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WASL: Math remains sore subject for sophomores

Central Kitsap sophomores have been consistently climbing the WASL numbers in reading, writing and math for years and the preliminary results from this spring confirm the trend.

More than half of those tested not only met, but exceeded the passing standards, said superintendent of CK schools Greg Lynch.

According to the results released by the Office of the Superintendent of Public Instruction last week and made public by the Central Kitsap School District Monday, 1,119 CK 10th-graders were slated to take the sophomore Washington Assessment of Student Learning test.

In CK, 366 booklets belong to students who have either not taken the test or their booklets have not been scored yet (116 in reading, 124 writing and 126 math).

There are a variety of reasons for the missing scores such as students forgetting to write their name on the test, not completing the entire booklet, or illness or other absences during the multi-day test.

The results from the three WASL subjects required for the Class of 2008 to graduate were rushed this year to give students and their families a chance to consider remedial options, if necessary.

“This year, ... they didn’t have time for us to reconcile the records so (the numbers) are a little bit messier than usual,” said Linda Elman, research and evaluation director for CKSD.

That’s just one reason why OSPI and CKSD are not reporting the early WASL scores as percentages (see preliminary WASL score chart on page A2).

“The real goal right now is to identify the students who need help,” Elman said.

Of the CK students whose tests were graded, 89.5 percent met or exceeded the reading standard, 85.8 percent passed the writing portion, and 60.1 percent tackled the math section successfully.

These preliminary calculations point to gains in each of the three subjects, although the results will not be finalized until mid-August when CKSD has had the chance to adjust for those 366 scoreless tests.

Math remains the most challenging subject, Lynch said. In general, though, the WASL scores are good news, he added.

“By golly, I think it’s very good news and I’m very proud of our students and our staff,” Lynch said.

For the students in the Class of 2008 who will receive their individual WASL results this week and who need just a little boost to meet the standard, CKSD is offering Summer Seminars starting June 29 for math and July 10 for reading and writing.

There are three sections of the math remedial summer course planned, two sections of reading and two of writing, said Tara Richerson, CKSD curriculum specialist in charge of the Summer Seminars program. However, the number of classes offered is dependent on enrollment.

The classes, which differ from CK’s regular summer school program, are funded through the state-allocated Promoting Academic Success (PAS) grant. The curriculum for Summer Seminars is supplied by OSPI and is designed for students who have scored between 388 and 399 on reading and math and 16 on writing. For the first two subjects, 400 is considered a passing score and for writing, 17 is needed to meet the standard, Richerson explained.

“Students who are just a little bit below the 400 (or 17) would benefit the most but we certainly won’t turn away anyone who wants that help,” she added.

The Summer Seminars are intended to prepare the Class of 2008 for the first of four WASL re-take opportunities, August 7-10.

CKSD already has programs in place for next school year to help those students who may need extra help.

Support classes such as math lab or before and after school reading and writing courses have already been piloted at the junior high schools and are coming to all of the district’s secondary schools in the fall, said Julie Goldsmith, executive director of secondary teaching and learning.

Students who did not pass the WASL in the spring also will receive revised individual Student Learning Plans at the beginning of the 2006-07 school year.

CKSD is looking to hire a student success coordinator, Goldsmith said. The position will be funded by PAS and I-728 state money and will coordinate WASL assistance district-wide and across grade levels.

“We’re hoping this person can work with all of our schools,” Goldsmith said. “We really want to have a very targeted, specific plan for every student.”

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