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Student scores reviewed by R-7 School Board members

Monday, December 5, 2011

The performance of Verona School District students in state tests last spring was reviewed by administrators with the R-7 Board of Education at the October board meeting.

Principals Jeannie Abeln, for kindergarten to sixth grades, and Terry Winton, for sixth to 12th grades, presented details. Scores were reported from Missouri Assessment Program (MAP) tests and end-of-course exams at the high school.

"The report is positive," said Superintendent William Sweet. "We can always do better. It's probably unreasonable to think we can get 90 percent of students scoring in the advanced range."

Student scores are ranked into four levels of performance: below basic, basic, proficient and advanced. The goal is for all students to score at or above the proficient level.

In looking at a three-year trend of scores at Verona Elementary, almost 80 percent of students scored at the basic level or higher in communication arts. Students scoring at the advanced level numbered in single digit percentages.

"Scores have been pretty stable without a lot of movement," Sweet said. "Being okay is not going to be good enough. We've got to work harder on getting into the advanced level."

In math, well over 80 percent of elementary students scored at basic or proficient. Advanced scores ran again in single digit percentages up to the higher grades, with 16 percent of fifth graders and 14 percent of sixth graders scoring in the advanced range.

Sweet saw more success moving into advanced scoring at the junior high and high school levels.

In communication arts, well over three quarters of students scored basic and proficient. In the seventh grade, 17 percent scored at the advanced level, and 22 percent scored that high in the English 2 classes.

In math, Sweet said well over three quarters of students scored basic and proficient. In the seventh grade, 13 percent scored at the advanced level, and 23 percent scored advanced in the algebra I class.

"We're on the right track," Sweet said. "There's room for growth and improvement. We're trying to beef up the proficient and advanced scores."

More than three-quarters of geometry students scored as proficient. In science, three-quarters scored as basic and proficient. In biology, a little better than 87 percent scored basic or better, with 10 percent scoring advanced.

In history, 75 percent scored basic and proficient. No students scored at the advanced level this year. In government, well over 80 percent scored basic and proficient with 11 percent scoring advanced.

"You'd expect to see good numbers in elected classes," Sweet said. "When you look at the three-year trend, it's not bad.

"We're looking at making sure what we're teaching in the class has rigor along the lines of what students are being tested on," Sweet continued. "Our goal is to push out of the basic."

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