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Mike Key, principal at Leavenworth Elementary School, points out a class-by-class trend that data supports, showing students have improved from year to year by class. Photo by Leslie Radcliff

Trustees receive breakdown of glowing ISTEP+ results


October 30, 2013
It's officially official. Detailed ISTEP-Plus scores for the Crawford County School Corp. have been released, and many students and teachers have big reasons to smile.

On Sept. 18, the Indiana Department of Education released the ISTEP+ scores, and for the third year in a row, Crawford County has seen significant gains, but it wasn't until October that the schools were able to see the breakdown on how they stacked up against, not only the entire state, but also other schools within the corporation.

Students statewide broke records last year, with their scores on the Indiana Statewide Testing for Education Progress-Plus hitting all-time highs on all portions of the test that saw 71 percent of students passing both the English/language arts and math portions. Last year's 71-percent passing rate was a 1-percent gain over the 2010-11 school year and an 8-percent gain from the 2008-09 year.

This year's data shows that scores went up again statewide.

Seventy-nine and a half percent of Indiana students passed the English/language arts portion of the test and 82.7 percent passed the math portion.

Locally, students saw big gains, and Crawford County as a whole came in 33rd in the entire state for number of students who passed both the math and English/language arts portions of the test.

Corporation-wide, 87 percent of students passed the English/language arts portion of the test and 93.4 percent passed the math portion. Overall, 84.5 percent of students passed both portions. That's up from last year.

In 2012, corporation-wide, students' English/language arts scores topped out with 81.8 percent of students passing, 2.8 percent above the state average. In math, 91 percent of students earned a passing grade, 10 percent above the state average.

These numbers are well above the national average, and even the lowest scores the corporation had in English/language arts still allowed it to be ranked in the top 15 percent of schools in the state.

ISTEP+ is given each spring to students in grades 3 through 8, and its goal is to measure how well students perform and comprehend the skills and content outlined in the Indiana Academic Standards.

The last seven years, CCCSC has scored above the state average in both math and English/language arts.

A breakdown in schools showed that, as a whole, third-grade students scored a combined 91.2 percent on the mathematic portion of the test; that is 13.2 percent above the state average of 78 percent. When you break that down further, school-by-school, 100 percent of both English and Patoka Elementary students passed the mathematic portion with Marengo and Leavenworth both touting an 80-percent pass rate and Milltown scoring a 96-percent pass rate.

"You did not see these neck-and-neck scores that you are seeing now, even five years ago," Milltown principal Tami Geltmaker said. "Seventies were the average in parts of the county … and I'm very proud of the work that we all are doing."

Geltmaker was referring to the district accreditation process that the corporation has undergone in recent years.

"It's really helped pull us together," Eastridge said, echoing Geltmaker's point.

The breakdown of English/language arts for third-grade students showed an overall passing percentage of 91.4. That is more than 8 percent above the state average of 83 percent.

This time Patoka and Marengo Elementary schools led the way with students scoring 100 percent. Milltown saw 92 percent passing, English 89 percent and Leavenworth 76 percent.

IREAD scores were also above average for CCCSC elementary students. No school had less than an 88-percent pass rate.

Leavenworth principal Mike Key also noted during the presentations by the four elementary school principals (Marengo principal Alan Cox was hosting a function at his school and could not attend) that, if you track each class from third through eighth grade, there are significant improvements not just among the grade levels, but within each class that moves through the system.

"The important thing is when you look back­ — and this figure doesn't show up on this … if you go back to 2012, these fourth-graders were actually much lower as third-graders," he said. "For example, in language arts, 72 percent as third-graders (passed) and 82 percent as fourth-graders (passed). … These are the figures that I look at because you want to make continual progress."

The 2013-14 breakdown of corporation scores and other grade level information can be found at www.doe.in.

gov/improvement/accountability/find-school-and-corporation-data-reports.

In other business, the board voted unanimously to approve minutes, funds reports and claims, the 2014 budget, the resolution for a balanced 2014 budget and the resolution of appropriations before beginning the consent agenda.

Decisions on the consent agenda, by school, included unanimous approval of the following with a motion from trustee Kelly Hammond, a second from trustee Traci Kerns and a 6-0 (Danny Mitchell absent) vote:

Resignation of Angela Wilcox, co-chair of the PL 221 at English Elementary School;

Correction to the July 30 minutes to read Brian Ruble Jr. as junior high football assistant;

Brian Ruble, Jr., junior high golf coach;

Laura Pellman as dance coach and Terry Allen as a volunteer for the boy's basketball team, both at Milltown Elementary;

Gretchen Nelson, PL 221, Amanda Rumage as track coach, Keith Jeffries as volunteer girls' basketball coach and Stacy Napper as volunteer track coach, all at English Elementary;

Maternity leave for Robyn Nordhoff;

School Improvement Plans.

Kerns made a motion to approve the following coaching recommendations from athletic director Jerry Hanger: Jonathan Bowles, boys' basketball junior varsity; Billy Harris, eighth-grade boys basketball and Kelly Hammond volunteer assistant; Jerry Hanger Jr., seventh-grade boys' basketball; Debbie Ruble, seventh-grade girls' basketball; Jimmy Ward, high school wrestling; Austin Newton, David Camp, Randy Camp and Jason Ward as volunteer assistants to the wrestling program; and Kelly Jackson as junior high dance. Scott seconded the motion, and Myrna Sanders and Dennis Talley also voted for the appointments. Bill Harris and Hammond abstained.

Other unanimous decisions included:

A change of policy regarding public participation at board meetings under the new policy individuals wishing to give public input must contact the administration office a minimum of 24 hours notice prior to the meeting time to declare their intention to participate. At that time they must furnish the topic of said participation and each statement will be held to a three-minute time limit for their presentation. The president of the school board has sole authority to acknowledge public participation at the board meeting.

A motion for students to drive to or from Prosser School of Technology in New Albany for off-campus classes. A parent must sign the permission form and provide proof of insurance.

Surplus the following buses: bus No. 21, 1997 Carpenter; bus No. 27, 2000 International, bus No. 28, 1999 International; and bus No. 47, 1999 Chevrolet/Bluebird.

Purchasing a new 72-passenger bus.

Marching band overnight field trip to Indianapolis on Nov. 1 and 2 in the event the band made it to the state finals.

Physical Education Alternative Credit program for marching band and other sports.

The agreement with D. Schickel Co. Inc./dba Schickel Masonry Restoration at $7,402.

The next meeting of the Crawford County School Corp. Board of Trustees will take place on Nov. 19 at Crawford County Junior-Senior High School.

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