At the Starkville-Oktibbeha Consolidated School District Board of Trustees meeting on Tuesday, Oct.8, Principal Julie Fancher gave an update on Henderson Ward Stewart Elementary School.
The school retained its C accountability rating from last year, after raising it from an F between 2017 and 2018. The school serves second, third and fourth graders in the district, with 1,063 students total.
Fancher first discussed the school’s performance on reading. She said this year was the first year, where English language learners counted toward a school’s growth scores in reading.
“That helped us tremendously,” Fancher said.
The school also increased its math scores, but dropped slightly in its math growth. Fancher said she was not overly concerned about the slight drop in growth.
“I’m pretty pleased about where we stayed with math,” Fancher said.
She said most of her concerns were with reading and English/language arts (ELA).
While the school’s proficiency remained at a similar level, its growth dropped from 69.3% to 54.2%. Among its lowest-performing students the drop was even more drastic at 50.6% from 67.1%.
“That’s a lot of points we lost, and in what area, in reading, so where does my focus need to shift to? What is my major concern? It’s our reading,” Fancher said.
She said the school’s goals were to ensure every student’s time with iReady was 45 minutes or more and increase percentages of students on or above grade level by the second iReady diagnostic the school gave at the middle of the school year. The iReady software is used by the district to allow students to practice for the state tests, as well as tracking growth and showing areas individual students need to work on.
For more on this story, read Monday's Starkville Daily News.