Wednesday, October 8, 2014

School district overall test scores show slight increase

Scores fall at Clay Elementary

J-E News Editor
The Kentucky Department of Education (KDE) released the results of this year’s Unbridled Learning Assessment tests on Friday, naming the Webster County School district as a focus district. Focus districts are identified annually based on federal requirements when a district has a non-duplicated student gap group score in the bottom 10% for all districts.

The district’s overall score rose from 55.6 to 59, but there were some tough drops. The biggest being falling scores at Clay Elementary, which was the district’s shining star in the 2012-2013 school year.
Clay middle school scores fell from 71.9 last year, which put them in the 91st percentile statewide, to 65.8, dropping them to the 65th percentile. That score also earned the school a ‘needs improvement’ rating.
Clay’s K-5 scores fell from 57.9 to 50.7, dropping the primary grades to the 8th percentile in the entire state.
“Clay Principal Clay Mattingly has dug deep and done some research,” said Rhonda L. Callaway, district Director of Secondary Instruction and Assessment Coordinator. “He said ‘I know we’re going to be okay’. He’s made some adjustments over the summer and feels good about what he has in place.”
Dixon and Providence, however, saw scores rise at both levels, earning them a rating of ‘needs improvement/progressing’.
“We embrace the challenge of creating a world class education for each and every child, each and every day in the Webster County Schools,” said Superintendent Rachel Yarbrough. “The commitment to high quality teaching and learning experiences for kids is our focus and will move us on a path of continuous improvement.”
“The district leadership realizes the urgency to move the district forward on behalf of student learning,” said Callaway. “We will use the Spring 2014 results to look for trends and closely analyze individual student performance in all assessed areas. Dr. Rachel Yarbrough, first year Superintendent for Webster County Schools set instructional initiatives in place during the summer of 2014 to establish increased collaboration among administrators and teachers.”
One part of this process is called Teacher to Teacher Meetings (T2Ts).  T2Ts includes professional learning time each week that focus on standards and rigorous instructional strategies to increase student mastery of the Common Core Standards as well as Quality Core Standards for End of Course Assessments at the high school level.  
“The added Instructional Coaches to the District will take the Response to Intervention process to a new level focused on early literacy and numeracy,” said Calloway. “The district and each school will be reviewing and revising their District/ School Improvement Plans to address the findings.”
The test scores released on Friday are results from last school year, prior to the change in administrations at the board office.

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