2010-03-21 / News

Early programs help boost St. Charles MEAP scores

By Hillary Grigonis Staff Reporter

ST. CHARLES – MEAP scores in six categories topped all past records for the test at St. Charles Community Schools, according to information released March 12.

Elementary Principal Sue Bruno believes the increase is due to programs utilizing data to identify areas in need and the efforts of teachers to target those areas. The district has recently implemented a Response to Intervention (RTI) literacy program as well as an early childhood pilot program.

The fourth grade mathematics scores hit a high of 97.3 percent of students achieving proficient scores, a jump of ten percent from the previous year; categories reaching their highest scores also included third grade reading (90.4 percent), fourth grade reading (88.9 percent), fifth grade reading (86.8 percent), fifth grade science (92.3 percent), and sixth grade reading (86.8 percent).

The RTI program, implemented at the beginning of the school year, identifies students who are not performing at the literary benchmark and targets their weak areas. Students are assessed to identify the areas they are struggling with, they then work in a small group with an instructor for thirty minutes four times a week. The students’ progress is continually monitored and readjusted.

“It’s a true prescription for a very specific gap in a child’s learning,” said Bruno.

The early childhood pilot program was also implemented this year, looking at pretests and posttests as well as parent surveys to gage progress in a first grade classroom.

“One of our biggest measures of success is that our parent surveys have just come back with praise for improvement and adjustment to school,” Bruno said.

“We have put a real emphasis on data to improve learning,” she said. “The real difference is the day to day work in the classroom and the teachers who work hard…really targeting the areas.”

Because the MEAPs were taken in the fall, only a few months after the programs had been implemented, Bruno expects that scores will continue to improve.

In the middle school, some seventh and eighth grade scores declined where scores have been consistent in the past, Superintendent Michael Wallace said, and the district plans to look at the programs and curriculum for ways to improve. Eighth grade mathematics fell from about 82 percent in 2008 to 68 percent in 2009, a few points under the state average of 70.3 percent. Seventh grade math also fell from 88 percent to 76, below the state’s 82.2 average.

“I am very happy that our elementary program is where it is at,” Wallace said, “We will look at the middle school programs and curriculum.”

The district’s goal is to be at or above the state average; the 2009 scores are above the state average in nine categories.

“We are never fully satisfied until all of our students are achieving proficient or above proficient…and that’s what we are striving for,” Wallace said.

St. Charles Schools MEAP Results

Grade Level Percent of St. Charles students meeting or exceeding standards
Mathematics Reading Science Social Studies
Third Grade 93.8 90.4
State 94.8 89.8
Fourth Grade 97.3 88.9
State 92.3 84.1
Fifth Grade 80.2 86.8 92.3
State 79.5 85.2 81
Sixth Grade 81.1 86.8 68
State 82 87.7 73.4
Seventh Grade 76.3 77.8
State 82.2 82
Eighth Grade 67.9 75 76.2
State 70.3 83.4 75.9
Ninth Grade 79.1
State 71.1

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