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CPCS officials impressed with recent test scores

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COLTON - Colton-Pierrepont Central School district officials reviewed recent test scores at their recent school board meeting and were impressed with the results.

Principal James Nee gave a lengthy presentation to board of education members this week, indicating that the students ranked high in ELA and math state assessments, as well as on the Regents examinations.

“I know that (Director of Pupil Services Lianne Knight), (Superintendent Joseph A. Kardash), (Summer School Principal Matthew McKinley) and I spent a lot of time discussing our Regents scores and also our state test scores, which is only going to help us improve our instruction, help drive our instruction, focus correction areas and continue to improve where we’re doing really well,” Mr. Nee said. “Overall, our staff does a phenomenal job from year to year, and I think we will see this in the Regents exam overview.”

He shared a three-year overview of the district’s Regents exam scores.

For Integrated Algebra, the 17 students who took the exam all were proficient, meaning a grade of at least 65. Nearly 30 percent of the students had grades of 85 or higher.

Additionally, seven students took a Common Core Integrated Algebra exam and all of them registered at least a 65.

Geometry scores featured more success, as zero students were at a level one, with nearly 29 percent scoring at a level four.

“In U.S. History and Government, again our students are continually having over 80 percent proficiency. Many students are at level three or four. No student was under level two and some of the students - it’s important to note - earning a score of 55 to 64 in this cohort is still a positive and giving them credit to move on towards graduation,” Mr. Nee said.

“This year for Global History and Geography we had zero students at level one. We increased the number of level four students from 2013, and I just want to give a plug to Ms. (Megan) Leger. She incorporated different strategies from effective teaching training - specifically study groups that are tracked and monitored by creating note cards and dealing with higher level concepts and vocabulary. We’re seeing students who might not love some of the work they are asked to do, they’re seeing some really good results.”

The remaining six subject areas all saw solid scores, but were highlighted by a 70 percent rate of level four students in the Living Environment subject area.

Mr. Nee told board members that the district’s scores on the grades three through eight ELA and math state assessments were very good as well.

The following list shows the percentage of students who scored above level one in the math tests for grades three through eight with their St. Lawrence County rank in parentheses.

• Grade 3: 83.3% (top 3)

• Grade 4: 88.9% (top 5)

• Grade 5: 66.6% (top 5)

• Grade 6: 66.6% (top 10)

• Grade 7: 65.5% (top 2)

• Grade 8: 94.5% (top 4)

The list below indicates the percentage of students who scored above level one in the ELA test for grades three through eight with their St. Lawrence County rank in parentheses.

• Grade 3: 56.5% (top 10)

• Grade 4: 77.8% (top 5)

• Grade 5: 66.6% (top 2)

• Grade 6: 66.6% (top 10)

• Grade 7: 73.3% (top 2)

• Grade 8: 87% (top 3)

Although the grade five math scores were among the lower numbers at CPCS, Mr. Nee said he was enthused by the staff’s reaction.

“... it provides a lot of excitement for me as the building’s principal,” Mr. Nee said. “The amount of collaboration, problem-solving and communication that is coming from the fifth-grade group of teachers has just been inspiring. They said, ‘What can we do? We’re competitive. How can we increase this overall average?’ And they decided, ‘Well, here’s one problem. We’re teaching math in fourth grade for 40 minutes.’

“When our teachers went to math camp and went to other professional development opportunities this summer, they asked questions - how much time are you providing for math instruction. The overwhelming information that came back was students at these other schools that we’re being compared to are getting 60, 80, 90 minutes of math.”

The principal noted that despite the shorter class periods the school’s grade five math scores were still strong when compared to the statewide averages.

Mr. Kardash said that he is extremely satisfied with the results, but said the district’s staff will continue working hard.

“After all of our conversations, I can summarize it by saying that we feel really good about the test scores, but we’re far from complacent,” he said.

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