Mountain Middle students score well in mathematics

Language arts performance shows some decline

Standardized test results show Mountain Middle School students improved their mathematics scores, but had areas of performance decline in language arts. Enlarge photo

Durango Herald file

Standardized test results show Mountain Middle School students improved their mathematics scores, but had areas of performance decline in language arts.

Standardized test results show Mountain Middle School students are performing better than the previous year in mathematics but slightly worse in language arts.

Mountain Middle sixth-, seventh- and eighth-graders took the Colorado Measures of Academic Success language arts and mathematics exams.

“We look at scores each fall and look for areas to improve,” Head of School Shane Voss said. “We started looking at these scores, and based on this data, we are creating a work plan.”

[image:2,mugshot]A CMAS growth report recently released by the Colorado Department of Education shows the school’s median growth percentile, which breaks down student progress from year to year.

Overall, Mountain Middle students tested in the 56.5 percentile in mathematics, a 2½-point jump from the previous year.

Eighth-graders in particular showed strong improvement, testing in the 74th percentile in mathematics, a 17-point jump from 2016.

“We are asking ourselves how we can capitalize on that growth, and are looking at what went well and how we can replicate that performance building-wide,” Voss said.

Students did not fare quite as well in language arts; overall, they tested lower than the previous year.

They tested in the 49th percentile, a 7-point decline from 2016.

Seventh-graders showed the most significant performance decline, scoring in the 36th percentile in language arts, 16 points lower than last year, and in the 36th percentile in mathematics, a 10 point decline.

“Those students came out of the sixth grade with such high scores, it can be tough to make growth every year when your previous achievement was so high,” Voss said.

He said the school is working to implement a plan to improve future mathematics scores, despite growth across the board.

“We saw strong growth scores in math, but even there we are looking at ways to improve what we do with our grapple problems,” Voss said. “They are multiple-step, real-world math problems. We are asking ourselves how we can incorporate more of those into our math program.”

Voss said Mountain Middle School is also assessing its language arts curriculum to address the growth decline.

“We are getting our curriculum maps aligned to grade-level expectations and working to understand what the standards are asking of our students,” he said. “We want to make sure that every project is purposeful, and are looking into how we are building on skills each year.”

mrupani@durangoherald.com

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