HS, elementary growth highlights of TRCS end-of-year testing report

THREE RIVERS — In a new report presented last week, students at Three Rivers elementary schools and Three Rivers High School had general growth in reading, language and math, while Three Rivers Middle School students had mixed results in those areas.

That data came from an end-of-year benchmark testing report presented to the Three Rivers Community Schools Board of Education Monday, June 27. In the report, referencing results from the spring NWEA test, it shows a higher percentage of students in first through fifth grades and ninth through 11th grades maintaining and growing their knowledge in reading, language, and math than in the winter testing period.

The biggest increase in the percentage of students maintaining and growing their knowledge came in fourth grade math, where 75 percent of students maintained or grew their knowledge on the spring compared to just 46 percent doing so on the winter test. The only decreases among those grade levels came in first grade math, where the percentage dropped from 71 percent to 67 percent, and 11th grade math, which dropped from 71 percent to 69 percent between winter and spring.

Overall, in the elementary school ranks, a higher percentage of students scored average or above on the NWEA spring test than they did in winter, including a 15-point jump in first grade math to 71 percent doing so, the only grade level in elementary to reach the 70 percent goal set by the district. The percentage of high school students doing so between winter and spring either held steady or had slight decreases, with all 11th grade subjects exceeding the 70 percent goal.

In the middle school, however, there were a lower percentage of students who scored average or above on the test in all but three categories – seventh grade reading (going from 38 percent of students scoring average or above in winter to 42 percent in spring), eighth grade reading (from 47 percent to 50 percent), and eighth grade language (from 58 percent to 62 percent). Sixth grade math held steady with 55 percent scoring average or above in both winter and spring tests.

However, the percentage of middle school students maintaining and growing their knowledge on the spring test compared to the winter test had mixed results. A higher percentage of students did so in sixth grade language and math, seventh grade reading and math, and eighth grade language and math, however none of those percentages topped 70 percent, which is one of the goals outgoing Norton Elementary principal and incoming TRCS Curriculum Director Jen Graber said she has for next year.

“The growth in sixth grade math and seventh grade math are healthier, but they’re still below 70 percent. Same thing with reading, we need to focus on reading in that area and language development,” Graber said. “We’ve got our work cut out for us.”

Graber praised the high school and elementary numbers as a positive, in particular first, third and fourth grade.

“Our first grade killed it in math; that was huge growth from what the students came in with,” Graber said. “Looking at third grade that was phenomenal, and fourth grade reading and math are where we want them to be.”

“The high school has done very well. Tenth grade and 11th grade have backfilled the holes for learning and accelerated the learning for the kids. There was great growth in 11th grade with high achievement in all areas,” Graber continued. “The focus area would be in that ninth grade, but that’s the entering middle school kids, so we’re filling those holes and making up for the lack of growth in years prior.”

Graber said the middle school grades will be focus areas coming into next year with room for improvement.

In the Young 5s and kindergarten levels, which focus on a different testing method, a higher percentage of students combined in those levels, 57 percent, were reported to have met benchmarks than in the fall, which was at 41 percent. This was accompanied by a 23 percent decrease in Young 5s students in the “intensive” category and a 16 percent decrease in the same among kindergarten students.

Robert Tomlinson can be reached at 279-7488 ext. 22 or robert@threeriversnews.com.

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