State Superintendent Chris Reykdal released results of the most recent state tests on Thursday, Sept. 7.A total of 2962 Walla Walla Public Schools students completed the English language arts exams, 2935 were tested in math and 1323 in science during the April and May state testing window.
The tests administered in Spring 2017 include:
$1· Grades 3-8 and high school: Smarter Balanced Assessment Consortium (SBAC) tests in math and English language arts
$1· Grades 5 and 8 Measurements of Student Progress in science
$1· Grade 10: end-of-course tests in biology
Walla Walla Public Schools assessment results indicate the district struggled to meet statewide averages in 3-8 ELA and math, science, and high school ELA. The district exceeded state averages in high school math and graduation rate in addition to a lower-than-average drop-out rate.
Walla Walla Public Schools recently approved a new five-year Strategic Plan. The district's new Strategic Plan focuses on providing students high quality instruction through aligned and coherent systems while meeting students’ social and emotional needs in a safe and engaging environment. The district’s new Strategic Plan calls for 2.5% improvement per year in SBAC index scores in English-Language Arts and Math for grades 3-8. Professional development for teachers, data analysis, curriculum adoptions and new materials are in place to support this bold success target. The School Board will be measuring the district's improvement efforts by monitoring success indicators throughout the system. State assessments results are one success indicator continually monitored.
The district is also focusing on lowering chronic absenteeism rates and reducing 9th grade course failures in core content classes as strategies to improving academic achievement. The new five-year road map also calls for more resources to address student social and emotional issues, Latino Outreach, Special Education, student activities and afterschool programs. Middle school soccer teams were added this year and all activities fees were waived for grades 6-8. Additional mental health and behavior specialists were hired this school year and a new Health Clinic specializing in mental health support was opened this fall at Walla Walla High School.
The district’s new Strategic Plan also addresses opportunities to close areas where achievement gaps persist. Steps taken include the hiring of Dr. Victor Vergara to direct Bilingual Education programs and Marilyn Melgoza to coordinate Latino Outreach efforts. A new English Language Development program is also being developed for all English Language Learners.
“There is a lot of energy and optimism as we begin the new school year,” said Dr. Vergara, who was the 2016 Distinguished Latino Educator of the Year in Oregon. “We know we have an achievement gap and are ready to work as a team to engage our students and help them succeed.”
For a complete look at all district state assessment information, visit the OSPI school report card:
(NOTE: Elementary scores are subject to change slightly due to state data entry errors discovered by WWPS. OSPI is correcting the results and will have accurate scores posted in the OSPI Electronic Report Card system soon.)