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Thursday, May 5, 2016

Bloomfield Schools working to improve ISTEP scores

Thursday, January 31, 2013

The Bloomfield School District ISTEP Success Team has made several changes in the junior-senior high school to combat low test scores.

The overall median growth for seventh to eighth grade students was 47 percent in English/Language Arts and 48 percent in math.

Superintendent Dan Sichting explained at a previous meeting these numbers are figured using the median scores from one year to the next year the same students take the ISTEP to calculate one year's growth.

Junior-senior high school principal David Dean said as of the beginning of the semester there have been additional time blocks set aside for seventh and eighth grade math and English/Language Arts instruction.

The seventh grade math and English/Language Arts additional instruction blocks are three times a week, while the eighth grade instruction blocks are available four times a week.

Dean explained the placement of these additional blocks would give all students 50 additional minutes of instruction in these courses, and can give up to 100 minutes of additional instruction time available for each student.

"We are not just focusing our intentions on the students with low growth model data. We are focusing on all the students," Dean stressed.

Dean said with the A through F accountability model using ISTEP acuity to grade the school and the teachers on their ISTEP growth, the school has put in place a chart to better keep track of their students.

Dean presented the chart for the year so far to the school board Thursday night.

There are three blocks of the seventh and eighth grade math and English testing, the first using two-thirds of standards from the year before and one-third of the current year's standards. The second portion is one-third using the previous year's standards and two-thirds the current standards. The final acuity test is based on all of the current class standards.

Dean added each of the teachers have a list of the acuity dates in their classroom, and the daily announcements remind students how close they are to taking the ISTEP test.

In other business, the school board voted to:

* Approve the transfer of appropriations in the 2012 budget in order to close out the 2012 budget.

* Accept the resignation of Cafeteria I Employee Joyce Carmichael's resignation.

* Accept the retirement resignation of Sharon Sparks.

* Accept the resignation of Joanna Fish as the SeaPerch Sponsor. She will be co-sponsoring the team with a junior-senior high school teacher.

* Accept the resignation of Joanna Fish as the Bloomfield Elementary School Science Club sponsor.

* Approve the following extra-curricular recommendations: Todd Deaton as girl's junior varsity softball coach; Joanna Fish as SeaPerch co-sponsor; Kevin Gott as the girl's assistant varsity softball coach; Darren King as the girl's softball volunteer assistant coach; Bill McIntosh as girl's softball volunteer assistant coach; and Billy Spelts as girl's softball volunteer assistant coach.

* Hire Eric Mishler as a long term substitute teacher at Bloomfield Elementary to provide literacy programming for students in need of intensive and strategic interventions.

* Approved an overnight and out-of-state field trip for the NJROTC to Virginia Beach, Va. over Spring Break.

* Approved a non-resident student application for the junior-senior high school.

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