ISTEP scores improve in all buildings; Jeff-Craig’s third graders are tops in state

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Principals from all four buildings in the Switzerland County School Corporation made presentations at Monday night’s meeting of the Switzerland County School Board concerning ISTEP test scores in their buildings, and although every principal acknowledged room for improvement, most of the scores show county students doing better on the tests.

The major announcement at the meeting was made by Jefferson-Craig Elementary School principal Dr. Elizabeth Jones, who reported that Jefferson-Craig’s third graders ranks number one in the entire state of Indiana in terms of overall test scores. There are 1,103 elementary schools in the state.

“Obviously, we’re very proud of that statistic,” Dr. Jones told the board.

But all principals had good news for the school board.

– At Switzerland County Middle School, principal Nancy Stearns and guidance counselor Phyllis Weaver presented scores based on previous classes at those grade levels, and also comparing how the same students have done as they have moved through the school system.

Nancy Stearns said that the school was very pleased that the science scores were up by 16 percent over last year; and that the eighth graders overall made significant gains in test scores generally.

“Other grade levels are holding their own,” Phyllis Weaver said. “Overall I think we’re seeing progress.”

In the sixth grade, 67-percent of students passed the language arts portion of the test; and 77-percent of students passed the math portion of the test. Overall, 62-percent passed both the math and language arts portions of the test, ranking them 455 out of 684 schools, according to the Indiana Department of Education.

The seventh graders saw 68-percent pass the language arts portion of the test; 80-percent pass the math portion; and 62-percent passed both tests, ranking the seventh graders 275th out of 462 schools. Also, 58-percent of seventh graders passed the science portion of the exam.

At the eighth grade level, 71-percent passed the language arts part of the test; 69-percent passed the math part of the test; and 58-percent passed both portions, ranking the eighth graders 318th out of 460 schools.

– At Jefferson-Craig Elementary School, news continues to be good, according to principal Dr. Elizabeth Jones and teacher Sarah Pavy.

In the third grade, 97-percent of students passed the language arts portion; 97-percent passed the math portion; and 97-percent passed both portions, ranking them first overall in the state.

In fourth grade, 93-percent passed the language arts; 91-percent passed the math; and 87-percent passed both sections, ranking the fourth grade 56th out of 1,103 schools.

In fifth grade, 91-percent passed the language arts; 93-percent passed the math; and 89-percent passed both sections, ranking the fifth grade 28th out of 1,103 schools.

The fifth graders also took the science portion of the test, with 69-percent passing.

– Making the report for Switzerland County Elementary School was principal Mike Jones and teacher Amy Bovard.

In third grade, 85-percent passed the language arts; 77-percent passed the math; and 73-percent passed both sections, ranking the third grade 273rd out of 1,103 schools.

In fourth grade, 84-percent passed the language arts; 86-percent passed the math; and 76-percent passed both sections, ranking the fourth grade 251st out of 1,103 schools.

In fifth grade, 80-percent passed the language arts; 94-percent passed the math; and 78-percent passed both sections, ranking the fifth grade 199th out of 1,103 schools.

The fifth graders also took the science portion of the test, with 70-percent passing.

“One of the large gains this year has been in writing,” Amy Bovard told the board. “Only 11 students did not make at least a four, which is above average. We are very proud of that.”

– Switzerland County High School’s ISTEP results were presented by principal Candis Haskell, who told the board that she saw both good news and bad news in her school’s test results.

“When we compare students to where they were before on past tests, they are either increasing their scores or holding their own,” Candis Haskell said.

In ninth grade, 56-percent passed the language arts; 66-percent passed the math; and 51-percent passed both sections, ranking the ninth grade 285th out of 376 schools.

In 10th grade, 64-percent passed the language arts; 61-percent passed the math; and 54-percent passed both sections, ranking the 10th grade 253rd out of 376 schools.

All of the principals gave board members extensive breakdowns for the scores at each grade level and by a variety of sub groups. All board members were encouraged to read the reports and ask any questions that they may have at a later date.