A-D-M Elementary students reach grade level reading goals

Clint Cole - Editor

The A-D-M School Board met for its monthly meeting on Tuesday, Oct. 10 at the A-D-M Schools Administration Building. The board got an update on reading progress at Adel Elementary School from Principal Kim Anderson.

One goal they had for the 2016-17 school year was to have 90 percent of its students in grades K-5 to be at or above their grade level, according to district benchmark book assessments. The school achieved that goal with the following percentages:

Kindergarten: 95 percent

First grade: 92 percent

Second grade: 92 percent

Third grade: 91 percent

Fourth grade: 91 percent

Fifth grade: 90 percent

The percentages increased from the previous year for all grade levels, including a 10 percent bump from the fifth grade class.

With eight years worth of data to compare, Anderson said that this is the first year that all grades, K-5 were able to hit the 90 percent mark.

“This is a testament to, not only a district focus, but a building, a staff and a student focus,” Anderson said.

“So we’re not only just looking at our students at or above grade level, but we’re also thinking of those students not meeting those expectations and where we’re going to go next.”

Another goal the school had for reading standards was that 90 percent of all students K-3 will score in the “adequately progressing range” on the 2017 spring aReading assessment. The students fell short of that goal, however, with the following percentages.

Preschool and Kindergarten: 76.34 percent, a decrease from 77.78 percent the year before.

First grade: 75 percent, a decrease from 76.39 the year before

Second grade: 87.25 percent, an increase from 75.56 percent the year before.

Third grade: 83.57 percent, an increase from 74.67 percent the year before.

Fourth and fifth graders who were not in the “adequately progressing” range in the grade before, also also took the assessment in 2017 and had percentages of 85.51 percent and 89.86 percent, respectively. These were increases from 74.83 percent the year before for fourth graders, and no percentage was available for 2016 for the fifth graders.

The standards for this assessment are set by the State of Iowa.

Anderson pointed to two reasons for the numbers they had throughout the grade levels. The first being that the assessment they took for this was intended to be a screener, allowing teachers to see what the students’ problem areas are in terms of their reading skills.

“Because of it being a screener, it’s not expecting to have a high percentage of students that are successfully completing it,” Anderson said.

The other reason Anderson pointed to was that the test is taken on a computer by second through fifth graders, which is different than reading “a real text” in front of them.

“So we’ve had to put a lot of things in place to support them with just understanding how to take the assessment, and I think that speaks to the increase from [2016] to [2017] for second, third, fourth and fifth, because we took the time to do that after we learned that first year,” Anderson said.

For kindergarten and first graders, there score comes from a combination of five different assessments.