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Tuesday, May 3, 2016

Bloomfield improves on state report card

Friday, September 28, 2012

Bloomfield Junior-Senior High School Principal David Dean informed the school board Thursday night the school saw a drastic jump in their A-F Accountability grade from a "D" grade to a "B".

In 2011, the first year of the Indiana Department of Education A-F Accountability grading system, Bloomfield Junior-Senior High received a D grade.

School officials noted the grading system mainly took into account Adequate Yearly Progress, which is based on growth of ISTEP scores.

Changes to the DOE Accountability Model now include performance, based on the percentage of students who pass the End of Course Assessment by the end of grade 10; improvement, based on student improvement on ISTEP testing from grades 8 to 10 and 10 to 12; graduation rate, which Bloomfield School District maintained a 97 percent graduation rate; and college and career readiness, based on the number of students passing advanced placement exams, accumulating three college credits or passing an approved industry certification program.

The junior high, according to state standards includes grades 7 and 8, received a C grade, while the high school received an A grade. Overall, Dean said the school received a B grade.

"Our growth didn't meet state goals. The goal is to see high growth in the bottom 25 percent (of students) and the top 75 percent," Dean explained. "We can't just focus on that middle group."

While the school still has plans to focus on meeting those high growth goals, the students overall did much better on ISTEP testing.

"We have made great strides. A year ago I stood before you and said we need to do better," Dean said.

Grade 7 showed a 10 percent increase in the English/Language Arts section of the ISTEP, jumping from 64 percent to 74 percent pass rating. Math showed a gain of 3 percent from 72 percent passing to 75 percent. Social Students increased 4 percent from a 62 percent pass rating last year to a 66 pass rating.

Grade 8 showed drastic improvements, jumping from a 55 percent pass rating in the ELA portion to 77 percent this year. Last year, only 59 percent of students passed the math portion and this year 90 percent passed.

"I want to give kudos to my ISTEP Success Team. They embraced the takes and saw what the students needed. They got the rest of the teachers on board, and started moving in the right direction," Dean said.

Dean noted while the students and faculty have shown major improvements over the last year there are still gains to be made.

"The elementary has really set the standard for us to model after," Dean said.

Bloomfield Elementary School maintained an A grade for the second year in a row, according to principal Mary Jane Vandeventer.

Bloomfield Elementary students showed a growth in the top 75 percent in the Language Arts portion of the ISTEP, and Vandeventer noted the elementary's goal is for all students to show academic growth.

Grade 4 was 13.8 percent above state average in math and Language Arts, grade 5 was 12.2 percent above state average in math and LA, grade 6 was 6.2 percent above the state average in math and LA.

"You can have all the test results you want, but we need to focus on the students," Vandeventer noted.

She noted students are not "car parts" where certain sections need to be focused on. These students are children, and need to be the top priority of the school.

Vandeventer said one of the big focuses in the elementary is on reading comprehension. Students are reading at higher levels at an earlier age.

"As fifth graders we read Charlotte's Web, and now that is second grade," Vandeventer said.

Bloomfield School District Superintendent Dan Sichting reported all of the eight students who took the ACT passed.

"Our students who are taking the ACT are doing well. They are scoring above average for college readiness," Sichting said.

School board member Steve Dowden questioned why the majority of students were only taking the SAT, and so few took the ACT.

Dean noted there was a fee to take both tests, so most students opted to take one or the other.

"The College Board is more prevalent with the SAT," Dean added. "And we are a host site."

Board president Dwayne Hostetter suggested the school promote the ACT more in the future, and Dean said the administration would come up with a plan of action.

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'all of the eitht students who took the ACT passed'? What exactly does that mean??? You don't pass or fail the ACT. Does that mean they got above the state average?

The ACT is actually more widely used across the nation now, but the SAT is still more common in the midwest. Some students do better on one or the other, but for most students taking one or the other is sufficient.

What the school should focus on is getting more juniors to take the PSAT when they qualify for the National Merit Scholar program. Although the students achieving finalist status might be few and far between, those that do receive a high enough score qualify for EXCEPTIONAL scholarships at several different colleges (full tuition, room/board, and stipend).

-- Posted by RB on Fri, Sep 28, 2012, at 3:47 PM

Kudos to Bloomfield but these grades aren't supposed to be released to the media yet....

-- Posted by Ice Breaker on Fri, Sep 28, 2012, at 3:51 PM

'all of the eight students who took the ACT passed'??? What does that mean? You don't pass or fail the ACT. Does that mean they scored above the state average?

Actually the ACT is more widely used across the nation now, but the midwest still primarily uses the SAT. Although some students perform better on one or the other, there is generally very little need to take both (my child did and I still wouldn't recommend it for most students).

What the school should focus on is getting more students to take the PSATs when they are juniors and qualify for the National Merit Scholars program. Although those achieving finalist status would be few and far between, those that do achieve high enough scores qualify for EXCEPTIONAL scholarships at several colleges (full tuition, room and board, plus a stipend).

-- Posted by RB on Fri, Sep 28, 2012, at 3:53 PM

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