Rigorous classes help ACT scores at WS

Posted September 25, 2013 at 9:27 pm

By Steve Peterson

West Sioux Grades 6-12 Principal Ryan Kramer gave his analysis of the school’s high school ACT scores at the Sept. 16 school board meeting.

“They were very interesting. It supports what I have seen in the classroom in relation to our core curriculum. When students take rigorous courses and take classes that are going to challenge them and are working toward that college prep, they score well. The challenge is making sure students are informed as they go on from freshman to junior years of the course selection process. Our core is right there but we can always do better irregardless. In relation to what is being taught in each area the core is right on. Our challenge is to get better as you’re never satisfied. The information being taught is good for the ACT and beyond,” said Kramer.

“I’m very confident as we made the change with our math curriculum with Everyday Math we will continue to see increased scores and our new reading program is in the fifth grade. At home as a parent I have seen dramatic increases in my son’s math skills and I have seen it throughout in reading. We have gotten better and there are still improvements to be made.

“As I talk to parents kindergarten is the old first grade. Expectations are raised and everything has moved down and that’s a good thing,” said Kramer.

“All schools in Colorado are requited to have all students take the ACT,” said Kramer in response to a question by Board President Gary Witt. “Some area schools have a modified version of that requirement such as Sioux Center.”

West Sioux’s ACT scores

A total of 29 West Sioux students took the ACT test. For all students, not just taking the core curriculum, the results were (nation is listed second), English, 20.6, 20.2; Mathematics, 20.9, 20.9; Reading, 22.1, 21.1; Science, 22.7, 20.7; and Composite, 21.7, 20.9.

For West Sioux students in “core or more” classes, scores were, English, 21.3, 22.4; Mathematics, 21.8, 22.4; Reading, 23.1, 23.3; Science, 23.6, 22.9; and Composite, 22.6, 22.9.

WSES listed as School In Need of Assistance

Department of Education regarding Elementary School has notified West Sioux it is a school “in need of assistance,” reported TK to Grade 5 Principal Carrie Thonstad. This is due to No Child Left Behind requirements. Next year those requirements are 100 percent for all populations she told the school board. AEA, Area Education Agency, will provide assistance.

“We are working on getting there. A guidance councilor would be huge. The staff is meeting as teams in collaboration. We have added staff through the K-3 grade grant. We’re going to make the change for assessments to be successful. We have changed the report cards to make them more friendly to the parents and we may go to a trim-semester.

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