After a “do-over” for sixth- and ninth-grade students, the Seaside School District set new targets for performance in mathematics and literacy.
The district previously adopted goals based on the strategic plan for the 2019-20 school year in August with the exception of the math and reading targets for the sixth and ninth grades, which they reviewed at the Tuesday, Nov. 26 board meeting.
“The results we got on our baseline assessment at the end of the year just didn’t make sense,” Superintendent Sheila Roley said during the board meeting Nov. 19.
Roley added when they gave the first test to students, staff were still learning to use the new system and not confident they had administered the assessment “in the way we needed to.”
To reach the first goal of the strategic plan, which is that by 2024 all students will be on track to graduate and be prepared with a plan beyond high school, the district is setting more specific performance indicators for each school year.
They readministered the assessment and “the results made way more sense,” Roley said. “We also had a much better sense of working with the program.”
Based on the results of the new assessment, the administration recommended a goal for the 2019-20 school year of seeing the percent of students meeting academic targets increase from:
• 61% to 72% in sixth-grade math;
• 40% to 60% in ninth-grade math;
• 57% to 65% in sixth-grade literacy;
• 44% to 64% in ninth-grade literacy.
The third-grade targets — which include increases from 53% to 63% in math and 36% to 51% in literacy — stayed the same for the 2019-20 school year, and students were not reassessed.
According to Roley, the district is exploring its curriculum and instructional practices for mathematics and working to make improvements.
“The way you raise scores is by examining practice,” she said during the meeting.
Educators in the district also are continuing their training with Constructing Meaning, an instructional protocol designed to build literacy skills in all students, regardless of their native language. Some teachers have even become certified to lead the training, she said.
“We think with those things that we’re going to start moving the dial,” Roley said. “It will be a slow growth, but I think a couple years from now, we’ll see the fruits of our labor.”
Besides students meeting math and literacy targets, the district in August agreed upon two other performance indicators for the 2019-20 school year that remained unchanged. Those indicators are:
• The percent of freshmen on track to graduate will increase from 82% to 88%.
• The percent of elementary students participating in multiple life-ready experiences will increase from 67% to 75%.
At the November meeting, the board approved the revision to the strategic plan to reflect the updated goals.
In other news
The board approved a donation from Jeremy Mills State Farm of $500 to purchase items for the Book Nook at The Heights Elementary School. When students meet various reading goals at the school, they are rewarded by the opportunity to select a free book from the Book Nook.
The board also approved a donation from Rack Room Shoes of $8,745.70 in shoes for elementary students in need.