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School district touts positives on state standards assessments

June 21, 2018
By MEGHAN McCOY (news@breezenewspapers.com) , Cape Coral Daily Breeze

Although the Lee County School District reports improvements in many areas of the 2018 Spring Florida Standards Assessment and End of Course exams, percentages of students scoring at a Level 3 or higher are still lower than the state average in some instances.

"Despite the challenges we faced due to Hurricane Irma, collectively we increased student achievement for grades 3-10 in almost all tested areas," said Superintendent Dr. Greg Adkins in a prepared statement. "I am very proud of our students, teachers and administrators and the positive gains we made. However, we are not complacent. We have already begun planning and developing academic initiatives for the coming school year with a systemic focus on instructional planning, personalized learning and increased rigor. We will continue to strive so our students reach their highest personal potentials."

Executive Director of School Development Shanna Flecha said they are calling the strategies to strengthen student achievement the "ABCs."

"The 'A' is for increasing student attendance. Students who miss less days of school and instructional time typically achieve at higher levels. 'B' is for behavior, making sure we are taking care of students socially and emotionally as circumstances inside and outside of school can impact learning. 'C' is for Curriculum," she said. "We are creating curriculum maps and instructional guides for all core subjects to give teachers the ability to allow for differentiation so they can address the individual needs of students. The first quarter information was released before the end of school. We expect the rest of the quarters to be released when school starts. We will be providing ongoing training for teachers on those maps and guides."

District spokesperson Lauren Stillwell said this year the school district implemented a new reading curriculum for Level 3 and higher students at the middle school level to help students. They also implemented a new reading curriculum for Tier 3 middle and high schools.

"While we have intervention programs at all of our schools, Tier 3 schools are identified as ones where most students need intensive instruction or intervention," Stillwell said.

There were significant gains in all the high school End of Course exams, which resulted in an increase rank among Florida districts, according to the school district.

The district stated that there was a significantly higher percentage of students who scored Level 3 or higher in US History.

According to the Florida Department of Education, 52 percent of students at Island Coast High School scored at a Level 3 or higher on their U.S. History EOC exam; 74 percent at students at Cape Coral High School scored at a Level 3 or higher; 77 percent of students at Mariner High School scored at a Level 3 or higher and 63 percent at Ida S. Baker High School scored at a Level 3 or higher.

The state average was 68 percent of students scoring at a Level 3 or higher.

There was also an increase of 5 percentage points for student scores on the Biology EOC exam.

For Biology, 80 percent of students at Island Coast High School scored at a Level 3 or higher; 60 percent at Cape Coral High School scored at a Level 3 or higher; 63 percent of students at Mariner High School scored at a Level 3 or higher and 48 percent of students at Ida S. Baker High School scored at a Level 3 or higher.

The state average was 65 percent of students scoring at a Level 3 or higher.

There were more students who met their graduation requirement and English Language Arts scores increased by 4 percent for 10th grade students.

According to the Florida Department of Education, 37 percent of students at Island Coast High School scored at Level 3 or higher; 65 percent of students scored at a Level 3 or higher at Cape Coral High School; 46 percent of students at Mariner High School scored at Level 3 or higher and 54 percent of students at Ida S. Baker High School scored at a Level 3 or higher.

The state average was 53 percent.

The district stated that the percentage of students who scored a Level 3 or higher in Geometry jumped 10 percentage points.

The Florida Department of Education reported that 47 percent of students at Island Coast High School scored at a Level 3 or above; 56 percent of students at Cape Coral High School scored at a Level 3 or above; 53 percent of students at Mariner High School scored at a Level 3 or above; and 53 percent of students at Ida S. Baker High School scored at a level 3 or above.

The state average was 57 percent of students scoring at a Level 3 or higher.

Another increase was seen in Algebra 1 scores, according to the district, with an increase from 59 percent to 62 percent. The increase is significant because students passing the Algebra 1 EOC exam is a state graduation requirement.

According to the Florida Department of Education, 33 percent of students at Island Coast High School and Cape Coral High School scored at a Level 3 or higher; 26 percent of students at Mariner High School scored at a Level 3 or higher and 55 percent of students at Ida S. Baker High School scored at a Level 3 or above.

The state average of students scoring at a Level 3 or higher was 63 percent.

Those students who scored at a Level 1, or Level 2 in Algebra 1 have the opportunity to participate in the 5th quarter program, which is summer school, to help them achieve success in the course.

In addition, each school has its own intervention programs, Stillwell said, which are specific to the students needs. Those programs include tutoring, afterschool programs and technology resources, which is open to both students and parents with access both in the classroom and home.

The district began providing middle school students with the opportunity to take more advanced math courses when they reach high school. According to the district, 23 percent of 6th grade students took the 7th grade FSA mathematics exam.

One percent of the 6th graders took the 8th grade FSA mathematics exam, which led to a positive trend in the 7th grade FSA math scores. The positive trend made Lee County 10th in the state for 7th grade proficiency in math. The 8th grade students outperformed their peers across the state.

Stillwell said not all 6th graders may take the 7th or 8th grade math tests.

"They have to be in an advanced math program to do so. That placement is based on previous grades, consultation with parents and other criteria," she said.

The district also stated that the scores for Florida Standards Assessment in elementary science saw an increase.

Fifth graders increased their proficiency by 3 percentage points in elementary science, which moved the percentage from 49 to 52 for students scoring at a Level 3 or higher.

According to the Florida Department of Education 22 percent of fifth grade students scored at a Level 1, compared to the state average of 20 percent. Twenty-six percent scored at a Level 2, compared to the state's average of 25 percent.

Next month parents will have the opportunity to pick up their student's Individual Student Report. The parent will receive a message once the reports are available at the school where their child took the assessment.

 
 
 

 

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