S. Routt shows strong performance

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The South Routt School District not only saw improvement in its CSAP scores, but it also scored above state averages for many of the statewide tests.

"The general trend in reading, writing and math in South Routt is very positive," said Soroco middle and high school principal James Chamberlin. He attributed that success to "the hard work and focus of the teachers and the students."

Comparing students year-to-year, for instance, this year's sixth-graders -- last year's fifth-graders -- showed fluctuations in reading scores at South Routt Elementary School.

At the middle and high school level, reading scores increased for most grades. Sixty-two percent of 2004 seventh-graders scored advanced or proficient in reading, compared with 78 percent of the same class as eighth-graders.

Elementary students increased across the board in their writing scores. Comparing last year's third-graders with this year's fourth-graders, for example, showed an improvement from 61 percent proficient or advanced to 95 percent proficient or advanced in writing.

For math, 82 percent of third-graders and 100 percent of fourth-graders scored proficient or advanced. This year was the first in which third- and fourth-graders were tested in math.

Seventh- and eighth- grade math scores were the highest they've ever been, Chamberlin said, with 36 percent of seventh-graders and 38 percent of eighth-graders scoring proficient or advanced. The scores still are below the state averages for the grade.

In 2004, no 10th-graders scored proficient or advanced in math, and 29 percent received those scores in 2005.

"Our teachers worked really hard last year at aligning a lot of what's going on (during) a day-to-day basis" with what the tests assess, Chamberlin said. "Obviously, the students put forth a solid effort."

The tests do not count toward students' classroom grades, and in the past, some students have not taken the tests seriously. This year, various incentives and disincentives made sure students were engaged, he said.

"This is a true indication of how our kids are improving, but again, it's only one," Chamberlin said, emphasizing that the various tests and evaluations are used to determine how well schools are performing.

-- To reach Susan Cunningham, call 871-4203 or e-mail scunningham@steamboatpilot.com

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