Secondary schools set sights higher in ISD 834

Secondary schools in the district presented their goals and site plans for the upcoming school year to the Stillwater School Board at Thursday night’s meeting. The site plans provided by the district call for increased test scores, improved teacher evaluation and increased community building.

This year will be the first year that 100 percent of teachers at all three secondary schools — Stillwater Junior High School, Oak-Land Junior High School and Stillwater Area High School — will either be formally evaluated or receive a walk-through evaluation by the principal.

The goal of the evaluation process is that overall student growth will increase, as measured by MCA scores in math, reading and science but utilizing the curriculum design process that is based on: best practice, ongoing evaluation of current curriculum, ongoing evaluation of new curriculum implementation/fidelity, support and coaching for teaching staff. Professional learning communities will meet weekly to improve student learning. Teachers at the junior high schools will also be expected to attend at least five after school activities of students in their classes to work on building relationships.

Test score goals at the high school are as follows:

• Reading — increase the number of student meeting proficiency on the MCA reading test by the end of the 2014-2015 school year (77 percent proficiency) and increase the senior ACT reading score to 24.6.

• Math — increase students meeting proficiency on the MCA mathematics test by the end of the 2014-2015 school year (a 4 point increase) and us ACT tests to track student progress. The district anticipates an increase from 23.7 to 23.9 on the ACT.

• Science — ACT science test data will be used to track student progress as the MCA biology test will be phased out next year.

On the ACT the district would like the composite score to increase to 24.4. Staff will meet with all students in grade 10-12 to discuss academic planning for future and their experiences at the high school by the end of the year. Increased access to technology is also a goal.

Test score goals at Oak-Land Junior High School include:

• Math — 5 percent higher proficiency scores in the area of math and science

• Reading — Improve overall school reading scores on the MCA by 5 percent

The school-wide grading procedure will be implemented and the best practices from AVID, a learning support program, will be taught, implemented and measured for effectiveness.

Test score goals at Stillwater Junior High School includes:

• Math — Increase  proficiency by 5 percent in the areas of math and science

• Reading — Improve overall school reading scores on the MCA by 5 percent.

Other items similar to Oak-Land include implementing a school-wide grading procedure that is more accurate academically for students in grades 7-9 and implementing AVID best practices.

Other highlights include taking a survey to determine the climate of the school and help administrators understand how students feel about their educational experience and school.

Stillwater Junior will also evaluate school-to-home communication in an attempt to help student achievement and support relationships.

Parents who have students that have struggled with literacy proficiency at the junior high level will receive a phone call home and will receive a reading mentor on staff. If the lack of proficiency continues and parents have been contacted, an academic-intervention referral process will begin.

Contact Avery Cropp at avery.cropp@ecm-inc.com

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