Sibley East Schools meet adequate yearly progress

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All of the Sibley East Schools – Sibley East Elementaries in Arlington and Gaylord, Sibley East Junior High, and Sibley East Senior High – met adequate yearly progress levels based on the scores for the Minnesota Comprehensive Assessments (MCA II).

The results of these tests, taken in April 2006, were released last month. Students in Grades 3-8, and Grades 10-11 were tested in reading and math.

District-wide, in reading proficiency, Sibley East students received a rate of 75.33, above the target of 64.97. White students earned a rate of 74.31, above the target of 64.41. Hispanic students received a rate of 78.35, above the target of 61.92. Limited English Proficiency students exceeded the target of 61.63 by receiving a rate of 81.70. Students qualifying for free and reduced lunch earned a rate of 73.97, above the target of 63.33. Only students in the special education category scored slightly below the target, earning 52.13 while the target was 59.93.

Although Sibley East students, overall, earned a rate of 65.25 in math, which was above the target score of 54.48, three of five subgroups scored below the target.

Students in the white and free and reduced lunch category scored above the target scores in math. White students earned 68.66, above the target of 52.69. Students qualifying for free and reduced lunch earned a score of 56.82, slightly above the target of 56.07.

Students in three categories – Hispanic, Limited English Proficiency, and Special education – scored slightly below the target scores.

Sibley East Elementary in Arlington earned a four star rating in reading and a three star rating in math, while Sibley East Elementary in Gaylord earned three stars in reading and math.

Sibley East Junior High School earned three stars in reading and math, improving last year’s performance when the school earned two stars in each category. Sibley East Junior High earned four stars for advanced academic opportunities and five stars for school safety.

Sibley East Senior High School earned three stars in reading and math. However, the school earned five stars in advanced academic opportunities and school safety policies and programs.

In Grade 3 at Sibley East students performed below the state average in reading and at or above state average in math.

In Grade 4, Gaylord students scored at the state average, while Arlington students scored slightly below the state average. In math, Arlington students scored at the state average, while Gaylord students scored below the state average.

In Grade 5, Arlington students scored above the state average in reading, while Gaylord students scored slightly below average. Grade 5 students in Arlington exceeded the state average in math, and Gaylord students scored below the state average.

Grade 6 students at both campuses scored slightly below the state average in reading and math.

In Grade 8, 52.81% of Sibley East students met or exceeded the standards in reading, compared to the state results of 64.59%. 47.19% of the Sibley East students did not meet standards or partially met standards, compared to 35.41% statewide.

In math, 52.81% of the eighth graders met or exceeded the standards in math, while statewide 64.59% of the students met or exceeded the math standards. 47.19% of the eighth grade students did not meet or partially met the standards, while statewide it was 35.41%.

In the Grade 10 reading, 59% of the students met or exceeded the reading standards, compared to 65% state wide. 41% of the students did not meet or partially met the reading standard, compared to the state average of 34%.

34% of the Grade 11 students met or exceeded the standards in math, above the state average of 30%. 66% of the students did not meet or partially met the math standards, compared to statewide of 70%.

Sibley East Junior High Principal Steve Harter said that it is hard to compare last year to this year. He pointed out that the state used to place the results in five student levels, and now that has been reduced for four levels. “We have improved according to the state, but there is still room to improve,” Harter said. “I would like to see more students meeting standards instead of partially meeting standards.”

Senior High Principal Jim Swanson said that overall, the Senior High students did well. Sibley East has received a three star rating in reading in the past, but Sibley East is down in math. Sibley East received a five star rating in math the past two years, while now it received three stars.

“The math test was more rigorous than in the past,” Swanson said. “We missed four stars in math by one or two students. Overall, in math, we continue to do well.”

“We’re pulling more lower achieving students off the bottom in reading,” he continued. “We missed more kids in math this time.”

Swanson pointed out that the test results are not a true picture of what is happening at Sibley East, because the same group of students is not being tested consecutive years. “We’re not testing apples and apples,” he said.

“We are doing really well. It’ a nice feeling to know we’re heading in the right direction,” Elementary Principal Mari Lu Martens said. “We’re taking a look at math. We don’t know if the curriculum is aligned in some spots. Last year we had new text books.”

“We’re doing really well with literacy across the board and we’re working to keep it up.”

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