In a detailed update of the STAR reading assessment initiative, Deputy Superintendent Brenda MacDonald revealed some sobering information to trustees at the April 13 Clearview board meeting.
Designed to inform teachers about student growth and reading achievements, the assessments revealed that Clearview students have fallen below the projected STAR reading levels, with a significant drop in literacy rates from Grade 8 on up.
This discrepancy provoked concern, with the board agreeing that improving literacy rates would be a “big focus” in the development of division plans.
The assessments also pointed out that children who read for fun, consistently read at higher levels than their peers.
Ward 5 Trustee Karen Holloway expressed her concern regarding the impact lower literacy rates could have on college and university participation and success rates.
According to all recognized data, there is some good news.
Literacy improvement is attainable because“we know intervention makes a difference”.
OurSCHOOL survey data
A thought-provoking report highlighted data gathered from the OurSCHOOL student surveys.
Conducted earlier this year, these surveys were designed to provide teachers and principals with significant statistics, not only on student academic achievements, but also important physical, social and emotional health information.
The data collected includes statistics on participation in school sports and clubs, student sense of belonging, hours spent watching TV, reading for fun, doing homework, playing video games and using their phones.
Separated between primary and secondary students, most results indicated Clearview was on par with Canadian norms.
Secondary student overall marks in language arts, math and science averaged almost on par with Canadian norms.
Student participation in school sports was higher, truancy rates were somewhat lower, while the percentage of students in the district who claimed to be interested and motivated was significantly higher than Canadian averages.
Interesting to note are the 67 per cent of secondary students in the district who believe that education will benefit them personally and economically in the future compared with the Canadian norm of 73 per cent; the 69 per cent of Clearview students who say they are intellectually engaged, compared to 50 per cent of Canadian students and the 95 per cent of division students demonstrating positive behaviour in school compared to the 88 per cent Canadian norm.
Statistics collected from OurSCHOOL surveys are used to guide school policies and instructional decisions.