Board hears elementary school’s proficiency report

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HES principal presents information about test results

By Ashley Zsedenyi

LaRue County’s School Board heard the Hodgenville Elementary School proficiency report at the Jan. 19 meeting.

HES Principal Penny Cecil told board members she was very pleased for her students to have met all No Child Left Behind goals.

A comparison with area schools shows LaRue County’s elementary schools rank first in math with 78.16 percent proficient and distinguished, and third in reading with 77.78 percent. LaRue County’s students are well above the state average in both areas, which is 70.27 in math and 73.54 in reading.

According to the former Academic Index in state testing, Cecil said HES showed a slight drop in math, but remained above the state average at all grade levels, and for the first time ever all grades scored above 100. She said there was a seven point gain in social studies, more than six points in science, a nine point gain in on-demand writing and a slight increase in reading.

HES teachers are taking numerous actions to increase student achievement in reading, including job embedded professional development with national consultant Joan Knight; developing book rooms with leveled readers to match the instructional reading level of the kids; intentionally selecting books and teaching comprehension strategies; working with Regie Routman’s “Transforming our Teaching” program; benchmarking three times per year; leveled literacy intervention, which is 30 minutes daily reading in addition to the core reading program; and using the computer programs Open Book, Earobics and Essential Skills weekly, in addition to core reading.

In math, Cecil said HES teachers are increasing student achievement by increasing the focus on a balanced math program with attention to fact fluency; using the intervention program “Do the Math”; allowing students to see multiple representations of numbers through “DOTS” lessons; incorporating “What’s My Place” lessons into the daily math core; asking students to think critically about problem solving and using hands-on manipulatives for concrete examples; and utilizing common assessments with increased rigor and time spent on analyzing results.

She said teacher training in Professional Learning Communities will improve all areas of student learning. Cecil also said teachers are putting an intentional focus on teaching open response strategies, modeling, practice and giving specific feedback to students.

Cecil thanked the board members for supporting the interactive Whiteboard initiative that will put the boards in each classroom and will benefit all students.

“We continue to make progress toward meeting the needs of every child,” Cecil said.