News

KSS, CKJH earn ‘Honorable Mention’ for WASL scores

By PAUL BALCERAK

Staff writer

Add Klahowya Secondary School and Central Kitsap Junior High School to the list of institutions that have been honored for their improvement in Washington Assessment of Student Learning (WASL) scores.

The schools were notified of their Honorable Mentions in the 2007 State Superintendent’s Learning Improvement Award in recent letters to their respective principals.

“Not only did your school meet high standards on mathematics and reading in 2007, but was also among the schools that have moved at least half of their students at least one level in mathematics and reading over the past six years,” read the letters from State Superintendent Terry Bergeson and Governor Chris Gregoire.

WASL assessment levels range from Level 1 (“Below Basic”) to Level 4 (“Advanced”) and are based on rigid scoring ranges. A student reaching Level 3 (“Proficient”) is considered to have met WASL standards and passed.

Honorable Mentions were handed out to schools that posted high gains that were nevertheless lower than those schools receiving Honorable Distinction awards, OSPI Media Manager Nathan Olson said.

Honorable Distinctions went to schools in the top 5 percent of schools showing progress. Cottonwood Elementary School was the only school in CKSD to receive an Honorable Distinction.

Klahowya has made especially large gains in seventh-grade math and reading scores, which jumped 34 and 22 percentage points, respectively, for students meeting WASL standards during the six-year period.

“It’s great that we moved the kids up so far so fast,” Stevens said. “The downside is that we were down so low in the first place.”

Faculty and staff at Klahowya have focused on matching curriculum to grade level expectations and have worked to identify struggling students and put them into “intervention classes.” The classes take place during the school day and replace elective classes that would otherwise be available to kids meeting WASL standards.

CKJH has implemented a program similar to Klahowya’s intervention classes in which struggling students can end up taking multiple math or reading classes each day.

Stevens credited the two education tactics with bringing the honorable mention award to Klahowya for the first time.

Despite the award and the fact that Klahowya is ahead of state averages in most seventh-, eighth- and 10th-grade reading and math scores, there are still massive improvements to be made.

“We’re not comfortable till we’ve got 100 percent (proficiency ratings) in all areas,” Stevens said.

Klahowya math scores are hovering around 50 percent proficiency while reading scores are more inconsistent, ranging from about 60 to 80 percent.

CKJH has implemented a program similar to Klahowya’s intervention classes in which struggling students who are identified can take multiple math or reading classes each day.

Their scores have risen even more dramatically than Klahowya’s. Seventh- grade math scores soared 40.6 percentage points in the six-year span and reading scores shot up 25.2 percent.

We encourage an open exchange of ideas on this story's topic, but we ask you to follow our guidelines for respecting community standards. Personal attacks, inappropriate language, and off-topic comments may be removed, and comment privileges revoked, per our Terms of Use. Please see our FAQ if you have questions or concerns about using Facebook to comment.
blog comments powered by Disqus

Read the latest Green Edition

Browse the print edition page by page, including stories and ads.

Oct 24 edition online now. Browse the archives.

Friends to Follow

View All Updates