/ Articles / MHLT School Board hears mid-year achievement gap reduction report

MHLT School Board hears mid-year achievement gap reduction report

February 21, 2020 by Kayla Houp

The Minocqua J1 School District Board of Education heard a report from director of special education and pupil services Dayle Vanderleest outlining the mid-year progress in the district’s efforts to reduce achievement gaps for students in grades kindergarten through third.

“I have given this last year as well, it’s the achievement gap reduction program that helps us reduce the gap size,” Vanderleest said. “This year, it’s keeping our class sizes smaller.”

According to Vanderleest, kindergarten reading is within 2% of the end-of-year goal. The end-of-year goal is having 85% or higher for all students meeting the district’s math goal, with 84% of kindergarten students currently “performing at 80% or higher.”

For first grade, the end-of-the-year goal is to have 85% of students meeting the proficiency level scale score of 166, Vanderleest indicated.

As of December, 23% of students were at the district’s reading goal, with 35% of students reaching proficiency. 

For mathematics, the end-of-the-year goal is to have 70% of students reaching the district’s math goal, with 12% currently at the end-of-year goal and 58% meeting proficiency as of December.

“In second grade reading, 338 is the proficient scale score and 65% of our students are already there and we want 83% and 77% are hitting that proficiency or higher,” Vanderleest said. “In mathematics, the scale score is 546 and we have 22% already there, but 60% hit proficiency for December.”

Vanderleest explained the data provided included all students in the grade.

She added ]there were two percentages provided to the board, one being how many students have reached the goal, and how many are proficient or on track to meet that goal, including those who have already reached it.

“We are within 5% of where we wanted to be in that second grade level,” she explained.

For third grade, Vanderleest stated the scale score for reading proficiency was at 473, with the goal being 85% of students meeting that goal.

“Right now, 39% of our current third graders are doing that, but 57% are already proficient,” Vanderleest said. 

In math, she stated the goal was 65% of students hitting the end-of-year goal.

“We have 18% already there, but 51% are on track,” she said. “So, we have some gaps to make, and we’re working on those.”

Board member Joan Christgau asked how the district determined what percentage of students it wanted to meet the end-of-year goal.

“There’s a baseline of how many were there at the beginning of the year, so it’s looking at what is the achievable gap,” Vanderleest explained. “So, if 60% of our kids are proficient in September, it’s probably not realistic to get 100% there, but if 60%, maybe 75%, so we’re closing that gap. We’re making more students proficient than when we started.”

Other items

The board Tuesday also:

• Approved a transportation contract with the Lakeland Area Bus Service.

Kayla Houp may be reached via email at [email protected].

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