Sibley East looks to remedy shortfalls in reading, math

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Sibley East principals have their sights set on improving math and reading scores after the school learned it fell below state average in the MCA II state test results.

At a recent school board meeting, Junior High Principal Steve Harter presented five reading intervention possibilities for the 2009-2010 school year.

According to Harter, two of the possible changes would be at no cost to the district. He suggested altering MCA testing procedures to have them taken in the English classroom at the normal class period. This would allow students to take one segment per day during their normal class period. It would also provide familiarity.

A second suggestion made by Harter would be for study hall teachers to promote a 20 minute reading period at the start of each study hall period.

Two options, that could be funded with targeted services funds, would be to incorporate literature circles into the seventh and eighth grade English curriculum. Several sets of books would be required, and estimated to cost $559.92.

The second option for seventh and eighth grade, would be to implement “Study Island,” a computer software program, for reading and math for seventh and eighth grade. This software could be accessed on-line from home. The estimated cost is $1,721.

A more expensive option, that would require board action, would be to implement a double period developmental reading class for this year’s eighth grade. Students enrolled in the class would be those students who have been identified as not meeting the standard and those students who partially meet the standard. This class would require a one period overload, which could cost $5,074-$6,820.

Sibley East’s Elementary Principal Mari Lu Martens meanwhile said there will be a retreat with the teachers in early August to develop a plan to help elementary students.

MCA II test results were presented at the Sibley East Board of Education meeting last week.

Sibley East Elementary – Arlington
The percentage of third grade students at Sibley East – Arlington that were proficient in reading and math is just below the state average. 76% of the Arlington third graders were proficient in reading, just below the state average of 78.4%. 79.6% of Arlington third graders were proficient in math, near the state average of 82.1%.

Arlington fourth grade students exceeded the state average in reading. 76.2% of the fourth graders were proficient in reading, higher than the state average of 74.5%. 71.5% of the Arlington fourth graders were proficient in math, just below the state average of 74.8%.

Fifth grade students at Arlington were below state average in reading and math. 57.5% were proficient in reading, below the state average of 72.2%. 52.4% were proficient in math, below the state average of 65.5%.

Arlington sixth grade students exceeded the state average in math. 65.3% were proficient, compared to 63.7% statewide. 69.4% of the students were proficient in reading, just below the state average of 72.6%.

Sibley East Elementary – Gaylord
77.1% of the third grade students in Gaylord were proficient in math, just below the state average of 82.1%. 66.6% were proficient in reading, below the state average of 78.4%.

Gaylord fourth grade students exceeded the state average in math. 76.5% of the Sibley East students were proficient in math, above the state average of 74.8%. 61.7% met or exceeded the state standards in reading, below the state average of 74.5%.

48.9% of Gaylord fifth graders met or exceeded the state standards in math. This was below the state average of 65.5%. 58.2% of the fifth grade students were proficient in reading, below the state average of 72.2%.

Sixth grade students at Gaylord were slightly below the state average in reading. 71.1% met or exceeded the standards in reading, just below the state average of 72.6%. 55.5% were proficient in math, below the state average of 63.7%.

Sibley East Junior High
The number of Sibley East seventh and eighth graders who met or exceeded the state standards in reading and math was below state average.

48.8% of Sibley East seventh graders met or exceeded the state’s math standards, below the state average of 62.6%. 43.8% of the seventh graders were proficient in reading, below the state average of 64.8%.

For the eighth grade, 36.5% were proficient in math, below the state average of 59.6%. 54.1% were proficient in reading, below the state average of 66.8%.

Sibley East Senior High
Sibley East sophomores and juniors scored above the state average on the MCA II math tests.

49.9% of the Sibley East sophomores met or exceeded the math standards, which was above the state average of 41.6%. Sophomores were just under the state average for reading. 73.4% of Sibley East students met or exceeded the reading standards, just below the state average of 74.2%.

48.9% of Sibley East Juniors met or exceeded the state math standards. This is above the state average of 41.6%. 73.4% of the Juniors met or exceeded the reading standards, just under the state average of 74.2%.

Statewide
According to the Minnesota Department of Education, math and reading MCA-II test scores increased or stayed relatively steady for most grades in 2009, according to the Minnesota Department of Education. The biggest gain in the annual testing was made in 11th grade math, with an eight percent increase over 2008 results.

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