Coupeville WASL scores hold up

With another year of WASL results in the books, the Coupeville School District is looking to fine-tune its educational programs to help more students pass the statewide assessment.

Superintendent Patty Page said there were some high points to this year’s scores announced last week, but she was quick to point out the assessment is only a snapshot of student learning.

“What we’re hoping is that we’re focusing on the instruction and learning that is taking place,” Page said Wednesday. That focus will help get the students who still need to pass certain portions of the WASL up to standard.

Page said 89 percent of the sophomores in the school district passed the reading assessment last year, however, that number has remained consistent over the past three years. She said the students having trouble meeting the standards have to be identified and then teachers will have to figure out how to get them to the next level.

Passing the writing and reading portions of the WASL became a graduation requirement beginning with the class of 2008. Page said the WASL didn’t stop any Coupeville students from graduating last year.

In other subjects for high school students, nearly 95 percent of the sophomores passed the writing assessment, 65.2 percent of the sophomores passed math and 58.5 percent passed science.

Page said the middle school scores exceeded state scores, but have been pretty stagnant. She said staff will be adjusting programs and finding ways to provide students the individualized help they need.

Recent increases in federal standards more than doubled the number of schools in Washington state on the “school improvement list.” Coupeville doesn’t have any schools on that list. Schools making the list fail to meet adequate yearly progress in math and English for two consecutive years. However, last year the Coupeville School District did not meet progress standards in special education math and reading, and low income reading.

As in other areas, Page wants to ensure the focus remains on individual students.

“What we want is to focus on is each child for who they are,” Page said.

The small school district has the numbers that allows teachers to pay more more attention to each student, however, Page said that can be a double-edged sword. Fewer students means teachers get to know them well, but it also means less funding than the larger school districts receive. That means officials have to be more creative in developing options for students.

She complimented the school district’s teachers as they work to keep up with higher standards.

“We have great teachers doing an outstanding job teaching,” Page said.

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