School Officials Present NECAP Results; Discuss Student Support Options
Concerning assessment results in some grade levels instill in educators the need for effective intervention and support systems.
At the March 12 meeting of the Coventry School Committee, Asst. Superintendent Michael Convery gave a presentation on the district's most recent New England Common Assessment Program (NECAP) testing results. The presentation included a 3-year comparison of NECAP proficiency for each grade, as well as comparative results for each Coventry school and Rhode Island state averages.
Overall, Coventry NECAP scores have been and continue to be above the state average in both English Language Arts (Reading) and Math.
The NECAP is scored on a scale of 1-4 as follows: Level 4 = Proficient with Distinction; Level 3 = Proficient; Level 2 = Partially Proficient; Level 1 = Substantially Below Proficient. In the case of Grade 11 students, a score of 2 or better is required in Math and Reading to graduate.
Convery stated that six Coventry High School juniors scored a 1 in Reading, while 130 juniors scored a 1 in Math. According to the 2012-2013 results, only 35% of CHS juniors scored proficient in the Math portion of the assessment.
"Eleventh grade math continues to be a struggle across the state," said Convery.
In order to help the 11th grade students who are not proficient meet graduation requirements, the school department plans to implement a variety of programs and supports including Student Learning Objectives prepared by teachers to target the instructional needs of students, twice a week after-school instruction sessions and a two-week summer "boot camp" academy shortly before the 2013-2014 school year begins to target specific needs. The academy would be coupled with a unique math class once school begins that will support students for the entire year and address individual areas of concern.
Coventry High School will likely see the addition of a math interventionist to provide further support. This implementation will not require a change or increase in staffing, according to Almeida.
"We've been working closely with the high school and we have a reading teacher there and the supports to make it happen for those six students, we're very confident of that," said Almeida. "For math, it's going to be a challenge, but we know we can provide further targeted support to those students."
Additional supports will be put into place for younger students in order to address difficulties early on. Options currently being considered include double math sessions and/or extended school days for some students as well as summer support. Also a possibility is the implementation of a balanced assessment program supported by research-based technology software that would allow for the collection and review of instructional data based on different student/teacher/classroom factors as well as the acquisition of immediate assessment results. The latter would eliminate the waiting period currently experienced after testing, allowing for more timely and effective support.
"We don't want to be in this situation going forward," said Almeida. "We have juniors that are not passing NECAP assessments, so we want to start as early as possible. It's going to have to be very creative and we'll really have to educate the community and parents about how important it is that families participate in these additional opportunities for their child."
Over the next three meetings, School Committee members and school officials will be hosting presentations for parents that will focus on upcoming intervention programs for each level of schooling. The high school presentation will take place on Mar. 26; middle school, Apr. 9; and elementary school, April 23. (Times and locations will be made available as soon as they are confirmed.)
2012-2013 NECAP Data (See attached presentation for complete results.)
Note: Each school year's score reflects the previous years teaching.
A decline in scores was recorded for Grade 3 Reading in all Coventry elementary schools, with the most significant drop occurring at Hopkins Hill School where approximately 88% of students were proficient during the 2010-2011 and 2011-2012 school years. 2012-2013 results show that only about 68% of third grade students at that school are proficient in reading. Grade 3 Math results reflect minor decreases district-wide, but are still significantly higher than state averages.
Grade 4 Reading scores do not show significant changes from prior years, with three of the five elementary schools continuing to exhibit at least 80% proficiency. The lowest proficiency level demonstrated by Grade 4 Math results appears at Tiogue School, with about 76%, however this is 1% higher than last year and 20% higher than the 2010-2011 scores.
Coventry's Grade 5 Reading scores are likely the closet to the state average with little fluctuation across the 3-year span. Washington Oak scored the highest with 88% proficiency in year 2012-2013, while Hopkins Hill scored the lowest with 78% - still above the state average of about 71% during the same testing year. Grade 5 Math scores fluctuated greatly across the three years, with 3 of the 5 schools showing a 14% increase between the last two years of testing.
Grade 6 Reading scores show little variation, with the exception of the Hopkins Hill students showing 61% proficiency in 2010-2011, 84% in 2011-2012, then 56% in the 2012-2013 scores. Western Coventry students improved from 78% in last year's results to 88% this year. Grade 6 Math scores show decreases in proficiency between the last two testing years ranging from a 1% drop at Hopkins Hill to an 11% drop at Tiogue. Western Coventry was the exception, showing an increase from 66% to 85% between the same years.
Grade 7 Proficiency: Reading: 78%, Math: 67%
Grade 8 Proficiency: Reading: 83%, Math: 63%, Writing: 78%
Grade 11 Proficiency: Reading: 88%, Math: 38%, Writing: 67%