Summer's retesting shows score gains

Achievement gains between spring and summer test administrations were posted by fourth- and eighth-grade St. Mary Parish students.

A total of 91 percent of fourth-graders and 84 percent of eighth-graders met promotional standards between both testing periods.

St. Mary fourth-grade students’ 4 percent gain in proficiency was achieved with 69 percent attaining higher scores in English Language Arts and 67 percent enhancing performance rates in mathematics. Among district eighth-graders participating in LEAP retesting, 49 percent boosted scores in English Language Arts and 64 percent progressed in mathematics for an increase of 8 percent in overall proficiency.

School and district personnel have worked to refine instructional strategies and identify gaps in student performance to ensure a strong summer remediation curriculum. Analysis of this summer’s performance data indicates that students are benefitting from the concentrated small group instruction, Superintendent Donald Aguillard said.

“Louisiana’s promotion standards for grades 4 and 8 require students to attain scores of Approaching Basic and Basic in English Language Arts and math in order to advance to the next grade level,” Accountability Manager Robbi Gouaux explained.

“Upon release of summer retest results, schools have the information needed to appropriately schedule students for this school year. Thus, parents will be informed by their child’s school indicating any updates in grade placement due to summer retesting.

“A small percentage of students have qualified for various state-approved overrides that allow students to be placed in the next grade or in the district’s transitional remediation program,” she said

Aguillard added, “St. Mary Parish’s carefully structured and highly concentrated summer remediation programs have boosted district promotional rates for fourth-grade students to a level of 91 percent and eighth-grade students to 84 percent after summer retesting, indicating significant gains from initial spring results.

“I commend the instructional staff for developing a strong summer program to meet the individual needs of struggling students, along with summer school principals and teachers for the effective implementation of the remediation curriculum.

“Additionally, our students are to be congratulated for dedicating their summer to achievement and increased preparation for the upcoming school year. The significant gains in proficiency are crucial to the district’s continued success in motion,” he concluded.

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