Warsaw School Board Monday night heard reports on summer school and the 2013-14 IMAST and ISTEP results.
Edgewood Middle School Principal and Summer School Coordinator JoElla Smyth said they offered programs for preschool to high school students.
Kindergarten Countdown is for students with no previous preschool experience, according to Jefferson Principal Kyle Carter. It had 44 students attend, and the attendance rate was 82.95 percent. The program was totally funded by United Way.
Students were screened last spring to make sure they were right for the program and would benefit from it. They showed growth in every category in which they were assessed by a pre-test and post-test.
Reading Readiness is a Title I funded literacy program for students completing kindergarten but not quite ready for first grade. Sixty-eight students attended, with an attendance rate of 82.81 percent, and measurable gains were made in the assessments.
“You can see tremendous growth, especially in the area of decoding skills,” Carter said.
The other two areas assessed were sight words and consonant-vowel-consonant segmentation.
Dan Graney, Harrison teacher, said 321 students participated in the IREAD program at Washington STEM Academy. The state required they do something different from the regular school year, so he said they created a middle school program where students rotated from class to class.
“It’s really cool to see the kids go from class to class and grow,” Graney said.
Of the 321 students, 114 were first-graders, 121 were second-graders and 86 were third-graders required to attend.
The Literacy Program was for students in fourth through seventh grade, with 153 students attending. Attendance rate was 83.43 percent. Students continued to enroll in the program well into the first week, Carter said.
The program was for students behind on basic literacy skills for reading, writing and/or math. Students were tested on Lexile Framework reading, math and writing growth, and improvement was seen in all tested areas.
“Overall, we saw the growth we were looking for in the Literacy Program,” Carter said.
Forty-nine students participated in the STEM (science, technology, engineering and math) program for grades fourth through seventh. Students explored STEM through inquiry lessons and project-based learning. Attendance was 87.38 percent.
Teachers David Burden, Tad Nieter and Gary Hawblitzel described the activities they presented to the students, including learning about robotics, biomedical engineering and energy.
At the end, Smyth said they had a learning fair where students got to invite their families and friends in to show what they learned.
She also quickly reviewed the high school summer school. In session one, 641 students were enrolled in credit classes, 75 drivers training, 97 middle school summer band, 92 high school summer band, 85 credit recovery and 55 summer orchestra. In session two, 426 students were enrolled in credit classes and 75 credit recovery.
She also talked about the summer enrichment camps, which included partnerships with Ivy Tech and Science Central.
Chief Accountability Officer Dani Barkey gave an update on Indiana Modified Achievement Standards Test and ISTEP+. She said the tests will look very different this year as the state has changed them, and they’re not quite sure what the tests will look like.
For Warsaw Community Schools, 101 students in grades 3-8 took IMAST, compared to over 3,200 students who took ISTEP. A case conference decides if a student should take IMAST instead of ISTEP. IMAST tests students at grade level, she said, but the difference is that it excludes the writing portion.
ISTEP tests math and English/language arts for all students in third through eighth grade; science only for fourth- and sixth-graders; and social studies only for fifth- and seventh-graders.
Barkey said IMAST can test different students each year, and a student can take a different portion of the test each year, so results from year to year can vary. She said with IMAST, it was best to look at results on a case-by-case basis.
She then reviewed ISTEP scores school by school (see the Times-Union Aug. 4 edition for results).
“Warsaw Community Schools is up slightly from where we were last year,” she told the board.
The district’s English/language arts pass rate increased by 0.2 percent, and it was the fourth consecutive year with an increase. “That’s something definitely to be proud of,” she said.
In math, the pass rate at Leesburg increased by 1.8 percent and this is their fourth consecutive year with an increase. Claypool’s pass rate increased by 1.6 percent also for a fourth consecutive year.
“So a lot of great things are happening at Warsaw Community Schools,” she concluded.
In other business, the school board:
• Approved the notice to taxpayers advertisement regarding the 2015 budget. A public hearing for the $73,449,672 budget will be at noon Sept. 5, with the adoption meeting set for 7 p.m. Sept. 23, both at the administration building.
• Heard enrollment was flat in August compared to August 2013. Enrollment for WCS was reported at 7,242 students, including preschool and CTE students.
• Heard from Superintendent Dr. David Hoffert that State Superintendent of Public Instruction Glenda Ritz will be touring WCS Sept. 4.
• Heard from board member Jay Baumgartner that the September meeting will be Sept. 23 at 7 p.m., and the November meetings will be at 4 p.m. Nov. 11 for the board work session and 7 p.m. Nov. 17 for the regular meeting.
• Heard a presentation spotlighting Washington STEM Academy. A free video of the presentation is available on the Times-Union website at www.timesuniononline.com