School News

End of Year school data shows rise in student skill mastery, with biggest rise at lower grades

by Kate Evans

The Morgan County School Board heard End of Year (EOY) data presentations by Elementary Education Director Kandy Pentoney and Secondary Education Director Beth Golden at their June 4 meeting which showed increased elementary and secondary student math and English language arts proficiencies from mid-year.

Pre-K data

Pentoney said that the pre-K Early Learning Reporting System End-of-Year data indicated that pre-K students had 93%  counting mastery (up 19% from mid-year), 81% numerical operations mastery (up 27%)  and 88% written numbers mastery (up 13%).

End-of-Year classification skills were at 97% mastery (up 13%) and algebraic thinking was at 88% mastery. (up 20%) Measurement was up 24% to 93% mastery and identifying and using geometric shapes was up 18% to 91%, Pentoney said.

Under scientific inquiry, investigation was at 90% mastery (up 39% from mid-year) and observation and reporting at 89% mastery (up 31%).

Gains in oral language had story telling at 91% (up 15%)  and speaking skills at 96% (up 9%). Print knowledge was at 94% (up 10%) and alphabetic awareness at 88% (up 14%), she said.

Writing production was up 18% to 88% mastery and composing up 17% to 93% mastery.  There were also improvements in self-regulation, play, gross motor movements and throwing and catching at the pre-K level.

I-Ready growth K-5

I-Ready K-5 math growth in mid-above grade level from the beginning of the year to end-of- year was reported for individual schools:

— Paw Paw Elementary: 4% to 22%

— Pleasant View Elementary: 1% to 34%

— Warm Springs Intermediate School: 3% to 24%

— Widmyer Elementary: 3% to 36%.

Countywide, scores in math growth rose from 3% to 30%.

Across all schools, 49% of students scored at Tier 1 (at or above grade level) in math and 12% at risk of Tier 3  (two or more grades below grade level).

The county’s scores indicate 76% of all Kindergarten students are at or above grade level in math. Pentoney reported that 51% of second grade students scored at or above grade level, 50% of third grade students scored at or above grade level. She noted that 42% of first and fourth grade students scored at or above grade level and 38% of fifth grade students achieved that level of mastery.

I-Ready K-5 reading growth for the mid-above grade level from the beginning of the year to end-of-year for individual schools and the county were also tracked. Pentoney reported the following results:

— Paw Paw Elementary: 6% to 22%

— Pleasant View Elementary: 3% to 39%,

–Warm Springs Intermediate School: 11% to 30%

–Widmyer Elementary: 4% to 37%

–Countywide: 7% to 34%.

In total, all schools had 54% of students at Tier 1 (at or above grade level)  in reading and 15% at risk of Tier 3 (two or more grades below grade level).

Across the county, 86% of Kindergarten students  were at or above grade level in reading. Scores show that 63% of third graders tested at or above grade level at the end of the year.

Pentoney said 54% of second graders scored at or above grade level, 51% of first graders were at or above grade level, 42% of fourth graders were at Tier 1 and 39% of fifth grade students tested at or above grade level, Pentoney said.

The number of students needing math and reading intervention dropped from the beginning of the year to the end of the year.


An I-Ready expert is working with teachers, Pentoney said earlier. The I-Ready Fluency Flight math program offers personalized digital activities and games that help students in Grades 2–5 learn essential math facts.   They’re also sending parents suggestions for things they can do at home to help.

Supplemental programs are helping teachers to help students to make progress in reading, she said. Teachers need more I-Ready professional development.

Some gains, many below grade level in secondary grades

Secondary Education Director Beth Golden gave a diagnostic snapshot of middle and high school student mid-year and end-of-year IXL assessment data at the meeting.

District English language arts proficiency was up 3% from mid-year assessments and district math proficiency had increased 4%.

For grades 6-11 in English language arts proficiency:

— 20% of students were above grade level on the end-of-year IXL assessments (up 5%),

— 13% are on grade level (up 3%)

–11% are below grade level (down 1%)

— 52% are far below grade level ( down 6%), Golden said.

Far below grade level is more than 1.5 years below current grade level.

In grades 6-11 math proficiency on the end of year IXL assessments, 3% of students were above grade (up 2%), 13% were on grade level ( up 6%), 15% scored below grade (up 5%)  and 61% scored far below grade level ( down 13%).

In her proficiency comparison of IXL assessment results for sixth to eleventh graders, Golden said that beginning of the year proficiency in English language arts was 25% and math 8%.

Mid-year IXL assessments showed grades 6-11 at 30% proficiency in English language arts and 12% proficiency in math.

End of Year assessment results had sixth to eleventh graders’ student mastery in English language arts at 33% (up 8% from the beginning of the year) and 16% in math (up 8%).

English language arts proficiency jumped 18% in Grade 6, 14% in Grade 8 and 11% in Grade 9 from mid-year to end of the year IXL assessments, according to Golden’s charts.  Other grades had small gains or dips in proficiency.

Math proficiency rose 28% in Grade 6 and increased 9% in Grade 7 and Grade 8.  Grade 9 remained at 4%, Grade 10 dropped 2% and Grade 11 decreased 1% in proficiency.

Next steps

Golden said the school system would continue their current  strategies and improving processes for more accurate outcomes.

Those strategies include continuing the standardized test   environment for the 2024-2025 school year, student data sheets for ownership and goal setting, attendance incentives, beginning of the year, mid-year and end-of-year proficiency scores and monitoring Interim Module Assessments progress.

School officials will also continue student/administrator meetings to discuss root causes of deficiencies and keep students on track throughout the school year, along with continuing and refining academic incentives, participating in the I-Ready pilot at the middle school level and exploring better benchmarking options for the high school level, Golden said.

Other efforts include school professional learning communities,  use of Paper Online Tutoring and instructional coaching.