Hello UPark Families,
 
Last Friday, DPS released the School Performance Framework (SPF), a comprehensive performance measurement tool that looks at how each school is serving their students. The tool measures 3 primary categories: growth, status, and satisfaction. Growth accounts for 65% of the overall rating and measures academic progress of the students over the past two years. Status accounts for 28% of the overall rating and measures how many students are performing at or above grade level. Satisfaction accounts for 6% and is gleaned from the surveys filled out by families at the conclusion of the school year. 
 
I'm happy to say that our Status metrics indicate 76% of our students are performing at or above grade level. This puts us in the top 25 out of over 200 schools in DPS. I am also very proud that we are one of the top performing schools with respect to how we are serving students with disabilities.
 
However, this year University Park has dropped from a Green school to a Yellow school in the SPF ratings that were just released. It is important to me to communicate with families the reason for this change, highlight the continued strengths at our school, and solidify our commitment to improvement.
 
The current SPF shines a light on an area where our school has lagged behind the DPS standard for the past two years: Growth. This measure is the most heavily weighted benchmark, and it alerts us that our school needs to focus on ensuring that each student who is below grade level is catching up  and  that each student who is currently at or above grade level continues to make one full year of growth from their individual starting point. 
 
Our highly trained and dedicated educators are working closely with our instructional development team to implement strategies that have been proven to meet students needs for growth, and I look forward to sharing our efforts and successes with you throughout the remainder of the year and beyond. 
 
We acknowledge and take seriously what the SPF is telling us, but please understand that this rating does not mean that UPark is not a great school. UPark continues to be a special, unique, and innovative place to learn, and there are many things we do to educate our students that don't show up in the SPF framework. 
 
We have a staff of highly trained and dedicated educators who provide rigorous learning opportunities for all students, every day. We have an instructional leadership team who supports our teachers through professional development and weekly coaching. Our paraprofessionals, facilities team, office staff, and cafeteria staff worked tirelessly to ensure that UPark is a happy place for our students to learn. And most importantly, we have our wonderful students and a very supportive community. Together we form a Community of Mighty Thinkers and Doers. Together we will continue to grow as learners and as a school.
 
If you have any questions about the SPF or our response as leaders and educators, Natalie and I will be available at the main entrance to the school from 4-5 pm on both Tuesday, 10/15 and Thursday, 10/17 during parent-teacher conferences. If you are unable to make it during this time, we are also happy to schedule another time to answer any questions you may have. We look forward to sharing our plan for growth with you.
 
Eric Atonna
UPark Principal