Strong Start to the School Year!

The new school year has gotten off to a great start, and considering strong improvement in student achievement in northwest Denver middle schools, the year promises to get even better!

Mi Casa operates comprehensive afterschool programs for students who attend the three co-located schools on the Lake International School campus in northwest Denver. And we are delighted to report that according to the latest CSAP standardized test results, schools in northwest Denver, including Lake, are leading the charge in terms of improvements in student achievement.

Last year at this time, sixth-graders in northwest Denver posted CSAP scores of 39% proficient or better in reading, 34% in math and 26% in writing. This year, among sixth-graders in the new schools in northwest Denver – including the schools on the Lake campus – those scores rose to 45% in reading, 45% in math and 43% in writing. WOW!

The credit for these extremely impressive gains in student achievement is well-deserved by the hardworking teachers, administrators, students and families in northwest Denver, and we tip our hats to your incredible accomplishments!

But we would be remiss to not toot our own horn (just a bit) for the role Mi Casa’s wonderful Youth and Family Development programs played in supporting students’ success at Lake. Studies have indicated that while education is a critical pathway out of poverty for students, the school day is not sufficient to provide youth with tools they need to be successful. In short, a coordinated effort is required to address the holistic needs of youth and families, and an integral part of this work is providing quality afterschool programs – like those offered through Mi Casa – that offer enrichment during out-of-school time.

To show you what we mean, here are a few of the 2010-11 outcomes from Mi Casa’s youth and family programs:

  • 544 youth served in out-of-school time programs
  • Core participants (who attend programs 30+ days per year) increased to 156
  • 22 youth and their families received intensive case management services
  • 62% of case-managed youth increased their GPA and 100% advanced to the next grade
  • 17 youth successfully completed the rigorous Digital Connectors technology and career exploration program
  • Digital Connectors students performed 700 hours of community service to bridge the digital divide in our community

Among Mi Casa’s 156 core youth participants:

  • 60% increased their GPA over the course of the school year
  • 97% advanced to next grade level
  • 66% achieved 90% or better school-day attendance throughout the year
  • 78% decreased or maintained zero suspensions during the school year
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