|By Al Owens
Meeting in regular session last
week the Lewis County Board of Education heard several reports on successful ventures in
the local school system.
Superintendent Maurice Reeder, Jr., said that the current success story was the Lewis
County School Fair including the parade held last Saturday, September 13. The parade began
at Central Elementary and proceeded on the usual parade route down town.
Reeder said that for the first time some of the pageants were held at the new
state-of-the-art auditorium at the high school.
He said the Barbara Kennedy had conducted testing for scholarships and that testing was
Belinda Forman gave a report on the CTB scores.
She said, "First of all our goal is for every testing area, every subtest, and
every grade level to be over 50 percentile."
Forman added that the staff obviously wants the percentiles to go much higher but they
arent all there yet. She told the board when students score in the 50s and
60s they are making gains and doing good things.
She pointed out that the third graders are up from last year. They went from the 52
percentile up to the 61.
Garrison went from the 48 to the 59 percentile. Laurels third grade went from the
70 to the 88 percentile.
Foreman stressed that the 88 percentile is very good and is hard to do.
Centrals score, however, dropped from the 64 to the 48 percentile in the third
grade. That doesnt look too good on the surface but when you look back that same
class last year scored 37.8. So they came up quite a bit and made a lot of improvement.
Tollesboros third grade went from a 51 to the 76 percentile, and thats very
She said that the sixth grade scores were slightly down to a 52 from 54 but that is
rather comparable and not bad up or down either way.
|The Middle Schools scores stayed around the 45 to 46
percentile. Foreman said that score is disappointing but the educators are looking at
She said that the high school score dropped slightly and remained in the low
range, which is a concern. She told the board that the staff will look at that, work with
it and see how they are going to handle that to bring the students scores up.
Foreman said the Kindergarten through the second grade scores are really good. The
kindergarten scored 78.8. The first grade is at 69.7, and the second grade at 58.2.
Barbara Kennedy reported on the SOAR To Success Reading Program. The nationally
recognized research-based program is designed to help struggling readers improve and is
For example Laurel Elementary had a 94 percent gain and averaged a one year-one month
gain. Tollesboro Elementary had a 99 percent gain and had about an eight-month gain in
average in their school. Garrison Elementary had a 74 percent gain and averaged about a
seven-month gain. Central scored a 96 percent gain, which is about a nine-month average
gain. The Middle School had an 82 percent gain, an average gain of one year.
Kennedy added that some of the kids gain two or three years in their reading abilities.
She said that attendance in the program is a factor. It is an after school program and
attendance cannot be mandated for ESS.
She explained that SOAR is a sequential program with five steps in the series of
lessons. The staff this year is going to work on getting parental commitment for getting
the students here for the program.
Kennedy said that the high school had the greatest gains. The students at LCHS averaged
a two-year gain in less than six months. She lauded Ann Royster for her part in making
that program so effective.
Kennedy also reported that Garrison Elementary has committed to applying for a Reading
First Grant and Central is considering it. The grant would bring $170,000 each year for
six years, a total of $1,020,000. Applying for the grant does not mean that the grants
will be obtained. They are awarded based on need, and application will be made.