The 2016-17 state assessment results have been released for Wayne County Schools, along with test scores from across the state. This is a transitional year for the accountability system since the state is moving to a new model that will be go into effect in 2018-19 school year. Changes to state and national laws have prompted a redesign of the state accountability system that families are used to. Therefore, the public reporting looks different this year without any overall (Distinguished, Proficient, or Needs Improvement) labels, nor an overall score for the schools and district.
Instead, the results are broken into percentages of students falling in each category in the subjects tested and how it compares with the state. It is also broken into Gap groups determining how sub-populations progressed that is helpful to administrators within the district to make sure all students achieve.
The state has released separate scores for Gap, Achievement, and Growth at the elementary and middle school levels. In addition, categories measured at the high school level include: Gap, Achievement, Graduation Rate, and College and Career Readiness.
Test scores for individual students have not been received yet. Once the state sends those results to the district, parents will be able to learn their students’ results and discuss them at parent teacher conferences.
Generally speaking, Wayne County made strides in various areas, but still have room to make improvements in the future. It takes great perseverance with steady increases to reach such high levels. The staff works every day to improve instruction. They focus on formative assessment practices where they may double the rate of student learning, through their professional learning communities. The goal is for students to know what they are trying to learn, gain feedback with data on where they are at and finally what they need to know next to achieve success.
At the elementary level, Wayne County increased the number of proficient students in Language Mechanics and Writing. Their overall academic index improved by 2.6 points, making it the third consecutive year it has gone up at Monticello Elementary.
“I think our school has a lot to be proud of, and we are seeing the fruits of the hard work of both students and staff really paying off,” said Monticello Elementary Principal Stewart York.
“We saw a huge increase in our achievement gap score, which rose by 14.7 points,” noted York. “I think this can be attributed primarily to offering more targeted instruction based upon student MAP (Measured Assessment of Progress) RIT scores, as well as to strategic adjustments to our overall RTI (Response to Intervention) efforts.”
“This is all in addition to a great deal of just plain hard work, gritty determination, and perseverance on the part of our teachers and staff, along with support from parents,” said York. “We have also increased our communication and collaboration on curriculum issues with Walker Elementary and Bell Elementary, who are working wonderfully with us, and I think we are going to see even greater gains down the stretch.”
“While we did experience a decline in a couple of areas, we are again very happy that our overall score, and our school as a whole, is continuing to move forward and make a great deal of progress that I think the community can be proud of,” said York.
At the middle school level, gains were made at the proficiency level in Reading, Math, Language Mechanics and Social Studies. They were proud to see improvements in Achievement, Gap – all components of Next Generation Learners.
“Our school showed an overall academic index gain of 12.7 points (this score reflects Achievement, Gap and Growth) with our largest gain of 26.9 points coming from improvements within the Gap area due to a reduction of novice in all areas,” noted Wayne County Middle School Principal Melissa Gossage. “We feel these gains were accomplished through changes in our instructional programs including the use of cooperative teams/groups in math and reading and a focus on improving literacy in all content areas. Our teachers at the middle school were willing to embrace changes in instructional practices to better meet the needs of all students, as well as setting high expectations in their classrooms for student learning.”
Gossage continued, “Our students’ commitment to themselves, their teammates and their school was a huge portion of our success this year as well. Students took advantage of the structured opportunities in classrooms to discuss, share ideas and collaborate with other students for a common learning goal, which are all proven strategies to deepen understanding.”
Even though they have made some great gains, they are committed to work together to accomplish more.
“Here at the middle school we are striving for our students to learn to think through problems, support their own opinions and discuss their ideas and solutions with teammates. Through this teamwork, our students are learning to work together, learn together, and be held individually accountable for their own learning, which are skills they will need throughout their life,” explained Gossage.
The high school made gains in Reading, Writing, Math and Science. They are pleased to see growth in each reportable area regarding Achievement, Gap, College and Career Readiness, and Graduation Rate. In fact, they were amongst the schools across the state that tied for first place on College and Career Readiness.
“We are extremely pleased to see our school recognized for our College and Career Ready efforts,” said Wayne County High School Principal Justin Alley. “We made a targeted effort to get as many seniors College and/or Career Ready as possible last year, and it’s nice to see that pay off.”
“The new accountability model changes how that is calculated and will impact us greatly, but our Career and Technical teachers are looking at more industry certifications to help achieve our goals,” explained Alley.
In regards to achievement, “Reading and Math scores were the second highest they’ve been as far as the percentage of students being rated proficient or above. Science made some great gains and were raised to their highest level ever. Our Writing scores also took an impressive jump. US History took a dip, so we’ll be back at the drawing board with a chance to hit the reset button,” Alley reported. “Gap improved, but it is an area that we must continue to improve on.”
“I also want to stress the appreciation for our staff to continue setting goals and focusing on the things that will improve our student achievement,” concluded Alley.
In order to learn more specific information regarding the test data, go to the Kentucky Department of Education website and check out the Report Card for Wayne County Schools.
For More Testing Information, Click Here