WESTFIELD - In presentations on test results from the 2010-11 school year, both principals at Westfield Academy and Central School had improving numbers to report to the Board of Education.
At the board's meeting on Monday, June 4, Primary Principal Paula Troutman and Secondary Principal Ivana Hite each showed the results of state assessments on grades three through eight as well as Regents exams. With changes in the scoring of assessments starting in the 2009-10 school year, this is the first time since scores have been comparable. The difficulty with comparing one year's tests to another, however, is it is a completely different cohort of students taking the test.
"At both levels, I am impressed with the amount of work that's being done organizationally within the staff to try to improve instruction, identifying gaps, identifying whatever you can in order to improve instruction," board member Jeff Greabell said. "I would just offer my commendation to both you and the staffs for that kind of effort."
Photo by Jenna Loughlin
Westfield Academy and Central School Primary Principal Paula Troutman, standing left, gives the Board of Education the elementary school’s 2010-11 state assessments results on Monday, June 4.
"It looks like it's showing," board president Marie Edwards said.
Troutman's report showed improvement in student proficiency in both fourth and fifth grade math and English language arts ranging from 10 to 20 percent. For a student to be considered proficient, they must score a Level 3 - meeting learning standards - or Level 4 - meeting learning standards with distinction. A Level 2 is considered partially meeting learning standards while a Level 1 is considered not meeting learning standards.
The elementary proficiency percentages for 2010-11 were as follows: third grade ELA test, no increase at 59 percent; third grade math, 1 percent decrease to 59 percent; fourth grade ELA, 10 percent increase to 63 percent; fourth grade math, 10 percent increase to 73 percent; fourth grade science, 2 percent decrease to 93.8 percent; fifth grade ELA, 14 percent increase to 59 percent; fifth grade math, 20 percent increase in proficiency to 80 percent.
"That is what we want to see," Troutman said of the increases on the fourth grade ELA and math tests. "We're very excited about that.
"We want to keep pushing them to that three and four level," she said of the elementary students in general. "They're working hard at it."
This is the third year WACS has used the EnVision math program and Troutman said she is very happy with it. Also, the school has adopted both reading and writing programs which are designed for kindergarten through fifth grade, using the same language and terms at all levels. Finally, Troutman said it was noticed students were struggling in phonics at the kindergarten and first grade levels, so a new phonics program was implemented and she has seen a huge difference in the student's abilities.
At the middle and high school levels, Hite reported on ELA, math and regents scores. In the middle school, Westfield's overall accountability status is in "good standing" in ELA, math and science with proficiency percentages for 2010-11 as follows: grade six ELA, 22 percent decrease to 50 percent; grade six math, 9 percent decrease to 63 percent; grade seven ELA, five percent increase to 69 percent; grade seven math, 8 percent increase to 73 percent; grade eight ELA, 5 percent decrease to 63 percent; grade eight math, no change at 45 percent; grade eight science, 12 percent increase to 95 percent; Regents integrated algebra middle school, no change at 100 percent.
At the high school level, the following percentage of students passed the following regents tests in June of 2011: Regents ELA, a 14 percent decrease to 80 percent; Regents integrated algebra, a 14 percent increase to 85 percent; Regents geometry, a 8 percent decrease to 82 percent; Regents algebra 2/trigonometry, a 2 percent decrease to 80 percent; Regents global history, a 22 percent decrease to 69 percent; Regents U.S. history and government, a 2 percent decrease to 96 percent; Regents living environment, a 4 percent decrease to 93 percent; Regents Earth science, no change at 97 percent; Regents physics, no change at 100 percent; and Regents Spanish, a 10 percent decrease to 90 percent.
As with the middle school, the high school is in "good standing" in regards to its overall accountability status for ELA, math and graduation rate. However, WACS did not make the adequate yearly progress for its graduation rate because it did not reach the Board of Regents aspirational goal of 95 percent of students graduating within five years of entry into ninth grade. Westfield's graduation rate for the 2006 cohort through June 2011 is 83 percent.
Hite gave a list of what is being done to help those students not meeting proficiency or passing the tests including after-school review sessions, additional academic intervention services classes for students who score a Level 1 or 2 and analysis of assessment data in order to make adjustments in instruction. Additionally, next year grades six through eight will be using a new, online math program through Pearson called Digits. The benefit to the online offering is new books will not have to be purchased every year requirements change.
"I'm just as excited as the math teachers are because actually they finally have a program that is aligned," Hite said.