Melrose School Administration on 2011 MCAS Scores
Press release submitted by Melrose Schools Superintendent Joe Casey and Curriculum Director Pat Muxie.
On Sept. 17, 2011, the Massachusetts Department of Elementary and Secondary Education (DESE) released results from the spring, 2011 MCAS testing for all schools and grades in the state.
The Melrose School District, with the strong support of the community, strives to ensure that our students achieve the highest caliber of personal and academic excellence through rigorous, relevant and research-based curricula. This is a collaborative effort which necessitates careful thought about curriculum, instruction, and assessment. Analysis of data helps us see our progress and the areas where we need to focus more attention. Some things to celebrate include the following:
- All Melrose schools continue to earn the DESE Performance Ratings of High or Very High in both English Language Arts and Math.
- In all three subject areas tested, ELA, Mathematics, and Science, the percentage of students scoring Proficient or higher has increased since 2009 for the majority of grade levels tested.
- Of particular note, the percentage of students scoring Proficient or higher in Math at the Grade 7 level has dramatically increased. Grade 6 and 8 percentages have increased as well.
- Students in Grades 5-8 and in the district overall over time are increasingly achieving Advanced status in ELA, Math, and Science due to increased rigor supported by our efforts to tailor instruction.
- Tailoring instruction and efforts to provide effective interventions has also had a positive impact on the percentage of students we see in the Warning category. This percentage has also decreased for the district overall and the majority of grade levels tested since 2009.
- Looking at our special education subgroup, we see excellent results from our move to the co-teaching model, especially at the elementary level, where we see a decreased percentage of students in the warning category for all grade levels and subject areas tested as compared to 2009 statistics.
- Subgroup performance at the High School level in English also improved.
- Over 70 High School students will qualify for a John and Abigail Adams Scholarship, based on their 2011 MCAS results.
- Grade 8 Science scores have shown significant improvement due in part to an examination of the curriculum with a reassignment of accountability for specific concepts supported by the Department Chair and department members.
- In Biology, the percentage of students scoring Proficient or Advanced jumped from 77% in 2010 to 95% this year.
- For the first time, student growth percentile scores at many of our elementary schools reached into the 60s, 70s, and even 80s at a variety of grade levels. This indicates very good growth.
In the upcoming year, we plan to focus our efforts on the following activities in order to ensure continued growth and improvement:
- Continue efforts to support and provide Math coaching as the most effective form of professional development for elementary and middle school staff.
- Continue to expand the co-teaching model especially at the Middle School through Grade 8.
- Assist and support, through targeted professional development, any schools with Student Growth Percentiles lower than 40 in any content area at any grade level.
- Improve the consistency of students’ performance and growth scores across all elementary schools by sharing best practices which can be reliably replicated.
- Consider the use of the Department of Elementary and Secondary Education’s, “Conditions for School Effectiveness Self Assessment” tool which contains a detailed rubric for analysis, to determine areas of focus for sustained growth and achievement.
- Continue to have principals monitor three-year Student Growth Percentile results to inform School Improvement Plans.
- Continue efforts to align curriculum with the newest MA frameworks for accountability purposes through the Atlas Curriculum Mapping project.
- Preliminary Science scores through Grade 8 show improvement, so continue efforts to promote hands-on inquiry-based learning in this content area and extend those efforts to the high school.
Principals at each school will be communicating their analysis and efforts in the upcoming days and weeks through informational forums and/or newsletters.
At upcoming School Committee meetings, principals and administrators will present a more comprehensive analysis of the district’s MCAS results, along with plans to address specific challenges unique to each school.
Individual student results were mailed to parents on Friday, Sept. 23.