Identifying the Right Metrics
Each year as we wrap up semesters and school years, it’s not uncommon for me to question if we’re on the right track. I guess it’s the idea that, as the saying goes, it’s difficult to see the painting when you’re in the frame.
On most days, we follow our “normal” bell schedule, having a few class periods, meeting for chapel, then more classes, then lunch, then a few more class periods before the final bell. We see the same students at the same time, often in the same places, and the days tend to merge from one day to the next.
Don’t get me wrong— I love school and enjoy the routine— but that routine can sometimes lull us to sleep and make us forget the difference we are making.
This week, two things helped put into perspective the difference we are really making in our students’ lives and confirmed we’re doing things right:
- Mustang Christmas
- Analyzing PSAT data
On Sunday, we took 54 students (47 seniors) to Morrilton to throw a Christmas party for children from Southern Christian Children’s Home. We met for a devotional and communion (which was an incredible experience!), loaded a bus, drove to Morrilton Intermediate school, set up blow ups, food tables, and piles of presents. Once the kids arrived, we ate with kids, Lights Up performed, Samta (Sam was Santa— get it?) handed out gifts, and then we played like crazy. It was awesome! Our kids were the hands and feet of Jesus that day and glorified God by being a blessing to others. I loved it!
While that was a great example of our students serving others, as a school we must be equally excellent in our academics. This week, I was able to review our PSAT scores from October, and the answer is yes— yes, we are equally excellent in our academics.
Here’s a quick overview of the data from the 10th graders we tested in October:
- The top quartile of the class average percentile score is 89.7 (nationally).
- The top 50% of the class average is 84.2 (nationally).
- The class average is close to the 71 percentile (nationally).
What does that mean? In a nutshell, the top 25% of our students scored among the top 10% in the nation; 50% of our students scored among the top 15% in the nation; and the class as a whole scored among the top 30% in the nation. That’s worthy of note and something we should all be proud of!
As we wrap up this semester, I’m confident we’re heading in the right direction. Our students are learning about God’s love for them, they’re active in serving others, and they’re knocking it out of the park in the classroom. As a parent, I can’t think of anything more I’d want for my children, and I can’t wait until they join us on Mustang Mountain because we’re making a difference!