our goal as a school is to have two thirds, or around 360 students, enrolled in the 3.0 Club.
Each week, students in the 3.0 Club get special privileges, like “Headphone Mondays” and “Hat Day Wednesdays”. In addition, they get to go to lunch early on Thursdays and are let out of school on Fridays during afternoon announcements. Monthly events include lunch with teachers and exciting, educational field trips. The next field trip is a hike in one of the canyons close to Salt Lake City, led by one of the social studies and science teachers.
Of course, the students at Kearns Junior aren’t left alone to figure out how to move their GPA up to a 3.0. This year, faculty at Kearns Junior instituted a special “flex” period during the day on Tuesdays and Wednesdays where students have 30 minutes to work with teachers to complete their missing work. The afterschool program is also aligned with the 3.0 Club and provides over an hour of academic tutoring afterschool, where students can work with teachers and finish the work they are missing.
During the first week of school, the faculty collaborated together to do a kick-off assembly for the 3.0 Club. For the assembly, the faculty created a funny 3.0 video, which showcases the best parts of the 3.0 Club.
With all of the faculty and staff support, the students at Kearns Junior are on track to again have significant growth and increased proficiency
in their SAGE scores.
Watch the 3.0 Club VIDEO!